I Heard a great story today from Steve Brown, It went something like this…
“When I was a child, I won a competition selling newspaper subscriptions. The prize was a trip to see the ocean. On the trip to the ocean there was another boy along for the ride. I asked him how many subscriptions he had sold? He told me he had not sold any, his dad owned the newspaper. When I get to heaven and someone asks me how I got there, I’m going to say, my Father owns this place.”
Isn’t that a fantastic story? Thats all it takes, sign the adoption papers and your in. You can do nothing on your own to work your way into heaven. This is what separates true Christianity from all other religions. I’ve never heard of any other religion that does not require you to do something to earn your salvation. True Christianity only requires that you believe and accept. You are a sinner, this is a fact, whether you believe it or not. Everyone around you can attest to this statement. BUT God sees you as his son or daughter. And not a rebellious son or daughter, but a perfect, flawless son or daughter. Christ died for ALL sin, you are forgiven. Christ said on the cross, right before he died, “It Is Finished”. His portion of the battle for your soul is done. You can do NOTHING to improve your standing with God, in his eyes, you are perfect.
I’ve seen any number of signs over the years that say something like, “Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with Christ”. This is a great and true statement. But unfortunately many of the churches that post this type of saying may preach something similar to this from the pulpit, but then, through their combined actions prove to the rest of the world that they don’t truly believe it. But I’m not going to go there right now.
You may ask: What does it really mean to have a relationship with Christ? How is true Christianity not a religion? Well I’m glad you asked. If nothing is required of me save “believe and accept” why do I need to change my life? Why can’t I go on sinning to my hearts content? Well realistically you can, BUT if you have a real relationship with Christ, you won’t want to. How does one develop a relationship with anyone? You get to know them better right? With other humans this is pretty straight forward, you spend time with them. So how do you spend time with Christ? We were left basically two ways to learn about and communicate with Christ. First is prayer, the second is the Bible. How does the old Sunday school song go? “Read your bible, pray everyday, and you’ll grow, grow, grow.” That really about says it all.
If you want a relationship with Christ, you will want to learn as much about him as possible, the best way to do that is to read his Word and talk with him. Think about the other relationships you have in your life. Lets take your spouse, lets also assume that you love your spouse and like spending time with them. If you truly love your spouse, you will try and avoid doing things that you know will hurt them correct? If this is true for our human relationships how much more true this should be for a relationship with Christ, who literally died for us.
Christianity is a relationship with Christ, partly because for us it is always evolving. I am not say Christ changes, he is the same yesterday today and forever. But I am saying that we need to change and grow as we get to know him better. And we should want to change and grow to be more like him. God sees us as perfect because of Christ’s sacrifice, and we are soooooo far away from being perfect in our current form, but if we want a true relationship with him, I would think that we would want to become “better” if we can.
Disclaimer: I don’t know if any of you will find anything I have to say even remotely interesting, and also I’m just a guy with a beautiful family and a business, I’ve got no legitimate reason why anyone should listen to me. So you’ve been warned: I might be very very wrong. 🙂
If your not already aware, Steve Brown is a pastor who has had many many ministries over the years, you may have heard him on the radio with Key Life. He has a great website: www.stevebrownetc.com If you like the story at the beginning of my rambling, you will like the website. He has weekly podcasts that are great, and don’t forget to check out his blog: www.stevebrownetc.com/category/blogs/the-old-white-guy-blog/