We still have a few boxes left to unpack in the new house and our net service is spectacularly bad. Hopefully, this morning, I will be signing up with a local provider who can give me better than smoke-signal connection so I can get back to blogging, commenting and generally complaining online. Until then I have another reboot for you. This is an airbrushed, spit-shined version of the original post from more than a year ago. I hope you enjoy it and thanks for your patience and support.
This time of year always reminds me of my days in summer camp. We had a campground in rural South Carolina strategically located in the heart of a volcano. It was the hottest place on earth, during our camp. To add to the ambiance directly behind the boys cabins 100 yards away were three 500 foot long chicken houses. Nothing brings you out of your morning stupor like the slap of 100 degrees, 90% humidity and a slight breeze from the Southern end of a chicken. I remember one year, we–me and my posse, of course–were taking refuge 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!”
To me it made perfect sense. Ride it like you it for the best week of your life and then, poof, you’re gone without the first payment. It wouldn’t even ruin your credit because the earth as we know it ceased to exist.
The longer I live, the more I don’t know and the more I realize what I did know is wrong or twisted. During my study time (this means reading blogs and generally screwing around on the internet), I ran across a quote from Todd Hunter. 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 just such a question. 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 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 today 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
Just do what Jesus did while He lived here. Sounds simple enough. What does/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 rearrange His life to please them. He cared because He wanted all to recognize Him, but they didn’t.
What are you doing ‘til it starts? How are you living out discipleship in everyday life?