The author says this is a tough chapter for him to write, but I believe it is a tough chapter to read. It’s tough because, just like he says in his video about the chapter, there are many who call them self “Christian” who probably will not go to heaven. I have always wondered some about myself. I see so many with such a deep burden for unsaved people, my mom and my husband literal agonize sometimes over unsaved people. And yet, although I have concern for them, I don’t feel it in my heart like they do. I always wondered if I was missing something because I know what Jesus told his people to do and that was to go and preach the Gospel, etc. But after reading just a little bit of this chapter, I can see where my burden and agonizing lies. This chapter talks about lukewarm Christians and how they will be spit, literally puked out, of Jesus’s mouth. I’m only just beginning this chapter and I see that what the author says is true. My burden and my agonizing has always been over people who say they are Christian and yet live contrary to what God’s Word says. So many who have been taught so many things that really aren’t truths from the Bible. So many that have blinded themselves, and made acceptable things that just are not acceptable if the Word of God is the truth. If the lukewarm Christian is going to be spit out of Jesus’s mouth, then they can be counted among those that need the TRUE Gospel preached to them. They are among those that stand to be rejected as much as the unsaved people are. So even though my burden isn’t as heavy for the confessed unsaved people, it is for the unaware unsaved Christian.
The author makes an interesting statement that even though it is not a scripture, can really make you stop and think. He says, we think we can “follow out our own course while still calling ourselves followers of Christ? So we can join the Marines, so to speak, without having to do all the work?” That is such a good worldly point isn’t it. Think about it, is there really any truly disciplined group or club that we can join without having to follow their rules? Is there any organization that will let us stay in it and yet make up our own rules or only follow some of them? And if I took the time and could really think of one, is that one that I would really want to join? What makes us think we can call ourselves a Christian and only follow some of the rules?
A couple of scriptures the author points out are (Amplified version):
- John 14:15 – If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.
- 1 John 2:3-4 – And this is how we may discern [daily, by experience] that we are coming to know Him [to perceive, recognize, understand, and become better acquainted with Him]: if we keep (bear in mind, observe, practice) His teachings (precepts, commandments). Whoever says, I know Him [I perceive, recognize, understand, and am acquainted with Him] but fails to keep and obey His commandments (teachings) is a liar, and the Truth [of the Gospel] is not in him.
How can there be any question after reading just these two scriptures that we can’t be lukewarm Christians? How can we be Christians and not bear fruit? There are so many more scriptures that talks about this, yet it seems to be something that is so overlooked. It seems that the concentration is on getting people “saved” and counting them among the Christian number. There is so much more to it. This must have been something on the author’s mind as well because he also listed this scripture:
- Matthew 28:16-20 –16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed and made appointment with them. 17And when they saw Him, they fell down and worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18Jesus approached and, [a]breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them [b]into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you [c]all the days ([d]perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. [e]Amen (so let it be).
You know what, I just realized that I THOUGHT I knew what the great Commission was. This has been another one of those things that I have heard over and over again in many churches, but the whole truth was not there. The author brings this point to light when he writes that one of the “last thing Jesus told us was to go into the world, making disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that He commanded? You’ll notice that he didn’t add, “But hey, if that’s too much to ask, tell them to just become Christians – you know, the people who get to go to heaven without having to commit to anything.”
Whoa! New light on here. There is so much more to the “Great Commission” then getting the unsaved saved. That is only the first half. As I think about it, that might actually be the easiest part. There are so many people searching for something and not know what that you can lead them to just about anything. And so many times when people are down, they are open to hearing the Voice of God calling them, to letting the Holy Spirit guide them, to running to the open arms of Jesus. There are also those that just want Jesus so they don’t go to hell. It’s the part that follows that is the hardest. It’s the part of actually dieing to the flesh, putting of the old ways, walking on a new path that are the hardest. Being a saved Christian is easy, being a true Christian is harder.
The author is quick to point out that that he doesn’t want true believers to doubt their salvation. This is where Grace comes in. We are all going to struggle, we are all going to fail sometimes. That is what the whole point of Grace is. I think the author has a great way of putting it with these words, “a posture of obedience and surrender, where a person perpetually moves toward Christ.” It isn’t about a few mess ups. It’s like when a baby first learns to walk, it isn’t about how many times he falls, it’s about how often he gets back up and tries to walk again. Eventually, he doesn’t fall as much, eventually walking becomes easier and easier. But if he falls and stays down, if he doesn’t really want to learn to walk, if he doesn’t try … that’s when the danger of never walking starts to come into play. That’s when they get to be comfortable with crawling. After all, they can get where they want to go faster, with less effort, and they don’t have to experience the agony of falling down. That’s the difference between a true Christian and someone who calls themselves a Christian.