I am listening to the audiobook, "Crazy Love". Wow, it is sure convicting! Francis Chan has hit it right on the mark in so many different ways. Here are a couple things he said that took courage to say - but speak to the heart of so many different problems with "Christianity" in America. Since I am listening to the audiobook, this is a paraphrase...
In speaking of the parable of the sower, Francis Chan said that WE SHOULD NOT ASSUME THAT WE ARE THE GOOD SOIL.
Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Mark 4:1-8
He also pointed out that the term "lukewarm Christian" is misleading. There is no such thing as a lukewarm Christian. If you are being spat out of the mouth of Christ, you are not His follower.
To the Church in Laodicea - Revelation 3:14-22
“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
If this describes you, pay attention to the solution - open your eyes. Repent. Open the door and let Jesus in.And then Francis Chan asked this question. If you could have this Earth, without any tears or pain, without heartache, without sin, without the decay and a life filled with only good things, but without Jesus, would you take it? So if you could have all the benefits of heaven without Jesus - would that be OK? Or would that be a devastating thought? Is the reason you want to go to heaven for the "stuff" or because you truly love Jesus and want to spend eternity with Him?
Oh this question just broke my heart for Jesus! He suffered and died for us and I believe there are so many that feel this way - and I am convicted that sometime I have acted this way. I pray that God would increase my love for Him and open my eyes when He is not my focus. I love Jesus and pray that I never make Him feel differently!