I‘ve never understood why people make being a Christian so difficult. It must be the devil’s way of keeping his flock, by scaring people away from faith. When I first started a personal relationship with Christ in 1994, I was immediately bombarded with lots of “good advice”, on the order of “you need to do this” or “you need to stop doing that.”
Oh Ye of Little Faith!
I now realize that other people worrying about my salvation was a problem of theirs, and not mine. If only I had known, I would have avoided a lot of guilt. (see sidebar on Guilt).
Here are Seven (and a half) things to help you use Jesus’s “Easy Button”
The corrollary to that is that others’ salvation is NOT your business. I can find no verse in the bible that says you are to worry about others being saved. A lot of the guilt and difficulties I see between Christians comes from this error.
I can’t find a verse anywhere in the bible that says “you MUST join a church.” I can’t even find a verse that says you must have water poured over your head! Indeed, the interpretation of the word “baptism” is open to a lot of discussion. But back to the point, you can be a Christian without joining a big church, or indeed any church.
Guilt comes from two places: The Enemy and conviction by the Spirit. Most of what new Christians feel is from their fellow Christians, and that is from the bad guy. The Holy Spirit convicts, yes, but that’s a personal thing.
Jesus said “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit unto his stature?” (Matt 6:27) I believe worrying is a sin. Sin is defined as doing anything that is not of God. God does not want you to worry. He sent Jesus for that reason. Because He died and rose again, we will all die and rise again. Worrying will not change that.
A sad but true statement. Many people are in the “religion” business for the money. It may not be a majority, but there are enough to make the whole system look bad. One of my biggest peeves with large churches is the burden they place on themselves with payrolls, upkeep, building loans, TV shows etc that can turn the focus away from the message. Guilt is a favorite tool of the devil, and some big churches use it for monetary gain. You don’t have to give money to the church, either. It’s your option. II Cor 9:7 says “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, but it’s your option. You should do your due diligence before giving away your money to a charity also.
You are only concerned with your sin. If you want to deal with someone else’s sin you are treading in dangerous waters. Don’t you have enough to deal with already? Take care of yourself, and let others take care of themselves if possible.
The greatest gift God has given to us is Grace, and this comes through his Son. Romans 10:9 says “That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.” That’s all there is to it. Once you do this you are forgiven. Done. For all sins; past, present AND future.
Romans 3:10 says “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” Sin doesn’t just magically leave your life. However, you are now forgiven for it, forever, and that makes all the difference. That doesn’t mean sin can’t hurt you. On the contrary, sin has definite and sometimes immediate consequences in your life. This life. It is forgiven for the next life, but not forgotten for this one. It’s a good thing to avoid when possible, and you should take steps to avoid it every day, but don’t expect to be 100% successful. You won’t.
And one bonus tidbit:
Really. I’m proof. I am not a registered republican. I drive an electric car. I ride a bicycle. I actually thought there were some good parts to Obamacare. Unfortunately some very vocal conservative Christians are doing the devil’s work and drawing attention to negative things. It’s supposed to be easy. It is easy. Leave it to God. Leave it all to Him. Mind your own business, your own sin, and your own relationship with Jesus. The rest will take care of itself. It will.
All scripture quotes from NKJV