I was next in line to be checked out. The lady ahead of me was wearing a huge single stone diamond ring on her hand. As I looked at it, it was actually so big that I wondered to myself if it was really real. It looked real. It sparkled like a real diamond, but there was something about the color of the stone that didn’t look right. I’m not a jeweler, but my conclusion was the stone was not real. It may have been, but to me it seemed to be fake. A “knock-off” of the real thing.
There are a lot of imitations in this world today. Maybe you have noticed. Last week, I wrote about knock-offs that are being sold in the market place. Knock-off or fake Rolex watches, fake golf clubs are a huge industry, there is fake butter (I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter), fake sugar (Equal), fake designer clothing, fake purses and handbags … you name it, there is a knock-off for about anything today.
In the book of Malachi, God tells us that those who fear Him (have respect for Him and reverence Him) are his jewels. That means we are His special treasure. I think that is pretty amazing. We are God’s special treasure. But that shouldn’t surprise us because in the book of John, we are told that “God so loved the world (us) that He gave His only Son, Jesus, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) We are so special in God’s eyes, that He allowed His own Son to die for the payment of our sins. That is way beyond any kind of love that I can understand but it tells me that we are very special to God. So special, His own Son died in our place, paid our sin debt, provided the free gift of eternal life, and once we receive His special gift, we will spend our eternity in Heaven with Him.
When the Bible tells us to believe in Jesus, it’s not a temporal or head belief, it’s a heart belief. Since the heart is the center of all human life, what God is saying to us is believe in Him with all your heart and trust what He has done for us for our salvation. It’s Christ plus nothing equals eternal life. (Jesus + nothing = eternal life.) Yet, many churches today teach you have to be a member of the church (the thief on the cross was not a member of a church) or be baptized to be saved (once again, the thief wasn’t baptized) or be a good person, or live a good life or give to the poor or do this or do that. But nowhere does God say anything, but believe and accept. Believe Jesus is the Son of God and accept Him into your heart (your very life). Salvation is a gift and it must be received. Unfortunately, many, many people continue to do things their way and when it’s all said and done, they are going to miss Heaven by 12 inches — the distance from your head to your heart.
God’s way of salvation is not a works religion, His way is a belief/faith way. You must believe and then you must receive. Fake Christians look like and talk like and act like the real thing. But God knows which ones are real and which ones are fake. (Which ones are the chaff and which ones are real.) Do not be fooled. Do not be misled. Do not be wrong in what you believe. For 25 years of my life, I believed the wrong theology. I believed what the church told me, but it wasn’t what the Bible says. The devil is very good in what he does and he is leading many people straight to the gates of hell. If you are uncertain of where you are going to spend your eternity and if you have any doubts about whether your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, please let me know. I’d be happy to talk with you. I still make house calls.
And that is Something to Think About for this week.
If you are on Facebook, you can watch our service live on Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. Simply like our Facebook page at crossroadslondon and watch.
Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.3C-Church.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.