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I am truly hard pressed to find much difference between how most Christians and worldly people think, act and behave. By and large I see more similarities than I see differences in how people view life, work and raising their families. The unfortunate reality is that what the vast majority of Christians think separates them from their worldly friends is in reality nothing more than religion.
Two people show up at work on a given day at the same time. They both drive the same make and model car, wear pretty much the same clothes and have within their lunch pails the same meal to eat during their lunch break. These two people go to their jobs and do them equally well. At the end of the day they clock out and go home to houses that look the same.
Both of these people sit down to eat dinner with their family and then spend the evening watching television or playing on their computers. Sometime late in the evening they both brush their teeth, set the alarm and go to bed. The next morning their alarms go off at the same time and they rush to get dressed and get to work on time.
These two people do this same routine five days per week. They both receive their paycheck on Friday for equal amounts. On Saturday they both spend time watching their kids play soccer or baseball and on Saturday night they go out with their wives to a movie. The only difference between these two people comes on Sunday when one of them drags the family to church and the other goes to play golf.
The one who goes to church spends most of his time dreaming about the golf course where he would rather be while the one playing golf doesnt think at all about missing church. By Sunday afternoon both of these people settle down to watch NFL football and pig out on pizza and nachos.
Here are my questions: Is the person in the above example who went to church on Sunday a Christian JUST because he went to church? Is the person who played golf on Sunday automatically a heathen because he didnt go to church? Is ones Christianity really determined by how one spends a couple of hours per week? What really is the difference between these two people other than religion?
God did not so love the world that He gave His only Son to promote a new religion. Jesus did not lay down His life so that two thousand years later people would show up at a building once a week and somehow magically be His people by doing so. The Holy Spirit was not given on the Day of Pentecost to be stuffed in a closet and forgotten until one is on their deathbed.
Christianity is a relationship between a person and their Savior and has little, if anything, to do with the carrying out of traditions or the showing up at meetings or the singing of songs or even the praying of certain prayers. All these religious things mean nothing unless there is a real, true and vital spiritual relationship in a persons heart with their Lord and Savior.
When the time comes when the two people mentioned in the story above stand before God, I wouldnt be a bit surprised to see the golfer have a better eternal lot than the other. God doesnt like hypocrites and He certainly isnt interested in people just going through motions and assuming they are His own. God looks on and desires our whole heart and it is our heart that He will use to determine our eternal destiny.
I pray we all spend much more time building our relationship with the Lord and much less time washing the outside of our tabernacles to make them look all clean and white. There are 168 hours in a week. Isnt God worthy of more than just ONE of those hours? Something to think about.