I remember in a youth summer camp one year, we–me and my posse, of course–were sitting in a class. The teacher had spent the last couple of days pouring his heart out about the necessity to accept Jesus as our Savior. The class had grown very solemn and the teacher then presented “the Gospel” to us. He said if you knew that the Lord was coming back next week what would you do? Without even the slightest hesitation my friend shouted out,
“Buy a motorcycle on credit!”
The longer I live, the more I don’t know and the more I realize what I did know is wrong or twisted. I keep digging into this life of following Jesus and finding out I have been wrong all these years. During my study time (this means reading blogs and generally screwing around on the internet), I ran across a quote from Todd Hunter, and since it was in another blog and I will probably butcher it, I will just paraphrase it. He thinks that modern Christianity has boiled down the Gospel to one question: “If you knew tonight you would die, would you wake up in Heaven tomorrow morning?” I was saved, several times, after a stirring message and an altar call just like this. So, I think I agree for the most part.
We have specialized in “close the deal” evangelism. Every head bowed and every eye closed, now repeat after me….
We have taken a perk of the offer Christ made and turned it into the offer.
Jesus offers us a life with Him that lasts eternally and we have simplified it so much that it becomes saved=heaven, sin=hell. That’s jacked up and it’s not what the Creator of the offer said. Oh, sure, it plays out that way in the long run. Put your trust in Jesus and when you die you will go to be with Him in heaven. Keep running your own show and ignoring Christ’s sacrifice, and scripture says you have earned your ticket to hell. So if we are dealing strictly in death, the modern Christian question is pertinent. However, what if by some incredible stroke of luck I don’t die in the night? There is a whole lot of crap in between now and death for most people. Do the years we spend living here count?
Here is the better question (and I am paraphrasing again):
If you knew that tonight you would NOT die, who would you follow and how would that be evident in your life?
There it is. HE lives and He wants us to live, too, through HIM. He came to show us how. “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.”-John 14:12 Do what He did. Hmm. It seems so simple. Just do what Jesus did while He lived here. What would/did Jesus do? He loved. His time wasn’t His own. He was “about *His* Father’s business”. He was sitting by the well. He was hanging out at the tax collector’s house. He was kickin’ it at the bar with the homies. The people that stank, cussed, gamble, drank, caroused, and practiced whatever other kind of debauchery, could call Him friend. He wasn’t caged by the religious types. He went where love was needed and would be accepted. Don’t get me wrong–He cared what the religious tyrants thought. He just didn’t worry about it. He cared because He wanted all to recognize Him, but they didn’t.
So, if you have your ticket validated for entry into the big ole’ post mortem party in the sky, fabulous.
What are you doing ‘til it starts?
How are you living out discipleship in everyday life? What ways can we be more like Jesus?