What Does it Take?
As a preacher and concerned Christian, I ask myself this question a lot. I wish I would never have to ask it or that the day would come where the thought ceased to cross my mind. This question pertains to the fact that many people just don’t feel the need to get to know God. They don’t see the necessity in making their lives right with God and building their faith. They don’t see it a priority to worship God and if they do, they don’t want to truly worship him in the right way. I often speak to people who speak of going to religious services as if they were captives in a bank robbery. They may go simply because their tired of hearing their parents or grandparents nag them about God and religion. They may go because they feel guilty about something they did and once they get the resolution they were hoping for, they return to their former deeds.
These issues are all symptoms of a much larger problem: Stubborn and hard hearts! Many people have already decided at some point in their lives, that God and religion will not be a part of who they are. No matter what they hear or who comes their way, they just will not break even if it means saving their souls and the soul of their loved ones. As a preacher I see people in the audience that don’t want to be there. I see people who are only there because someone else forced them to be there. I speak to people whose desire is simply to get through the 2 hours of worship we set aside as if it was some painful, annoying procedure we just can’t wait to get over with. What if we did this with all the other things that dominate our life? What if we decided that family and friends will not be a part of who we are? Entertainment, sports, recreation and vacation time would not be a part of who we are and no matter who or what came our way to try and change our minds we would not give in.
Well I think you understand most people would not accept that. They would lose their minds and all form of sanity would go out the door. Consider that we watch ads and all kinds of commercials on TV and the internet and we are immediately persuaded to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on something we may not even remotely need. Yet, there are people willing to put themselves deep in debt for a perishable product, service or whatever it might be. God’s word is free and it is completely accessible to anyone for no cost. It requires nothing except effort, a willing heart and a thirsty soul to serve God and worship Him.
What if God had the same kind of attitude we so often have? Where would we be? If God made up His mind that He would not give us food, oxygen, rain/sunshine, health, family, friends etc. that no matter how hard we pleaded with Him and how much we worshipped Him He would not budge then we would not be here today! We would not even exist. When was the last time you woke up and had to fight someone for the oxygen you breathe? When was the last time you woke up and you had to worry about making sure the sun rose and the rain fell? NEVER! These are the very essentials God blesses us with every day and these things we take for granted every day. We wake up and we know it will be there because it has always been there. And yet our attitude towards God and the way we repay Him for all He has done for us is to spit in His face (figuratively) and say we will not serve Him or even spend 4 hours of our week worshipping Him.
If we struggle and can’t even spend 4 hours of our week serving God and participating whole-heartedly in worship and encouragement of our brethren, do you think something will just drastically change when you die? I mean Heaven is all about worshipping God and being in His presence with the saints and those who constantly praise Him. If we have no interest doing that while we have the opportunities here on this earth, we better not expect it will suddenly happen after we die. Everybody wants to go to Heaven. A lot of people believe they will go to Heaven but on what basis do they come to that conclusion? That they did absolutely nothing here on this earth for their neighbor and that they pretended to love God even though they never wanted to roll out of bed on Sunday to worship Him? If that is what we believe, then we are in for a rude awakening. Indeed, we will be overwhelmed with shame and fear on judgment day if we think that kind of life and attitude will get us to Heaven.
We find so many excuses not to love God and worship Him. We find so many scapegoats so we don’t have to be at bible study or a gathering to encourage brethren and to grow in the faith. We don’t seem to find excuses not to go on vacation or go to the movies or stay at home and binge watch Netflix. Is Hollywood going to judge us for our actions or is God? What does it take for someone to change their life?
I have pondered this question for some time and I believe the answer lies with each and every soul. I have known people who have changed because of a major catastrophe in their life. A close call with death is often a major wake up call to what truly matters in life. It’s a big mistake to gamble with your life and think you will get a wakeup call and then and only then you will decide to turn to God. Some people don’t get that opportunity. Life is so fragile. We can be here today but dead tomorrow. Should we really risk our souls hoping we have more time?
The truth is until you are willing to cleanse your heart and rid yourself of all that stubbornness and hardness then you will never change and you will never see Heaven. I don’t want to sound harsh but I want to motivate you to listen to God before it’s too late. Your soul is too valuable for you to be wasting time on things that will lead nowhere. Open the bible and read for yourself what it takes. Believe me, it’s not a lot. God gives us so many chances and so many good things and we would be fools to waste our opportunities.
Don’t worship God because somebody else is forcing you. Don’t serve God because you’re looking for some temporary solution from Him. Serve God because you choose to and because you have cultivated a heart that loves Him. What does it take for someone to be saved? It’s really not that hard (Acts 2:38) but you have to be willing to change your life for good and commit your heart to Him! If you still haven’t decided to change then I pray God will give you time and I pray you too will see how much He can do for you and that this world has nothing to offer you beside pan and death. Be saved from this evil and perverse generation before it’s too late!