If You Were Accused Of Being A Christian, Would There Be Enough Evidence To Convict You?
Posted by Job on June 22, 2007
by Dr. Randy Weiss of CrossTalk Ministries (crosstalk.org)
We have moved beyond our wonderful Jewish High Holidays and been touched by the September 11th memorial tributes. It is now time to move on with our lives. “Look up . . . your redemption draws nigh” (Luke 21:28).
Let me ask the profound question, “If you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
Do you believe Jesus is coming soon? Does your life reflect that belief? Do you really love God? These questions are not answered with a simple, “Yes,” or “No.” The answers must
be lived through vibrant faith and empowering discipline.
We must internalize and personalize these questions. Let me ask this more simply, “Am I willing to lay my life down for Jesus?” If not, I may never be willing to truly live for Jesus.
Are you a Christian because you want to have friends in high places? If He doesn’t have a friend in low places, you miss the point . . . and you may miss His greatest blessings.
Perhaps some of you are going through low places in your life right now. Some of you may be suffering and questioning the will of God at this very moment. I want to remind you
that God loves you and has a blessed plan for each of His servants. His way is not always smooth. Sometimes our faith is tested in the fires of life’s trials. Remember, even Jesus, “Learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” (Heb 5:8). God knows the strength He desires to build into your faith through your experiences. Will you joyously give God the reign over every area of your life? Will you praise Him for the rainbows, as well as the rain?
Permit me to focus some attention on a Jewish guy named Paul. I love Paul. He is a role model who learned how to endure trials with grace. Paul was an extremely resourceful
guy! But after Paul became a Christian, he was always in trouble. The rank & file folks in the Church didn’t trust him because he had formerly hunted down and killed Christians
when he was still an angry Pharisee known as Saul of Tarsus. Later, the Church leaders within the Jerusalem Council were angry with him for converting massive numbers of Gentiles into the congregation of the saints. His old Jewish friends were angry with him for becoming a missionary to people who were not Jewish. Even the Romans were aggravated with Paul. They were uncomfortable because everywhere he went, the peace of Rome was threatened. Riots just seemed to follow this man wherever he went.
Paul became accustomed to difficult circumstances. One day, Jesus Himself came to Paul and said something to the effect, “son, get out of Dodge nobody is going to believe your story.” Actually, the way Paul described the encounter, he said, 17. . . it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; 18And saw him (Jesus) saying unto me, Make
haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me” (Acts 22:17-18). Now Paul knew what was going on. He said, “Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: 20And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. 21And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles” (Acts 22:19-21). Now translating this from King James English into a more modern parallel, Paul was sort of asking to get into God’s witness protection
program! But it was too late. A mob developed when Paul testified and they said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live” (Acts 22:22b).
In essence, his enemies said, he doesn’t deserve to take up space on this planet. Then a group of Roman soldiers took their liberty to begin beating him. I love the King James
Version of the account. “24The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him” (Acts 22:24).
Paul’s “examination” or test was through a good whooping. How often do we get tested in a similar way? How often is our faith tested by situations we would prefer to escape?
Well, Paul was often tested. His testimony was crammed with reports of beatings, scourgings, being left for dead, saved by the skin of his teeth, and the litany of trials seems endless. Yet Paul understood better than any man that the there was to be an end to his trials. In fact, at the end, Paul knew he would receive the hope of glory for Paul had met
Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus.
Paul was a sinner saved by grace. He knew who was in charge of his destiny. Do you? This all serves to bring me back to the issue I began to address in my introduction: “Are we children of the king, and, if so, were we saved to rule or to serve?”
As you might guess, I will give you my opinion. But before I do, I want you to know that I am also interested in yours. I’d love to hear from you. Would you be willing to let me know what you think? May I ask you to take a moment to tell me a little about yourself? I’d like to hear about your faith. Do you believe in Jesus? Do you believe He lives? Do you believe He was Jewish? How does that impact your understanding about the Early Church? Are you interested in this stuff?
I pray you will receive this blunt spiritual inquiry in the spirit in which it was intended. My desire is to challenge each reader to draw closer to the Lord.
To contact Dr. Weiss email DrWeiss@crosstalk.org Copyright 2005 by Randy Weiss, Ph.D