This post was originally written for a guy called Chris, who was strongly anti-Christian, after he actually visited our church on Sunday 26 September 2010. It’s not that he would ever get a chance to read it, as we were never Facebook friends, but I wrote it to address his views…
Luke 13 v 24-27
24. (Jesus said) “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
25. “When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’
26. “then you will begin to say ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’
27. “But He will say ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’
OK, so one week after talking about him on FB, guess who walks into church? That’s right, Chris the anti-supernaturalist. Admittedly, he had promised to come, and he had seemed quite sincere when making the promise – but so many people promise…. Anyway, I think it’s fair to say he kept my pastor ‘on his toes’. (Prior to this, I think the only other person to prove (almost) such a challenge to the pastor during the service has been – ahem…me!)
Anyway, this Sunday note is once again for Chris and any other “Chris”es out there (he denied it, btw, but I think he was touched overall by the service – happily (C might perhaps call it a “coincidence”) our Pastor had chosen to talk on what it means to be a genuinely righteous person, and showed from the Bible that that means being loving, caring, etc etc – surely few people can have anything to argue with about that…)
So this note is to address something I observed from Chris, not only today, but also a week ago when we were first discussing.
In short, it seems his big issue and argument is with Christians. It seems he has come across people, called Christians, who have made a negative impact and left a very bitter taste. If you have experienced the same thing, then I plead with you, please, please do not reject Jesus because of His followers.
I could talk at great length about myself here…obnoxious….self-centred…arrogant. I have been all these things, and even worse when arguing a case for Christ. But to be blunt, I am not in the least allowing these to get in the way of my own knowing God and eventually getting to heaven, so I don’t know why anyone else should – why would you reject the living God and heaven because of me, a mere human being? And I consider myself a “true” Christian – doing everything it takes to actually know Christ and live for him. There are many people who, frankly, hijack the name and cause of Christ for their own aims – why would you reject the truth of Christ’s message because of people who falsely scrawl His name across their chest?
So if you are a Chris, I call on you today, to look beyond Christians and the way we can be, and look at the Bible, and meet the person of Christ for yourself. Yes, many Christians have done many ungracious and dreadful things, but there are also many Christians who have done many lovely and selfless things for others – and yes, I would also include myself in that number. For genuine Christians, we are all growing, works in progress, striving to become more like our beautiful Saviour, Jesus, every day. For people who are not Christians at all, and have no desire to be, but are just using that name, then God Himself will ultimately reject them as frauds.