“I am not a Christian but I am a follower of Jesus Christ.” “I don’t like organized religion, but I believe in Jesus Christ.” “I don’t go to church because Christians are hypocrites.” “I get more love from my friends in the world than the people in the church.” No doubt you have heard many of these statements; you may have said them yourself. Each of them makes an indictment against those who call themselves Christians. These folks are saying that the title Christian, the spiritual movement of Christianity and the people that call themselves Christians don’t represent a God that they would want to serve. If Christians and Christianity is all about what I see, then I don’t want no part of it, they say. I believe that people who are open to Jesus Christ and not His people or institution are that way because too many Christians don’t fear God.
Remember, to fear God means that you don’t seek to gratify yourself but you seek to please God on His terms. Too many of us satisfy ourselves and mar the title Christian and the Christianity movement where people can’t see lives radically different from non-Christians, especially those who don’t claim any religion at all. The book of Judges, particularly chapters 17 and 21, talks about the Israelites not having a king to rule them. During these times the king was theocratic, representing the rule of God, so when there was no king, there was no representation of God present so “(e)veryone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). This lack of God ruling in their lives caused them to worship idols, disrespect and abuse spouses, become proud, and do other things that you would only expect from those not believing in God. Our not fearing God is akin to not having a king; there is no rule of God represented in our hearts so we do whatever we want to do. Understand when you don’t fear God, others won’t fear God and have no reason to want to make Jesus Christ Savior and Lord of their lives. Why would they want to bother with what they see as a God whose followers are ungodly? They believe they have a better chance at goodness without a God, or at least the Christian one.
This, Christians, is one reason we must fear God. Our Christian testimony is at stake; souls are at stake and we can no longer be the blame for that. We must fear God and represent that Christ Jesus is worthy to be served even as one calling herself a Christian, even as one participating in Christianity and even as one attending a local church assembly. Christian must be synonymous to God fearing and only we can make that happen.
Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith