It’s Tuesday, and I’m sitting here in a sixth-grade class at Conestoga Elementary watching kids rack their brains, trying to remember who discovered America in 1842. Or was that 1492? Wait a minute, was it America or some Caribbean Island yet to be named? Oh well, it doesn’t matter because they’ll all pass, move on to High School, graduate and then get a good paying job. And at that point who really cares if Christopher Columbus discovered America or if he visited some Cuban outpost? You could always google the answer. Right? But as I sit here watching the kids, I’m wondering: which ones believe in God, which ones talk to God or read the Bible, and the ones who do pray, who are they praying to? Do these kids have any understanding of who Jesus is and what He has done for them? These are all questions that run through my brain.
And then I have another thought. What can you tell about a person simply by looking at them? Well not much. You don’t really know what a person feels or believes until you speak to them. For example, suppose you have a friend (a good friend) who you spend time with on occasion. This friend speaks often of her involvement in her church and about the service she does, and all about her friends in her Sunday School class. However, after all these years you also notice that she never shares anything about her own relationship with Christ, or the time she spends in the word. This lady probably doesn’t talk about a personal relationship with Christ because she probably doesn’t have one.
Jesus ran into this problem often, especially when he was talking to those people who loved their church and bragged about all the service they did. Jesus’ reply to them was straightforward: “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers.”(Matthew 7:21-23)
People like that need to be evangelized. They need to hear that doing the will of God doesn’t involve casting out demons, or serving in the church, or even singing in the choir (as lovely as that would be) but doing the will of God involves being obedient to Him, it means confessing your sins and asking for forgiveness that only He can give. Isn’t it ironic that we say we wish we could be missionaries, but we can’t because God hasn’t called us to a foreign country and therefore, we’re off the hook? And yet almost every day we talk to people who have a form of godliness but in reality, they are dead in their sins. So do me a favor, the next time you take that walk with your neighbor, remember, you can show them how much you love them by sharing the greatest love story in history.