Don’t Wait for Someone to Tell You About Christ

I knew there were Christians in my school and I waited for them to tell me about Christ. I think I used that as an excuse.

Looking back, I know that Christ was knocking at the door of my heart. I didn’t need anyone to tell me. I just needed to open the door.

In many ways I’m thankful that nobody talked to me about Christ. I don’t have a model of how it should be done. Nobody hounded me. Nobody pressured me. Nobody tried to talk me into becoming a Christian. In fact, nobody talked to me about Christ. None of my peers even invited me to go to church. I knew some of them went to church.

Was it their example that made me want to be a Christian? Was it something they said or did? I can’t point to anything. They were nice people, that is the ones that I thought were Christians. I think I could tell, mostly. But it was not the desire to be like them that led me to make the decision to be a Christian. It was a personal life choice.

For awhile I separated myself from the Christians, maybe out of a rebellious heart. All of our hearts have some rebellion, I think. We hesitate to cross the line and give control over to God. It’s a pretty scary thing to decide to follow Christ. It means crossing over. Leaving the crowd.

I sat on the fence for awhile. I wasn’t really a bad person. I lived a basically good life. But it wasn’t a surrendered life. I was OK with people believing I wasn’t a Christian. Then one day I decided to change that. I decided to take a public stand. There were things about me, outwardly, that looked like a rebel. One was my dark demeanor. I didn’t have the joy I had after I committed my life to Christ. We choose to live in darkness or light. Darkness is where self and sin rule.

There is a song that goes, “We are all God’s children,” and it is true in the general sense that we are all God’s creation and he loves us all. But we are not all “disciples” of Jesus.

I knew it would cost me something to be a disciple, and I was right. It has cost me a lot. I’ve had to stand against the crowd. I haven’t had friends when I might have had them, if I would have compromised a little. I’ve been mocked. I’ve been misunderstood. I’ve been shunned. I’ve been criticized. But I have not yet experienced the extremes that many believers have been subjected to. Thousands of Christians, worldwide, die every year for their faith. Many are tortured. This is something I have not experienced.

Becoming a Christian required that I counted the cost, in other words, what it would cost me to stand in opposition to the thinking and the ways of the world. It’s not popular to be a Jesus follower. I’m glad I didn’t continue to use the excuse that nobody told me about Christ. One day I saw, that it really was just up to me. What will you do about the claims of Christ?

False Teachings in the Church

There are false teachings in the churches today. We can only discern them when we seek God and submit ourselves to his ways.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sins and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

As believers we war against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places.* We pull down spiritual strongholds. We cast out demons. We heal the sick. We declare the kingdom of God. We shine a light in the darkness. We expose sin.

Today we commemorate the death of Christ. There were false teachings among the believers in Jesus’ day, as well, and the religious leaders were the ones who incited the mob to demand that Jesus be crucified. Jesus, who cast out demons, who healed the sick, who proclaimed the kingdom of God, who never did any evil or harmed anyone. If that is not enough evidence that we are at war against evil forces, then there is nothing that will convince us.

A very strange thing is happening in the world today. We are seeing death on every side as a result of the coronavirus. People are helpless in the face of this tragedy. We are also seeing economic hardship as businesses are shut down to prevent the disease from spreading. Even places of worship are closed.

In the past decade there has been a renewed interest in “spirituality” as a significant aspect of people’s lives. “Meditation” has become increasingly popular. However, there is extreme care taken not to specify the object of this faith. Supposedly it can be applied in any direction with the same result. Well, this is not true. My prayers will only be as effective as the power of the one to whom they are directed. Apart from this, the outcome is left to chance, or to evil and deceptive forces eager to participate in our undiscerning spirituality and meditation. While a lot of good can come from positive thoughts and actions, we are still left to decide whether we will choose to honor and worship a holy God, and follow his ways, or limit ourselves to our own understanding and refuse to acknowledge the designer of our universe and the forgiver of our sins.

The Rev. Bill M. Ferg stated the following in his book Every Believer’s Authority (1995): You and I are the greatest problem that satan has on the earth.

Satan has a problem with the believer. He had a problem with Jesus too. He succeeded in nailing him to the cross. When we confront heresy in the church, the response is often to try to nail us to the cross, in the sense that every effort is made to effectively silence our voice. But truth will not be silenced.

Some errors within the church are more serious and have more dire consequences than others. There is still value in gathering with believers, and we are exhorted not to forsake going to church. But let’s not be gullible and accept false teachings.

As a young teen I was part of a church that erred in its teaching. I turned to my Bible to find the truth. Eventually I found another church with a fuller understanding of the Bible. I experienced a great renewal and blessing in this church.

The errors of churches include distortion of Scripture, over-emphasis of certain teachings, exclusion of other teachings as irrelevant, adding to what the Bible teaches, changing the meaning, or being indifferent.

Even Jesus was frustrated over what he saw happening in the temple. He declared, “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers.” Greed had corrupted the house of God. We also see in the book of Revelation that God rebukes churches and requires that they change.

God is a God of mercy and grace, but he is also a God of wrath against men who hold the truth in unrighteousness. God hates sin. He who gave his own son to die for the forgiveness of the sins of the world will not in turn tolerate sin in the believer. Believers have lost their authority because they have rationalized that they can still harbor sin.

Psalm 103:3 says, “I will set no evil thing before my eyes.” The Bible admonishes us to be holy as God is holy. We are also not to think of ourselves as beyond temptation. If we are trying to help someone who is struggling there is the likelihood that we too could falter and fail. For this reason we walk in humility. Our susceptibility teaches us to have compassion for others. Jesus had compassion too, but he did not have tolerance for sin. In fact, he came to “destroy the works of the evil one.” (1 John 3:8) Sin is the work of the evil one.

God is purifying his church. He is preparing a bride. This is the symbolism used in the Bible for the church joining Christ for eternity. He is looking for a holy church, without spot or wrinkle.

The church does a disservice to believers when it fails to teach about the undeniable significance of being Christ-like in every respect. We are seated in the heavenly realms with Christ, having all dominion along with him. All authority is given to us as believers, along with Christ, when we walk in his will.*

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

*References from Ephesians 6:11-12, 1:20, 2:6, Matthew 28:18, Luke 10:19