Insanity

Insanity.  No, I’m not talking about the crazy workout video series that I, proudly, made it through day 4 without dying.  I’m talking about real-world insanity.  Most of us know the definition – doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.  For a Christian, a better definition may include doing whatever we want without worry because we know the end result.  This type of insane thinking is dangerous and could be a false assurance.  It’s what came to mind when I read the next statement in the profile of the lukewarm.

Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved FROM their sin; they only want to be saved from the penalty of their sin.  There is more to it, and I’ll get to that later.  This first part of the statement is so powerful and so true.  Life is like this.  We don’t really mind bending the rules, cutting corners, even cheating.  What we mind is the consequences if we are caught. For the majority of us, we don’t let the “possibilities” deter us.  Take driving for example.  There are posted speed limits.  There are laws that require drivers to obey the posted speed limits.  Yet, we get in our cars everyday and drive “around” that limit.  Maybe 5 or 10 miles an hour over.  We don’t want a ticket, but we aren’t really that concerned with avoiding the behavior that would rightly earn a ticket.

Christianity, when it is first discovered, usually at the end of the Romans Road, really deals with life and death.  We present the gospel message, often focusing a great deal on the eternal reward.  Is that a dis-service to the new believer?  Maybe it is.  Maybe we should share the good news and place more emphasis on “this side of eternity” benefits.  Whether its presented as a “get out of hell” message, or someone is just interested enough to focus on “getting in”, it’s a real problem that needs to be examined.  The Bible clearly shows that Christ demands we give up our old life when we take on the gift of a new life in Him.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  In Romans, Paul asks the question, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means!  How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? (Romans 6:1-2).  So the question begs – should we be concerned if our only goal is to avoid the penalty of our sin, but not the sin itself?

They don’t genuinely hate sin and aren’t truly sorry for it; they’re merely sorry because God is going to punish them.  Have you ever had someone do something wrong, and when you called them out on it, they gave you a very sub-par apology that lacked any real empathy or substance?  They were merely apologizing because they had been caught.  They weren’t really sorry for what they did, and they had no plans to not do it again, to you or someone else.  That kind of apology doesn’t really sit well, does it?  Neither does our half-heart repentance to God.  I believe they’re many people walking around in life today who feel that they are “good to go” with God because they prayed the “sinners prayer” one day.  Jesus gives a stark warning about this in Matthew when he told His disciples that “not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…” (Matt. 7:21).  Jesus wasn’t calling us to a works salvation, but to genuinely repenting of our sin and trusting only in His perfect sacrifice for the atonement of our sin.  If we believe that simply saying the words, without believing them, is all that it takes, we are in for a rude awakening.  God isn’t looking for a half in, half out christian.  His demand is simple, trust in the one He sent – Jesus Christ.  He doesn’t offer the option to trust in parts of Him, or in a few of things He did, but to trust in Him.  This is a complete trust.

This statement about the lukewarm lifestyle should be a huge warning sign.  Are you sinning, without regard, without remorse, without a second thought?  Is your assurance based on a prayer you spoke one day when you felt guilty about your sin, but you never gave it another thought?  That’s a dangerous place to be.  When you give your life to Christ, and truly repent, you should be truly sorry for all that you did to hold Christ on that cross.  When Christ is in you, you will hate the very sin He forgives and you will feel unworthy of the eternal reward He earned when He gave His life for you.

Now, before anyone goes off questioning their salvation, it’s important to distinguish between being lukewarm and having a lukewarm moment in life.  I have found myself stuck in a vicious cycle of repeated sin, even after I trusted Christ as my savior.  The cycle lasted so long that I became oblivious to the sin, I was giving into it without any fight.  I was leading a life very much reflective of this statement.  But I hated the sin.  I still hate the sin.  I cringe when I realize I have given into temptation, said or done something that was an obvious offense to God.  We are not perfect and won’t be until we are in the presence of our savior.  That very fact is why we must trust, 100% in His finished work on the cross.

Where are you at today?  How does sin affect your life?  Do you believe and treasure this new life in Christ, or are you more content in the chains of sin?

Father, thank you for the perfect gift of your son, Jesus Christ.  Thank you for accepting His payment for my sin.  Thank you for making me aware of my sin nature, and thank you for how you have given me a heart that hates my sin.  I am not worthy of your eternal reward, and my life is far from anything that reflects your glory.  I pray that you will continue to change me and that each day I will flee from sinful behavior and find perfect comfort in the new life you gave me when I trusted you as my savior.  In your name I pray – Amen.

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