The hidden half of domestic violence
How to have eternal life
Three doctors were met at the gate of heaven and asked why they should be allowed in. The first doctor said he was a pediatrician and that he helped a lot of sick babies and children. He was granted access. The second doctor said he was a gerontologist and as such he helped many older people live longer and have a better quality of life. The gates then opened for him too. The third bragged about being the CEO of a major HMO at which point he was told he could go in but he would not be allowed access to the Throne room and the fruit on all of the trees were extra and not included...and he would only be allowed to stay three days.
Of course this is a joke. There is only one way to gain access to heaven, and that is through Jesus Christ
What if there were some truth to this. What if our time in heaven was related to the time we lived like a Christian here on Earth? What would happen if we were a nominal Christian and this were to happen? Let's look at this for a moment.
1: Existing in name only.
2: Existing or being something in name or form but usually not in
3: Being so small or trivial as to be a mere token
Nominal Christianity is not new. Nicodemus was a Jewish ruler at the time of Christ. He went to Jesus at night to ask him questions and there is reason to believe he did become a Christian but few knew it at that time. You could say he was a nominal Christian.
Today there are many that say they are Christians. One problem however is that if it became (or should I say when) illegal to be a Christian, there would not be enough evidence to convict them. Many attend church only on Sunday morning but the rest of the time, they do not even think about God. If someone asks them, they act like Peter did when he denied his Lord three times They act like the crowd at work, listening to, laugh at and tell the same dirty jokes. Oh yes, I am sure they would not want anyone to check the "history" on their computer to see what web sites they visited. After all, they do not need to worry about someone seeing them slither into that adult book store any more.
Perhaps they do use God's name but not
in any way I would want to repeat but come the next Sunday morning they are
warming the pew and singing with everyone else. In reality, they are nominal
Christians… existing in name only.
Others are so trivial, they are mere tokens. They act like Christians when they are with Christians, but the big question is what are they like when no one is watching? It is easy to talk like a Christian in church…and in our Christian groups, but what about those secular groups they are in? Oh they may have good
Christian names in our Christian groups but do they have other id's that are not so Christian that they use in groups they would not want us to find out about? Oh I use to have one before Shattered Men was founded that I used to go to places I try not to remember now. I even used it for several months after SM but had to put off the old man and get an ID that would honor God….that would show people I do pledge allegiance to the LAMB.
My friend, we can talk to almost anyone and within a short time, we can find out what they value the most. I know some that talk about the Pacers, the Bulls or the Lakers all of the time. Others talk about football, cars, the soap operas, and others talk about those that have "survived" the latest immunity challenge or how "desperate" some housewives are.
Find a guy or gal that has just gotten engaged and perhaps all we will hear about is the person they are about to marry. New parents or grandparents will be quick to pull out photos of that new baby. Oh yes, we can often tell what a person really loves by listening to them for a while. My friend, what would they find out about what YOU value the most?
Matthew 6:21 tells us "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
2 Tim 3:5 tells of those who have a form of godliness, but they deny the power of God. They are nominal Christians. According to Titus (1:16) these people profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him. Often these people are actually false prophets coming to us as Christians. They are wolves in sheep's clothing. Then again, they may just be….Nominal Christians.
Let's go back to the question at hand. What would happen if our time in heaven were related to our living as a Christian should? For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also!
My friend, where is your treasure? Will it really matter 100 years from now if your team won the playoffs? Will it matter then if your stock prices went up or down?
Still others are not worried about these things. They are trying to get by one day at a time, often even moment by moment as they are in agony over shattered dreams or shattered health. Many are in constant pain and know full well what suffering is. There just does not seem to be any let up. It is hard to even think, let along
be an active Christian. Many of these people are not "nominal" Christians. They do trust the Lord fully but because of their physical conditions, they are not able to be as active as they would like. There is good news for those who are suffering:
Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Many of those this applies to, those that are suffering are doing far more then most who are able bodied. They are our prayer warriors, and with the internet,
many do have a very important and powerful way to be a "doer of the Word" Many are sharing the love of Jesus in spite of their pain and suffering by groups, instant messenger and e-mails. They are not nominal Christians. My friend, if they can do it, you can too.
What causes nominal Christianity?
I believe the major reason for being a nominal Christian is simple. In reality, they are not even a Christian. You see, being a Christian is far more then believing a man named Jesus existed. It is far more then believing HE died on a cross for our sins. All of this only produces a head knowledge. To BE a Christian means we have to ask God to credit the payment Jesus made for our sin to our
account. Some call this accepting Christ as our savior. Some call it being born again. Whatever it is called, it means we recognize we have sinned and deserve to be separated from God. We also recognize Jesus became sin for us so we can be made righteous in the sight of God and we have to talk to God and acknowledge these facts. http://www.shatterdmen.com/first_step.htm
Too many people are giving a false sense of security that they are a Christian when a good intentioned person asks them if they believe Jesus died for their sin. If they say yes, they are declared to be Christians, but they are still lost. Others are told that being a member of a church (and it does not matter what church) or that being baptized will make you a Christian. Neither does but they sure do produce "nominal Christians" because there is no power in them. They have not been made new creatures as we are told would happen to those who do become Christians.
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Without this, we can not help but to be a nominal Christian. We have no power to change yet we do have those who do "clean up their act". They can become "religious" and appear to be active Christians. We see this when someone joins one of the many cults that exist today. You see, satan does not mind someone cleaning
themselves up, in fact he loves it because it makes them think they are saved. It gives a false sense of security. The song "Just as I am without one plea but that thy blood was shed for me" says it all. We do not clean up, we go as we are and let God cleanse us, yet so often Christians will tell others to clean up before asking God to save them.
What is a cult? I would advise running
from any group that declares that you have to be a member of that group, of that
religion, of that church to be saved.
Any group that tells you to obey their leaders unquestionably, any that tell you their books are as important or more important then the Bible, or that you need them to understand the Bible should send up major red flags. Any group that tells us that it does not matter what church you go to or what religion you are as all religions will work be it Allah, Buddha or God, are dangerous. There is only ONE
Way…Jesus Christ. Many say they are Christians but are not. This will explain it"
The Danger of Nominal Christianity
2 Timothy 3:5: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power
thereof: from such turn away.
A nominal Christian will not show the Power of God in their life. They do not
believe God is concerned about them and certainly not the little things. Their God is watching from a distance. They seldom care about anyone else and often they think that "religion" is a private matter and we should not interfere with what others believe. http://www.shatterdmen.com/From%20A%20Distance.htm
Another danger is that those who do realize they are lost often look at these nominal Christians and see that there is no difference between what these Christians have and themselves. Seeking help from these Christians would be like going to a gas station that has empty fuel tanks but is all lit up like it is open for business. Worse yet, some of these "gas stations" have the wrong fuel in their tanks http://www.shatterdmen.com/Fuel.htm A nominal Christian will drive those seeking God away. They will be unable to love unconditionally and that is what will draw people to God.
Solution to Nominal Christianity.
The first step of course is to make sure you ARE a Christian. Have you asked God to credit the payment Jesus made for your sin to your account?
If you have done this, perhaps you need to make sure you have the proper nourishment. Are you spending time with God? Reading His Word...the Bible and taking time to talk to HIM? We can not grow without doing this. We can not know HIS voice unless we hear it and we hear it by spending time with Him.
Are there areas of your life that are "off limits" to God? Hidden sins that you want to keep hold of? Perhaps you want to stay bitter at a former abuser or even a present one? Do you still want the pleasure of that one sin that you still struggle with? Remember there is always a hidden cost for sin….
My friend, if you are a Christian yet you see yourself in this…you see that you are a nominal Christian…perhaps it is time to take that next step. Perhaps it is time to not only make Jesus your savior but to make Jesus…Your LORD!
Doug Oldham sang "Lord of Lords"
All of my tomorrows...and all of my past
I want you to be LORD of all
I will quit my struggles if I can have contentment at last
Jesus I want you to be Lord of all
Be my King of Kings
Be my Lord of Lords
Somehow be my Lord of all.
Take my possessions
and all my life
Just be Lord of all
This song. we worked on it and worked on it and it didn't seem to
mean anything. Then I got to asking myself why. I found myself not
really, meaning it....so Father take all of my conflicts, take all of
my thoughts Be Lord, Lord of all.
You can win the battles, battles I just never have fought. I want
you to be Lord of all.
King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Jesus is LORD of all.
All my possession and all my life...Jesus is LORD of all.
My friend…have you "worked on it and worked on it" only to fall time after time again? Maybe it is time to stop "working" on it and simply fall in love with Jesus. You see, when we love someone, we will want to do the things that please them.
To conclude, there is nothing greater then making Jesus your savior but the next greatest thing, is making Jesus LORD. If you have strayed from Jesus my friend, He is waiting for you to return to Him… to restore the joy of salvation. For those who are not saved…He wants to give you that Joy and peace.
For both…Jesus is only….a whisper
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JUNE is Domestic Violence Against Men Awareness Month