‘Sunday’ Christianity is, perhaps, one of the most dangerous kinds of religion (at least for it’s followers). That’s because we have completely and utterly deceived ourselves that we are A-Okay with the big man upstairs. We go to church like good little girls and boys and play by the rules. We are generally ‘good’ and ‘kind’ people and people like us. We even have a list of accomplished deeds to show to the maker. At the very least, we are better than those ‘other people’.
SO we pat ourselves on the back and assure one another that we are headed straight to the gold paved streets of Heaven. Yay us!!
Yet, Jesus has some pretty harsh words for those of us who live our lives in, what He deems, a ‘lukewarm’ state – those of who only do enough to get by, those of us who give outward appearances of Christianity but have no life fruit on the vine to prove it, those of us who talk the talk about kindness on Sunday and turn our nose up at our struggling neighbor or that very annoying coworker on Monday, those of us who haven’t picked up a Bible or said a real prayer outside the four walls of a church in years, those of us who plaster our God resume (and thus our egos) with a slathering of good deeds instead of giving the glory to the One who deserves all glory.
He says it’s not enough. He tells us that one day we will knock on His holy door to gain entrance to the feast, displaying our carefully created trifold foam-board of Sunday visits and do-goods which we performed in ‘His name’, and that He will not let us in – because He does not KNOW us. We are strangers to Him.
Those carefully manipulated pictures of our relationship with God, He says, are photoshopped – big fat fakes. Kind of like those ones I post on Facebook of my kids all getting along. The people on the inside…well, they see right through that junk. So does Jesus.
In fact, those who partake in a mindset of half-hearted, Sunday Christianity are called out as the church of Laodicea. Jesus tells us that He will ‘vomit’ us out of His mouth for it. Vomit is a really strong word. I mean, as far as I can tell, it means those folks, quite literally, make Him sick, and he harshly rejects our lukewarm religion and Sunday ideology.
Ouch. Talk about ripping the band-aid off. Jesus drops mic.
On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness. Matthew 7:22-23
You see, it’s not the work of our hands, the well-placed public hallelujahs, or our butt print on a pew that gains us favor in the eyes of the Lord, but rather a softened heart that loves and pursues Him with fervor and passion. Daily.
We don’t have to be perfect; we just have to mean it. He hates fake.
He wants our hearts first and foremost. The rest is just stuff. Relationship with Him is the ONLY key that unlocks the door to His kingdom. Warming a seat and checking the ‘I fed the homeless’ box doesn’t cut it. In fact, we just might be in the very real danger of falsely convincing ourselves that it does [cut it]. Don’t get me wrong…we should do those things – because we love Him fiercely; however, we do not love Him fiercely because we do those things.
I can’t help but wonder how many of us will still be sitting here staring dumbfounded at the door that Jesus just slammed in our faces when the day of knocking arrives. It’s a scary thought.
Man, that’s hard stuff. Who really wants to think on that? No one, especially the church as a whole – and that’s a big problem. Way too often the church likes to skim over the stuff the congregation doesn’t like so much and move on to the part where we get new shiny, pain-free bodies (I mean, YES please!) and a lifetime supply of manna (which I am convinced tastes like pizza). I guess hard truth doesn’t fill seats, and empty seats don’t fill tithing baskets, eh? However, we are doing our brothers and sisters in Christ a huge disservice by skimming over it and acting like it’s not a thing. Because it is a thing – one that matters immensely to our eternal standings.
I think it’s the hard stuff that we had better start wrestling with and chewing on with some serious urgency – alone, as a family, as a church body – before we,or someone we love, stands there staring bewildered at a closed door, wondering why.
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelations 3:15-16
Beautifully brokenly yours,