5/6/21 - THE LINEUP

If you’ve watched any cop shows you understand what the lineup is. They bring a group of suspects to stand in a line behind a one way mirror, so the victim(s) can identify who they believe had harmed them. But what the Holy Spirit had in mind wasn’t a television show, but the Church. If the Lord were to line us up for the world to identify us, how easy would it be for them to pick us out as Christ representatives? Especially here in the American churches.

Sobering question isn’t it? What distinguishes us from the unsaved world? How would they pick us out of a lineup? In a world where everyone wants to be liked and understood, in a time where sin is elevated and applauded, where wrong is right and right is wrong, how do we identify ourselves? What’s the distinguishing feature or family resemblance? How will we be identified in a lineup? The apostle Paul gives us a starting point in the process.

“Do not be yoked together with those who do not believe. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? And what agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, as God said: I will dwell and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord; do not touch any unclean thing, and I will welcome you. And I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭6:14-18‬ ‭CSB‬‬

“But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. Obscene and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks. For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Therefore, do not become their partners. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — for the fruit of the light consists of all goodness, righteousness, and truth — testing what is pleasing to the Lord. Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:3-5, 7-11‬ ‭CSB‬‬

When we’re standing out instead of being chameleons, we’ll pass the lineup test. When our message is clear and not compromised, we’ll pass the lineup test. When our lives aren’t contaminated by a mixture of flesh and Spirit, we’ll pass the lineup test. When we’re not ashamed of the gospel message but are willing to expose the darkness, we’ll pass the lineup test. When we begin living authentic Christian lives, we’ll pass the lineup test. When we cease being divided and walk in love with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we’ll pass the lineup test. God isn’t interested in how nice we look, He’s interested in our character. He wants to line us up for the world to see Christ’s imprint on our lives.

Satan enjoys when we hide who we are. It empowers him. I shared with the Bible study group, the story of a young woman who converted from Islam to Christianity in Iran. This woman has had an encounter with the love of Jesus that has removed all fear of persecution and death. She has been threatened, locked up, beaten, you name it. But she tells them she’s not afraid to die, and that she will continue to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, so they can do whatever they want to her. What do they do? They let her go. Lol when you face your enemy instead of running, you confuse him. She passed the lineup test. When you’re cowering in fear, they’re emboldened.

We may not be hunted down and threatened like some of our brothers and sisters in countries where Christians are treated like criminals for their faith, but we must be distinguishable to those who are hurting and looking for answers. Would your friends and colleagues be able to pick you out in a lineup? Or would they be shocked to learn that you’re a Christian? That’s why some people won’t invite others to church. They have been compromised by the things they have either said or done in the presence of the unsaved. God has a lineup of His own. It’s called the judgment seat of Christ.

“For we [believers will be called to account and] must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be repaid for what has been done in the body, whether good or bad [that is, each will be held responsible for his actions, purposes, goals, motives—the use or misuse of his time, opportunities and abilities].”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭AMP‬‬

The ultimate lineup. So while we have been given every opportunity to represent Christ to the world, can we say with confidence that we would be identifiable in a lineup? What is the burden of proof? What evidence have we got to show that we are who we say we are? Where’s the proof and fruit? The hall of faith is loaded with the names of those who passed the lineup test. Stephen, James, Paul, Peter and countless others all passed the lineup test. Will we? Are you a suspect for Christ? These christians did selfless acts, putting others and Jesus above themselves. That’s what separates us from the culture. That’s what makes us standout in the lineup. Philippians 2:3-4

Written by permission of the Holy Spirit

W. Tennant

May 6, 2021

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