Originally Posted by BamaGrits84
I don't know why this has been on my heart so much lately, but I am starting to pondered if a lot of people who say they are Christians actually understands what that means. I hear so many people say the believe in God and accepting Jesus as their Savior is the only way to heaven, but I can't help but wonder if they actually believe in Jesus with their heart. I think if you have Jesus in your heart you suffer from conviction when you sin. You detest sin, you suffer remorse when you sin, and you desire deeply to remove it from your life. Do you think anyone who truely has Jesus in them could be any other way? I hear so many people say "I know it is wrong, but..." The "but" kills me if it is not followed by how they are trying to removed the sin. I know none of us are perfect, but I think it is the desire to be pleasing to the Lord that pulls at my heart so much. It just makes me wonder when I see someone living in a way that displays their lack conviction for their sin that makes me wonder the content of their hearts. I guess I wonder if people falsely believe they are saved because their actions do not reflect Jesus in their hearts.
First of I'm glad that you feel this way. I think the burden and conviction you feel is evidence of your own maturity in Christ and desire to draw closer to Him. I think what you're speaking of is "Cultural" Christianity. From what I've seen so far living in FL it's pretty prevalent in the South. Lot's of people claim to be Christians because they go to church on Sunday, own a Bible or think they are "good people". None of this makes them a Christian and none of it will ensure them eternal life.
I can't tell you how many times I've been disappointed in people who call themselves Christians then behave in a way that completely contradicts scripture.
Unfortunately I also couldn't begin to tell you how often I've been that person.
Therein lies the problem.
Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"
This verse not only points out the need for Salvation of all mankind but it unfortunately illustrates our continued battle
with sin even once we are saved. I think what's difficult though is seeing Christians who don't seem to be "battling" their sin at all.
Consider the words of Paul in Romans 7
Rom 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
Rom 7:16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.
Rom 7:17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
Rom 7:18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. [fn] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
Rom 7:19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
His frustration is evident.. he's at war with his sinful nature and clearly frustrated by it
. I think that is what separates those that call them selves "Christians" from those who are truly
pursing a passionate relationship with Jesus Christ. We hate our sin.. we're frustrated (not defeated) with our continued struggle with it. We want to draw nearer to Him more than we want to submit to our own flesh.
I'm a devoted and passionate Pittsburgh Steelers fan. This year, like every year we are in the Super Bowl "fans" of the Steelers come out of the woodwork. Me??? I've always been a fan. Win or lose. And I always will be. I didn't enjoy this years Super Bowl (not just because we lost) because I was surrouned by casual fans of the Steelers. Fans who couldn't tell you the last time we were in the Super Bowl and had no idea who the Rooney's were. It drove me nuts. I love the Steelers. I truly do, and I want to surround myself not with casual fans but fans that share my devotion, passion and pride. Now follow me here.........................
It's the same way with my faith. I don't want to surround myself with casual Christians. I don't routinely break bread with members of the C&E club. I want to be surrounded by believers who share my same passion and pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I pray for my fellow believers and help and encourage them when able but my inner circle is filled with people who I share that common bond with.
For your own spiritual growth I encourage you to do the same. When the Holy Spirit puts a burden on your heart for believers who don't share your conviction or passion for Christ use that as an opportunity to pray for them. But surround yourself with like minded believers. Push each other and encourage each other as you all grow deeper in your relationship with the Lord.