One of the most widely spread lies that I have seen in the past year is that people believe that Christianity is an event. I have talked to people who believe themselves to be a Christian because one time they prayed a prayer and asked Jesus to come into their heart. I have seen people pray the 'salvation' prayer and have tangible change almost immediately in their life, but after a week, month, or however long, they start to lose that warm and fuzzy feeling and end up falling back into the same sinful ways that they started in. My friends, that is not Christianity, and that event was not conversion.
You see, if you were truly converted, then Jesus will not leave you where you started. You won't be perfect, and you never will be in this life, but you will continually get better. That is not to say that there won't be good days and bad days, but if I were to look at a graph of your Christian life over time it would show that you look more and more like Jesus over the years, and less and less like your former self.
I think that many pastors are afraid to question the salvation of anyone in their congregation, as they very well should be. It is not the place of anyone to judge others hearts because we cannot possibly know their heart. That being said, if we can see someone who believes themselves saved and believes themselves to be a Christian and yet they are living carnal, wicked lives without even so much as a glance at repentance, then we owe it to them to at least have a conversation. We should be much more afraid for their souls then we are for our own reputation. For people to run around calling themselves Christians when they are not is terrible for Christianity. It shows the world exactly how hypocritical the church is. More importantly, it blasphemes the name of Christ Jesus. From a non-believer's perspective, if you see a supposed Christian living just like you with no victory in their life, no joy of salvation, and no dedication aside from what appears to be a wasted Sunday morning, why would you be drawn to church? Why would you be drawn to Christ? They will say "Well, that person goes to church and they're just like me, so I must be ok too." Even worse, they will say "Jesus has no power, He has not saved them from anything. They are exactly the same person they used to be." And the world falls a little bit deeper and grows a little bit darker. My friends, we are called to be the light of the world. The only problem is that we can be no light on our own. It must come from God. We can only reflect His light.
Salvation does not come from a prayer or taking communion. It does not come from an alter call or a baptism. Salvation comes only through Jesus. It is a supernatural work coming only from God. It will change your life completely. It is a complete regeneration. It is as if you have been born a second time and the life cycle of growth starts all over. Most importantly, once the process starts, it can't be stopped. Jesus does not start a good work and quit after a week. Jesus finishes all that He starts, and all that He touches bears fruit. No work of His hands bears thorns, it only bears fruit.
I beg you to examine yourself today. Take a look at your life. Has it changed since you have known Jesus? Is your life bearing fruit? Can you pinpoint areas where He has transformed you? Is he still working on you today? If you answered yes to all of those questions, then praise God. May he continue to work on you all the days of your life. If you answered No to any of those questions, you should be afraid because it would appear that you do not know Him. Pray that Jesus would take over your life. Repent of your sins and throw your self upon Him and His finished work on the cross. He will not deny you. He will put you on the path to the greatest journey you could ever imagine.
I plan to dig a little bit deeper into the doctrine of what I am saying in the near future so stop back and take a look. In the meantime, tell me about your story in the comments section. Also, feel free to email me at the address under my profile with anything that may not belong in the comments section. I'd love to hear from you, whether praise or criticism. May the Lord draw you closer always.