Have you ever read the Bible and wondered, “Why do Christians of today look so completely different than the Christian church of the Bible?”
Stories from the new testament, such as those from the book of Acts, as well as many others, share of a people who devoted themselves to one another in brotherly love and took care of the needs together through the body of the church (Acts 2:42). The problem that many non-Christians have today with Christians compared to those in the Bible mainly revolve around one word: #hypocrisy (Luke 12:1-3).
As Christians we speak of a God who loves others, enough so much in fact, that He gave His only Son (Jesus Christ) to bare the burden of punishment for all humanity—for each one who would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved (1 John 4:9-10). As Christians we speak of a God who forgives others and are sure to point out that we have been forgiven by this God, but are slow—if at all—to forgive those who wrong us (Matthew 18:21-35). As Christians we speak of a changed heart loving God more than anything else; while many non-Christians only watch us on an endless pursuit of more “stuff” and never being satisfied with what we have (1 Timothy 6:6-11). Can we see the sincere thoughts of hypocrisy coming from the non-believer? I mean, really, can you blame them for holding such a view?
In addition to these observations, many non-believers will note that many Christians do not value sexual purity before marriage and partake in the same drugs, alcohol and slanderous online sites as non-believers—all hoping to get the most “followers”, “likes” and additional peeps added to their “tribe”. Each egging one another on to get the next best and most jaw dropping photo…no matter the risk…no matter the cost. And the question then begs to be asked, how are we different from the world as we are called to be?
I mean, seriously. If Christians are just as concerned about getting followed, rather than following Jesus Christ—we have a problem. If the Christian church is more worried about getting “likes”, rather than aligning our hearts to what God likes—we have a problem. When we are more consumed by our digital platform, rather than the platform of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we have missed the mark completely. What am I getting at? It’s time for the Christian church to take an honest assessment of priorities by looking at what consumes our schedules and our finances. From conversations with non-Christians, the feeling is that they hear us speaking of political positions more than caring for the status of souls. Further stated, rather than sharing of Jesus to those who do not look, think or act as “we” do, often times the non-Christian feels marginalized from the start and is repelled from wanting to have anything to do with anything we are in fact associated with.
Ladies, may we ask ourselves honestly, what has happened to us? Dare I say that we have forgotten what our Lord Jesus taught us in Luke 12:15. It’s time to realize that our identity is not found in our things or even our temporal relationships; our hope and identity is found in Jesus Christ our Lord—and that is a message that all people, of all nations, from all backgrounds NEED to hear. May we close today with the words of Jesus Christ:
13Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” 16And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17“And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18“Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21“So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
22And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. 23“For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! 25“And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? 26“If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? 27“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 28“But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! 29“And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. 30“For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. 31“But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.
33“Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. 34“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:13-34 (NASB)