Within Christianity there are two camps; those who are spectators and those who are participants. The true followers of Jesus are those who participate in His mission on earth. Spectator Christians are those who have prayed the “sinner’s prayer” and are content to go to church on Sunday and perhaps volunteer every now and then for one of the various ministries of their congregation. To which group do you belong? I believe those whom Christ will welcome into His kingdom are those who have chosen to do the things He commanded us to do: to feed the hungry and care for the orphans, the widows, and the sick. Following the commands of Jesus means that we will have to get our hands dirty and, yes, participate in the work itself.
I have noticed some common themes among spectator Christians (and most of us have at least spent some time in this camp in the course of our lives). First, they tend to put on their best behavior on Sundays but look wholly different throughout the week. Second, they are great at making excuses as to why they aren’t more active or committed. Third, they get excited about new initiatives within the church, but quickly fall off in their enthusiasm to the point of criticizing what is going on. Everything they do is with an eye for not getting too involved. Jesus created us to collaborate with Him, not to observe Him. We all have the privilege and honor of receiving unique gifts and talents from Him that enable us to participate in His works. Based on what I read in Scripture, I think we must challenge if a person content to merely observe God from a distance will receive the reward for which they are hoping.
Participant Christians, whom I like to call “followers of Christ”, revel in the opportunity to be a part of building the Kingdom of Heaven. Standing on the sidelines is a foreign concept to them. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of what Jesus is doing in the world? They take the Bible at its Word and understand we are saved by the grace of God in order that we might do the work He created and equipped us to do. Participant Christians are simply consumed by the thought of loving God and drawing closer to Him every day of their lives. These are the people I believe will be welcomed into eternity with Christ. They are not content to simply believe; they are compelled to serve.
If you find yourself stuck in the spectator camp, there is hope. As long as you have breath, you have the opportunity to change your classification. You can jump head first into service for the King. Just because you’ve always been a spectator is no excuse for remaining one. There is a dangerous flip side to this as well. Even if you have passionately pursued Christ for years, it is always possible to be deceived and wounded to the point that you walk over to the spectator camp. Satan is keeping score, and he desperately wants to draw more people into the mode of spectator than the number God is compelling to participate. We must never become enamored with our own walk, but rather be diligent to remain focused on the One whom we serve.
Where are you in your relationship to Christ? Are you content to observe what others are doing in the name of Jesus, or are you in the thick of the battle? The Bible does not teach a reward for those who are not engaged in being the hands and feet of Jesus. We must move beyond traditional teachings that are convincing people they need do nothing more than pray a prayer to assure their passage to Heaven. It’s time to take a stand and join in the battle. True followers of Christ love and serve Him with all their hearts. Begin your journey today.
Question: Are you a spectator or a participant? You can share your comments with others below.