What if you signed up for the military but did not show up for boot camp? Or how about if you showed up, but were insubordinate and refused to participate? What if you made it through boot camp, but refused to go on any missions or deployments… basically refused to serve however your commanders saw fit? What would happen? (And what if everyone who signed up was like that?)
What if you were hired for a job, but you refused to work? Or maybe you decided you would just show when you felt like it, wouldn’t call in, and wouldn’t answer calls from the office? Would you expect to keep your job? (And what if everyone who was hired worked like that?)
What if you were a student, but you never went to class? Refused to take notes, study, take tests, etc.? Would you expect to pass and get a degree? (And what if everyone who went to school studied like that?)
What if you were a husband (or a wife) and decided that after you got married, you would continue to pursue other people? Or only go home when you felt like it? Would it affect your marriage? (And what if everyone who got married acted like that?)
What if you were a parent and decided that raising your kids was just too difficult and time consuming, so you just checked out (either emotionally or physically) and let someone else take care of it? Would it make a difference to your kids? (And what if everyone who had children did the same?)
Now, what if you were the commander, the employer, the teacher, the spouse, or the child of such a one? Would you be satisfied with this sort of lack of commitment? I doubt it. What are some things you might hear (or have heard) people who shirk their responsibilities and obligations like that called? And yet, our society is filled – FILLED – with people who call themselves Christians, but who show the same lack of commitment, lack of respect, lack of reverence, and lack of obedience as every one of the examples above. They do not show up for service, they reject every form of training, they selfishly pursue their own interests, have no desire for knowledge, reject the house of the bridegroom, and live in adultery rather than in covenant… they do not obey, listen to, or desire to hear the voice of the Lord. They may claim to belong to God with their words, but everything about their life testifies against them.
What do you say to such a one? If you truly belong to the Lord and are in covenant with Him, you will live like it. You will not live selfishly to yourself, a heart full of vain conceit – NO! You will live for the very God who gave you life if you have any understanding at all. You will read your Bible, repent over sin, pray to your Father, talk about Christ, live in the body that our Lord gave His life for, renounce worldly things, despise evil, and cry bitter tears for the lost and the dead that surround you. If you are not doing these consistently, then you should have no confidence that you belong to Him at all. If you are not living your life for Him, you have no assurance that His death was for you.
I do not say these things judgmentally, but beloved I urge you as the apostles of old urged that with fear and trembling you examine yourself before the Lord and judge yourself rightly before you stand before the living God in judgment. Examine yourself to see if you are in the faith. And is not the conduct the more telling declaration that shows someone to be a soldier, a teacher, a spouse, a worker? Why should you think any differently about your conduct in Christ? If you find that the truth is not in you, throw yourself upon Christ and weep and wail for His mercy. For if you do not have that, you do not have anything.