We’ve all heard the term, and it carries quite a negative stigma.
To the average Joe it means someone was convicted of a crime, and released. To me it means something different.
Listening to the handy Voice of Prophecy Iphone app the other day I heard a sermon that [excuse the cliche] blew me away. There I was, cleaning up my kitchen after breakfast, probably only half-listening to the program until I heard the question:
If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Although paraphrased, the question is deep, and so is the feeling that runs down my spine even now when I ask myself again. It is a double-edged question. You can also ask yourself: If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be any evidence to the contrary? Ouch. For some of us, our trial would be a short one.
Try this one:
If your church was on trial for making Christians, would there be enough evidence to convict it?
These are serious questions to consider. What are we doing as Christians? Do our everyday activities reflect our conviction? Sometimes I feel like an ex-con. Meaning that once-upon-a-time I had a strong conviction and could be caught doing Christian things, but not all-the-time.
My conviction is strong at times and weak at others. My ‘rap sheet’ for Christianity can be pretty flimsy. Sometimes I can go days without doing anything “Christian”. The truth is, it’s hard sometimes to go through the day-to-day motions without the mundane routine watering down our Christian ‘rap sheet’.
Sadly, it’s true of entire churches. At least my local church is guilty of a flimsy ‘rap sheet’ from time to time, and I’m sure there are others.
The truth is, as individuals we get wrapped up in doing Christian things instead of being Christian. Churches get wrapped up in doing Christian programs instead of making Christian people. No wonder the evidence is sometimes flimsy!
When is the last time you had a conviction? When is the last time you had a revival?
I hope that everyone has had a chance to look at the new Adult Sabbath School lesson, Revival & Reformation. It’s not to say something is wrong with us or the church, but we need a revival!
We need a revival in our churches, in our homes, and in our hearts.
We need to be convicted, and the evidence of our devotions should be overwhelming!
If anyone has to wonder whether I’m a Christian or not, I hope there are plenty of individuals who can bear witness to my Christian rap sheet.