I have had the opportunity lately to talk with quite a few people about their search for religion and spirituality. I must admit that I am very saddened and almost discussed at how many people are looking for religion and spirituality as if being religious or spiritual is what will gain them eternal life with God, our Father. So many times I hear, “I am not really as Christian as I am religious. Actually, I am a very spiritual person.” As if their eternal address is determined on the outcome of their works or their righteousness. In every conversation that I find myself involved in, with this similar type of dialogue, I challenge them to realize that it is not about being religious or being spiritual for the pharisees and Sadducees were very religious and in their own eyes very spiritual.
As true disciples of Christ we need to be bold with those who bless us with their presence in our church meetings and worship services. If we don’t challenge them on their lack of a serious relationship with Jesus Christ, then they will find themselves religiously and spiritually – eternally separated from God [HELL]. Why is it that we no longer feel comfortable challenging one another in the Word and with the Word. Is not the Word of God just as true and powerful today as it was 2000 years ago? Is not the Word of God still the ultimate source of all knowledge and TRUTH?
I firmly believe the reason that we no longer challenge people in their beliefs is that the “bride of christ” has become the “Bride of Pride” or the “Bride of Have it My Way.” Folks it is time to stop playing church and start being the CHURCH! It is time for the true Bride of Christ to rise to her place and start preparing the way of the Lord. In a conversation I recently had with a well-known songwriter and composer I was personally challenged to be bold. Not to step out of my place or out from under the authority for which I’ve been given by God and the local body of Christ but to boldly proclaim that which the Holy Spirit has given me to proclaim. A visiting pastor to our church recently stated, “There is a difference in saying you’re a Christian and actually being a Christian.” How right he is. However, I would state that there is a difference in saying you belong to a church and actually being the Church.
As I have challenged each of these individuals that I have been discipling, I challenge you to the same task… “Stop attending church and start being the Church!” “Stop saying you’re a Christian and start truly living as a Disciple (follower) of Christ.” “Stop being religions and start a relationship with Jesus.” “Stop looking to become spiritual and start living through the power of the Holy Spirit.” God so much longs for us to turn to Him in total abandonment, yet we still hold on to our own agendas, desires, and selfish lusts. When you are ready to let go of yourself, the Bible says “die to self,” then and only then will you be able to begin a relationship with Jesus Christ. Until then you are merely being religious or dare I say spiritual.
Reaching the world for Jesus, one person at a time…