There are in my opinion two types of Christians in this world. There are the talkers and the walkers or the doers and the sayers. Let me clarify this for a moment. I have been blogging for a few years now on matters about Christianity and I have come across all kinds of so called believers. Apparently there as many interpretations of the scriptures as there are believers that puts those interpretations into the millions. We have those that try to live the gospel and apply its principles to their lives and those that do so hypocritically. The latter are the ones this post is primarily referring to. These are our adored and beloved cherry pickers.
It is because of verses like the one cited above that many believers think that salvation is a free gift and that it does not require any effort on your part as a believer to maintain your salvation. It is my intent to clarify this position once and for all. I'm sure there will be those (mostly the cherry pickers) who will disagree with me but I could care less.
The very first step towards receiving the so called free gift of God (salvation) is clearly stated over and over again throughout the Old and New Testament. It is repentance and what does God (we will speak as if he exists) mean by repentance?
To be sorry for sin as morally evil, and to seek forgiveness; to cease to love and practice sin.
To feel regret or sorrow; -- used reflexively. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."
Taking our definition into consideration and the fact that John the baptist and Jesus himself called people to repentance implies that you have to acknowledge that you are in sin and in need of salvation. That the life that you have been living is not pleasing nor in accordance to the will of God. The most important part of the twelve steps to recovery outlined in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is admitting that you have a problem with alcohol. In similar fashion the sinner must also admit his need for redemption.
The next step is believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead and has forgiven you of your sins and redeemed you through the shedding of his blood.
8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Many lazy believers take verse nine to mean that works are not necessary to insure your salvation. The truth of the matter is that you are saved by faith according to the scriptures but at the same time the Bible clearly teaches that faith is not enough.First of all repenting of your sins implies feeling regret, but one sign of that repentance is through not doing it again. For instance if I was a drug dealer and repented of my sins and accepted Christ as my Lord and savior, then I would have to quit drug dealing since I realize that it is wrong and destroys other human lives.
1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Romans 6:1-2
9No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 1 John 3:9
The true sign of repentance is the outward display of it which is made evident through ones active participation in changing his or her ways. This brings to mind the story of the demoniac of the Gerasenes as told in Mark 5:1-20 This man supposedly was possessed of a legion of demons when he encountered Christ. For those of you who don't know Easton's Bible Dictionary defines a legion as: "A regiment of the Roman army, the number of men composing which differed at different times. It originally consisted of three thousand men, but in the time of Christ consisted of six thousand, exclusive of horsemen, who were in number a tenth of the foot-men. The word is used to express simply a great multitude." So according to this dictionary a legion consisted of about 6,000 men of the Roman army at the time of Christ!
The story claims that this man used to live in tombs and that no one was strong enough to subdue him or bind him with chains because he would break the chains! He would often howl and cut himself with stones and quite frankly by today's standards he would have been considered completely insane. But when Jesus delivers this man from demon possession he then looks and acts normal once again. Here is the part the lazy Christian needs to pay particular attention to since I know that some of you for the most part suffer from reading comprehension issues. The man asked Jesus if he could accompany him and Jesus refused to let him come with him. Instead he sent him to the town.
18As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed. Mark 5:18-20
Why did the people marvel? Because they knew who this man was and knew or believed that he was demon possessed or insane. Yet here he was proclaiming what God had done for him through Christ not just with his words but with his personal experience and life as a testimony for all to see.
20You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?
24You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
You see my lazy believers? Faith without works is dead! No cherry picking or denial of what these texts say will free you from the obvious: that if you are a lazy Christian, you are a hypocrite. Don't just talk the talk, walk the walk. Salvation may be a free gift of God, but you still have to work at keeping it.
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.10Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-11
Note: All biblical citations are taken from the New International Version of the scriptures. All other sources have been linked to.