Did Jesus Preach Tolerance?

Matthew 21:12-13 – And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

With Ohio’s primary election in the rearview mirror, I think it’s time to focus a little more on the Church part of this ‘Church and State’ blog.

I’ve seen several memes going around Facebook condemning judging by Christians because ‘Jesus preached tolerance.’ I also saw one that listed a litany of sins followed by ‘but Jesus still loves me as much as he loves you.’

Let’s analyze these two points: 1) Jesus preached tolerance and 2) Jesus loves us despite our sin.

  1. Jesus Preached Tolerance

Pull out your Bible app and do a quick search for the word “tolerance.” Liberals and quasi-Christians will be shell-shocked when they find the word is not there. Jesus didn’t preach tolerance. Still don’t believe me? Let’s take a scripture for our example.

In the Gospel of John, the pharisees bring a woman caught in adultery to Jesus. He speaks the famous line, “He who is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” As we all know the only one there without sin was Jesus, so the pharisees went away displeased that Jesus had one-upped them again. It is the next line, however, that is often forgotten. Jesus turns to the woman and tells her that he doesn’t condemn her and to “go and sin no more.” That’s not tolerance. If Jesus had been tolerant of her lifestyle he would have simply said “go.” But praise the Lord, that’s not my Jesus! He doesn’t want to leave you in the mire of sin: He wants to pull you out of it!

Tolerance and kindness are not one and the same. We can be kind to those whom we disagree without condoning their actions. For example, if my daughter does something against the rules as she gets older, I can be kind in explaining to her why what she did was wrong, but that doesn’t mean I let her off the hook.

In all honesty, the greatest love we can show people who are truly trapped in sin is to tell them how to get out of it and escape the pits of Hell. And the only way is Jesus Christ. Asking Him to save our souls, change our hearts, and transform our minds. I’ve seen him do it in my life and in countless others. If we truly love people, we will share the gospel with them to save them from Hell – not leave them in their sin so we appear tolerant.

Moving on…

2. Jesus Loves Us Despite Our Sin

This statement is 100% true, but it so often gets misinterpreted. Jesus loves everyone, period, end of story. That is precisely the reason he died on the cross for our sins, but that love does not excuse or condone sin. Jesus died to free us from sin (He came to seek and save that which was lost – Luke 19:10). But again, just because I love my daughter no matter what, does not mean I will always love what she does. Loving you and accepting wrongdoing are not synonymous. If you are living a life of sin (fornication aka sex before marriage, drug/alcohol abuse, lying, stealing, etc.) then Jesus loves you and wants to deliver you from that life. It is not the actions that will send you to Hell. It is rejecting Jesus as your savior that sends you there. And if your next argument (like mine was for years) is you believe in God and you pray but your life is still full of sin then let me give you some scripture:

Romans 6:1-2 – What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Just because grace is greater than sin and Jesus paid the price for our sin doesn’t give us license to sin, and if you are sinning continually without any conviction in your heart, my guess is you haven’t truly given your heart to Jesus because when you do, and you fail Him, the Holy Spirit will convict you until you repent.

Side Note: Repenting is not just saying sorry (I also believed this for a long time). Repenting is turning around and going the other direction – leaving the sin behind.

We all fail God, probably daily, but if the Holy Spirit isn’t telling you when you’ve done it, then seriously consider your soul today. What’s more important: partying for a few more years or your eternal life? Hell won’t seem worth the party if you end up there, and I can assure you, giving up your sins for Jesus may not be easy at first, but it always pays off in the long run.

Since giving my heart to Jesus at 19, I’ve received everything I ever wanted for my life: a loving husband and to be a mom. Even more important than both of these though is that I have peace that I can’t express in words and a joy that only comes with Jesus.

If you want that peace and joy in your life then say this prayer (it won’t save you and it doesn’t matter if you say it word for word, but believing it with all your heart is what matters):

Dear Lord,

I come before you in the name of Jesus – lost and undone, needing a saving hand. I believe that you sent your son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sins, and that His death payed the penalty in full. I believe that I’m a sinner, and I ask that you would forgive me of my sins and help me to walk in newness of life by the power of your Holy Spirit. Please break the chains of sin that surround me and liberate me from any bondages. I believe that your son was raised from the dead and as He lives with you, I will one day too. I thank you for saving me and redeeming me! Praise your holy name!

….

If you said that prayer, Congratulations! You just entered the family of God. If you are already saved, then pray with me for a revival in the church and to see our nation turn once again to God. If you have never accepted Jesus and chose not to today, I challenge you to give Him a chance. What do you have to lose?

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2 thoughts on “Did Jesus Preach Tolerance?

  1. I think it is wise to look up the definition of tolerance vs acceptance. They are not the same. The current trend of the uses of these two words tend to get blurry. Bigotry is being intolerant of views other than your own. Tolerance is being respectful/loving to those whom you disagree. Acceptance is agreeing another view as truth. In this frame I think being tolerant is Christ like. Food for thought.

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