I have a few confessions to make. I have been a Christian for thirty-seven years now, but it’s only recently that I’ve begun to discover what it means to truly be a follower of Christ. I have bought into the false teachings of Western Christianity and have totally missed the point of what it means to be a believer in Jesus. I have practiced religious rituals that have little or no foundations in Scripture. Worst of all, I have lived a life that is much more about myself than it is about the One who gave His life for me. I am unworthy of His love, and I am ashamed of the number of years it took for me to begin to travel the narrow road that leads to life and glorious light.
The years I have wasted cannot be redeemed. The past has had its say and I stand in judgment without defense. The only thing more tragic than everything I’ve neglected in my past would be if I continued on that same path from this point forward; I simply refuse. Thanks to the teachings of men like Greg Boyd, Francis Chan and more recently, David Platt, my eyes have been opened and I am not going back to the old lies of Western Christianity. It’s not that these men have some new revelation, but rather they (among others) are returning to the roots of the early church. They are casting aside the perverted teachings of the past couple hundred years to uncover anew what a life devoted to Christ really looks like.
This is of paramount importance. Countless men and women are walking around today, convinced that their salvation is secure because they prayed a certain prayer to ask Jesus into their heart. They are convinced that nothing could ever separate them from Heaven or from Christ, and they have a handful of Scriptures they will use to defend their view. These are lives being lived in peril. These are people who are not acknowledging the whole gospel, but rather a gospel of prosperity, comfort and irresponsibility. The teachings of the Bible are plain and they are clear. We are saved because of our faith and acceptance of God’s grace, which is given to us for the purpose of carrying out His mission on earth. We are saved by grace to do the things He commanded us to do. If we leave off the second half of the equation, we become the goats that Jesus refers to in Matthew 25:31-46. We call Him Lord, but we do nothing to give evidence to our claim.
If we are to follow Jesus into Heaven, then we must be willing to follow Him to the ends of the earth and to the end of our own rope. If we are not doing what He commanded us to do, to care for the orphans and the widows, to bring justice to the oppressed and to feed and clothe those in need, then we are in danger of hearing those awful words, “Depart from Me, for I never knew you”. (Matthew 7:20-23) This is not a game. This is not something we can take lightly or put off until later. We have been deceived and we have believed the lie of Western Christianity. A Christian life that looks no different from that of any other is not a life that is devoted to the teachings and the ways of Jesus.
Where do you find yourself at this moment? Have you bought into the lies of Satan and become consumed with a happy and healthy version of Christianity? Are you content to go to church, give some cash and basically be a good person? Or are you dissatisfied with the hollowness of modern Christianity and long for something deeper, something more? A magic prayer won’t get you into Heaven, but a life lived in total devotion to Jesus, regardless of the cost, most assuredly will. There is no more time for contemplation; your life could end today. How will you live the rest of your life? It’s all or nothing. Don’t be satisfied with the lie you have been sold. Choose to abandon everything in order to gain what is more precious than all else combined. No more games, no more lies; no more goats. From this moment on, may you live your life fully for Jesus and for Him alone.