“Sometimes I feel like when I make decisions that are remotely biblical, people who call themselves Christians are the first to criticize and say I’m crazy.”
Pastor Francis Chan
What is wrong with the Christian who just likes the label “Christian”? You know what I mean. This type of Christian wants to associate with other Christians, they want to be accepted by a church, they want people to think they are nice…but they don’t want to do anything with their faith.
That is the real kicker.
Doing something with your faith.
Do you think God is happy when you put on the “label” Christian but you do nothing except wear that label?
In addition, do you think that “Christians” who work hard for Jesus are any better? I have friends who do a lot of good works and they keep a long list that they will report at the drop of a hat but are they really working hard for God or for themselves? Works without faith are dead.
I know that some may question that idea. Also you may have the attitude that any good work is better than no work at all; however, if the work is a way to earn your way to heaven, do you think God is going to honor that?
We can’t bargain with God. He knows all our ulterior motives. From Hebrews 4 the author writes “The word of God is living and active….it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
We kid ourselves when we think we can put on a label and that is enough. God knows it is only a label. We may fool people here on earth but not God. We kid ourselves when we try to leverage our way into an eternal reward. God knows what we are doing. Our good acts are not for Him; they are for us to look good before Him.
What is Pastor Chan talking about when he says “Christians are the first to criticize?”
He is talking about people who think he is doing strange things, he is defying cultural norms, he is “acting out”.
Maybe he is just doing what God demands.
In chapter 4 Pastor Chan goes right to the heart of the problem of lukewarm Christians with his reference to the parable of the sower. In Luke, Jesus talks of the seed [the word of God] that is flung in the path and is quickly stolen away. The seed that is tossed on the rocks cannot root because there is no soil. The seed that is tossed in the thorns cannot grow because it is choked out by the thorns. The seed that goes into the good soil takes root and grows.
Then Pastor Chan says it.
“Do not assume you are good soil.”
Tell that to a Christian who is only wearing a label and what will you get? A negative response. Tell that to a Christian who is working their way to heaven and what will you get? Indignation.
But is it true?
Where is your heart?
Will you respond to God’s urging when he asks you to do something that everyone else tells you is crazy? Will you respond when you are uncomfortable doing what God demands? Will you give to someone with a serious need when God calls you to part with something you value? Will you aid someone when God’s urging causes you to stretch your finances?
Crazy love, follow your heart kind of love, doing God’s will kind of love, secret acts that only you and God know kind of love…the kind of love that proves you are good soil.