The paradigm in Christendom for the past thousand years has been to make folks have a “Christian” life on the outside in order to encourage them to accept Christ on the inside. I’m going to be silent on the efficacy of that approach – I’m not God, and He’s the judge. However, excepting a brave few, I believe that the time for trying to arrange the world at large in a “Christian” fashion is over.
Yes, the world would be better off if it followed either the Law of Moses or the commands in the New Testament. Hello, God wrote those laws – of course they’re good. God is good. He tells us to do things for our best. Planet Earth would be a lot nicer if we followed the rules. Duh. But if we aren’t to try to make this world follow the Law, what are we to do?
What we must do is call people to a knowledge of Christ, to be saved. First saved, then sanctified. First we get you out of the muckpit, then we’ll talk about modesty and humility.
How do we do that? I’m not a great evangelist. I wish I were. I’m not a great apologist. I’ve been saved too long. But I have a theory. I think we have to stop pretending to be just like the Worldlings next door, just “nicer”. We’re quite often not so much nicer anyway. They’ve gotten a bit tired of being told that we are. And if *we* are, our sibling in the town over is kind of a jerk. But Christianity isn’t about being “nice”. Christianity is about utter transformation and total surrender.
We have to surrender to the transformation that God wants to make in each one of us. We have to give over ourselves and let Him shine out from our eyes. We have to understand that our strength isn’t the strength of our arms or our morals or our pasts. Our strength is the strength of God, or it’s nothing. What does the Scripture say? That our righteousness, done in our own strength, is filthy rags.
I am tired of talking to Christians the way I’d talk to Worldlings. Siblings, you aren’t limited by your temporal power. At any moment, you can ask the Creator of the universe to intervene on your behalf. He might choose not to – but if you don’t ask? Your chances go way down. * You’re not even mortals anymore! Why are you acting like this pitiful life is the only one you get? Heaven is real, and we’re headed Home! This is but a moment. We have eternity! This is *very* good news. This is, in fact, a good portion of the good news that we’re supposed to be proclaiming to the World. “Our Lord has taken your punishment, and He welcomes you into His family – if you accept His grace. He died. He rose again. For you. And you can join Him in paradise forever. Put your faith in Him”.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t enjoy the moment – in fact, in future essays, you’ll see that’s the very opposite of what I’m advocating. Wonder is a Christian emotion. Joy is a command. But – grabbing, holding, trying to get the “best” from this life? That’s not what this life is for! This live is for works. This life is to get the Word out to our potential siblings. This life is to show the World what God is doing, has done, with our lives.
We must be transformed. We must shine. We must put off these chains, because we have been freed.
We must, MUST, make the World wonder at what might be going on inside of us. Love us or hate us – and if you’ve read 1 Peter, you know the latter is more likely, at least at first. But wonder. We must let our old selves die, that the selves that Christ died to give us can live and shine.
Let His Light shine.
*If anyone thinks I’m advocating a prosperity gospel, know that I find the very though abhorrent. Having access to the Throne doesn’t mean I get a Mercedes. I’m a child, I’m not in charge.
(This posted to my personal blog on 7/23/13, but I thought it was of general use, so I submitted to the TC gang).