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Finishing Well

For though I am free from all,I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak.I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel,that I may share with them in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but wean imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:19-27

All too often, people are concerned with how they look to outward appearances. Many people even desire to change the church, or the message of the Gospel to better appease and appeal to those outside of the church. Yet, any Gospel that is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, however well meaning, becomes a barrier to God instead of a bridge. Many do these things because they're trying to help, misguidedly hoping that their appeasement of certain sins will being people in to a saving relationship with Christ. Again, this provides more barriers than bridges. In trying to win others to Christ, we should become all things to all men that by all means we might save some, but we can do this without compromising the Gospel of Jesus Christ! We know that there will be tough times. Paul was beaten, shipwrecked, arrested (and beaten again), imprisoned several times, and so many other things, not because he didn't love people, but " the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18) We can do everything right, and people will still reject the message because they love their sin more than they love God. Continue anyway! Endure and finish the race well. Aim for the words "Well done," which can be achieved by a ministry of reconciliation, not appeasement. You can't win sinners with sin, but the Holy Spirit can convict through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Aim for the finish line. Race to win the prize! Jesus is worth what we must endure in this life! Finish well!

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