Are You Serious?
He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. – 1 John 2:4
I sometimes wonder how serious I am about being a Christ follower. As John approached the end of his life, it is obvious in this epistle that he does not mind just laying it all out there. He flat out says, “if the way that you live doesn’t match what you say you believe, your are a liar and there is no way that Christ lives in you.”
That’s convicting. It is convicting for me because sometimes I let my emotions get the better of me. I say things I wish I could take back. I do things that I immediately regret. Sometimes I immediately catch it and repent. Other times, it takes a while. I read verses like 1 John 2:4 and begin to wonder what is wrong with me.
I think about other people who say they are Christians and don’t take the commands of God seriously. The first couple of verses in Luke 17 talks about how a person is better off being tied to a huge rock and thrown into the sea rather than live a deceitful life that causes others to stumble in their walk with God. Those are the words of Jesus. I know too many people who say they are Christians, but live like Hell. They plan the next affair, know they will sneak to look at the pornography late at night, know they will lie, know they will cheat, know they will get drunk, and know they will cuss it up when they get around their buddies.
“Don’t judge me, Adam! Only God can judge me!”
It sounds like He is. We act like God will only judge us at the end of our lives, but I think He is giving us a chance by pre-judging us now. There will be no trick questions on our end-of-life exam. He says right there in His word, “If you claim to know me, but don’t keep my commandments, you are a liar . . . you don’t really know me.”
I was watching this old episode of Degrassi Junior High, a “cutting edge” public television show from the 80’s. In it, there was a funeral. A kid named Derek “Wheels” Wheeler had just lost both of his parents to a car accident. Up until this point in the show, which is the second episode of the third season, there had been not one instance of God, Jesus, the Bible, or anything like that. All of a sudden, at the funeral, the Bible was quoted, Jesus Christ is petitioned, and prayers are offered in hopes of eternal security for the lost loved ones as well as a chance to see them again.
All of a sudden, everyone was serious. All of a sudden, the stupidity of sneaking around, sleeping around, lying, bullying, cheating, being deceitful . . . it all took a back seat and everyone got a good look at their own fate . . . death. It waits for all of us, drawing nearer and nearer with each passing hour and each breath we take. We know not the day or hour, but death just sits there and waits. Our time eventually runs out. At that moment, only one question will matter . . .
Did you know the Lord Jesus Christ?
It doesn’t matter if you say you know Him. John saw people who said they knew Him, but through their actions proved otherwise. I see them today. You do too. However, the most important question of all is this: Do you know Him? If the answer is yes, is there anything that you consistently say or do that might lead another person to believe that you are not the Christian you say you are? If that answer is yes, repent and ask God to help you live a life that truly honors Him.
Lord, I have to confess that there are moments when I know people would look at me and say, “That guy is a Christian? A preacher?” Please help me God! I want nothing more than to know you. I want nothing more than to live a life that really honors you. Please help what I say and what I do to be consistent with each other. At the end of my life, I pray that nobody is wondering if I was saved or where I am. I want them to say, “That guy didn’t just say He knew God . . . He knew God!”