A dear friend of mine has been active in one of our local churches since her youth. She has taught adult Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, been on countless committees and chaired countless functions. There was a discussion one Sunday morning in our Sunday School class about salvation and the return of Christ. Despite all her years of experience and knowledge she didn’t understand this concept. She believed that “good works” and living a Christian life is enough. Another member of the class insisted he felt he was in heaven now! How disillusioned my friends are!
The very idea that this world with all its pain, illness and disease, hatred, vicious evil behavior and attitudes could come close to heaven completely blows my mind. Our world is mired in self-seeking, unethical, immoral and godless behavior. Yet, daily, people are gravitating towards all that this life, while the glitz and glitter in sins, clouds their eyes from what is real. They are totally missing the fact that only through Jesus, is heaven attained.
It’s so easy to get lost in our world. The “trappings” of our society can easily cloud our vision of eternity. Some say, “This is it! When you die, it’s over.” And with so much available in our lives with technology, new inventions and discoveries made every day through Science, many people believe they have found it all. In our human-ness we lose sight of what is most important: our faith in Jesus who died a cruel death that we may have life after death if only we believe.
Instead of relying on what God has taught us, we choose to make human plans and form traditions we follow week after week and year after year. Traditions seem to help us focus on what we need to do; and I’m not faulting traditions at all! In fact, I find them warm and comfortable. Sometimes it is traditions that bring families together when all else fails! Thanksgiving and Christmas “get togethers” for families is a good example of this.
Sometimes however, human traditions take the place of actual worship and over runs any relationship with God. We become relaxed and laid backed in our faith; “lukewarm” and unable to be productive for the Kingdom. Our faith becomes hollow and shallow without any real commitment or passion.
God talks about this in His word, and says to be lukewarm is not good at all. He wants us alert, steady, and moving forward with purpose. He wants us stepping out of our comfort zone to share His Word of love and salvation with our friends, co-workers, families and even strangers if we are led. He wants us focused on Him!
Will I see my friends from that Sunday School class in heaven someday? I don’t know. I, along with another friend, tried desperately to show them the Way. Did they accept it? Again, I don’t know. Their traditions and philosophy didn’t agree with the Bible. All I can do is pray that one day they do believe with their whole heart that Jesus Christ is the one and only way to get to heaven.
So I challenge you to reflect on your traditions. Do they interfere with your personal relationship with God? Is God first in all areas of your life?