I thought I was a Christian.
After all, I prayed to God and told Him I was sorry, then I told Him
I accept Jesus as my Savior. I was 16 years old and I decided that
I needed to get that settled. I lived my life pretty comparable
to the "Christian" friends around me and I stayed away from drugs
and the usual bad stuff. I went to church, listened to preaching,
attended bible studies, hung around the "Christian" crowd, got
baptized, wore some good Christian t-shirts and even opened up my
bible here and there. I knew that
I wasn't exactly surrendered to Jesus Christ, but I
did do my best in keeping my life somewhat clean. I know that the TV
shows and movies that I would watch weren't exactly pleasing to God,
but they were just your regular popular shows that most others in
the church watched as well. I didn't exactly commit myself to
reading God's Word or spend much time on my knees in prayer, unless
of-course I had a need. My adult life continued onto Christian
college, where I met my wife to be, and soon had
a beautiful Christian wedding. My life seemed to be going wonderful
except for the fact that it was still "my" life.
The sad truth is ... I
prayed that prayer, at 16, because I realized that hell was the
punishment for all those who don't get right with God through
Jesus as the only way out. Who wants
to go to hell? I sure didn't want to! My motive,
clearly, was that I wanted Jesus Christ for nothing more than fire
insurance. What a sad and disgusting thing that is! I was
not broken in repentance, nor did I
surrender to Him as my Master and Lord, but rather I just wanted Him
for what He could do for me. Please hear me: "Jesus Christ is not
some accessory for your life. Your heart's desire should
be submission to Him as Lord of all, or He is not
your Lord at all." Although it may sound horrible calling my very own
motive one of fire insurance, that is the reality when one gives
lip service to God for self-centered motives. I want happiness, I
want safety, I want blessing ... I want ... I want ... I want. It's
all about ME!!! I was able to fool others and possibly even myself,
but not God.
A "work of man" will always prove to be fruitless, but a true
"work of God" will continually bear fruit. It is no surprise why
Jesus says: "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter
the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father"
in Matt 7:21. He says: "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do
what I tell you?" in Luke 6:46. No one becomes sinless upon
salvation, however there will be a hatred for sin and a surrendered
lifestyle of obedience to Christ (1 Jn 3:9). If salvation were just
believing that Jesus Christ is Lord, then Satan is also a Christian.
It is the surrendering of one's life that will reveal if the
repentance was true. Without surrendering to the Lordship of Christ
we cannot be His disciple (see Luke 14:27).
Thank God that after 11 years of pretending
, in nothing of my own
power, God showed me how He sees my wicked and self-seeking heart
and the true meaning of the cross. It was when I saw my
filthiness being taken upon Jesus, at the cross, that I completely
broke. How can I even begin to tell you of such an awesome,
sacrificial love? The day that I met the floor was the day that I
truly met God in repentance. I begged God to forgive me and
surrendered my life to Jesus Christ for one reason: because He is
I was created by Him and for Him. Jesus does not exist
for me, but rather I exist for Him.
The question I should
have asked myself is:
What if I'm Pretending?
You are loved,