Salvation involves three steps. I will use the ABCs that we use for Vacation Bible School to simplify.
A — admit to God that you are a sinner and REPENT and turn away from your sins.
B — believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and accept His gift of forgiveness.
C — confess your faith in Jesus as your Savior and your Lord, forever more (Partial lyrics from the Tumbleweed song)
btw - believing is not enough. I can believe that a chair will hold me, but that belief means nothing till I test it out by sitting in it. The Bible says that “…the demons also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19)
This post is born of my prayer time this morning. It makes me so sad that people I know and care about claim to be Christians, and yet live as if they are anything but. Even Christians are not perfect by any means, but when you live in blatant sin, with no idea that it might be wrong (or not caring), that’s a problem.
Problem 1: Ignorance
One problem we can lay at the feet of the church and the lack of Christian mentoring and teaching. The newest generation is more ignorant about the things of God than any one I have seen before it. I am often amazed at what they do not know — even the basics are new to them! How did this come about? What went wrong that in a matter of a few generations, things have changed so much? So many churches seem to have a watered down version of Christianity, or they just do not meet the teaching/discipleship needs of upcoming generations (I know, personally, I had many discipleship opportunities that are not available today). How can these kids make it in such a wicked world without a foundation?
Problem 2: Church drift.
This concept is not new to me and relates to problem 1. Often as the world drifts farther and farther into wickedness, the church drifts right along with it. We are still different from the world, but we are both far away from the standards of God.
. . . . . . . . . .|____________________| |____________________________________|
This may remain static But this grows larger and larger
When the Church (the Christian body, not a building) drifts from the things of God, God calls for them to REPENT.
If my people, who by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 If the church needs repentance, what hope has the world? How many people do we send to hell because we do not repent?
Problem 3: Lack of Repentance
I see those who want to skip the repentance part of the equation. They are among the “God is love, so He will forgive me later.” crowd. Or, they are among the crowd that now insists on saying that sin, especially those things specifically covered in the Bible, are not sin at all. Our children, indoctrinated in the schools, by Television and Movies, by their role models, etc., come to believe that sin is not such a bad thing or that sin is not sin. May it never be!
Some know of their need of repentance, but choose not to.
Others are told there is no need of repentance, either because they don’t realize they are sinning, or because they just don’t see the need to change their lives.
Repent —-> TURN AWAY —-> Make a U-Turn —> Stop going one way and go the opposite way.
That in a nutshell is repentance. If I sin as a Christian, I do not do it with impunity. The law of God is inside my heart, and it causes me to have a deep sorrow for blowing it. This draws me back to God through confession and repentance.
“To be sensible and truly discerning of sin is to sorrow for displeasing of God; to be afflicted that He is displeased by us more than that He is displeased with us.” John Bunyan
Today’s Christian seems to want the benefits of forgiveness without the burden of repentance. Drugs, addictions, sex outside marriage, language issues, and so much more abound within the “Christian” community.
Why? Because there is no repentance of sins? I’m sure it’s not as simple as all that, but that’s a big part of it. This makes me so sad because I have to wonder if we have people walking around thinking they are Christians when they are not.
The solution? Well, I guess that goes back to the verse above. “If my people….” If those of us who know get right with God, He will heal our land and wake up our
zombyism slumbers and heal our land.
As always, my posts are often me thinking aloud, trying to make sense of the things I see around me. I have a knowledge base to work with, but I’m not God, so I get things wrong sometimes. I hope you’ll be patient with me and join along with me as we seek understanding of God’s truth.