A young man goes to church. He’s never heard much of God, nor has he cared, but he goes because Hell is scary and it has taken root in his thoughts.
He sits in a pew near the back and still feels the eyes of the preacher boring into his skin; I am a sinner.
At the end of the sermon, the young man sits in a daze while the perfect people file out of the sanctuary. His eyes are blank, almost trance-like and his mind is fixated on what it means to be a sinner and the idea of pits in hell. He is scared.
When the sanctuary is mostly empty, he forces himself to walk the aisle to the front; to find someone to get him out of Hell.
He finds someone holding a Bible, expresses his fear and then they’re on their knees and he’s saying a prayer – a prayer that is foreign to him, but will apparently keep him from Hell. This is good, he thinks.
No Change or Changed Forever
When it’s done, he feels at peace. The thoughts of Hell diminish. He thanks the man who led him in prayer and leaves the sanctuary, thinking nothing more of God and what it means to follow Him.
There is a section of Christians that would have us believe that this is all it takes. A thirty second prayer on a random Sunday and your ticket to Heaven is punched. You are a Christian because you’ve said the prayer.
David Platt, author of Radical and pastor of Brookhills Church, Alabama, reminds us that this is not how it worked with Jesus. Jesus did not lead his disciples in a prayer and then go back to the way they were. He said two words that forever changed their lives:
The call to follow Jesus is not simply an invitation to pray a prayer; it’s a summons to lose your life and to find new life in him. David Platt's 'Follow Me' book, DVD Based Small Group Study and Audio Book helps you discover what such a life actually looks like.
Article written by Eric Siewert, International Client Manager for Tyndale House Publishers.
May 17th, 2013 - Posted & Written by The Editor