I am saying this because one day I ran across this book entitled Not A Fan written by Kyle Idleman. I will have to admit, that this book has really made me look at my life...where I've been and where I am heading. The sad part is...I realized for most of my life- I have only been a FAN of JESUS...not a FOLLOWER. Sometimes it is hard to swallow some of the words that I read in this book. Sometimes if I really sit back and think about CHRIST and all He did for me...how could I have let the world and so many things get in the way.
I remember telling my church family about how for so many years...church was just something to do on Sunday morning- it was what our family did. I still remember the day I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was twelve...but as I look back now...I realized I only gave God part of me. When being a Christian was easy or comfortable- I was all in, but God don't ask me to give up this or that- God what would my boss think...God my friends are around (and they don't believe)...God, life is going good now...I will do it when this gets done. God, let me do it my way...I will only SIN a little- I am nothing compared to this person when it comes to living in sin. Then as I got older, it turned into STUFF and having more...more things...taking MORE time away from God. Even the so called "good things" got in the way- wanting my kids to be apart of every sports program, volunteering, and helping others out here and there...
The more I read the Bible...and seek His word and will for my life...nothing makes sense of what I thought being a CHRISTIAN was or being a FOLLOWER of CHRIST. How can I honestly read His words and compare my life and see CHRIST? To be quiet honest, my life has been mostly about outside appearances. What do you think of me? Am I involved enough at church or do I pray the right way when others are around me...do I REALLY care if someone was dying and going to hell (tormented day and night) - separated forever and ever without CHRIST. If I was real with myself and God...and I believe one day we will all have to answer for this and how we lived our lives when we were here on Earth...I would have to say for most of my so called Christian life....the answer would be NO. (I realized a few years back, that if I looked back on my years of being a Christian, I could not even count on my hand how many times that I had actually shared with someone else who Jesus Christ was and how to accept Him as your Lord and Savior). That was about 18 years of my Christian life. To put it in another perspective, that was about 157,000 hours of living day by day pursuing wordly passions or things I deemed more important...and only a few hours of sharing CHRIST...but I called myself a follower of CHRIST.
I firmly believe that we all live in a world full of DECEPTION. I firmly believe that Satan knows exactly how to try to set us all up for failure....MONEY, JOBS, BIG HOUSES, INTERNET, STOCK MARKET, LUST, RELATIONSHIPS THAT TAKE TOP PRIORITY, SPORTS...the list can go on and on. The reality is, it is not like all these things are bad in itself...but if we all stop and ask ourselves one question. WHAT CONSUMES MOST OF OUR TIME AND EACH OF OUR DAYS? For many of us, we always have a good excuse. This needs to be done, or I am so busy I have to take care of this...this person needs me or I need to work 50-60 hours a week to support and take care of my family (even though your child is begging you at home to spend more time with them).
BUT...at any moment, your life can END. All of the sudden the reality will hit for all of us on how short our time was here on Earth. I met a pastor this week and he reminded me of what Jim Elliot once stated (this is a man who was a missionary who gave his life and his time on Earth reaching many in Ecuador):
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
Put it in a different way, who cares how much wealth, material possessions, time you spent "working" and not with your family, time you spent enjoying your hobbies and not reaching others for Christ, hours you spent on the internet chatting or on Facebook....on and on and on...NONE of this is going to matter...when you take your last breath on Earth and cross over...NONE of these things that you fill your day with is going to matter...the only questions at that point is DO YOU KNOW CHRIST? DID YOU LOVE JESUS WITH ALL YOUR HEART? DID YOU FOLLOW HIM? WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO SPEND ETERNITY? (Our brains cannot even fully grasp and understand this concept of eternity. Unfortunately, we consume ourselves with the present...things that we can see with our EYES...living only for the moment). I love this illustration that Francis Chan presents on Living Eternally. The first time I saw this...my whole perspective of life changed! I love trying to show this demonstration when talking to small groups or when we have an opportunity to share our testimonies at churches. I wish the whole world would stop for 3 mintues to watch this video.
"Then the devil (the great DECEIVER), who had deceived them (all who followed worldly pleasures and things other than CHRIST), was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."- Revelation 20:10
Then as the chapter goes on...
"And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire." (tormented day and night forever and ever) - Revelation 20:15