This morning, as I was packing Sean's lunch, I mentioned, "There's room in your lunchbox for an apple." I took it to the next level as I am wont to do. I donned my best preacher voice and continued.
"Sean, it's an apple shaped hole in your lunchbox. The apple, do you hear it? It's standing at the refrigerator door, knocking. It wants to come in. It wants to live in your lunchbox. You just need to let it. Allow it to come into your lunchbox where it can dwell til lunchtime. Your lunchbox is full of redeeming qualities and the apple just loves the lunchbox so much that it wants to give up it's rightful place in the produce drawer to dwell in your warm, dank lunchbox."
Stupid, right? Sounds familiar though, right?
The more "Christians" I meet, the more I understand atheism. There are so many silly little variations and half truths and pageantry that it is no wonder people would rather not bother. It breaks my heart that the Savior of the world is judged by Christians. It makes me break out in cold sweats when I hear broken people tell stories about why they refuse to invest in the Gospel because of something the Church has done.
I met a Jewish guy today who said, "I bet being a Christian makes it easier." He was talking about life in the military, not sure where he was going with that statement. I thought, "Come again?" Nothing about being a Christian is easy. Christian, if your life is easy, you may wanna check yourself. Just sayin'...The inner turmoil that comes with knowing the Truth and seeing so many reject it is not easy. Following a Christ centered life is. I'm betting the few Christians in the Middle East don't think being a Christian is easy. The young girl who converts and then fears for her life...not thinking it's easy. But it's worth it. Once you know the Truth, why wouldn't you want it? Why not go headlong into it. I am compelled to follow the Truth. In many aspects of my life, but this one is the most important. Christianity is the only Truth with an eternal focus.
I read the story of the wise and foolish virgins(Matt 25) the other day for a Bible study I'm in with a few friends. The verse that gets me here(and again in Revelation when speaking of the Church) is, "Lord, Lord open up to us! But He answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.'"
The heartbreaking thing is that the foolish virgins thought they were safe. They assumed because they knew the Lord, he knew them. In this instance, it was a parable, but how true is it today? How many pews are full of people who repeated a prayer when they were a kid and assume they're Christians. How many people incorrectly believe that the power is in the words they spoke? They believe that being a Christian is about something they did.
I believed it. My whole life. I thought I was a Christian because I knelt on the floor when I was six years old and said a prayer asking Jesus to come into my heart. I had no concept of sin. I had no concept of my need for a Savior. I had no concept of being an enemy of God. I didn't realize who I was when compared to Jesus. The problem in my carnality is that I was comparing myself to other people. I had a good person complex.
When preachers spoke, it was always about other people. I was "saved." I could go about my daily life not giving any care to the things I was doing because I was a Christian. I knew the lingo. I was warming the pews every Sunday. But there was no real change in my life. My heart was not broken over sin. My heart was not broken by the thought of other people going to Hell enough to do anything about it. I was covered, what others did was on them. I didn't want to be judgemental, after all. Come across as "holier than thou."
I don't believe in coincidences. I believe there is a reason every single person reading this is supposed to be. I'm much more open about my faith now than I used to be. I can't help it. I see broken people everywhere I go.
With a church on every corner, how is this country in the state it's in? Because the Church is not doing it's job. The Church is full of mediocrity and hypocrisy and false converts and charlatans and greed. Too many "Christians" focusing on themselves. Ignoring not just their fellow man, but GOD. Ignoring His Word for the distractions of this life. Taking the free gift of salvation and riding it like a comfortable wave. Making it all about me and not about HIM.
The modern day Gospel is so man centered that it makes an absolute mockery of what Jesus did on the cross. The modern day Gospel wants to paint God as a Grandpa in the sky and only focus on his lovelovelove and ignore the Holy attributes of His justice and mercy. The problem with that is that we can never grasp His love if we don't understand His justice. We can never understand the New Testament without understanding the Old. The modern day Gospel wants to lead you in a little prayer, pat you on your head and run to the office to tally their numbers of sinners saved.
Guess what? There is no such thing as "The Sinner's Prayer." Christians, don't you think if there was a certain prayer that could get us to Heaven, God would've included it in His text?
We can't comprehend salvation without comprehending our own sin.
I am a wretched, wicked person who is Hell bound without the sacrifice of Jesus. I am fully deserving of the wrath of a Holy God. I deserve Hell. My friend, so do you.
Examine yourself. There is nothing that can be hidden from God. He knows every thought you've ever had; He's heard every word you've ever spoken; He's seen every deed you've ever done. His measuring stick is not Satan. His measuring stick isn't even lowered to Hitler. His measuring stick is His perfect, sinless Son, Jesus Christ. I do not measure up. My friend, neither do you.
I'll repeat here what I told my new Jewish friend. Read the Bible for yourself. If it seems like too much, read the New Testament. Instead of letting friends or media or preconceived notions explain it to you, read for yourself. The world is seeking Truth but wants to shut up those who claim to have found it. I figured I'd get this out there to my little circle before it's deemed hate speech. How much more loving could the giving of One's life be?
It comes down to realizing your need of a Savior. Maybe the "Jesus shaped hole" analogy is stupid, but the need for a buffer between you and the Almighty is very real. There is nothing you can do on your own. It is only on the merit of Jesus Christ that you can even approach God. Humble yourself.
Creation reveals a Creator. Our conscience reveals the sense of right and wrong and being accountable to someone higher than ourselves. History proves Jesus was an actual, historical figure. The existence of Christianity proves that something very radical happened 2,000 years ago. Personal testimony of thousands of martyrs speaks for something! The existence of Israel as a nation is proof enough for some.
I've blogged about food & politics in an offensive enough way. I've blogged about what books to read and movies to see. I've written about the silliness of motherhood and aggravation of the military. I've blogged about so many insignificant things. If I don't write about matters of eternity, how much would I have to hate you? I don't say it to be offensive. I say it because someone once said it to me. I was confronted with Truth and I had no defense. I've been in so many churches that pussyfoot around. I've been in so many churches that care more about numbers than people; opinions of deacons than Gospel. I've met more people that call themselves Christians(who certainly don't act like it)than I'd care to know, honestly. I'm tired of mediocrity. I want people to stand up for Truth.
If I want it from others, I have to demand it from myself.