ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN ONLY ON SUNDAYS?
This is a sermon about being transparent and real. In some countries like the United States it is quite common to go to church on Sundays. In other countries it might be dangerous to gather around the name of Jesus. They might be punished by being sent to prison or even being killed in the worst cases. I am not going to write primarily about these, but about those loving God with lifted hands, praising Him on Sundays, but living a very different life during the other six days of the week.
Jesus was transparent and we are supposed to live like Him. I have many times been touched by speakers on the pulpit. They have given a message that I have received and made my own. I have gotten to know some of these preachers and that have led to joy, but also disappointments. I remember a well-known prophetic woman that I met last year in Rome. I got to know her and her husband. I told her that I admired her, not for her gifts even if she was very accurate in prophesying. I have to say that she always gave God the honor. Gifts are given and we must always remember that. We cannot take any credit for it. What I admired was their character. We are the ones choosing to be formed and die to our flesh by The Holy Spirit. I heard about people wanting to manipulate her gifts. One time she was asked to prophesy over those giving most money. Others wanted her to prophesy over those in high positions in the church or at a conference. She answered these expectations by saying: “I prophesy over those the Lord points out to me.” Many people are afraid and think they will be rejected if they say no. We Christians cannot be ruled by fear, but by The Holy Spirit. I seriously believe that the Lord can come to the root of a problem and He can heal and deliver us from fear. This woman was secure in God and secure in herself. God was number One in her life and she was not ruled by fear of men. She did things that showed her faith in a big God. She leaned on The Holy Spirit and was always ready to give a word. She was the same on the pulpit, at breakfast-table and in the car to a meeting.
I knew another woman. She travelled around the world and people were saved, filled with The Holy Spirit, healed and restored through her ministry. She could also come with corrections. I sensed a strong presence of the Lord at her meetings and there was no doubt that she was a mighty tool in the hands of Good. When she wasn’t in ministry she was not an easy person. She could be quite demanding, she had a sharp tongue and many people refused to socialize with her. Some people were seeking her for her anointing. I got quite close to this woman and God had asked me to help her. She was really different on the pulpit and in private life. The fact was that she was not healed in her soul and she had a lot of problems with her body.
Paul’s letter to those in Rome and those in Galatia, is saying that we should walk in the Spirit. One of these women walked mostly in the Spirit both on the pulpit and as a private person, the other on the pulpit, but not privately. We are supposed to renew our mind and our new-born nature should more and more take over. That is a life-long process.
I have a daughter working in economy. She has cried sometimes when she returned from a meeting in church. In church she saw people raising their hands towards God, praying and praising Him with a loud voice. She knew that some of these people were dishonest when it came to money matters and they had no desire to change. I had no idea who they were, but she got a deep sorrow. I know of well- known pastors lying when they sell houses or other valuable things. The purpose is to cheat in order to get more money. Are they only Christians on the pulpit on Sundays? I know that it might take a life to build a complete Jesus character, but our flesh should be dead. We have received a new nature. I know a former Muslim who hated Israel before he was born-again. As soon as he became a Christian, he got a love for Israel. He had received the nature of Christ. “The old has passed away, see everything is new.” Since the nature of God has moved into our spirit, we are able to react like Jesus on the pulpit as well as in everyday situations. I would recommend you to ask Him how He would react in different situations. If you don’t get a clear answer, think about Jesus and try to remember what He did in different situations. When you do that, you turn your focus away from your feelings and thoughts and your focus is Him and not you. He is the beginning and the end.
I am so happy that Jesus wasn’t a Sunday Christian or Saturday Christian. The Jews celebrated the seventh day of the week on a Saturday. They still do that. He was always ready to heal and do good deeds, no matter when or where. He was always ready.
You must not think that I only write to you. I am also writing to myself. How Christian am I when I am driving? Can people in the store see Jesus in me? What do I do with the beggars? What do I do with all the needs in my own country or all the terrible situations in other countries? What does Jesus that I should do? Should I pray? Should I give some money? Should I travel some place to help, maybe practically or with teaching or knowledge? Should I preach? I believe that everybody should do something, but no one should do everything.
My daughter prays especially for people to be healed. She prays for people in church, but even more outside the church. She prays for beggars and friends. It doesn’t make any difference who they are or where they are. She recently prayed for a man at the gas station. Jesus died for everybody and He carried all our sicknesses. He doesn’t exclude anybody. Everybody doesn’t want to be prayed for and we should never force ourselves on anybody. God doesn’t do that and nor should we.
We do not go to church in order to be seen, but to praise our Lord and to worship together with our sisters and brothers in the faith. We are coming together in order to build our faith and quite often we celebrate communion together as well. The Ten Commandments are saying that we should keep the Sabbath day holy. It is set aside in order to worship God and it is also set aside for us to rest from our daily duties. The Bible is also saying that we should not stay away when the Christians are gathering together. We belong to something much bigger than ourselves. We belong to a big family. I will definitely encourage you to come when your church is meeting. What I do want to emphasize is that we should be the same no matter where we are and whom we meet.
Do you only eat food on Sundays? I do not think you do. Then you need to eat the Word of God every day. Most of us eat food more than once a day. We need to read the Word of God daily in order to function as a Christian. The Word is meant to encourage us and comfort us. It gives us direction for living. Through the Word we get to know the Lord and His deeds. The Word is also full of promises that we can cling to daily. Some og you are saying that you do not have the time, but that’s a lie. The Word of God is not your first priority. You should make a change in your priorities.
Jesus didn’t appreciate the religious leaders of His time. I seriously do not believe that He appreciate the religious leaders of today either. They based their lives on rules and regulations, but Jesus called them hypocrites. If we live one life on Sundays and another one on the other six days, we are also to be called hypocrites. It might look nice on the outside, but we might have wrong motives and far from a clean heart. I call it “a surface-Christianity.”
BE TRUE AND HONEST SEVEN DAYS A WEEK!