No More Pretending
The whole thing about taking an interest in someone’s life—not just getting him saved, but getting interested in his life—that was the biggest challenge for me.
When you bring a baby into the world, that’s only the beginning. It’s not, “Ok, I’ve done that thing and now we have a baby.” No one thinks of it in the physical life that way.
If I know someone who is not saved, I want to get to know him for who he is and let him know that I love him and I’m not just out to get him saved. That, for me, was a major challenge because most people who say they’re Christians have very little time for the people around them.
That’s a big point. They say they’re Christians, but like Jesus said, “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘I’m a Christian. I do miracles in Your Name. I believe and I teach Bible.’” But Jesus said, “I never knew you” (Mat. 7:21-23).
One thing that’s helpful in sorting that out is that Jesus said, “Unless you’re born a second time you can’t enter the kingdom.” In Galatians 3 and Ephesians 1 it talks about being twice-born. When you give your life to Jesus and it’s a true transaction between you and God, He comes and lives inside of you. The Old Testament was, “I’ll be with you.” The New Testament is, “I’ll be in you.” And if God came to live inside of you something would change!
That’s one of those things that is so messed up in the religious world. There’s this assumption that Christianity is a club and if you believe the right thing, hang out with the right people, and you say and act the right way in general, then that’s good enough. If you say you’re a Christian, then you must be. But Jesus didn’t approach it that way.
John makes that point very clear in 1 John where it speaks of the marks of a person and what they would look like if God came to live inside of them. They will hate sin. They’ll still be weak and they can’t claim to be without sin, but they’ll hate sin. “Everyone that has this hope purifies himself just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3). “If you want to have fellowship with one another, then you’ll walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7). There has to be that vulnerability.
Yes, being vulnerable.
So, if you define the words wrong then it’s probably true that the unbeliever who does not have God living inside of him may actually act more like what people wrongly accept as a “Christian” than the so-called believer.
We’ve had the incorrect interpretation of what a Christian really is.
Well, it’s a new day. We’re living in a generation where it’s time to call it for what it is. If people truly don’t have God living inside of them and the Bible gives us marks of what that looks like and doesn’t look like, then we need to call it that way and quit playing the club game.
If I’m not saved, then the best chance for me to be saved is for enough people who love me, that I trust and love, to tell me that I’m not saved. If I keep pretending that I am, and you keep pretending that I am, but the marks of God living inside aren’t present in my life, then I’m deceived and you haven’t helped me. You’ve hurt me by being nice to me. I don’t need you to be nice to me; I need you to be honest with me. The club days are going the way of the dinosaur. It’s time to start acting like we believe the Bible.