Are you true?
Before I even start writing, I’m concerned that this post may come across as frustrated or angry. I’m truly not angry at anyone. But I am very concerned for many. You see as I write these words I’m thinking of many, many people that I love and care about and know personally. I am concerned that they are missing something of major importance. And I know that, to many of them, my voice is no longer a motivating factor. So at this point, I pray for them and believe that God will continue to send others into their path.
After over 20 years of pastoral leadership experience, the one thing that most disappoints and concerns me about those who claim Christ as a savior is the continued reality that many of those who speak of being saved from sin by God’s grace have little or no concern for the success of His movement in the world. A movement that Jesus called “His Church.” With that in mind they seem to have little or no concern with the Missional outcome that the church was meant to have… the salvation of God’s Children and the restoration of this world.
They rejoice about God’s forgiveness and their certain eternal home. But they won’t sacrifice, serve, love or help the church reach anyone else. They don’t give money, or when they do it’s an insultingly small percentage of their income. They reserve their giftedness for things that bring them further income or glory. They are consumers of the gospel but not providers of it.
At this point I’ve come to the conclusion that, although a lack of good discipleship could lead to such a reality, most of them are simply not true believers. And it is scary that they are so convinced of their salvation.
Most have bought into a half-gospel that includes 1. Christ loves and wants to forgive you, but leaves out 2. Christ bought your eternity with a high price and now has a calling for your life that will include required devotion, sacrifice and love. Their mind has agreed to a deal with God that costs them nothing and gives them everything. But their hearts were never regenerated. They are not a new creation at this point.
They have responded to a forgiveness message but not one of devotion. And this is our biggest problem in the American church.
And don’t pounce on me for ‘judging.’ Because we are told in Scripture to look for these things. It is one of the roles of a loving pastor who cares for his people. I want to make sure they get it right.
So how do we reach out and evangelize those who think they are already a believer?
On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ (Matthew 7:22-23 NLT)
I’m interested in hearing your thoughts…