Imagine if you met someone at your local supermarket who engaged with you in conversation while waiting in line to reach the register. In what was just a short amount of time you share a wonderful conversation. They ask you what you do with your life and you briefly tell them about yourself and you reciprocate by asking what they do and they tell you they are a medical doctor. They go on to tell you where they went to medical school, the type of medicine they have studied, and even drop a few names of well recognized practitioners they wish to emulate. You think to yourself that this person, in a most refreshing way, seems to be open, honest, and authentic. Just then you reach the register and bid a cheerful farewell to the short term acquaintance as you carry on with your business.
A few days later while grabbing a bite to eat at a local restaurant with some friends you notice the person you had met in line at the supermarket. Pointing them out, you ask your friends if they know the doctor you had met at the supermarket who was sitting at a nearby table. Much to your surprise, one of your trusted friends immediately chuckles and says, “You mean the guy who tells everyone he is a doctor and yet is in reality a bartender at the pub down the street?” You do not quite know what to say, but you choose to let the conversation go nowhere as to not embarrass anyone. Your friends finish their meals and leave and you make your way over to the man from the supermarket to ask, “Are you a doctor?” He looks you straight in the eye and says, “Yes, but I just do not practice medicine.” You then ask, “Is not what makes one a medical doctor what they are is someone who actually practices medicine?” The man then says he has to go and quickly departs.
Regrettably, this scenario parallels the lives of many who claim to be Christians and yet are not true believers. They tell others that they are a Christian, how much they know and have studied, and even some of the well know people who they wish to emulate. However, just as the man in the story they are not practitioners at all. They attend a local church on Sunday’s, read the bible, study scriptures, do good deeds for others, and the list goes on, but they are not true-believers and instead are make-believers. They try their best to please God and yet remain spiritually dead. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3). There is a great difference between religion (man’s efforts to atone for sin by pleasing God) and true Christianity (total redemption from sin through God’s grace). The grace of God has no boundaries and He offers full redemption for all who will open their hearts, hear His call, and answer through full surrender (repentance) of their lives in this world to serve the kingdom of heaven (the narrow gate). ANY form of substitute falls short and is aligned with the schemes of Satan to point people towards the broad gate and path of this world that leads to destruction. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
I can remember as a new Christian how badly I wanted others to have the same new life I was experiencing as a new creation in Christ. I am sure I annoyed just about everyone within an earshot. I was instructed that if I could just sit them down and have them pray a simple “sinners prayer” that they would become born-again as well. I did just that, and sadly I convinced many that prayed this prayer that they too were now a new creation. How young and foolish was I back then. This was not how I was born again as if some simple prayer could produce repentance (Satan’s ploy to fool people just as he fooled Eve in the garden). My salvation came when the Lord knocked on the door of my soul and I fell to my knees surrendering my whole life to serve God Almighty’s kingdom of heaven. Moreover, although it has been a rugged road may times in my life I would not trade it for anything! Serving the kingdom is not easy, but it is real! I grew up living a religious life and am so blessed that Jesus died for my sins, came to rescue me, and asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit (God) to live within me. Next to God, there is nothing greater than this single moment in one’s life in heaven or on earth!!! I know the Lord is speaking to somebody’s soul right now, won’t you open your heart, surrender all, and become a fellow practitioner (true believer) in Christ today?
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Be A True-believer And Not A Make-believer
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