I feel like it’s expected that I, as a minister, make some sort of comment about the fact that we weren’t all raptured last Saturday. Enough has been said and written to fill volumes, so I think I’ll focus on something that is more pressing and has implications to whatever day we meet Jesus face to face.
What do you believe about Jesus? What are your beliefs in general? Think about what you really believe. How does that belief shape and affect you?
In our culture today, we have an increasing tendency to mildly believe many things but not truly believe much. When truth is relative, then there is no place to lay a strong foundation upon which to build the rest of our lives. For many, the beliefs that are held are like accessories on a fashion model. They help bring out who we area, but they don’t define who we are.
Jesus predicted this. Do you remember his parable of the seeds being sown? Some fell upon the paths and were eaten by birds. Some fell on rocky soil and were scorched by the sun. Some fell among weeds and got choked out. And some fell on good soil and produced a large crop.
We are the different kinds of soil. The goal is to be the good soil and produce a fruit that reproduces and grows healthily. As I work in ministry, however, I find that most people are pretty satisfied being the rocky or weed-filled soil. In fact, many of the people in the world today that claim to believe in Jesus are like the thorny soil. They heard the word of God and obeyed it. They began to grow in Christ, but then they got distracted and choked out by the world. They still call themselves Christians, but there is no fruit because the plant has withered.
You do have fruit, and that fruit shows where your allegiances are. The first century Christians were meeting nearly every day as they sought closer relationship with Christ. We barely make it to church on Sunday morning…unless we’re tired, then it’s no big deal to miss. They wouldn’t stop talking about Jesus and sharing their faith with others. We won’t stop NOT talking about Jesus. The fruit of the church as a generality is grossly tainted by the world.
We do not say what needs to be said for fear of rejection. Do you know that Jesus said what was unpopular to the very people who defined what popular and religious was at the time. His most scathing remarks were to people who were religious in word, but showed rotten fruit. In Revelation 3 Jesus tells the church of Laodicea that they are lukewarm…and because they are so, God is going to throw up, and they are the puke. Read it, that’s what “spew you out of my mouth” means.
We are called not to be complacent, but to be convincing. We are called not to be lazy but lights in this dark world. We are called not to be fearful, but to be fearsome as we speak boldly of the name of Jesus. We are called not to self-righteousness but to repentance daily as we strive to be more like Jesus through the Holy Spirit.
So what about you? If this were a sermon, I would insert the invitation song here. It’s time to stop allowing the world to dictate how you live as a Christian. It’s time to ask ourselves if we are living in such a way that we would be comfortable if Jesus were living next door or in the next room or at the next cubicle.
May you repent daily of the apathy that desperately wants to creep into your life. May you live out your beliefs, and may the foundational beliefs be the ones about Christ. May those beliefs define you and not simply accessorize you.
Let’s walk this path together, and let’s help each other as we strive to act more like Jesus and less like the world. Our fruit exposes who we really are.
If you have any comments about this or any other of my articles, feel free to make your voice heard at www.mrdobbs.org. If I can pray for you or help you in any way, contact me at 245-1611 or via email at jddobbs@Verizon.net. God bless you all!