The Lord Jesus Christ has given us Christians “The Great Commission”–the mission of presenting God’s gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ unto all the world. We know this and we even accept that we are responsible for performing and accomplishing this mission. However, there is often so much separation between us Pentecostal Holiness Believers and all of the Non-Believers around us that we are hindered, limited, or even prevented from carrying out The Great Commission.
To get us started, if you have been a Pentecostal Holiness Believer for very long, then you have probably encountered the accusation that “Christians think they are better than others”.
Well regrettably (and to the chagrin of all who are truly saved), there is the scenario where some people who attend Pentecostal Holiness churches do have a condescending spirit and attitude…and their bad opinion and distaste of others is openly manifested and conveyed. To be blunt, such people need to repent and pray through until they become Christ-like and Spirit-filled.
Keep in mind that just because a person attends a church does not mean they are actually a saved Christian or a true ambassador who properly represents Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). After all, satan has a seat in every church (Revelations 2:13).
Thankfully, church-goers with a condescending spirit and attitude are a definite minority.
Moving on, there is the scenario where the accusation that Pentecostal Holiness people think they are “better than others” comes from those who feel convicted of their sins when they encounter a Pentecostal Holiness person who is striving to live right before God.
Within this scenario, it is often the case that this accusation comes from those who were raised Pentecostal Holiness…and to justify their backsliding and waywardness, they find fault with their “childhood religion” and they criticize Pentecostal Holiness people as being “judgmental”.
To assuage their own conscience and to justify their not-holy way of living, these accusers distort or selectively present the truth.
But by far, the most common scenario is the one where Pentecostal Holiness people have an an “air” about them that inadvertently creates a distance, an aloofness, an awkwardness, and a separation between themselves and Non-Believers.
This “air” is not because these Pentecostal Holiness people think they are better than everyone else. Rather, it comes about for two reasons.
One, it comes from them not fitting in with the “world”. Their spiritual-mindedness doesn’t fit in or mesh with the carnal-mindedness of unsaved Non-Believers. As they strive to live a life pleasing before God, they simply do not have much of anything in common with people who have little to no regard for God.
Two, it comes about because they are striving to keep themselves saved and separated from sin. As they read and follow God’s instructions given to them in the Holy Bible, they correspondingly strive to keep themselves “unspotted from the world” (James 1:27)…they recognize that they “are not of the world” and that Christ has chosen them “out of the world” (John 15:19, John 17:6,14-16)…and especially, their need to “come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17).
Again, it isn’t that these Pentecostal Holiness people think they are better than others. It’s just that they have the God-given commandment to, “Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
And given that prior to salvation, they were overcome by and party to the lusts and temptations of the flesh and spirit…but now they have been saved out of that filthiness of the flesh and spirit…well, they definitely do not want to go back into that life. Consequently, it can be challenging, difficult, and even dangerous to “hang out” with those who are still partaking of the filthiness of the flesh and spirit.
And yes, Pentecostal Holiness people should be saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost to the point that they are able to rise above the filthiness of the flesh and spirit. But still, wisdom and discretion recognizes that, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9)…and therefore, cautious and careful living is warranted.
Because of this, Pentecostal Holiness people sometimes decide that their best course of action is to create distance, division, and separation between themselves and unsaved people…to build an insulating buffer that effectively isolates them from Non-Believers…not because they think ill of unsaved people…or despise them…but because that is the safe thing for them to do in order to protect their own soul.
Further causing this “air” I am talking about is the fact that Pentecostal Holiness people want to be blessed, and the Bible tells them that, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners” (Psalms 1:1).
I have said all of the preceding to bring us to this point:
We Christians cannot be so separated, insulated, and isolated from Non-Believers that we are unable to perform our job of carrying out The Great Commission.
As Pentecostal Holiness people, everything about us should mirror the contents of the King James Version of the Holy Bible…and here is what the Bible tells us:
“For all have sinned” — (Romans 3:23)
Uh-oh…this lumps us right in with everyone else.
“For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” — (Ecclesiastes 7:20)
Hmm…this too lumps us right in with everyone else.
“What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.” — (Romans 3:9)
Same thing again…we aren’t any better than others in and of ourselves because we have sinned just like everyone else.
Moreover, because ALL HAVE sinned…and because all unrepented sin has the consequence of eternity in hell…we have a very real need for repentance, forgiveness, and salvation:
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” — Revelations 20:15
“Behold, all souls are mine…the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” — Ezekiel 18:4
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.” — Acts 3:19
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions.” — Psalms 51:1-3
“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” — John 3:3
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” — Mark 16:16
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” — John 14:6
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” — Acts 4:12
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” — Romans 6:23
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” — John 3:36
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” — John 3:16-21
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” — Romans 5:8-11
Next, in understanding our need for salvation…because of our sins…the Bible gives us a prescription for attaining salvation and forgiveness of our sins:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” — Romans 10:9,10,13
“…the Kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” — Mark 1:15
Next, in receiving salvation…in being reconciled unto God the Father through His only begotten son Jesus Christ…we submit to the lifestyle that God through the Bible commands us to live:
“Give unto the LORD the glory due his name…worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” — 1 Chronicles 16:29, Psalms 29:2
“…that we…might serve him…in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.” — Luke 1:74-75
“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” — Romans 6:22
* “…dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)
“For God has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” –1 Thessalonians 4:7
“…holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” — Hebrews 12:14
Altogether, the above adds up to two key distinctions between us and others. Namely, we choose to be among those who:
- Acknowledge our sins and therefore our need for the forgiveness God made available to us through the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ…while many who live around us do not.
- Actively strive to live the sanctified, holy, modest lifestyle that God commands His people to live…while many who live around us do not.
In short, we are different from others in the sense that we strive to honor, reverence, and obey the principles that God has given us in the Holy Bible…whereas the vast majority of people who live around us put little to no effort into honoring, reverencing, or obeying God…and a few even seek to dishonor, disregard, scorn, and disobey God.
So, it is not that we think we are good and everyone else is bad…it is not that we think we are better than everyone else. It is simply the fact that we are in the minority who want to be saved Christians who please God with our lives…whereas the majority of people who live around us don’t concern themselves with pleasing God with their life.
But, in spite of all the differences between us Pentecostal Holiness people and the Non-Believers around us, we have a job to do. Our Lord Jesus Christ phrased the job this way:
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” — Mark 16:15
This is The Great Commission. The Apostle Paul phrased the job this way:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” — 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
So, we have the gospel of Jesus Christ to share…we have a ministry of reconciliation to minister in…where we live our lives…where we conduct ourselves…where we engage in the Lord’s work…in a way that the light of Jesus Christ shines out of us brightly…where the love of Jesus Christ emanates strongly out of us…so that people are persuaded to be reconciled to God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is The Great Commission that all of us Christians are tasked with…and we are responsible for accomplishing The Great Commission. At the same time, we are called to be spiritually-minded, righteous, and holy…we are required to live clean, sanctified lives. And, one does not preclude the other. Rather they each should support, augment, and empower the other.
If we should ever become so “righteous” that we will not interact with Non-Believers…
If we should ever become so “holy” that it blocks us from fulfilling The Great Commission…
Then we have lost our way…our righteousness has become unrighteousness…our truth has become untruth…we have begun putting forth the commandments of men as if they were the doctrines of God when they are not of God at all (Matthew 15:9, Mark 7:7, Colossians 2:22).
The Great Commission…it is the job of every Christian!