Part-time ‘Christians’

A part-time employee is an employee who works less than 35 hours per week. Many employers hire part-time employees to reduce the wages and benefits that are paid on behalf of the employee. These jobs normally do not include the benefits paid to a full-time employee. They normally do not provide any retirement funds or preparation for the future when they cannot work.

A part-time Christian is much like a part-time employee. They are the ones who do not work for God full-time. They may attend church on Sunday unless they have other plans. They may even attend a Sunday school class. They are quick to say that God does not require church attendance.

Part-time Christians are always willing to critique the sermon, the singing, the temperature, the other people, their perfume, etc. In their eyes, they are the best Christians in the world. They put money in the offering plate as an investment in church control, not as an offering for God to use.

A part-time Christian reads his/her Bible only when they have a personal problem or to make a point. Their personal problems are usually someone else’s fault. They tend to find only the passages of scripture that help support their belief even when their belief is contrary to what the rest of the Bible says.

The part-time Christian is one who bashes others. They may bash the government or some person that God has ordained to be in leadership. They bash people who may believe differently than they. They are always quick to know what someone else should or should not do or how others should act. They may even bash other Christians when they are standing up for what is right. They are the people who Paul talked about in his letter to the Church at Philippi: For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:21(NIV)

In the New Testament, Matthew talks about the part-time Christians, sometimes he referred to them as ‘hypocrites’. Many times un-churched people also refer to them as hypocrites.

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:1-12(NIV)

The part-time Christian is also referred to as ‘Teachers of the Law’ or ‘Pharisees’. You will read about them in Matthew 23:13-32. Matthew says that they close the doors of` heaven in people’s faces; they travel great distances to make converts but fail to teach them Gods principles; they give a tithe but fail to show justice, mercy, and faithfulness; they look good on the outside but are a mess on the inside; they compare their lives to the prophets who die because they could have done a better job than the prophets; and they knit pick every behavior of others.

However the part-time Christian, just like the part-time employee, have no benefits. There is no plan for the future, no blessings in worship, no peace, no love, no joy, only momentary pleasure of doing it our own way. Matthew writes this about the part-time Christians: “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Matthew 23:33(NIV)

If we want to have the benefits of a full-time Christian, we must deny ourselves.

Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9:23-26(NIV)

If we want to become the person that God intended, we must be full-time Christians. And when we become the people God intended us to be, we can say with Paul, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13(NKJV)

Why settle for a part-time, Christian life when Jesus paid the price so you could have a full-time, Christian , filled with benefit such as security, assurance, peace, love, and Joy.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:6(NIV)

Jesus wants to adopt us as children and not to just be friends with His children.

He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of Godchildren born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:11-13(NIV)

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,  in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14(NIV)

Why spend a lifetime without benefits? Now is the time for you to become a full-time Christian that God planned for you to become.

 

NOTE ONE: A Christian in this article is a person who claims to have accepted God’s gift of salvation, made available through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. This salvation cannot be earned by doing good behavior. However, our behavior is a demonstration of our love for God.

NOTE TWO: All scripture used in this article was downloaded from: www.biblegateway.com, September 25, 2015.

A Modern ‘Daniel in the Lions’ Den’

This past week, Clerk Kim Davis was placed in prison because of her religious beliefs. There are Christians that believe she did the right thing and there are Christians that believe she did the wrong thing.

There are times throughout life when God asks us to stand up for Him. This is one of those times. At first glance, it would appear that the problem is about same sex marriage but under the surface, it is about religious freedom.

In the Garden of Eden, Satan used the idea of eating “just a piece of fruit”. He did not tell Adam and Eve all that would happen when they ate “just a piece of fruit”.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8-9(NIV)

Roaring lions sneak up on their prey by looking like they are part of the landscape. They want to look very plain. Any quick move will give them away. The lion roars only after he has captured his prey.

The gays and lesbians, just like the roaring lions, want their behavior to look like that of an ordinary family because they want to devour the family God established. They are not interested in know what God wants them to know. They are interested in destroying the family structure that God put in place. However, their primary goal is to destroy our religious freedom.

The Old Testament had many examples of people standing up for God. The story of Esther saving the Jewish people from total destruction and the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are illustrations of people standing up for God even when their lives were in danger. However, the story of Daniel and the lions’ den is probably the most like the story of Clerk Kim Davis and the court system.

I would like to illustrate the similarities between Daniel and Kim Davis. Let us look at the following categories: Job Evaluation, Reason, Pretense, Purpose, Enforcement, Consequences, and the Outcome.

Job Evaluation

Daniel

“Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities” Dan. 6:3(NIV)

Clerk Kim Davis

Kim Davis had an outstanding performance for 20+ years. She had been re-elected several times.

Reason

Daniel

Finally, these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.” Dan. 5:6(NIV)

Clerk Kim Davis

We will find no fault against Kim unless it we destroy her religious freedom

Pretense (Excuse)

Daniel

Daniel failed to worship the King as the accusers had requested.

Clerk Kim Davis

Kim Davis failed to issue marriage license as the accusers had requested.

Purpose

Daniel

The accusers wanted to get Daniel out of office because he believed in God.

Clerk Kim Davis

The accusers wanted to get Kim Davis out of office because she believes in God.

Response

Daniel

“…Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” Dan. 6:10(NIV)

Clerk Kim Davis

Kim Davis continued hold to her belief in God and not issue marriage license

Enforcement

Daniel

Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?…” Dan 6:11-12

Clerk Kim Davis

The accusers, who would benefit from not having Kim Davis in office, complained to people who ignored the constitutions of the United States and Kentucky.

Consequences

Daniel

“So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.” Dan 6:16-17(NIV)

Clerk Kim Davis

The Judge ordered Kim Davis to be thrown into jail.

Outcome

Daniel

19 “At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” Dan 6:19-22(NIV)

 

Clerk Kim Davis

(to be continued)

You see the outcome is still in God’s hands just the same as it was for Daniel. Whose side are you on? Are you on the side of a Loving God, or a Roaring Lion? This battle is not about our sexual orientation, it is about our religious freedom.

 

NOTE: All scripture used in this blog was downloaded from Biblegateway.com on September 6, 2015