It’s Not Christianity At All
Last time, we looked at what loving the world can do to our faith. We examined the idea that if you don’t live by what you claim to believe and know, you discredit your message. Our actions count (James 2:14-17) and what we do and how we live matters, especially to those around us. Here’s the hope and truth in all of this: casual Christianity isn’t Christianity at all.
There is a common scam at the moment in which you receive a phone call and a recorded message claims to be from the IRS, says that you owe back taxes and you must pay them a certain amount of money via credit card/bank card or the local police are going to come and arrest you. Unfortunately, this scam probably works on some people, but it shouldn’t because the actions do not reflect what the IRS believes and does. The following is from irs.gov:
The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill..
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
When you check the facts, you see that the IRS will not behave the way the scammers are behaving. It’s the same with casual Christianity: a lot of people may claim to be Christians, but their behavior suggests otherwise. We also have a fact book you can check to see if our behavior reflects our beliefs, and it is the standard of the Bible that Christians should be held to.
“‘Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” (Matthew 7:21-23)
These scammers are lying about being with the IRS and when the facts are examined, the lie falls apart. Jesus says there are those who were not actually doing the will of His Father in heaven. They will call out to the Lord and claim to have taught, cast out demons, and performed miracles in Jesus’ name, and yet He will say He never knew them. Their faith was as fake as the IRS scam.
“Another said, ‘Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.’ But Jesus told him, ‘Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.’” (Luke 9:61-62)
It is all or nothing for the Lord (Acts 5:1-10). Jesus did not leave room for a casual approach to following Him.
“If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2)
"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." (John 13:35)
"But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love." (1 John 4:8)
We are nothing without love. How we love others is how they will know that we are followers of Christ. Be completely devoted to Him, allow nothing to come before Him, do not sacrifice living by the Spirit for conformity to the world. Love others as you love yourself, and people will be able to identify you as a follower of Christ.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.