One Side

Bill Brinkworth

Dirty Bum“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; …: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Imagine the following scene: An unbathed, sloppily dressed young man of about 25 years of age steps out of his battered, 1995 Ford. He curses as he slams the misfitting door. Both he and the automobile are in desperate need of physical attention.

As the young man approaches you, you detect bags under his eyes from many sleepless nights. A face that has not smiled for a long time is permanently set with a frown and furrowed brow. He sucks the last drag from a stub of a cigarette and snuffs it out under the well-worn heel of his boot. The smoke is exhaled tiredly from his chest; so that he can talk to you.

The wind slightly changes direction, and you smell his unpleasant odor. You back up a foot because he is just too close for your sense of smell to tolerate. The sickening smell of liquor is also excreting from every pore of his body. He clears his throat to talk to you, and a beer belch unashamedly blurts out.

“I’m a Christian,” he murmurs, half looking at the ground and half looking at your knee level, “and I want to tell you how you can have joy and peace. You can trust Jesus as your Saviour and have the promise of Heaven.”

You cannot believe what you are hearing! This sad specimen of humanity is telling you the way to Heaven and how to have peace and joy. It appears he needs help more than you. You cannot stand it anymore, and start laughing. The laugh becomes an uncontrollable belly-laugh. This is one of the funniest things you have ever heard or seen.

I am sure that you realize that this “make-believe” character is a bad example of one who claims to represent the Lord Jesus Christ. He claims to be a member of the winning side, but lives, eats, sleeps, talks, and appears like the losing side. Although, one has to be careful of judging others, you certainly discerned that he was putting on a “false-front.” He appears not to be practicing what he says he believes.

Many people display similar behavior. They say they are Christians, but their lives certainly are not any kind of testimony for the King.

Despite popular opinion, there are only two sides: the Lord’s and the ungodly crowd, Satan’s. There are no in-betweens. It is easy to say that you are a Christian, but your life reflects what is more important to you. The Bible also says in II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” If you really are a Christian, there will be a change in you. You certainly will not be perfect, but you will be different. If there are not any changes in your life, chances are you are not saved!

When Christ truly saves you, and comes into your life, He will help you turn from the sin in which you have been involved. The godly and the ungodly can not dwell together. One part of you has to go!

Also, when you are saved, there should be a new interest to feed the living, spiritual part of you. It is fed only by the Word of God, the Bible. A person that says he is a Christian, but has no interest in reading or hearing the Word of God, is showing others around him that something is not spiritually right.

When I knock on doors, and invite people to be saved, or to come to church, I hear many times, “Oh, I don’t want to go to church, it’s filled with hypocrites.” I realize they are referring to many they have heard claim they are Christians, but do not live a godly lifestyle. People are always watching how a believer lives.

The “fictitious” character I illustrated previously, is not so “fictitious.” I am sure one of them, is reading this article. If you are one, I urge you to realize you must choose one side. Either you are for God or you are against him. Many saved people, although truly saved, are doing much harm to the cause of Christ by their ungodly lifestyle.

If you are not saved, you must believe that Jesus died on the cross of Calvary for your sins and believe that He rose again (Romans 10:9). If you are saved, live a Christ-like lifestyle as the title “Christian” implies. Develop a consistent prayer life, fellowship with God’s people and live as a Christian should. Make it clear to those that observe your life whose side you are on!

 

This article was featured in The Bible View #130.

This article was also posted on www.DevotionsFromTheBible.com.

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