Have you ever asked yourself this question? It is a valid consideration in the wake of the recent tragedy in Oregon, where a gunman reportedly targeted Christians as he shot and killed ten people on a college campus.
It was just a few months ago that a gunman attended a prayer service at a church, before taking the lives of nine people including the pastor in Charleston South Carolina. Most never consider the possibility that in America we could be asked to give our life if we claim to be a Christian, but unfortunately we are seeing many examples where this seems to be the case.
If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
It seems that the lines have become blurred and too often the church looks like the world. There is a large gray area between the white and the black. Maybe you could refer to it as “being on the fence”. Another way to look at it is being hot, cold, or lukewarm. When speaking to the church at Laodicea, we read that lukewarm, gray, or fence-sitting is the least desired place to be.
Revelations 3:15-16 NASU
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”
I believe as a Christian I am to be red hot – all in – and a brightly shining light that points those who are lost toward salvation. I am also to be a light to those who have lost their way. Perhaps life has brought pain, loss, disappointment, and disillusionment, and the end result is a dark place of hopelessness and/or depression.
Recently I saw this as an image of a person being on a harness and lowered into a dark place. If we have the love of God in us, we need to go into those dark places to offer light to illuminate the path out for others. Many choose to look the other way. It is easier to walk past that dark place than to go in after someone.
Have you ever been in a pitch black place where you can’t even see your hand in front of your face? Your vision is gone and it can be a fearful time. I am reminded of the first time my husband decided to take me a new place deer hunting. We walked into the woods of this farm I was unfamiliar with before daylight. He guided me to the tree I was to stand by and left to go to his own stand. It wasn’t long after he was gone that the darkness began to envelop me. I didn’t know where I was or how to get out, my only hope was to wait for daylight. The dark places many find themselves in spiritually, is more like a cave, and daylight will never come to them. They need someone to be that light and to go in after them.
We read in Matthew 5:14-16 NASU
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
How can we be this light if we are undercover? An undercover agent blends in with those he is trying to bring to justice. I have read stories where those agents who go into deep undercover work for long periods of time can often lose their true identity. It can be the same for the lukewarm Christian.
Ask yourself some challenging questions today.
- If I were in that horrible situation and asked with a gun to my head if I was a Christian, how would I respond?
- Am I blending in with the world?
- Have I allowed compromise to make me lose my true identity in Christ?
- If I am an “all in” Christian, who can I help lead out of darkness?
John 8:12 NASU
“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”