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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Who Is a Christian Anyway?

Is it possible that Christians are actually rare? Are we calling a lot of people Christians because they just can't be called any other religion? Are people calling salvation a prayer that is said without any commitment? These thoughts shake my view of the church.

The level of commitment Jesus had for His followers was incredibly high. He told them that they had to forsake everything to follow Him. He told them that they must hate their own families if they were to be worthy of Him. He told them that they could not consider what the society counted as reasonable deterance from following Him. It looks like it was all or nothing. I know that is exactly how the rich, young ruler must have thought. Should I think the same thing?

I am not proposing a works oriented salvation. I don't believe that any measure of our works save us. We are saved when we identify with Christ. It is like a marriage. We unite with Him and stay united even if we are not always pleasing Him. However, a marriage requires a true commitment. Simply saying the words "I do," doesn't make a marriage.

I am not saying that we are perfect in our commitment every day. I know that my "old man" is still thriving. I cotinue to do things which are sinful. I may be called a saint but I continue to have serious saintly flaws. His grace continues to cover my sins.

I observe the average church member and I see little to no commitment to Christ. They come to worship whenever it is convenient. They give little or nothing financially. They agree to serve but typically find some reason not to. They will miss a time with their Lord for the sake of a golf time or a football game. How can someone be called a believer when their lives reveal no commitment to the belief? Would a Muslim accept another Muslim if he had such a weak commitment to his belief? What would he say to his Muslim brother who is eating pork, drinking, carousing and missing all the prayer times? Why is it that their commitment to their faith is so much more than ours? Don't we know the true Savior?

This morning I read:

Luke 9:57-62 (ESV)
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

What do you think Jesus was saying?

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