By Pastor Mike Gudka, St. Paul United Methodist Church
In today’s world, people have turned away from reading their Bibles and have looked for other ways to fill in their knowledge of Christ. While at the same time, too many of our churches have wanted to fill their pews by offering bland, happy-go-lucky sermons. And as a result, a Biblical understanding of salvation has been cheapened. And this misinformation is going to lead to many who think they are going to spend eternity in heaven, receiving a big shock right after their last breath.
How many of you have heard, “Believe in Jesus and you will be saved”? Well, on the surface, this statement is Biblically correct.But how much “belief” does it take to be saved? Can you just pray a simple prayer, become saved, and then just keep living your life the way you always have? And can you call yourself a believer and never attend church?
When someone says that they believe in Christ, they should be absolutely committed to following Him in every aspect of their lives. After all, Jesus held nothing back to save us; and we don’t need to hold anything back in your commitment to Him. If we truly believe in Him as your Lord and Savior, over time He must rule over everything that we do and say. In other words, if you have not fully committed your life to following Him, then you should question how much you truly believe.
Now, I am not talking about “works righteousness.” There is nothing that we can do on our own to earn our salvation. It is a free gift from a God that is completely in love with us. You see when we truly believe then Holy Spirit begins to help us understand the depth of God’s love and the extent that He can transform our lives into something eternally wonderful. And we don’t have to wait until we die to access this transformation. It can begin today, the moment we truly believe.And the more we begin to grasp the depth of that love and incredible steps that God took to reclaim us, the more and more we want to commit to following Him. After all, He only wants the best for us. Yes, fully committing to following Him is going to be tough; but on the inside, the joy and power that we receive completely overwhelms any challenges that we face.
And on very important aspect of committing to Christ is worshiping Him on EVERY Sunday. How can we say that we are a follower of Christ, a believer in Christ, someone that is truly committed to Him if we are not active in a church (the Body of Christ)? How can we think we can stand before Christ and try and justify that we were truly committed to Him and yet never came to worship Him? Or never was active in the Church by learning, growing, helping, and serving others? Isn’t worshiping Him and being active in His Church the most basic of commitments we can make?
Now of course there are those that have reached the point where Christ dominates their lives. But for most of us, it is a long process. Over time, the Holy Spirit helps us commit more and more to serving the God that saved us, transforms us, and do incredible things in our lives today.
So to put this simply, we cannot say we believe in Christ without committing our lives to following His way.
So my prayer for you this week is for you to question the amount you believe by looking at how much of your life you have committed to following Christ.