“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Matthew 7:21 – 23
Terrifying words for those who claim belief in Jesus Christ.
My pastor this week started a sermon series, based on Peter. Basically the sermon focused on authentic faith. What is it? What is it not? How do we acquire it? What does it look like?
Perhaps the life of Peter can define for us Authentic faith! Peter wasn’t perfect, but he was willing to enter into the craziness that was faith in Christ!
http://player.vimeo.com/video/61999124 Link for Scott Stevens’ sermon, “The Tunnel Of Chaos” 03/16/13
“Authentic Faith!?!? Who are you to question my faith our anyone’s faith?” – You might be saying right now. I’m not questioning anyone’s faith…. JUST MY OWN! And perhaps so should you.
If you are like me, we live a relatively comfortable life. We have relatively comfortable relationships, and do relatively comfortable things. We entertain ourselves, we eat what we like when we like, and our homes never lack for heat or cool air to relax in.
It is the American way……… Our streets even in our hovels are golden!
Again Christ has something to say about well off people…….
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
Our worship leader went to Haiti recently on a mission trip and he came home, perplexed, confused, undone, with what it means to be a Christian in “our world”.
He saw how the “others”, live….. how they worship! With passion, that is seldom seen in our circles, when WE are so richly blessed!
I’m not sure if I got our leaders feelings just right, but I do believe it is close. It is the same with so many people who go to such impoverished people, or persecuted people on a mission trip, their own faith is undone. I experienced such a inquisition of my faith when I went to the inner streets of Philadelphia on a mission trip. Not quite the same, but still challenging of my faith waltz!
These people give from their poverty, we give from our abundance They worship from their everyday reliance on God, we from our periodic need to have our hangnail healed.
Even my own faith walk and stepping out in faith these past few years is but a pittance to the faith these “others” display daily. Where are they getting their next meal, how will they shelter themselves in the next great storm, who will protect them from the hordes that detest their faith and wish to remove it from the face of the earth?
We just don’t need God the way they do….Do we?
Jesus when he spoke these terrifying words was speaking to the religious people….I’m religious, perhaps you are too, so He’s speaking to us! If we believe what Jesus says, and I for one do, many of us will not be gaining admittance to heaven as we expect. Is our faith authentic? Real? Deep? Committed!!??!?!?
I have many friendships, people I’m friendly with….. but I don’t take the chance of being truly real with them. Then I have a few I can be exactly who I am…. a very few! Is Christ one that I have been exactly who I am with??? Is he that to you? Are you committed to Him?
Are we merely comfortable with our God and Christ relationships, or do we let Him in to our inner most places? Do we open ourselves and allow Him to use us in His most needed ways? Does He do miracles because we like Peter, are willing to step out of the boat in faith, to the uncomfortable depths of life? Are we sold out?!?
Are we just paying the very Son of God lip service? Do we just use Him as a crutch? Or is He truly our Counselor, Mighty God!
It’s not easy, and it shouldn’t be comfortable, and I for one am re-examining my faith this very moment. He is after all my Savior! What is so hard about expressing that, and stepping out into the void He needs me to fill.
Could it be that void for us is the eye of the needle, and it is exactly those uncomfortable things we are unwilling to do?
He wants to use us and we need to want to be used! A committed, authentic faith should be found here, shouldn’t it?
I finish wondering am I comfortable………….. Comfortable with being one of the ones the Lord is speaking to in this verse? Are you?
Does He KNOW you?