A few years ago, with the “magic” of the check-in button on Facebook, I “checked in to” Cancun, Mexico. A few hours later, I checked into Germany. Then Switzerland and England, and then finally home. It was quicker and less expensive than actually going there, and for the first two or three check-ins, people actually believed that I was where I said I was, all because of the “check-in” feature of Facebook. (I had to private message a few people and let them know what I was doing, but there are still probably some who read my posts and actually believe I am still in Germany right now, even though I’m right here in London, Ohio.)
It was an experiment just to see what people believed and how they would react. It also proves that you cannot believe everything you read on Facebook. (There are some people that believe if you read it on Facebook, it has to be true.)
In everyday life, you hear people say different things, and maybe you are skeptical like I am. I hear people tell me all the time, “We’ll see you in church on Sunday, pastor.” I tell them “I’ll be there.” But many times, Sunday rolls around and they don’t show up. Or, people will tell you the money they borrowed from you will be paid back by an agreed date. The time comes and goes and they still owe you the money. Or, someone says they will do something for you and then you wind up doing it for yourself. It’s not always that people can’t be taken for face-value … sometimes they just forget what they said.
Do you know, that when God says something, He means it? Everything in the Bible is there for a reason. Everything. Nothing is in there to take up space or make the lines come out even. God means everything He says. For instance, God says He will bless us. However, there is a condition that we have to put Him first in our lives. God says He will hear our prayers, and heal our land but we must turn from our evil and wicked ways and repent and seek Him. So many times there is a promise made from God, but it’s based on a response from us.
The one thing God tells everyone is that “if” we call upon Him, He will save us. (Romans 10:9-13) Yet, there are many people who believe if they are good people, go to church, practice the Golden Rule, pay their tithes, are baptized, are a confirmed member of the church or a thousand and 12 other things … they will spend their eternity in Heaven. Wrong. Once again, somebody else may have told you that but God didn’t. God tells us we must be “born again.” (John 3:1-7; Romans 10:9-13; I. John 5:13) Born again means telling God we agree with Him that we are sinners. Realizing that Jesus was born to die for our sins (we need a Savior) and actually accepting the free gift of salvation. (Just like you reach out and receive a Christmas gift, you reach out and take or receive the gift of eternal life for yourself.) You have to do it for you. No one else can do it for you.
Don’t believe everything you hear. Don’t believe everything someone else says. Don’t believe what you read and see on Facebook. But you can believe God’s Word. It is true. And you can believe it. Merry Christmas.
And that is Something to Think About for this week.
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 Book of Life, please let me know, I’d be happy to talk with you.
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 email@example.com or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.