I take a second to challenge you: Are you really worthy of the kingdom of God? Does the following surprise you about the world we live in today? The reality is, we all need to check ourselves, especially if we are in leadership, for there won’t always be plenty of time to waste and not worry about our faith and relationship with God, and if we are being sincere about our faith, and our words/thoughts/actions match our beliefs.
“Although most Americans consider themselves to be Christian and say they know the content of the Bible, less than one out of ten Americans demonstrate such knowledge through their actions.” – Pollster George Barna
Barna came to this statement after the following statistics were evidenced:
-Among individuals who describe themselves as Christian, for instance, close to half believe that Satan does not exist, one-third contend that Jesus sinned while He was on earth, two-fifths say they do not have a responsibility to share the Christian faith with others, and one-quarter dismiss the idea that the Bible is accurate in all of the principles it teaches.
-41 percent of self-proclaimed Christians believe that “the Bible, the Koran and the Book of Mormon are all different expressions of the same spiritual truths”-despite the books’ vastly contradictory teachings on truth, salvation, and the nature of God.
-Only 46 percent of born-again adults believe in the existence of absolute moral truth.
-With over 173 million Christians in the U.S., there are tens of millions who say they love God and yet are liars, thieves, fornicators, adulterers, and child-murderers.
Stats regarding teens:
-63 percent of teens believe Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, and all other people pray to the same God; and 58 percent believe all religious faiths teach equally valid truths.
-An “Ethics of American Youth Survey” revealed that in the prior 12 months 74 percent of Christian teens cheated on a test, 93 percent lied to a parent, and 63 percent physically hurt someone when angered.
Source: “God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life” by Ray Comfort (2010)
Yes, these are statistics, and you can’t always trust them. Polls are meaningless, some argue, especially in heated political seasons.
But if there is any notion that the teachings from the Word of God, the unchanged and divinely inspired commandments of God, are honored and revered in today’s society, this is proof that our society is in a very scary position. The reality is most of us real “Christians” are quick to claim our faith on Sundays yet act without regard to our beliefs during the week.
I quote David’s words from Psalm 15 (NIV):
1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
2 He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart
3 and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,
4 who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,
5 who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.
This psalm describes someone who is worthy of being in the presence of the Lord, in His holy hill, someone who:
-has a blameless walk
-does what is righteous
-speaks the truth from his heart
-has no slander from his tongue
-does his neighbor no wrong
-casts no slur on his fellowman
-despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord
-who keeps his oath when it hurts
-who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent
To be honest, I look at this list and realize I fail, on multiple levels. And I think most of us can agree that we are guilty of most of these things. If we can get past our pride, our egos, our masks, and see who we really are as displayed by our day-to-day lives, then we can really begin the reality of living like Christ, and stop living with a mask that shows others we are “religious” or somehow, completely perfect and sinless, and that we are sinners who have been redeemed and only have strength because of the hand of God in our lives.
I close with 1 John 1:5-10 (The Message):
5This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him.
6-7If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth—we’re not living what we claim. But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin.
8-10If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.
Let these thoughts impact my life and yours. God bless.