“The golden rule of understanding spiritually is not intellect, but obedience”. (Oswald Chambers)
Like many Christian books, Good or God! has its share of what I call stories. It is just a way to catch attention and keep the reader interested and involved. Pastor Bevere could just have a theological discussion and take on the role of an apologist* but he chooses to use illustrations to make his point.
He begins Chapter 5 with the story of a young man who is proposing to a simply beautiful young woman, the type of woman who can do it all, except one thing: she admits that she can’t be totally faithful to him. She says that one day a week she would like to spend time with other boyfriends [the young man says NO!]. Then she bargains down for spending time with other boyfriends on one day a year, and after a resounding NO from the young man, she says “how about 20 minutes a year with another boyfriend?” The young man can’t believe his ears and after his last no she says “I just have to be honest; I think you are asking too much. I want to enjoy a full life.” They decide to go their separate ways.
In the context of this book, you know what this story means. Bevere is asking the reader how willing are you to give up your life to follow Jesus? Put yourselves in the shoes of the young man who wants the young woman dedicated only to him.
We are back to the “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross” scripture from Mark that I wrote about in a previous posts.
Pastor Bevere won’t let it go: God doesn’t want part of us. He wants all of us.
In Ephesians 5: 31-32 Paul writes about the marriage relationship [appropriate with our opening story]. “A man leaves his father and mother to get married, and he becomes like one person with his wife. This is a great mystery, but I understand it to mean Christ and His church.” This commitment really is meant to illustrate the relationship we are supposed to have with Jesus.
Like the young man in the story, no one would want to begin a relationship with a woman knowing she was going to violate the marriage covenant with other men.
Yet this type of relationship happens a lot among Christians and their relationship with God.
We like our lifestyle so much we can’t give our lives to God. God wants a relationship with us, but He has demands that must be met. We have to obey Him.
Many of us want to be saved, we want to go to heaven but we don’t want it enough to change. Again Pastor Bevere includes a story about a young man who has it all and he wants to have a relationship with Jesus but he just can’t commit. He says to Pastor Bevere “I know there is a price to pay. I know that you have to give Jesus your life and submit to Him, and I’m not willing to give up my lifestyle.”
At least he is honest.
Too often we are not honest about our desire to be in this world. It may be extreme but when the young man who is honest reports to Pastor Bevere about another convert’s behavior, the other person’s behavior may just be too typical. He says that another young man has talked to many people about being a born again Christian but behind the scenes he is far from leading a disciplined life. He is a frequent drug user and has a “loose” sexual attitude [let’s leave it at that].
Being honest is better than being a hypocrite; the honest young man says “I’d rather enjoy my life…and the accompanying perks than put on a façade.”
This is hard news for many of us Christians but it is right in line with James 4:4: “You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.”
You may have seen this coming; Pastor Bevere won’t let it go. When people say I am born again but don’t change their lives to follow God, are they really a convert to Christianity?
Pastor Bevere won’t let it go…
In Matthew 7, Jesus declares “Depart from Me, I never knew you.”
Are they really a convert to Christianity?
You know the truth and it is a hard truth: the answer is no.
*apologists defend the faith…