Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A True Big Mac?

First off, let me start by saying this: I've been around christians all my life. I was dedicated in church when I was a baby, I became a christian around age 7-8, and was baptized soon afterward. I always went to church -every Sunday- with my family. I know the drill.

I'm still young, but I've seen enough. Enough to know and be able to honestly say that the majority of the people you find in the churches (that I've found, correct me if I'm wrong) of America who profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior pretty much (be honest with yourself) do this: Go to church on Sunday (And Sunday night/Wednesday night, if they're really “good”), live however they want all week long, and then -digging in their closet- they find their Sunday suit, and they find their bible (layered-in-dust and in exactly the same spot they put it every week after church, for “safe” keeping of course.) on the shelf, and dragging themselves to church they put on a smile, sit in a pew for an hour or two, go home, and then go through the whole dreaded thing over again next week. And... again. And... again. And... again. It's the "christian" way, and they know and (in many cases) have been taught no other. See, the fiery evangelist who visited their church that time when they said the words and signed the card never told (or better yet, never showed) them what life after salvation was supposed to be like. They live as they see others living. And they believe that since they said the right words they will “get into” heaven. Is that true salvation? Just fill out the card and you’re good to go? Or is there more to it?

What happened to “repent and be batized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ”? Where is the repentance from dead works? Let me remind you, repentance is more than saying, “I’m sorry”. It involves a change of heart, and a change of direction. To be forgiven of your sins you have to repent!

Are you upset about what I am saying? If yes, then GOOD! It's something to be upset about! The fact that SO MANY PEOPLE believe if they simply say the magical words, or even just go to the right place once a week, and don't do anything "majorly wrong" (like kill somebody), that they will go to heaven when they die, is something to be MAJORLY upset and concerned about! Why? Because that is a large percentage of the people found in modern-day christian churches, and it is the biggest and most dangerous lie I have ever encountered.

Now, you may be thinking, "oh she's just one of those pharisee-type people who believes you are saved by your works". Let me make something clear:

I do NOT believe you are saved by what you do. I do NOT believe that one must "earn" their way into heaven, that is impossible.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) 
"For BY GRACE you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast".

We are saved by grace, and through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, that being said, let me flip the coin over to the seldom talked of, yet often dreaded side of the christian faith. Check out these verses:

Romans 6:15-16
"What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin LEADING TO DEATH, or of obedience LEADING TO RIGHTEOUSNESS?"

Is that not clear enough? Try this on for size!

James 2:19-20 (NLT)
"Do you still think it's enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror! Fool! When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless?"

Still not convinced?

James 2:26 (NLT)
"Just as the body is dead without a spirit, so also faith is dead without good deeds."

Being a follower of Christ is more, so much more, than simply spending a few hours in a church building once or twice a week! As it has been said, "going to church no more makes you a christian than going to Mcdonald's makes you a big mac". Now, it may make you look like a christian to some (or a big mac!!!) to go there, but in truth you are not.

James 1:22 (NLT)
"But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves."

How do we identify the true believers? How do we know who is TRULY saved, those who have truly given their lives to God?

Well, what does the bible say?

Matthew 7:20 (NLT)
"Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced."

Luke 3:9 (NLT)
"Even now the ax of God's judgment is poised, ready to sever your roots. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire."

Luke 6:43 (NLT)
"A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit."

And then in John.....

1 John 2:4-5 (NLT)
"If someone claims, "I know God," but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in truth. But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in Him.”

Are YOU truly saved? Are you a christian... or a "churchian”?

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV)
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

James 1:21 (NLT)
"So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls."

--We all ought to continually ask ourselves these questions, "What is the"filth" in MY life? Who am I really living for, Christ or myself?"

We are always loved by God, and He offers us His grace, but may I remind you that to be forgiven, we must first repent!

I am not saying in all of this that when you become a christian, you will be instantly perfect. However, you will be growing in your faith and being made perfect through Christ. (Check out Hebrews 6:1-3)

I know that I have focused mainly on the fruit of our salvation, yet I have found it necessary to do so. People are more than willing to preach, teach, or talk about God's grace, love and forgiveness, but when it comes to repentance from dead works... Few are willing to do the dirty work.
Jesus desires an intimate relationship with YOU! HE LOVES YOU!!! He gave His life for you, because He loves you and wants to spend ETERNITY with YOU!

I know I have been incredibly blunt with you, and have perhaps offended some... but I believe this is the truth, and anyone who is open to God's word and truth can do nothing but agree. Someone's got to speak the truth. I love you and care about you enough to tell you what most are not willing to say.

Hebrews 10:23 (NLT)
"Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near."

Thanks for hearing me out, and reading what I have to say! It's just that when God reveals things to you, whether it be through the bible, other people, or prayer... sometimes you simply must tell the world about what you've discovered! I guess I'm just one of them crazy Jesus freaks!