We live in a fallen world. It has been this way since Adam ate of the forbidden fruit. In Genesis 3 Eve is tempted and gives in, eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. After seeing that it was good in her eyes she gave it to Adam to eat. And so, came the fall of man. Before Adam ate of the fruit he had no idea of evil. It’s not that it didn’t exist, he just didn’t know about it. He was pure innocence. In doing so he went against God and separated himself from God. All though God knew what had happened He came looking for them anyway. Here we see the first sacrifice. God sacrificed an animal to make clothing to cover up Adam and Eve. After doing so, He cast them out of the Garden so they could not eat of the tree of life. He also cursed the ground for Adam to work and made it where Eve must endure intense pain to give birth.
While this is a paraphrase of the fall, it sums it up. From then on men had to made sacrifices every year to cover the sins. The sins needed to be covered in order to be in right standing with God. It was a little more complex than just killing something but for the sake of this thought we will just leave it at that. For thousands of years that is how people remained in good standing with God, through the sacrifice of an animal. Because of Adam we are all born into sin. We all have a sin nature.
But God had a plan! None of this was a surprise to Him. A little over 2000 years ago a man came on the scene, A man named Jesus. I am sure that just about everyone knows this story. Jesus came, born of a virgin, 100% God and 100% man. While His mother was Mary, His Dad was God. He walked this earth for 33 ½ years living a sinless life. Something no other man had ever done before. He could only do this through the power given to Him from God. While He was here he did a whole bunch of cool miracles, even raising people from the grave. He was arrested for crimes He didn’t commit and was sentenced to death on the cross.
So many things happened from the time they came to take Him till they took him down from the cross. One always gets me to thinking. When they came to take Jesus, Peter wasn’t having it. Not without a fight anyway. He chopped of the ear of one of the guards. Jesus told Peter to stop, then he healed the man’s ear. Even seeing a miracle like that firsthand the guards never paused to think maybe they were wrong. They were blinded by the lies they had been fed all their lives.
Today, in 2018, the world is growing darker. We can pray for world peace all we want but it will not come. Not until Jesus returns. The world will continue to grow darker and more evil as time goes by. We see it in the bombings, mass shootings and terrorist attacks. We see it in the way the world wants to redefine marriage and sexuality. We see it in TV and movies. Sadly, in our Churches, a compromise here and a compromise there. Fill the seats and pay the bills.
We have a choice. It’s a choice that sometimes seems blurred here in America. Blurred because being a Christian is easy compared to other countries. It’s easy to say and we don’t really have to live it, just check the box. There isn’t any real persecution if we say we are. Sure, someone may make a comment or you may become a social outcast, but you’re still alive and with no physical harm. I often wonder how many would still claim to be a Christian if it meant their life, or worse their loved one’s life? Would they still claim to be a Christian if it meant that they would be imprisoned or publicly executed?
So often we claim to be Christians but our lifestyle does not reflect it. To be a Christian is so much more that warming a seat on Sundays. It is a lifestyle change. A Radical change. Allowing Jesus to invade every aspect of our lives and flip it upside down.
I am by no means anywhere near a perfect person. I make mistakes, and I go against God and Jesus more than I would like to admit. But there is forgiveness in the Blood (1 John 1:9). But what I can say for sure is I am not the man I once was. I share my testimony with people and they tell me that just don’t see it. I share the violence, drug and alcohol addiction, prison, not holding anything back and they are amazed because they just can’t see me being like that. I am here to tell you that that is the power in the Blood of Jesus.
I chose to be different. October 26th, 2013, I chose to separate myself from the man I was. I chose to pursue Jesus and not the world (2 Corinthians 5:17). It wasn’t an easy task, but a necessary one. It meant changing everything. Cutting a lot of people off and adding new people. It had to be radical, it was and is the only way it will work. Today everything is held to the standard of God. The standard that He sets. If it doesn’t meet it then we don’t do it. And like I said before, we’re not perfect and we make mistakes. We are human and perfection will not be reached until we are with Jesus in Glory.
The world is a fallen place that wants company. To truly accept and follow Christ puts us at war with the world. That is why Paul goes over the armor in Ephesians 6 and why it is so important in our walk with Christ. If you truly want to pursue Christ your whole life must be re-evaluated. If you want it to be more than a box you check, then you must get in the fight. A checked box will not get you into heaven. A lifestyle changed by Jesus is the only way.
If you have questions or aren’t really sure where you stand we are here to help. Feel free to contact us.