Home » Nearing Midnight » Critical Race—Not Theory

Critical Race—Not Theory

If there is one term in today’s upside-down culture that pushes the button that brings division in America, it is the word “race.” But concerning the life of the Christian, that is a word that should trip movement diametrically opposite of division in the spiritual minds of those who claim Christ as Lord.

I’m referring, of course, not to the colors of the skin of humanity, but to the force with which the believer runs his or her course that is assigned by God beginning with the believer’s new birth. Running the race set before us in the right way never brings division, but oneness in the most critical matter in God’s holy eyes.

The race is that of believers in Christ following the course set for each of us individually. But the collective race is for the high calling of our Lord Jesus Christ. That call unifies the Body of Christ. It does not divide one from another in the family of God.

What is that calling? It is found in the Great Commission, the commandment with which the Lord left the apostles who stood gawking upward as He ascended (Acts 1: 9-10).

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt 28: 19-20)

While obeying this one commandment—the Great Commission—is a critical collective effort that includes every believer of the Church Age (Age of Grace), obeying Christ’s last words (what He said before He ascended) is just as critical to each person who follows Jesus. How we run this race throughout our lives determines our eternal future. We are running it at this very moment. We—you and I—have been in this race since the moment we were born into the family of God.

And no matter our station in life in our jobs, health, society, wealth, class, or any other, we each have a certain course God set for us at our new birth. We are, individually, to run our race with all that is within us, as we let the Lord lead (Proverbs 3:5–6).

The words that frame this race we’re in were indelibly stamped into my spirit on that Good Friday, April 22, 2011—the clinical death I experienced three times within forty-five minutes, according to hospital records. The scriptural application has been with me every day since.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1–2).

Those who have read of that experience know of my report of the race I perceived I was a part of, surrounded by young, beautiful, heavenly beings with their arms raised in victory. We were running, I’ve been told in my spiritual understanding, to serve as, in part at least, encouragement to finish this earthly, spiritual race in which we as believers are presently participants. That’s why I continue to share the matters involved with my fellow believers. I am convicted I must.

We’re not running this sometimes very difficult course in vain. Paul said further:

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Corinthians 9:24–27)

As we observe the prophetic stage-setting that is literally bursting from all our news reports, our eyes should be affixed on Heaven’s finish line. We are already victors through our Savior and Lord and His finished race on the cross at Calvary two millennia ago. All we have to do is carry out His Great Commission collectively and, particularly, individually.

The great apostle, as he faced the moment of his execution, said further:

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7–8)

Our Lord could appear at any moment, or we could at any moment appear before Him through the portal of death (a passage into that glorious dimension I look back on as nothing to fear as a Christian.)

So it is a critical race you and I are in at this very moment, and it’s not a “theory,” as the nonbelieving world sadly views Bible truth to be. We want, when our race is finished on this earth, to hear the Lord Jesus Christ say, as I’m sure He must have said to the Apostle Paul the moment Paul had his physical life ended by a Roman sword: “Well done, good, faithful, servant. Enter into your eternal rest as my joint heir.”

But you will never hear those words from the Savior who died to take away your sin that separates you from God and Heaven if you don’t accept Christ’s grace gift of salvation. Here, yet again, is how you can join and finish the critical race toward the high calling of Christ.

“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.” (Romans 10:9–10)


7 Comments

  1. Dave Michaelson says:

    Very good! I think what you’re describing in the life of a Christian, and their walk with the Lord we would do well examining how it applies in our life, and to follow the example Paul talks about. The “Great Commission” should apply to all who call themselves a follower of Jesus Christ!

  2. Ed Wood says:

    Jesus remarked on divisions in the overall condition of the world before his return:
    Matthew {10:34} Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. {10:35} For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

    Sadly, the church he established has in no way been immune to division. Most of the epistles were written to address this very thing:

    1 Corinthians 11:18} For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. {11:19} For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

    1 Timothy: {6:3} If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;{6:4} He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, {6:5} Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

    Titus {3:9} But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. {3:10} A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject.

    In my opinion, it is more fractured today than ever before and much of it has fallen into absolute apostasy. But Paul gave us the reason why this is so in the first passage, “For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.”

    A muscle not exercised atrophies and it is the same with faith. Challenges cause us to turn to God and his Word so we can educate ourselves and follow the wise example of the Bereans:

    Acts {17:10} And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews. {17:11} These were more noble
    than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    In searching out the Scriptures, we can train ourselves to successfully complete that race which Paul mentioned. It is the only one that matters – because it ends not in this world but in our real and forever home above.

    • Chris Madder says:

      Thank you Ed, that was a timely reminder and I am so glad you included 1 Corunthians 11:18 as I am often accused of division and nothing could be further from the truth but then we also have to bear in mind many of those who accuse us of division are not even born again, therefore: “But a natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. But the one who is spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is discerned by no one.” 1 Corinthians 2:14-15
      Many times when I share this scripture I am attacked further (mind you it is possible I do not couch my words carefully enough) but I then tell them that what I have written is directly from the Bible and they need to argue the point with God. If those who consider themselves Christians are having difficulty in understanding quite what has been going on for the past two and a half years then perhaps this scripture reveals to them why that is in ordere that they do not need to remain in that appalling sad condition of having been brainwashed into Mass Formation.

      • Ed Wood says:

        You are welcome, Chris.

        This website provides ample evidence that people can express different opinions and do it in a very kindly way. Once in a while, we sometimes get a case where a disagreement becomes, well, disagreeable. This, of course, is counterproductive.
        Still, it is important for a person to state his or her case and provide the evidence, realizing that it may rock someone’s boat. It just goes with the territory.

        As for division, it recalls my last days in the Episcopal Church. There was a big push for “unity” by the revisionists, i.e. those who did not allow the Bible to be the ultimate arbitrator.
        I had made a statement more than once that irritated such people to the effect that “I have no interest in unity at the expense of the truth!”

        If I end up stirring up a hornet’s nest with some people, so be it – and I think you are a kindred spirit in that regard!

        I know you’ll keep on fighting that good fight of the faith!

  3. Carolyn Moore says:

    Terry, thank you for your wonderful articles. They lift my heart upward as I, too, near the finish line.

  4. A Clark says:

    Terry, thanks for the encouragement to preach the gospel and make disciples. Paul always had an eye to the coming Kingdom of God to motivate his ministry and to always maintain a clear conscience.

    Any time I’ve seen division, it’s partially because the mission has been lost and partially because there is no view to the future.

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