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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Would the Cause of Christ Be Helped If You No Longer Existed?

I guess I have seen too many cars with a fish on the back of them. The driver of this car doesn't get out of the lane that is closed and pushes in at the front of the line. Many others got out of the closed lane and waited their turn. Courtesy is often punished.

I wonder how many people look at that fish symbol and wonder what it means. Surely, it can't mean that this person is a Christian. After all, didn't Christ tell Christians to put others before themselves?

I have seen too many deacons found at bars hitting on married women. There have been too many pastors sexually involved with women they were supposed to be counseling. There have been far too many church members who have the reputation as a town gossip.

Are these people oblivious to the harm they are doing to the cause of Christ? Do they believe that their faith only exists at church? Do they have any faith at all?

This past week I told my congregation that honoring your mother meant making her proud of you all the days of your life. A mother told me that her little boy looked up at her and asked, "Mommy, are you proud of me?" I thought that was precious. This little boy was understanding the message better than many adults. I wonder if we should ask God the same question, "Father, are you proud of me?"

This has nothing to do with living a perfect life. I believe that trying to live a perfect life is a horrible way to live. It is never satisfied. I am talking about the journey we should be on to become like Christ. It is a life that exemplifies Christ and leads others to Him.

Now, I know that some want to ask: "Would the cause of Christ be hurt if I no longer existed?" The answer is generally "no." God picks up where another person ends. He brought the disciples along to take up the cause of Christ and it multiplied. He raised up the early church fathers to take up the cause of Christ and spread it around the world. Each faithful person was adequately replaced because others observed and emulated those faithful people.

Thai is not as true for those who call themselves Christians but live like the devil. There are those who are watching these people too. They either believe that Christ makes no difference in changing a person's life or they believe that this is what being a Christian really is. They may also emulate these "Christians" who hurt the cause of Christ.

So, would the cause of Christ be helped if you no longer existed? You can do something about it, you know.

 1 Timothy 1:18-20 (ESV)
18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

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