By Joseph Hayes
It’s one of the scariest scenes that could play out for someone who says they love the God of the Bible.
The scene is set on judgment day and reads more like a script set for a horror movie than the reward stand every Christian has hoped for.
Jesus is standing there with a person expecting entrance into Heaven, but another situation develops:
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“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven,” Jesus said in Matthew 7:21. “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’
Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
By the time the chapter concludes in verse 29, Christians should have a lot more to consider when it comes to their lives.
For so many people, being a Christian has become more about doing your own will and focusing on what is comfortable; when in actuality, being a Christian has always been about following God’s example and His will.
Consider Jesus Christ, He was always on the move for God.
During His three year earthly ministry, Jesus Christ spent His time traveling from one place to another, walking in the heat of the Middle East, while always remaining focused on accomplishing His Father’s will.
He was always on assignment, in search of a person or a group of people to minister to.
The stories stemming from these encounters are still at the forefront of our lips, and we often banter about their examples in depth and discuss the lessons we’ve taken away from His life over time.
But in many ways, we have also often ignored the root example and lessons He was making known throughout His ministry. Jesus was a man who was known primarily for reflecting God’s will in love and in power.
His life wasn’t based on making money, although He was a carpenter. It wasn’t driven by accomplishments or status, although He was extremely popular. He wasn’t concerned about pleasing the established order or anyone else He came into contact with.
He only considered honoring His assignment and doing God’s will. The Bible says He resisted the sin of not doing his assignment to the point of sweating blood (Luke 22:44). He followed His assignment to the point of being seen as crazy by His own family (Mark 3:21), being turned on by His own followers (John 6:66) and eventually being murdered by the religious establishment.
All so that you wouldn’t have to spend eternity in hell, paying the penalty for your own sins.
Fast forward more than 2,000 years and the same people who say they love Him and appreciate his sacrifice, couldn’t be living lives any further from His example.
The same people that show up at Church each week couldn’t be more unlike Jesus. They might come to Church and listen to a message about Him, but they are mostly ashamed of Him.
How many of them will actually share His message during the week with someone who doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ? Aren’t Christians called to take the Gospel, the message of salvation through Jesus Christ, with them all around the world?
Why would they remain silent throughout the week with unbelievers and only discuss God each Sunday with other like-minded people unless they were ashamed of God and the Great King Jesus Christ?
The Bible says a Believer is commanded by Jesus Christ to take the good news all around the earth with them until He returns. His return is actually determined by when they evangelize the whole earth. But even with technology, our generation has been slow to do the work that Jesus did on foot.
Christians have begged people to come to Church with them, but have not had the courage to take the Gospel to the world with them as they live their lives like they were anointed by God and commanded to do.
The Bible says in Mark 16:17-18, the signs of a Believer are a person who will: “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
How many people do you know that are walking in faith and power like this? Yet we continue to call people that are merely religious, Christians?
Is it possible many of the people we call Christians are focused on what they want to do for themselves, like making money? Is it possible they are more motivated to accomplish their own will even over God’s will?
That’s not a Christian person. That’s a religious person.
We can lie to ourselves and say we are in Christ, just because we know how to reflect some form of Godliness. But a Christian is a person who is like Jesus. A person who is denying themselves and obeying Father God and following out His will. If you are ashamed of Jesus and not taking His message with you to the world as your priority, that’s not being Christ-like.
If you can’t recall the last time you shared His message of redemption (the gospel) with someone who doesn’t believe, you are lying to yourself to call yourself a Christian, and setting yourself up for a major shock when you stand before The Great King Jesus Christ one day.
It’s time we get real with ourselves. Are we even trying to be like Jesus Christ? Or are we merely comfortable being religious people? Only you can answer that question in your own heart.
Are you just after social acceptance, even if it could lead to you ultimately being told in the future, “I never knew you” by The Great King, Himself?
In Mark 8:34-38, Jesus explained the way to follow Him, by saying: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.
“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
A Christian isn’t a perfect person, but it is an individual that is actually trying to be just like Jesus and will follow His commands.
In our world today, nearly everything is going against what the Word of God commands. It is up to Christians to take a stand for God and to teach His principles.
Jesus stepped out of glory and became a man just like us (there are two models made by God, male and female) and had to walk and live by faith, under the indwelling direction of the Holy Spirit.
And after all He has done for us, the least we can do is follow in His footsteps and share His message with this cold, confused world. The devil has made sure to persecute Christians and the message of salvation throughout our society.
Now, nearly every group in our country is more bold about their message and what they believe even more so than Christians.
People have stood up for sin more than Christians have taken a stand for righteousness; all because we have wanted to fit in with the world we were called out of. All the while, God is watching and it would be easy for Him to say most of us are ashamed of Him.
The same spirit that powered Jesus — the Holy Spirit, resides in every born again Believer, making them the most powerful group of people on earth. The Bible says they are just like Jesus in the earth. Jesus said we would do the same things He did and even great works than Him (John 14:12).
The only thing that has stopped us has been fear, which God has said He has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7). Why then, aren’t we displaying the same passion, fire, and boldness for God that Jesus reflected?
Doesn’t the Bible say God’s people will be as bold as lions? The key will be finally accepting who we are and what we were called to do. Many of the people who say they are saved have been powerless because they have been full of fear. They meditate and consume fear in what they watch and listen to and it comes pouring out of them during conflict.
Instead, it’s time to be built up in the Word of God until we are full of faith.
We owe it to God to stand up for Him at a time when He has been mocked and outcasted. He is worthy of all of the glory and honor and praise.
Healthy living has always started with the example that Jesus Christ laid out for us. I encourage you to follow Him today by acknowledging what He has done for you and choosing to surrender your life to Him. Jesus Christ is the greatest hero in history. He literally saved you from hell. I would be a liar to say otherwise. There is nothing and no accomplishment that could be compared to His achievements.
Give Him a chance and you will truly see what life is all about. And if you are saved already, now is the time to go and boldly proclaim His message of truth wherever you are. What else is there truly worth taking a stand for in this life?
To receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, believe and say out loud: Heavenly Father, I come to you in Jesus’ name. Please forgive me of my sins. I believe your Son Jesus was sent to earth to die for me on the cross and that he rose from the dead. I receive him as my Lord and Savior. Please take my life and use it for your glory. I choose to extend forgiveness to anyone who has sinned against me. Welcome to God’s family! Your spirit is born again!
Choose to spend time learning more about Jesus in the Bible. You can study Him in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Seek God on what local church you should attend to learn more about Him and choose to put your faith on display by being baptized. As you continue learning about God, be His ambassador and continue sharing what you have learned with everyone. Where you go, the Lord goes. So choose to represent Him today.
Joseph Hayes is the new Managing Editor at Blue Water Healthy Living. Hayes was previously at the Port Huron Times Herald and hosted a show on Power 88.3. He has additional experience at The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press and Jackson Citizen Patriot and WDFN 1130. Contact Hayes at email@example.com