Christian Cruise Control

escalator

There is a mindset that is pervasive among many Christians today. It is the idea that the Christian life is a life of bliss and easy going. It is my humble estimation that nothing could be further from the truth. Sadly, this mindset is becoming entrenched as the new normal among many evangelicals. God didn’t seek us out and save us so that we can sit back and rest on the way to heaven. God saved us because He loves us and for us to bring glory to His name. Why is it that so many believers are content with coasting to the finish line? Why is it that so many professing Christians are living for the here and now?  It is because of this false notion of what a Christian life should look like. I find the notion of the ‘ideal Christian life’ nowhere in the word of God. Lets look at believer’s life under God’s control as opposed to a life of coasting on:  Christian cruise control.

Jude 1:20   But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

It’s not my intent in this week’s article to write about the prosperity gospel or dominion theology because the lack of biblical grounds for both is well documented. What we want to focus on today is the idea of the Christian life being an easy coast on the way up to heaven. With that thought in mind, I want to share an image with you that I believe many people have of the Christian life. It is an image that my pastor described in a sermon a few weeks ago and I’ll paraphrase:

“Many believers have an image of the Christian life that is coasting along on an escalator going up. The Christian life is not a reverse escalator.  The Christian life is a walk up…..a down escalator. We are creating an unrealistic world if we think we are coasting on an up escalator. The escalator we are on is the world system that’s going down. The reality is that we are on an escalator crammed with people all partying, laughing, and oblivious to the fact that God’s judgement waits at the bottom. Believers are the ones moving briskly upward in the opposite direction as we struggle past the masses riding the escalator downward. Along the way we will see other believers barely making it and perhaps stopping because this life is hard. We need to encourage them and continue upward together.” Pastor Mark Vroegop – College Park Church Indianapolis : See sermons Dec.7, 2014  www.yourchurch.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

The image of the crowded downward escalator so vividly portrayed above is very different from the notion of a blissful ride heavenward that many have. As believers we must guard against spiritual apathy. Is is possible to surround ourselves with the right radio stations, Christian book stores, and upstanding people? Is is possible to become jaded because we have created a world made of (seemingly) perfect people, polished lives, and pious platitudes? It certainly is possible, but when the layers are peeled back we quickly realize that Christians are not perfect nor can we expect perfect lives. We live in the same world that unbelievers live in….a world full of pain, trials, and luring temptation.

Here is the difference with the Christian life:  Unsaved people can try to manufacture goodness and so can believers……just observe people during the upcoming Christmas season. There will be fake smiles, charity driven by guilt, and the sounds of Merry Christmas being heard in the shopping mall. But watch what happens when the footage is shown from a predawn black Friday scuffle for laptops, or you didn’t realize someone else was waiting for that close parking spot, or perhaps your child didn’t get the big role in the Church musical. Isn’t it amazing how quickly our old nature comes right to the surface. I don’t mention these things to place blame because I can recognize it in myself at times.

So here we are on this escalator and we are living this Christian life. How can we expect to make it to the end and finish well when everything around us is going in the opposite direction? We know creating a world of people, places, and platitudes around us that resembles more of a ‘precious moments’ catalog than the real world isn’t the answer. The only answer is to be in ‘this world’ and not of it.

We can only walk in the opposite direction by the presence of the Holy Spirit living inside of us….not by our own strength.

Jesus is coming back soon and time is short. We are walking through this life and we are surrounded by masses of people going down, brushing past us, smiling, joking, and completely unaware that they will stand before the holy God of the universe as judge. We can’t just excuse ourselves s we fight our way up in the other direction. We must tell them that there is a way that leads to life. We have to tell them that Jesus loves you, He died for you, and He wants to save you. They have to know that without Him….they have no hope of going to heaven.

As we are going in the opposite direction we are bound to attract attention. A life on Christian cruise control won’t be noticed…..it’s what the world expects. On the other hand:  a life that has been broken, remade, and is a reflection of Jesus will be noticed.

Authentic Christianity is salt and light in this dark world. It is joy and peace in the midst of turmoil. Even when the bottom falls out it is a life that shouts, “God is in control.” This is an authentic Christian walk that will speak volumes about who God is. What an opportunity we have to share the gospel.

Matthew 5:14  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. 

Not only that, but as well press on toward finishing well we have the chance to take other believers by the hand and encourage them to press on. With the Spirit’s leading we can encourage them through prayer and of course by reaffirming the promises and truths found in the Bible. Far from the world of Christian cruise control you will find people who are a living testimony of God’s love, mercy, and word.

Hebrews 10:23   Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

I cannot thank the Lord enough for the people who have been there when I needed godly encouragement. They are military chaplains, dear friends, a neighbor, or maybe a pastor who is simply there to stand with you in very difficult times. Do you remember how you felt when this dear believer prayed for you, read the word to you, or was just there with you? To me, that is the essence of what we should be as believers in one body.

My hope in writing this week’s article is to encourage you to look for opportunities to glorify God before fellow Christians and non-Christians by a life that is going in the opposite direction of this world’s broken system. Be the one pushing past the masses going in the other direction and take as many souls with you as this short window of time before the Lord’s return allows.

All for Him,

Howard

I’m so thankful for our readers and for the opportunity to glorify the name of Jesus through Concerning The Times.   Happy Thanksgiving

About Howard Green
Howard uses end time Bible Prophecy to proclaim the gospel and to exhort believers. He focuses on end time prophecy because it points to repentance, salvation, and holy living through Jesus. 2 Peter 3:11 What sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God...
  • Kandice

    Jesus,
    I want to thank you for this life you have given me, for both the good days and the hard ones. Thank you for the smiles and the tears. Thank you for every moment before I was even saved, for it was those moments that came together that brought me to the day I met you. I thank you for the day I found myself broken because it was then that I realized I needed you to make me whole, you were my missing piece. I cried out to you in my darkest hour and you heard me, and you showed up. I read your Word and realized I needed a Savior, I needed forgiveness. You saved my life that day and I made the decision to give it to you. You have given me hope in a world that seems hopeless. In the time that I spend with you, I find peace and your Word restores me. I love you, and it was you loved me first. Thank you for never giving up on me and for always being faithful. Everyday I try to live my life for you so that those who are around me may see what you have made of a broken person, people who knew me before I was saved and now see that you Jesus are the reason I am changed. I pray for those who do not know you may feel you draw them near and that they may see your love and receive the precious gift of salvation that you so freely offer. I pray for the people who do know you, that they know the trials of this life make them stronger and that they may look to you for the strength to get through them. May we praise you all things. I love you so much, I will follow where you go. I long to see your face and I wait for that day. Until then, I know that you are with me always. Thank you for your love, grace and mercy. Thank you for drawing me to you, thank you for your forgiveness. You are my Lord and Savior, thank you for all that you are. Thank you for all you have done, all that you are doing and all that you will do. My heart is yours.