I would never forget one of the greatest stories Philip Yancey told in his book What's So Amazing About Grace. In one of the chapters there, he talked about Mark Twain, who put a dog and a cat inside a cage and let them stay there for quite some time. Several days later, Twain realized that this dog and cat formed some kind of special relationship that made them inseparable. They became friends.
In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. No one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
Then Twain continued his experiment by putting three different animals inside the same cage. While it took a bit longer for them to live in harmony with one another, the three animals did... and they eventually became intimate acquainted.
Finally, he placed a Rabbi, a Pastor, and a Priest inside a room to live for quite awhile. When he came back, he saw one of the most shameful thing religious leaders can do: He found all of them dead.
My friends, there are two ways of denying Christ.
The first way is to deny Christ with your lips... and this is what atheists do. They openly profess that Jesus is not the messiah, that Jesus is just a common man, and there's no reason to believe in Jesus Christ. Yet, even as I sit here right now contemplating about the facts I have, I find that the atheists bring a lighter means to draw people away from Christ
I figured that it is Christians, not atheists, that bears a stronger testimony to cast people away from Christ.
The second way is to deny Christ with their lifestyle, and this is where many Christians fall. Many Christians confess with their lips that they believe in Jesus, but their lifestyle shows otherwise. Every time I invite people to church, many of them share the same response.
"The People of the Church will not Accept me."When Jesus told us to believe in Him, He didn't say that it's the only thing you need to do. In fact, before Jesus talked about believing in Him (John 3:16), he first talked about the second birth: The birth of the spirit. (John 3:3)
The Bible is very clear that only the spirit can ascend to heaven. The flesh has got nothing to do with it.
In Galatians 5:22-26, it talks about what living in the Spirit is all about. It says
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Furthermore, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:50 that
Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
James, the brother of Jesus also made it very clear when he wrote
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (Jm 1:22)
Christians are not lacking in belief, they are lacking in actions. Even Satan believe in Jesus Christ! The problem with Christians is not that they do not believe in Christ... the problem is that they openly profess that they do believe, but they're lifestyle speaks of it otherwise.
Many Christians say that it is faith that saves. It's true. But, it's lacking. To complete the sentence, it's this: It is UNDECEIVED Faith that saves. Faith that does not sprout out of deception, That my friends, will save you from the fires of hell.
One thing I like about the laws of God is that they are the only laws that you cannot find a sensible excuse. We often find loopholes in our constitution. Yet, in God's constitution, He made everything so clear. In fact, the ten commandments for me, are the easiest laws to understand.
Brothers and sisters, right now as you look at your life. Try to think of what I've just written with an open heart. If you are reading this I believe that you are actually a Christian. But I want to ask you this question... I feel that it's very important. I want to ask you this question and I hope you will answer honestly.
Are you REALLY a Christian?
Just ask that you yourself my beloved. Do you REALLY believe in Jesus Christ? and Are you NOT DENYING Jesus Christ in your lifestyle right now?
I would be glad to hear from you but otherwise you may simply want to keep that in yourself...
Brothers, sisters... all of you... I want you to know that the reason I sometimes write against Christians is not because I do not love you, but because you need to open your eyes and see. You need a pat at the back and realize that being a Christian is far beyond what we are right now. Being a Christian is to have the fullness of Christ dwell in us. Not 80%, not 99% nor 99.9%. I'm talking about fullness. I'm talking about 100% Jesus Christ. Being a Christian, is living a life like a mirror image of Jesus. You may not know all the things Jesus know, but you can always share the mercy and grace Jesus gave us.
My Beloved Friend, Let me tell this to you plainly.
Wake up! Wake up now and begin to live like Christ. It's time for Christians to bring back the original glory that Christianity has brought to this world ever since the time of Jesus. Are you not tired of sleeping on a bed of sins all your life? You're more than that. We're all more than that. We all deserve to sleep on a bed of grace.
It is not enough that you have mercy on others. You should also have mercy on yourself.
Heavenly Father we thank You for this day that You have given us. Thank You for all your love Father. Thank you for everything that you have taught us. Help us remember the original glory you brought us when You came to this world to redeem us of our sins. Teach us to show our brothers and sisters the mercy and grace you've showed our forefathers. On top of that, teach us to be merciful to ourselves as well... that we may not die of our sins.
All these we pray in Your Most Holy Name,
Grace and Peace be with you