Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Loving Christ . . . Really

Now and then I have my introspective moments, usually triggered by something I see around me. Today is one of those days.

For some time now, I've been increasingly bothered by the growing inability to distinguish between saved and unsaved people. I don't mean to suggest that saved people (meaning those having a saving faith and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ) don't struggle with the sin nature and stumble from time to time. I am talking about those who claim such a relationship with the Lord, yet their lifestyles, choices and speech does not reflect anything at all of the Savior — His holiness, His purity, His love, His zeal and passion for truth, not to mention His zeal and passion for the lost.

Today, we have believers who think nothing of enjoying pornography or skating as close to it as they can get. We have believers who don't just enjoy a sip of wine at dinner, but routinely get roaring drunk out at the bars without an afterthought — except perhaps bemoaning their hangovers.

We have a whole host of young evangelicals (and some not so young) who think it's perfectly okay to fornicate (sex outside of marriage) or to see just how close they can come to it without actually "going all the way." And then there's the language thing. Most of us stumble with our tongues from time to time, especially when greatly angered. And most of us with the indwelling Holy Spirit feel horribly convicted about it and their hearts are repentant. But not the current crew in this generation. They cuss like sailors and are proud of it. Some of it can even come from the pulpit.

More and more, it's a matter of pride to look as gaudy and worldly as possible. Between the nose rings and ear-lobe rings the size of Frisbees, and tattoos almost to the point of making people look like cave paintings, it almost makes you feel like you're going to get mugged or smell the distinct whiff of body odor the closer you get. But maybe I'm thinking of the Wall Street protests. I'll have to think about it a while.

But what about God's Word? What about the Lord's commands not to engage in sex before marriage? What about not letting corrupt, vulgar speech proceed out of your mouth? What about the myriad Scriptures condemning drunkenness? What about not putting any marks on ourselves? Oh, please. You're being a legalist. Who are you to judge my heart? I know I'm going to heaven, so what I do really doesn't matter.

How antinomian. And quite frankly, how tragic, especially from people who say they identify with the One who paid the price for our sins on the cross.

Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep my commandments." Think about that one a while.

We are not saved by commandment keeping. We are not saved by works and performance. But our obedience is a sign and a testimony that we have been saved.

I have to wonder how many out there these days truly are.


Cindy Swanson said...

Joel, this message is not a popular one today, but it needs to be heard.

I abhor legalism because I've seen what it does to people. It keeps them in bondage and doesn't really even promote holiness--people who do everything "right" according to the legalistic standards still fall into severe sin.

THAT SAID...I totally believe we as Christians need to live pure lives, and refrain from worldliness. Not so we can be goody-goody, but because we want to be salt and light.

the Ink Slinger said...

Cindy S. referred me to your blog yesterday, so I figured I'd come and check it out. I'm glad I did. :)

Great post. It's an unpopular message to be sure, but a true one. Christians need to be more concerned about being Christ-like than about being "hip" or "relevant".

Solameanie said...

Thanks, Cindy.

And "Ink Slinger," I LOVE that handle! Cindy might have told you, but I love fountain pens, especially the kind you have to dip in an inkwell. I am a throwback in more ways than one.

In addition, the fountain pens with squeezable bags to refill the ink double as excellent weapons. ;)

Welcome to my blog.