I know it's been a while, but I have been going through a lot and this morning I was struck by an urge to write and here I am...
Living out here in North Carolina, I am surrounded by churches of all names, types, denominations, whatever your heart desires! I am surrounded by people, many of which who would say they are Christian and yet sometimes their actions and words do not conform to what the Bible would say defines a follower of Jesus. If you were to ask these people if they are going to go to Heaven I am sure they would all say yes and if you asked them how they know they will go to Heaven the answers would most likely be quite diverse and quite wrong.
"I live a good life," or "I am a good person."
"I go to Church every Sunday."
"I believe in God."
These thoughts or statements are a trap! If we were to simply sit back idly and let people think this way they are in for a rude awakening at the end of their lives. If we are to serve God, we need to share the truth with those who are mistaken in this kind of thinking. Let's take a look at these statements one by one.
1 - "I live a good life," or "I am a good person"
Sure, we all want to believe that by being good people and living a good life that we can gain entrance into Heaven. But it just isn't that simple. To steal a snippet from the Romans Road - Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:10 "As the scriptures say, "No one is good, not even one."
2 - "I go to church every Sunday"
You go into a building once a week. That doesn't make you a Christian. Heck, I can go to McDonald's every day and it won't turn me into a Big Mac! Of course, if I eat the food there every day, it will make me into a Big Mike. The church is there to provide us with fellowship, so that we can become stronger in our Faith, closer to our God, and support each other in doing the work that was set forth by Jesus. Stepping foot into the lobby, finding a seat in a pew, going through the motions of singing a hymn or bowing your head is a vain repetition if there isn't a personal relationship between a person and Jesus as their savior.
3 - "I believe in God"
James 2:19 "You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder." Yeah, that statement doesn't hold a lot of water since Demons believe in God too, so by that definition Demons are Christians, right?
What I am saying here is that people will blindly follow their own interpretation of what they believe, even if it is wrong. As servants of God we need to share the truth, and in the sharing we are doing God's will. Even the most righteous man or woman who is living a good life and practicing Christian values is lost unless they ask Jesus to be their personal savior. Look at Act 10:1-2 "At Ceasarea there was a man named Cornelius, a Centurion in what was known as the Italian regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly." Here we have a man who by today's standards we would think him to be religious, charitable, and by many measures a Christian, but he had not received Jesus as his savior. Yet God gave him a vision to send for Peter in Joppa so that he might find salvation. Peter did go as commanded by God and what a wonderful visit it was! Peter told Cornelius and his family of Jesus, his ministry, his miracles, of his death and resurrection. What happened next? Acts 10:44-45 "While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spiriit had been poured out even on the Gentiles." Cornelius and his family were blessed and saved during his visit and Peter gained further insight into the gift of salvation as it was now bestowed upon Jew and Gentile alike. More important, a good man and his family, who were living their lives according to Christian values were saved by the grace of Jesus in hearing the truth of his sacrifice, death and resurrection.
Friend, it is easy to let people walk around with blinders on and leave them to their own devices. But what a blessing it is for you and I to challenge them in their belief and share the truth so that they may be saved and walk in the joy of the Lord.