The pundits’ voices played as white noise in the background—until one of them said she’d left Christianity because people claiming to be Christian didn’t behave as she thought they should. She didn’t give specifics as to what she meant, but it stung, partially because she had a point—but only partially.
I asked God’s forgiveness for myself and others who either don’t represent Him properly in this world as faithfully as we might—as yet—or have never been taught how to do so according to His Word (an egregious, rampant fact), and I asked for His help. Here’s what followed.
Contrary to what some want to impose, there’s no Perfect-Christian On-switch that flips into position as soon as a person receives Yeshua/Jesus as Savior, Redeemer, Deliverer, and LORD. There’s a lot to learn and unlearn (all worth it!), including who His true shepherds are, those who’ve gone astray, and even those who are not one of His at all (“wolves in sheep’s clothing”). Jesus said there’d be many false prophets in the last days: They operate in pulpits right now, more than you may realize. Pray for wisdom with discernment, and be prepared for what is revealed. (Yeshua is Hebrew for Salvation.)
Also contrary to what some believe, we have to conform to God, NOT “create” Him in our image. Yeshua/Jesus—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—told us Who He is in ALL the books of the Bible. We can argue about what made it into the Bible and what didn’t, but I assure you, nothing about that is a surprise to God. Disclaimer: These days you need to take care about which Bible you use.[Scholar (and more), Dr. Michael Lake, brings the Bible to life in his ongoing series, “Understanding the Kingdom.” Start with Part 1 and keep going. You’ll be amazed at what you learn! Don’t let his down-home twang fool you: Dr. Lake does his research and knows his stuff. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txvoochjWHo&t=5s ]
Each of us has an appointment before Yeshua/Jesus on the Day of Judgment, where we’re held accountable for our thoughts, words, and deeds as individuals. No one is responsible for establishing our relationship with Him other than ourselves, and even this, through His grace and the gift of His Holy Spirit. We don’t have to be worthy, just willing.
There is no such thing in God’s Kingdom as hyper-grace that gives us permission to knowingly continue in sin. And everything He considers sin is listed clearly between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21.
Despite what is stated in the Bible, there are those who believe God didn’t mean what He said about who spends eternity with Him and who doesn’t. Some believe all good people go to Heaven, which isn’t what Yeshua/Jesus told us. As He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, He will never lie to us, and the Principle of First Mention always applies: God does not change, and what He called unacceptable then remains unacceptable today.[Two!!! Inspiring, Powerful, Timely posts from Mario Murillo: https://mariomurilloministries.wordpress.com/2021/04/23/modesto-the-vengeance-of-our-god/
I watched a video by Bill Wiese, who explained that during an interview where he was being challenged as a Bible-believing Christian, he sought for a response to two specific questions posed to him. Holy Spirit gave him these two stories, which I’ll paraphrase.
Imagine going to the house of the wealthiest person in the world. You knock and tell the person you’re moving in permanently—because you’re a good person. The owner won’t allow it, because there is no relationship between you.
Imagine asking someone for directions to his house. He tells you that because of its location, there’s only one way to get there. That starting from where you are, you must go south on Hwy. 7 then make specific turns to arrive at his house. You respond with, “Well, I believe all roads lead to where you are, and I choose to go north.”
Just as pride is pregnant with every other sin, our disobedience is at the root of our lack of relationship with our Lord. “The superficiality and feebleness of our Christianity and Christian work all come from having so little real contact with God,” wrote Andrew Murray in The School of Obedience. Along with that he wrote, “The degree of surrender to full obedience will be the degree of your confidence in God.” In prayer at the beginning of this relationship in 2016, when I told God how much I trusted His wisdom, He gently asked, “Do you trust My love as much?” I didn’t. Our journey to relationship began in that moment with my earnest desire for more of Him in my life.
Christianity has become a religion. Being a follower of Jesus, the original term, is a relationship. God desires relationship over religion.
Dear pundit and others who avoid a deep, real relationship with God – lived on HIS terms – solely because others have influenced you in a negative way, I pray you won’t continue to allow the Adversary to rob, steal, and destroy you in this way. Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life. And, the Truth will set you free. Free from what? It frees you to choose not to sin.
Yeshua/Jesus’ very first teaching was, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” We watch or read the news and see what’s happening in the world. Each of us is always one breath away from where we’ll spend eternity.
EXTRA: If you’ve not watched “The Chosen” series, you, like millions around the world who watch each episode over and over, can feel fed in spirit. Here’s the site page link (be sure to watch them in order, starting with Season 1, Episode 1) : https://watch.angelstudios.com/thechosen
Zenobia L Silas Carson says
Thank you so much for your words,. We (the world) needs this so much right now! I would like to say more but I am just marinating in yout article. I shall return with more!
Zenobia L Silas Carson says
Oh I LOVE your article! I would say more but right now, all I can say is that I LOVE your “right-when-we-need-it words! God BLESS YOU!
Joyce L Shafer says
I cherish your words, especially as I respect and admire you and all you do so very much.
May God continue to shine His face and favor upon you, your loved ones, and all touched by your life.
Judith LeBlanc says
Excellent article! The world is watching us (Christians), whether we realize it or not. They have a sense of how they feel a Christian should behave, even when they practice no faith at all themselves. They will judge our faith by what they hear and observe in us, and although we shouldn’t judge others, our actions and words may keep them from turning their lives over to Jesus. Be aware that you are witnessing to others 24/7 by the life you live daily. Make your witness one that attracts others and draws them to Christ, not one that keeps them away from Him and makes them think “hypocrite”.
Joyce L Shafer says
Thank you, Judith. To your words I say, Amen. And may our Father God give us the grace to do this in accordance with His will.