One Way Street
One Way Street
Growing up, there were three of us around the same age on my street. Crystal, Jameka, and I would play outside all day until the street light came on. On any given day, you could catch us playing four squares, tag, riding bikes, and if we could stay out past dark, one of my favorite things to do was to catch lightening bugs. Our street was a relatively quiet one in the Deanwood community of Northeast Washington, DC. It was a slight hill that didn't see much traffic. Cars would occasionally travel down our street, which was a slight hill, when they wanted to take a side street or a short cut. Even more rare were the times where a car would drive up our street in the wrong direction.
We loved our street. We were born and raised there and it was home to us. So, when someone drove up our street in the wrong direction, we would emphatically yell out "ONE WAY STREET!" This was 20 to 25 years ago, so I don't quite remember how we started this, but it became a staple of our playtime. We didn't want these cars to hit someone or do it again, so we warned them. We were guaranteed to yell it at the top of our lungs, every time, and it was fun.
This memory came to mind the other day and I had a good chuckle about it. I thought about how bold we were and how I probably would never do that today. In fact, my mom still lives on that street and the rare times that I see a car going the wrong way, I sit there as quiet as a church mouse. The reason why I would not say anything has nothing to do with the fact that I'm an adult who shouldn't be yelling like a maniac. Even if I were a child today, I still would not do it. The reason why is because things are just different now.
The 90s had its problems like any other time in history. There were murders, drugs, crime, and all of the social ills that have plagued man since the beginning of time. However, there was still some etiquette and decency about people. Neighbors knew each other by name and talked to each other. Kids played outside. Children addressed adults as "Mr." and "Mrs." There was no social media for everyone to be self absorbed. People had to go out and talk to someone in person to score a date. Most importantly, people reverenced God and church. They might not have been living a holy life, but people still respected and revered God, or at least had the courtesy to pretend.
Some will suggest that things are no different in our generation than any other and that I'm just becoming an old grumpy old-head, but the word of God suggests otherwise. When the disciples asked Jesus about the signs of the last days, He told them that evil would spread and people would become cold-hearted.
Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
2 Timothy confirms this:
2 Timothy 3:1-4 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.2 For men
shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to
parents, unthankful, unholy,3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incon-
tinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of plea-
sures more than lovers of God;5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:
from such turn away.
Even in Romans 1, we find that some people are "inventors of evil." So it's not our imagination or perspective making things appear different. Things really are different. People are inventing evil and doing different things. There are people who are walking around with seared consciences. So, yelling out at a random car in this day and age is jeopardizing your life. People are crazy and you don't know if that person may have a gun. You don't know if that person had a bad day. You simply don't know.
For Such A Time As This
As I meditated on this, it made me thing about the responsibility of today's believer. Just like the kids on our street felt that we had a responsibility to yell "ONE WAY STREET!", the believer has a responsibility to warn the masses that Jesus in the only way. There are billions of people going the wrong direction and we are charged to tell them to repent and believe the gospel. The word repent can literally be translated to mean "turn" or "return."
Christians have suffered for the sake of the gospel since the acts of the apostles. However, in America, Christians have benefited from a golden age of sorts where proclaiming the gospel has not faced much resistance. America has worn the badge of being a Christian nation, but our society is turning its back on God more as time progresses. That golden age is quickly dissipating. As the moral fabric of society continues to erode and people slide into insanity and reprobate minds, people are becoming increasingly resistant to the gospel message.
The word of God is viewed by many today as archaic, bigoted, and fictional. The moral compass established by the Bible is being replaced with secular humanism, false religion, new age mentality, and the satanic mantra of "do as thou wilt." These beliefs are just the tip of the iceberg of the spirit of the Antichrist, which is already in our world (1 John 4:3). This spirit is abusing political correctness, tolerance, hate speech, and a false version of love in order to muzzle anyone that is not on board with its agenda. This means that boldly proclaiming Jesus Christ as the only way to God can be considered offensive and worthy of being silenced.
Despite all of this opposition, the Christian must still yell at the top of his lungs, "ONE WAY STREET!" The street that leads to heaven is a one way street. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Jesus did not say that he was a way, but that he was the way. This means that there is only one option. Jesus said he was the truth, meaning that there is no such thing as relative truth, my truth, your truth, but that there is only the truth, which is Jesus Christ. We are reassured in 1 Timothy 2:5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
A politically correct society hates the idea of being absolute and firm in your stance. It hates the idea that there is only one option, which carries a standard, because it means that they have to adhere. So instead of adhering to the sovereignty of God and receiving his free gift of salvation, people choose to reject God and to persecute his messengers. Despite the persecution, we must still proclaim "ONE WAY STREET!" The Lord Jesus Christ commissioned us to go out to all nations baptizing and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Some of these people would travel up our street because they legitimately didn't know any better. Some people did know and simply didn't care. Whatever the motive, we still have to proclaim one way street. They might pull out a gun and shoot you, but it's still a one way street They might put you on the guillotine or crucify you upside down, but it's still a one way street. Paul said we are like sheep for slaughter, but God said not to fear the one who can kill the body, but to fear the one who can destroy both the body and the soul in hell. No matter what we face, keep proclaiming "ONE WAY STREET!"