If you are reading this and you don't know that I am a Christian, welcome to my blog, you must be new here. Please stay and keep reading. I promise not to figure out the IP addresses of everyone who visits my site so I can track you down and ask if you know the Four Spiritual Laws. You are safe to lurk here. I have no idea what an IP address is or how to use one to track anyone. My lack of technological skills is pretty much your guarantee of anonymity.
The reason that I say this is that if you know me, either through personal contact or online (actually, especially online), you know that I am not one of those nice Christians. You know - the ones who say things like, "Well, being a Christian has been good for me, but I don't want to offend anyone by mentioning my beliefs in public. Whatever you believe is cool for you."
Nice Christians are tolerant people. They have found the narrow road: the one that leads to life. Eternal life. Abundant life. The most amazing life you can have one this side of Heaven. But they walk it quietly, or sit in the lovely meadow beside the path, making daisy chains so they don't disturb the people walking on the broad road. You know: the one that leads to death.
People who are on the road to death don't know and/or care that they are on the road to death. Most of them don't believe that there is a road that leads to death. If you tell them, they will be offended, and they probably won't like you anymore. They will say nasty things to you, using language that they hope will offend you so that you will shut up and go away.They might tell you that you are not acting like Jesus would act. Jesus was nice to people. He hung around with sinners, He was tolerant. In fact, the only people He said nasty things to were the religious people, like the Pharisees. He was really rude to them - like calling them a "brood of vipers". They took offense at that sort of thing. They shut Him up by nailing Him to a cross.
Some people think that the point of this story is that Jesus was tolerant of the sinners, but didn't think much of the religious people. That is so not the point of the story. That is like, half of the first line of the story.
Yes, Jesus loved the sinners, and they were the ones who hung around Him.The tax collectors, prostitutes, and other assorted sinners who followed Jesus believed that He was the Messiah. They could tell by His words that He spoke as someone with authority. He spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven as if He was the king. When they asked Jesus what they must do to be part of His kingdom, He told them to repented of their sin and they would be forgiven. He set them free from the lifestyles that had enslaved them.
The "religious" people who were offended by His message did not believe that He was the Messiah. They did not repent of their sins. They would not admit, even to themselves that they were sinners or that they had any sin in their lives.
That is the difference between Christians and the other sinners. You see, we know that we are all sinners. The difference is not our good behaviour. Christ didn't give us a list of stuff we needed to do before we could be good enough to follow Him. We followed Him first, The changes in our behaviour came as the result of hanging around with Jesus. The more we let Him into our lives, the more He can work on cleaning up our lives.
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." ( Matthew 7:13-14,)The last words that Jesus said before He ascended before their eyes back into Heaven were:
We call this the "Great Commission" and it is in obedience to Christ that we cannot be "nice Christians" and just ignore the rest of the world walking along on the road to destruction.
Picture this: a group of Christians has found the narrow path, plunked themselves down on the grass beside the path, and they are busy making daisy chains. A new Christian walks by. From his vantage point on the path, he sees the people on the wide, smoothly paved road as they blindly walk right off the end of that broad path and into the "pit". He turns to the Christians in horror, and asks, "What the hell are you doing? Don't you see those people, walking to their doom?"
The other Christians tell the newbie,"Oh they don't listen to us. They think we are delusional. Besides, maybe that road is fine. Maybe you are wrong about what happens to them at the end. Sit down, brother. Make a daisy chain."
"Why would I make a daisy chain? How is that gonna help those people?"
"We don't really know. Maybe they will see the pretty flowers in our hair and want to join us."
What do you think? If you were that new Christian, would you try to warn those people?
(All Scripture quoted from the New International Version,
copyright 1973, 1978 by the International Bible Society.)
Photo credit: https://morguefile.com/creative/kszchopstix/1/all