One of my personal resolutions for 2019 was to completely stop listening to secular music. It was something that I had struggled with for years without much success. Sometimes I would think that it’s not a big deal to listen to those kind of songs, as long as you don’t think or behave in the culture that is celebrated in that type of music.
But I could see how it did have an impact on the way I thought and what I focused my attention on. One of the biggest differences for this year was that both Brittany and I resolved to do it together. It really helps to have another believer to hold you accountable to the changes that you need to make, especially if it’s your spouse!
All that to say, one of my favorite
secular artists was Kanye West.
I really felt he was a talented individual who made very unique beats and had some creative lyrics. Of course the content of his music wasn’t the best, and it really made me think, what if he used his talents for good?
Well, this past October, Kanye released his first gospel album called “Jesus is King.” To be honest, when I first heard the news, I was super skeptical, thinking he was just trying to get a cut of the Christian music genre to expand his audience. I didn’t really think he became a believer.
He would go on to lead worship at the church he attended and do gospel music sessions. When I heard all that, I really thought it was blasphemous to make a mockery of Christianity if he didn’t truly believe in the message of salvation and trust in the person of Christ. When his album finally came out, I actually listened to the songs and was impressed by the content of the lyrics, which were a lot of verses that he quoted from Scripture. He also didn’t have one explicit word in all of the tracks.
This was wrong of me,
but I was shocked.
I didn’t think the day would come when Kanye West would accept Christ as his personal Savior. All I can say is I am astounded at how God works, and all glory to Him!
When reading into his testimony and what brought him to Christ, he goes into the valleys of life that led him to the gospel and then went on to receive discipleship from the pastor of his church. Of course only time will tell if he truly is a believer, which will be proved by the fruit that he produces through his newfound faith.
But, at the same time,
who am I to judge how he has
received salvation or if it is real?
No one! That is completely between him and God, and, if it is real, he will be a huge proponent for the gospel, but if it isn’t, the truth will come out.
What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. | 1 Corinthians 3:5-13
Paul here mentions that we as believers are only vessels used by God to fulfill his will. We have no claim to who is saved or how they are saved.
We must share the
God is the one who plants the seed, waters it, and causes the growth! We have no control in it—we are instruments used to fulfill that task, but, regardless, God will accomplish his purpose.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. | 2 Corinthians 5:17
Those who are professing believers should always be welcomed into the family of God, regardless of their past. Each of us had a past before meeting Christ, but we have become a new creation. God does not see us or judge us based on what we did but, rather, on what his Son did, and if we have accepted that gift, we are counted holy and blameless before Him!
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. | Ephesians 2:8-9