Christians today are in love with themselves. We pamper ourselves. We purchase things for our pleasure not just for our comfort. These purchases are way past our basic necessities. We are absorbed by “self” and so accumulate – things, money, vacation memories – and always bigger and better. All of this often without much thought for those who we can “brothers” – believers in other nations who cannot, through no fault of their own, even supply their children one basic good meal a day. Luxuries here – basic necessities missing there.
I am reminded of this when we have a major run every Friday night on the lottery booths. I was standing in line at a drug store last Friday and an elderly lady (I mean much older than me and that means o-l-d) was purchasing a lottery ticket along with her other purchases. She suddenly realized it was Friday and that the lottery was being drawn that night and so she had better get her ticket – her chance at the big one. And, I admit it, I wondered if she would live long enough to even spend it if she had won it. When the prize is super large – the line-ups get super long… Must we remind ourselves that “the love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10) Not money itself – simply the love of it – and both the ultra rich and the extremely poor can share a “love for money” even if their incomes are literally worlds apart.
I believe it is time for all Christians to examine the way of life that we have adopted – the one we demand as our right because we live in a free, democratic society. I believe it is time we examined the gospel that we believe; a gospel that is heavy on the rewards and light on the obligations and responsibilities. I believe it is time to look at the lifestyle we have adopted and see if we can really justify it when we place the words and the commands of Jesus Christ up next to it. It is certainly time to stop kidding ourselves that everything is great and that when the Day of personal Judgment comes we will simply step across the line and be welcomed into Heaven without anything being said – or any consequences being suffered (yes, I used the word “suffered”). This is not what God’s Word states.
Jim Elliot (1927-56) who was a martyr for the Christian faith wrote: “Consider the call from the Throne above, “Go ye,” and from round about, “Come over and help us,” and even the call from the damned souls below, “Send Lazarus to my brothers, that they come not to this place.” Impelled, then, by these voices, I dare not stay home while Quichuas (the tribe he wanted to reach for Jesus) perish. So what is the well-fed church in the homeland needs stirring? They have the Scriptures, Moses, and the Prophets, and a whole lot more. Their condemnation is written on their bank books and in the dust on their Bible covers. …believers have sold their lives to the service of Mammon, and God has His rightful way of dealing with those who succumb to the spirit of Laodicea.”
Jesus wrote: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” (Mark 8:36) And, it seems to me anyways that many believers today are simply living their lives in the same manner as those who do not believe in Jesus Christ. And, then we wonder why we are not having an impact on our town or city and why no one appears interested in the Christian faith. My observation, for what it is worth – non-believers would be seriously interested and fascinated by Christ and what He taught about a radical, alternate lifestyle if they could simply see someone living it out in their world today. However, we are too busy standing in line for a ticket to the next big Lotto 649 along with the millions of others who worship at the altar of Mammon.