The Reason You Cannot Be Neutral
In many parts of the world there is a spiritual and moral vacuum. Millions of people seem to have no purpose for living, no motivating challenge. People are restless. They want a cause. They want a flag to rally around.
Jesus Christ doesn't call us to be bystanders or spectators. The word Christian actually means a partisan for Christ. It means you have chosen Christ and you are following Christ. Partisans are not neutral.
I want to ask you: "Are you a Christian?" I mean a true Christian, a real Christian. Many people have a wrong idea of what a Christian is. They say "A Christian is a person who prays." Christians do pray, but prayer doesn't make a Christian. Or people say, "A Christian lives by the Golden Rule." But living by the Golden Rule doesn't make someone a Christian.
A person may be sincere, but what that doesn't make him or her a Christian, When I was a little boy, my mother was sincere when she gave me what she thought was cough syrup for my cold. Instead she had given me Iodine. She quickly called the doctor, and he said, "give him some cream." We had a little dairy farm with about 60 cows, and she almost filled me up with cream.
Some people think a Christian is one who keeps the ten commandments. I have never met anybody who has kept all of the Ten Commandments. Everybody has broken the Commandments. The Bible says that if we break one commandment, we have broken them all. So we have broken the whole of the Ten Commandments, and that is called sin in the Bible.
Some people say, "A Christian is a person who goes to church." Yes, a Christian goes to church, but attending church itself doesn't make someone a Christian.
I'm talking about a real, genuine, personal relationship with Christ. Do YOU have that?
What is a Christian? First, a Christian is a person who has made a choice. Second, a change has taken place in his or her life. And third, he or she has accepted a challenge. I want to emphasize those three things.
Have you made the Choice?
First, a Christian is a person who has made a choice. All the way through the Bible we are asked to make choices. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden made the wrong choice. They rebelled against God. They chose to try to build their world without God, and they made a terrible, tragic mistake. Our first parents broke God's law and passed the results of their disobedience on to Cain and Abel, their children, and they have passed the results on to you and to me.
We are all capable of sine, and we all sin. David said, "In sin did my mother conceive me." I was born in sin. We are sinners by choice. We are sinners by practice.
We have to choose. Jesus said, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." He said that only a few people are on the road that leads to heaven. The vast majority are on a broad road that leads to judgment, destruction, and hell. Which road are you on?
It is what you do about Christ, His cross and His resurrection that counts. If we enter that narrow gate at the Cross and the resurrection and say, "Yes, Lord, I believe; I turn from my sins; I am willing to change my way of living." we will walk on the narrow road which may be rocky and rough and tough. On that road God will give us new resources, a new power, a new joy and a new love.
Has Your Life Been Changed?
Second, a Christian is a person whose life has been changed. That is done by the Holy Spirit. The moment you receive Christ, the Spirit of God comes to live in your heart. We read in second Corinthians; "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV). Christ is the One who does it. He performs that act in your life. Has any change taken place in your life?
People who are changed by the renewing of their minds. You act the way you believe. To change from a defeated, problem oriented person depends on your changing your mind. I'm asking you to change your mind about God, about Christ. Follow Him and find the peace and satisfaction that only He can give.
Our problems, our spiritual upsets, our feelings, our behaviors and our goals are rooted in our wrong beliefs about how to meet our personal needs in life. Christ can take charge of all of our problems if we let Him.
Have You Accepted the Challenge?
Third, a Christian is a person who has accepted the challenge. Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 6:24). in other words, we deny ourselves--our own selfish ambitions, our own sinful pleasures. Then we turn and take up our cross. What did Jesus mean by that? He is saying that when you go back to your school, back to your neighborhood, back to your work and tell people that you have received Christ, they may laugh at you. They may make fun of you. Maybe your peers and your friends will no longer have anything to do with you. You will have to pay a price.
Many of the people who followed Jesus quit following Him when He talked about death. They didn't understand the deeper meaning of His death and resurrection. They didn't realize that when He died on the cross and rose again, that was their only hope to have their sins forgiven and to get to heaven. Christ is the only hope that we have in this life, or in the life to come.
Some people resist the idea of a choice of any sort. They don't want to be called "narrow." But Jesus taught that there are two roads, and you will have to choose which road you will take. There are two masters, and you will have to choose which master you are going to serve. There are two destinies: heaven and hell. You will have to make a choice.
God doesn't make the choice for us, He gave His Son who offers to forgive our sin and give us eternal life, and He helps us make the choice by sending His Holy Spirit to convict us. But ultimately we make our own choice. God gave us the gift of free will. We can say, "I will" or "I won't." Which will it be for you? That is the decision we have to make. We cannot travel both toads. Jesus does not allow us to be neutral about Him. Jesus demands that we make a decision about Him.
Jesus asked His disciples, "Who do men say that I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of he Living God." Then Jesus replied, "Peter, you are right" (Matthew 16:13, 16-17).
You can Depend on God and the Bible
Some are reluctant to make a choice because they are not sure that anyone can prove God. No one can prove God. We can't go to a scientific laboratory and "here is God in a test tube." We accept God by faith.
The Bible tells us that God is Spirit. He created the world. He is "from everlasting to everlasting" (Psalm 90:2). He said, "For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed" (Malachi 3:6). But the Bible also says that God is love. He loves you. He is interested in you. He has the hairs of your head numbered. He loves you with an everlasting love. And He wants to forgive you. He wants to come into your life, into your home, into your work and into all your relationships and help you.
Some people raise questions about the Bible. "Can we trust the Bible?" Job said, "I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food" (Job 23:12). The Scripture says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:16). God inspired the writing of the Bible. I don't understand everything in the Bible. I accept the Bible by faith as the Word of God. It has changed my life, and it feeds my soul. Every time I read the Bible it speaks to me. The Bible is a living book, a book about God. It is a living book that speaks to us as we read it.
I remember the night that I committed my life to Christ. I was at an evangelistic meeting. I went forward, because I deeply wanted Christ. I knew I didn't really know Christ, that I really didn't have a personal relationship with Him. That night I got on my knees on my bedside and I said, "Oh, God, I don't know much about what I have done tonight, and I certainly don't know much about you. But what little I do know, please change me and make me a new person." From that night on I was different. God had taken over my life and began to move in my life in the most marvelous way.
Some people refuse Christ because of the church. They say, "The church is full of hypocrites." But there are hypocrites in every area of life;. The church is for sinners, saved by the grace of God. In my own power I am not worthy to be a member of the Body of Christ. But Christ Himself founded the Church, and its purpose is top glorify God.
Make Your Choice Today!
I think that main reason people don't come to Christ is because they don't want to pay the price. Christ will not compromise. He will not negotiate. You either come by repentance and faith, or you don't come at all. Jesus said, "What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36). Suppose you had all the wealth in the world and lost your soul. Would it be worth it? No!
You see, your soul is the part of you that will live forever. The decision that you make about Christ is your soul's eternal destiny. Some people put off that decision. But the Bible says, "Behold, now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2). "He who is often reproved, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).
What do you have to do? You have to be willing to say, "God, I am a sinner." that is confession. Have to be willing to turn from your sin, that is repentance. Then by faith, you have to be willing to commit your life to Christ and to put Him first from now on.
This prayer must come from you heart, having decided to deny yourself, to pick up your own cross, and to follow after Him. Read this prayer below. You can use these words, or ones that come to your own heart. Remember, God will not compromise nor negotiate. You must come to Him on His terms, and His alone.
Dear Father God,
I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite you to come into my heart and life. I want to trust you as my savior and follow you as my Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen.
If you have prayed this prayer, or perhaps one confessing that you have been acting as if you could play a neutral role in your Christian life, then we invite you to contact us. We would love to send you some material that will help you in your daily walk and the discipline of being a follower of Christ. You can Email us, or you can write to us at Ministries 4Him, 5148 W. Hinsdale Cir. Littleton, CO 80128.
Our hope and prayer is that you will walk in the power of His resurrection, and be willing to work in the fellowship of His suffering. May God bless you and keep you.