A kiddies ‘sermon’ I listened to a couple weekends ago really struck me.. in a good way. And yes, I’m just going to pretend I haven’t been missing from these pages for a couple of weeks.
The pastor showed a picture of a birth certificate and asked the children a number of questions about the person it belonged to – they could answer these questions because the answers were on the picture itself. Questions such as “What is the name of the person?” “Is this person a boy or a girl?” “Where was this person born?” and so on. Then he posed a question one could not answer by looking at the birth certificate “Is this person alive right now?” “Yes,” one boy quickly jumped, “He was born on 12 October 2011. He was born, so he is alive!” But that’s exactly it, isn’t it? The fact that someone was born on a specific time and date is definitely NOT an indication that they are alive right now.
BUT THIS IS WHAT WE DO! We say we are Christians because on some very specific day in some Godly hour we prayed a prayer and invited the Lord into our hearts and committed our lives. We point to our birth certificates to show of our current beating hearts. No! You are not a Christian simply because you prayed a prayer when you were 15. I mean, you could be but that’s not where it ends.
James 4:8 – Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
A purification of hearts; so yes, the sinner’s prayer and making a commitment to the Lord but there’s a second part – the cleansing of hands, meaning a change of action. It is a change of heart AND actions. Yes. Works. I said it.
Later, the same Pastor compared meeting Christ to getting hit by a bus. You laugh, but I could not think of anything more effective to complete his illustration. If a man ran into you right now on the side of the street walking upright, wearing the most clean cut, prim and proper suit with the most neatly ironed shirt you have ever seen and told you he was just by a bus would you believe him? NO! Don’t even try me, you would tell him to go speak that nonsense somewhere else. Why? Because he does not LOOK like he has just been hit by a bus, he is completely unchanged. I mean, I don’t speak from experience but I have a strong feeling getting hit by a bus changes at least something in one’s appearance; whether it would be getting a bit dirty, tearing an item of clothing somewhere or whatever – YOU JUST WOULDN’T REMAIN THE SAME. Well.. you shouldn’t anyway.
That’s how it’s like with God – and I don’t know why I felt the need to start a new paragraph here but when you MEET GOD, when you encounter Jesus! It is so much more than getting hit by a bus! My goodness!! Jesus is so so so much greater than some light impact and THAT; that has got to be a catalyst to SOME sort of visible change. Internal and external!
Asdfghjkl!!! Okay. Rant over.
Kant Nota: I apologize for the horrid sin construction and punctuation – passion overrides language. It’s winter – English fails me when I’m cold.