Summary: It’s all about Jesus!
I tend to live life as if I am the action hero of this great epic that centers on me and my personal life. It’s all about me and my plans, my future, my family, my hopes, my dreams, my difficulties, my pains, my sicknesses, my church, my group, my community, etc. I know God. He’s in my life, but He’s not my life. I see Him once a week... most of the time. He’s one of many things in my life.
Church life or Christian community life is much the same. Most of the talk is about our church, our programs, our vision, our finances, our problems, our holiness, our spiritual growth, our youth group, our school, our capital campaign, our maintenance fund, etc. These are all good things for sure and need to be considered. But it is still focused on us and our wonderful life. It’s still the great self-centered epic that we have cleaned up a bit and covered over with religious trappings.
It’s not surprising that one of the most popular Christian books today is "Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential". The author is a pastor of a mega-church who says he only likes to preach about positive things. We of itching ears about OUR life, can’t get enough of that kind of talk. Bring it on pastor, we love it!
We even get converted with words like, "God has got a great plan for your life." That’s absolutely true, but it’s woefully incomplete. That keeps everything centered on me and my fantastic epic of a life. It’s been said that we are born selfish. There has even been a book written about "The Selfish Gene." Whether that is true or not, we were born in sin and it is easy to see self-centeredness in small children. The problem comes in when we never get over it and it lives on in us even after being "born again."
We recently celebrated Father’s Day. I’m willing to bet the least remembered and least appreciated Father on the planet was Our Father in heaven. I wonder how many sermons were preached about Him and gave thanks to Him. Wasn’t the day all about us wonderful fathers?
Jesus is the supposed subject of our Christianity but He tends to get lost in the shuffle. We seem to be mainly focused on us most of the time. You can go for decades without hearing much about Him. Even hearing His name mentioned is a rare event. If an alien dropped into our Christian circles from outer space, he would be hard pressed to figure out who was the leader of our band and what we’re all about. His top three guesses might be the pastor, the budget, the school, etc. It sure wouldn’t be Jesus.
I may hear Jesus say, "I never knew you."
We ask people if they know Jesus when we are evangelizing and that’s a good question. But again, the subject of that sentence is us! Me knowing Jesus. A better question to ask ourselves is: does Jesus know me? We might be surprised and shocked by the answer. There is a difference between a duty Christian and an alive Christian. A duty Christian is keeping the rules and wants to know how far he can go before he sins. His life is all about him and his great life. An alive Christian has put on Jesus Christ and his whole life is about magnifying Jesus. There is a real danger in sleep walking through Christianity keeping the rules. The danger is "I may not make the cut!" I may hear Jesus say, "I never knew you."
How can we tell if Jesus knows us? Easy! The bible says, "The Spirit himself gives witness with our spirit that we are children of God" (Ro 8:16). No witness? Then Jesus doesn’t know us! If we don’t know deep down inside us that we are without a doubt God’s child and have the peace that passes understanding about our status before Him - Look out! - He doesn’t know us! We better take steps to correct that condition pronto! We better take steps to make Him total King over all aspects of our lives both now and forever. Then the Holy Spirit will witness to us that Jesus knows us.
Other people in danger of hearing "I never knew you" are:
* Those who give intellectual agreement or assent to the gospel but not a total commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord of every aspect of life
(Mal 3:18; Jas 2:26; Mt 7:19-23)
* Those who do not profess their faith before others when necessary
* Those who are not fruitful for the Lord
(Mt 25: 28-30)
* Those who have no time for the Lord due to their busy schedules.