Thursday, February 26, 2009
Are You Ashamed?
Church Camp 2007. It was after the worship service that evening. I remember it was on a Wednesday night exactly. Because during the invitation I was able to witness a girl being transformed by the power of Jesus before my eyes. I was so inspired by the situation that was happening before me that after the service was over I went to my cabin, pulled out a notebook, and began to write down my thoughts (which later turned into a song). But God had a lot more instore that night for me to see.
As I was writing, there were a lot of people walking passed my cabin who were chatting, eating snacks, or munching on the watermelon we were giving out to everybody. I was able to fade them into the background as I finished writing. But something caught my attention. Something spoke to me dearly. I looked up from my notebook and saw a really skinny girl who I would say was about eleven or twelve years of age. She yelled out for everybody to hear, "JESUS SAVED ME! JESUS SAVED ME!" Of course everybody heard her, but nobody really seemed to jump up and say, "I am so happy for you!" More likely they were walking around her. The more I watched her, the more I started to notice her appearence. I saw she had long brown hair, and it looked as if she hadn't brushed it in a while. I looked at her clothes. Her light blue plain shirt had a hole at the bottom of it, and it looked dirty. Her pants weren't at all fashionable. And her shoe's looked worned out. Yet this girl who from your first impression, seems to own nothing of great worth, was overjoyed about Jesus coming into her life! She was walking passed my cabin and locked her eyes with mine, "Hey, Jesus saved me!" She said to me running. I was so happy for this girl. We hugged each other, and I told her as she walked on, "Hey, I'll see you in Heaven." She said a happy OK and waved to me good-bye. I never saw her again the rest of that week.
That moment reminds me so much of when I was first saved. I was thirteen and at a Heaven and Hell House drama never thinking that I would leave that church with a new heart and a desire to please God. I was like that girl. I wanted to tell the world what Jesus had done to me. I may have known all along about Jesus, but for the first time, I experienced it for myself.
I think that event at church camp will always be a memory worth thinking about for the rest of my life. I don't know many people today who claim to be Christians who still show the joy they felt when they were first saved. Actually, most Christians today look like everybody else, a.k.a. the world.
When I go to church every Sunday, there are the usual people that I notice more than others. I don't know exactly why that is. I guess its because I want to watch them. There are a lot of teens who I know text during church, who don't pay attention to the service, who don't appear as if they want to be there, yet claim to have Jesus in their heart. When I see those people, it shows who they really are. They don't have the desire to know Jesus. They'd rather be with friends, or hang out with their boyfriend or girlfriend, or they are there just to say they went. I have a question for this group of people. Are you ashamed of the faith of which you believe?
There are some people who only show up on Sunday Mornings. No Sunday school, no commitment. I don't understand why they don't want to be commited. I mean if you can be commited to sport games why can't you be commited to going to church? I have a question for this group of people. Are you ashamed of the faith of which you believe?
I know people who see nothing wrong with abortion. Who see nothing wrong with homosexuality. I am not saying that free will among individuals shouldn't be, but why do we want to encourage and support sin? Does this mean that since they have the right to abort their baby, then I have the right to steal something and it be alright? You wouldn't support me of my choice, because you know stealing is wrong. Yet then why do you support the choice of gay marriage (Genesis 2:22-25, 1Corinthians 6:9-10) but you won't support my choice to steal? What makes stealing more wrong that allowing a gay man become a deacon? Many Christians see nothing wrong with it. I have a question for this group of people. Are you ashamed of the faith of which you believe?
It looks as if I have divided people into groups. Well duh, thats exactly what I have done. You might not like it, but thats how it is. Because really as Christians we are in groups. Not that we should be, its that we choose to be. We are pretty much divided among the church because we choose to be. A church is supose to be one, a whole, the body of Christ. Yet some people just don't want to be a whole part. And its all because of one thing...apparently....somebody is ashamed of the faith which is in them.
I have been to church with a lot of different people. We are all at different area's in our walk with Christ. Some are more mature than others, but thats not the problem. The problem is we have too many people who are babies and very few people who are adults. There are people who will wrap their brain around the Bible and make it say what they want it to say...to give them the right to do as they please. People will take the Bible out of content and change the whole entire message of what it claims. And its not just unbelievers doing this. Its mostly Christians.
I remember at Winter Jam this year, I believe Tony Nolan stood up after the break and told us the story about the girl he had just met five minutes before. He said to the crowd, "This girl came to my table. She listened to the message of God's Word. She had claimed to be a lesbian. But she recieved Jesus into her life, and she is changed. She has given her life to Christ and no longer lives the lifestyle she was living, but took up her cross and is now following Jesus!" And the crowd roared all around. It was a moving story to hear. Another life was changed, transformed. Do all believers care? I know during some concerts that I go to, there are people who are happy to hear a story about somebody being changed by God. Yet then I see others who are sitting down flirting with the people around them, or texting somebody, or simply not paying attention. Do they not care? Are they ashamed of the faith which lives in them?
There is a story that deeply moved me that I read in one of the Jesus Freaks books. I don't remember the place or time, but I remember that a group of people were having a secert church service. And when the communist found out, they raided the house. They held all the church members at gun point and said to each one, "Spit on the Bible, or die with a bullet in your head." A man walked near the Bible, with tears in his eyes, he spit on the Bible. They let him go free. Next a woman. She also spit on the Bible. They also let her go free. Then came an eight year old girl. Nobody knows what her name was, but what she did proved she wasn't ashamed. She held the Bible in her hands and whiped away the spit. "Oh God, look what they have done to your Word." she cried outloud. A guard loaded his gun, and he shot her in the head. Can you answer this question; was this eight year old girl ashamed of the faith of which was in her heart?
I really want to know. No, I really really want to know. What do you believe? Does anybody know what they believe? Who you are on the inside is what will show on the outside. Who are you really? Will you know who you were when you enter the Judgement seat for God to play back to you?
Anybody can say, Jesus is the Son of God. Anybody can say Jesus died on the cross. Anybody can say that. But who is living it? Who is really living it? All the artist who entertained us at Winter Jam cannot be the only ones living for God can they? Why do we see the movement at a concert but not in our own church? Why is this generation silent! Are you ashamed? You must be to allow such a thing as gay marriage to be okay. You are ashamed to believe that its impossible for abortion to be murder, when you know very well what the Bible speaks on the matter of both these topics. You must be ashamed because you party all night and try to go to church the next morning to keep your reputation. You must be ashamed when you leave home and go to school and talk and curse God like everybody else. You are ashamed of the gospel of Christ when you conform to the ways of the world, SO YOU CAN HAVE FRIENDS! You are ashamed! Church is another social thing. You go because you know you are supose to. Not because you want to. Its a chore, nothing really happens at church. For all we know you are wasting two hours of your morning hearing the word of God being preached in the pulpit. Look inside yourself and see something is not right here! If you are the same way as you were before you became saved, then you are in deeper trouble than a child playing with a sex offender.
We need to be as that eight year old girl who would not spit on the Bible. We need to live it. Not just speak it when the time feels right where you won't be made fun of. You live it now or become like everybody else, completely wasted. Everybody is wasted. And thats why the gospel is here in the first place. How can we be silent, when the fire burns inside us?( Million Voices, written by Barlow Girl) God has callen this generation for a purpose, and you'd be a fool to not accept the calling He has given us. To be the witness to this dying world. If you won't step up to the call, God will get somebody else. You will miss out on the blessings He has instore. God has big dreams for everybody. You just have to let yours go before you can experience His eternal plan for your life. This world is not our home. We are not living for ourselves. We are to not support sin but to stand against it when its being thrust upon us. The world accepts it. Why do we have to be apart of it?! This isn't a matter of opinion, but its the truth. And for those who don't want to listen to it, are convicted by the truth because they know its the truth. How many times must we read it before we apply it..." For God SO loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son..." Even the muslims know the most popular verse in the Bible. Yet we know it and take advantage of its powerful message. To so many its just words, and not a reality.
I really want to know. Are you ashamed? Are you ashamed to open your Bible and find the answers for yourself, but instead go to the world and seek their opinions? The world vs. the Bible. Which came first!? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." 1 John 1:1 The Bible is the truth. The world is an opinion. Don't you want the answer right now?
So, can you answer my question? If you are not ashamed, that means you live the truth everyday, right?
"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His father with the holy angels." Mark 8:38, NASB
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..." Romans 1:16, NASB
" Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me (Paul) His prisoner, but join with me in suffereing for the gospel according to the power of God," 1 Timothy 1: 8, NASB
"But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." Matthew 10:33, NASB