As American society distances itself from its foundational Christian values, the line between what defines a true follower of Christ versus a “Sunday fan” continues to blur more and more. An ever-increasing number of self-proclaimed Christians are more concerned with personal comfort and compliance with societal norms than they are with their commitment to Christ and His bride, the church. If we are to truly believe in the words of Galatians 2:20, then why do so many make excuses for their complacency and abandonment of Christian value in their lives? Why do we continuously make excuses as to why we hold some biblical text as absolute truth and regard others as optional?
“CHRISTIANITY, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
~ C.S. Lewis
1 Corinthians 10:31 affirms that we are to glorify God in all that we do, but do we really make this our number one priority? We understand that we are imperfect sinners and will never be worthy of the gift of His grace, but when we accept a life of living in continuous
sin, accepting sin due to political or societal approval, or even go so far as to defend sin, are we really living for the glory of God? How does this honor the sacrifice that Christ made for our eternal salvation? In short, it doesn’t, and anyone that attempts to justify it is wrong.
“The world of nominal, cultural christianity that took the american dream and added jesus to it in order to say, ‘you can have everything you ever wanted and heaven, too’ is soon to be gone. good riddance. ~ Russell D. Moore
So many of our brothers and sisters show up on Sunday morning as if they were attending a professional sporting event at a stadium to watch the home team play. They make every effort to give their full attention to the coach’s motivational speech, sing the team’s fight song, cheer on the team, and high-five other fans, yet they grumble and mumble beneath their breath if they don’t like how the game is going or (:gasp:) the game goes into overtime. Then, after the game is over, win or lose, so many go home and continue their lives as if the “game” was just that; an insignificant, yet entertaining event in their daily lives, seen only as a motion that must be gone through to feel better about themselves or to keep up their reputation. Imagine for a moment if cultural Christians followed Christ with the same reverence and dedication that they do college or professional sports teams. The revival the saints would experience as the unified body of Christ would be simply amazing!
“Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.”
~ Charles Spurgeon
Christ wants us to want to glorify Him. He wants all of us, all of the time (Deuteronomy 4:24). So many fall into selfish thinking in their living that it breaks my heart. Do I speak as one immune? Absolutely not. I am tempted with selfish desire, daily. Commonly, it is too big a pill for many to swallow to think the goal of our walk with Christ is not self-gratification, individual happiness, or to live a “good” life and be touted a “good man/woman” on the day we return to the ground. As born-again, bible-believing, christ-following, enemy-loving, Christians, our life is not our own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Read that again. Did it resonate within you; convict you, even? For the sake of your salvation, I pray so.
As is evident in Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus warns us that that if we are not “all in”, He would rather we not waste our time pretending. Nowhere does the Bible mention that following Christ up the narrow path to salvation will be easy (Matthew 7:13-14). Quite the contrary, it tells us that we will be hated and persecuted for our faith (2 Timothy 3:12). But if we hold firm the belief that “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21), then James 1:2 tells us to “count it all joy” (not to be confused with carnal, self-indulged happiness, mind you) and there is no way we can lose.
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried.” ~ G.K. Chesterton
I hear unbelievers continuously tell Christians that they are not to judge (a popular biblical narrative frequently used by the secular world as a battle-cry against Christianity), but as is usually the case, they pick verses that serve to advance their agenda or defend their lifestyle, not understanding the true context with which God intended. If I love my enemy and my neighbor and simply explain biblical principal to them with care and compassion, I am not judging, but loving, as it shows that I have a genuine concern for their salvation. But even more distressing is the Christian brother or sister that claims the same in defense of sin, not understanding our accountability to one another that we are called to (Galatians 6:1). This issue is often fueled, twisted, and exacerbated when we, as the body of Christ, forget the foundational tenet to do everything in love (1Corinthians 16:14).
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi
We frequently hurt our cause by approaching a given situation with perceived hatred and condemnation. We are passionate and anxious to see unbelievers open their hearts and come to Christ. However, if you attempt to recklessly prod a bull through a gate from the rear, you’re bound to get kicked without achieving your desired outcome and, contrarily, will only end up making the bull turn on you. Why do we take this approach as Christians when we try to lead others to Christ? Why can’t people just see that we are just trying to do what is best for them? Perception becomes reality to the uninformed. Let others see the light of Christ in you (Matthew 5:16). You may be the only Bible that many people ever see. Make sure what they perceive as true Christianity, is true.