I will never forget what Tom said to me back in 1973. I’d just become a Christian – an excited Christian. I’d discovered Jesus. I knew He’d forgiven me of every sin I had ever committed – and some of them were considerably evil.
And I made it a point to tell everyone I met about what I’d discovered in Christ – whether they wanted to hear it or not.
But I was a baby in Christ, and the Holy Spirit had lots of things yet to teach me. He used Tom and my other friends toward that end.
I had sneaked into the cafeteria line without paying for my meal. When I brought my tray to the table, Tom and my other friends joined me. I set my food tray down and bowed my head to pray over the food.
And I heard Tom snicker, “Hey, look at Maffeo. He sneaks in without paying for his food and now he prays over it.”
The three of them laughed. I wanted to crawl under the table.
Fast forward to 2021. Over the intervening years, I have known a number of Christians who, for whatever crazy rationalizations they made, lived with their girlfriend or boyfriend for years before they got married. I’ve known Christians who were called “party-animals.” I’ve known some who supported – and support – abortion through their votes for pro-abortion candidates. I’ve met Christians known for their volatile tempers, their penchant for gossip, or getting drunk.
Yet many of these same people wear Jesus-jewelry or attire, attend church each week, and take opportunities to tell others about Jesus.
But like Tom and my old friends, the people such Christians speak to have every right to snicker and laugh in their faces. They have every right to say, in effect, “Who are YOU to tell me about Christ?”
Christian, hear this. God demands of us a holy lifestyle. If we’re living in sin, then do not DARE to take the name of our Holy Jesus to others. If we choose to live as if He does not exist, don’t play the hypocrite by telling others He does.
Remember always what Jesus warned:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21-23)