So anyone following my other series “word for word” knows i’m starting with the book “Crazy love” by Francis Chan, If you haven’t read this book yet i couldn’t recommend it enough, it’s a challenging yet encouraging read, i mean the first chapter has the title “stop praying” that should give you an idea of the challenges that lay ahead in this brilliant book.
The reason i bring this up is because the latest chapter entitled “profile of the lukewarm” (and you can read my take on that chapter Here) in short, it’s about what it means for us to lukewarm in our faith and when the fire in our hearts dull and it’s really got me thinking about my faith. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not caused me to doubt the Lord’s goodness, or the saving power of Jesus, or the gift of the spirit. My trust in God is as strong as ever. But it’s got me thinking more about how we as the church portray following Jesus.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it”- Matthew 7:13-14
This was the first verse that came to mind when the Lord give me the idea of this topic. Because it really sums up how we unintentionally mislead new believers into thinking that because our sin is forgiven in the blood of the lamb, that we are sinless. or that following Jesus is easy. If that was the case why would Christ himself tell us that the path to life is a narrow one? Surely if this was the case it’d be a bigger path than that of destruction.
. This isn’t meant as a judgement of anyone, because i know i forget this sometimes myself, i am no better than anyone else, i forget about my duty to walk the righteous path and i still sin, just like everyone else. But there’s a reason i wanted to bring your attention to this passage.
I’ve been to a number of christian based conferences in my life thus far, and truly love being a part of them. But there’s one big problem that i have with many i have been to and been a part of, that’s when we get to the parts that invite people to meet with Jesus for the first time, or once again. I can guess what you may be thinking “Luke, why do you have a problem with this? Surly you want people to meet with Jesus right?” and the answer to that is , of course i do. I want this world to be full of people who want to live for the kingdom, that love Jesus with all of their hearts and spirits and want to truly live for him. But there in-lies my issue with this at conferences. We don’t seem to give people honest Christianity. Allow me to explain.
We seem to butter up following Christ to make it sound simple “just repent, turn up to a couple of services on a sunday and bam! you’re saved!” and this isn’t what the lord gave his son for, so some people treat his love as an exchange “i’ll go to church now and again and you’ll let me into heaven later right God?” yes i understand that we need try to make being saved “appealing” to those that know next to nothing about God (even if i disagree with this idea) but i know we can do that without missing out the core of what it means to be a follower of Christ. The best way to get people to follow Jesus is with honest Christianity, by telling them the facts, that God gave his only son that we may be saved, that Jesus made a way for us to be in relationship with the father when he gave his life on the cross, that after three days he rose again, and that God loves us and we are his children, that yes, there will be hard times, and we will struggle and we won’t always be happy, but we have a father that rules over all creation and is for us.
Honest Christianity is how we gain followers of God rather than church goers, we must allow people to know what it means to follow Jesus, not just what we have gained through his loss, but what we must leave behind in order to truly give ourselves to him. That yes, we may be freed from sin, but we are not sinless, that yes, we will make mistakes, but they are still exactly that, mistakes and we shouldn’t use God as a get out clause when we know we’re doing something wrong. That we are called to turn away from our sin just like the women that would have been stoned if not for Jesus’ mediation. And i truly believe, that if we’re able to forget about sugar-coating the harder content of the word, that we will have a revival, and the Lord will take back this world.
My question for you this week is, are there areas where you struggle in your faith? are there some things i’ve missed out in the concept of honest Christianity? if so, let me know in the comments, on facebook here or on twitter here But as always
Thank you for reading and May God Bless you.