The Real Reason

The Real Reason
 
Have you ever wondered what Christians are supposed to be and do?  As I speak to Christians, many seem confused.  At times, even rebellious toward the thought of a standard of holiness and devotion. I’d say, at a minimum, it’s easy to tell they are confused by their lifestyle. For instance, Jesus established the church and built it upon Peter’s confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” The Apostles were persecuted and died to advance the gospel and plant churches. And today, in America, the church is in decline, if not dying, all the while the average Christian isn’t even serving regularly for the cause of Christ and worship has all but become optional. For a growing number of families, if there is something else they can do, they will choose something else over devotion to Jesus Christ in worship and service.
 
As I speak to people outside the fellowship of the church, many have told me over the years what they expect Christians to do and be. And for that matter, you can say they have strong opinions. At times, it seems they have a clearer picture than many Christians. They’ve also told me what they don’t like about Christians. The hit against us is often that we are hypocrites and very judgmental. These accusations are sometimes correct and sometimes harshly wrong. But first, these accusations tell me that they don’t know many of the Christians that I know.  And second, the allegations also tell me that many of us haven’t invested in the lives of non-Christians for the purpose of making disciples. Non-Christians only seem to know us from a distance. After all, if you aren’t devoted to Jesus in worship and service, it is nearly impossible to invite others to follow you as you follow Christ if you’re not following Christ (Luke 9:23).
 
Why is it that many Christians are ignoring or rebelling against the Biblical teaching of what Christians are supposed to be and do?  Why is it that many non-Christians have such a negative view of Christians?
 
We can blame the non-Christians but that isn’t the answer.  The best answer is to remember the real reason for our devotion to Christ.
 
The real reason . . .
 
God loves us and sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Romans 6:23)
We love God (Mathew 22:36-38)
Those who love God obey His commands (John 14:15)
We love people (Matthew 22:39)
We love other Christians (John 13:34-35)
Jesus, who has all authority, commands us to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:18-20)
We are the messengers . . . many people are lost and will be condemned if they don’t accept Jesus by grace through faith (John 3:16-18; Eph 2:8-9)
There is a judgment day to come (Matthew 7:21-23)
 
Maybe it’s time to review who we are and what we do. The Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi once said to his struggling Green Bay Packer team, as he felt the need to review the fundamentals, “Gentleman, this is a football.” Maybe it’s time to hold up your Bible and say, Gentlemen and Ladies, this is what the good book says about what a Christian is. Could it be time for revival in your heart and in your family? I encourage you to live out your faith for the real reason, you might say the “right reason.”
 
A Work in Progress,
 
Pastor Gene

Gene StocktonComment