There are two camps among those who claim to be Christian. But very often one of those two camps doesn’t see any difference between themselves and the other camp. They might even feel like the first camp is just splitting hairs. When I think of these two camps, I think they are very much like the difference between those who live together and those who are married.
I bet if you asked Oprah and Angelina Jolie if they love their respective partners as much as any wife loves her husband, they would resolutely say, “Yes!” (Of course, the tabloids tell a different story, but we won’t go there!) And if you asked these two women if their lives with their partners look the same as other couples who are married, they would offer another resounding, “Yes!” At all outward appearances the two appear practically the same, but there are significant differences.
I’m not trying to debate the issue of living together versus marriage in this post. But perhaps this analogy correlates with the two Christian camps I referred to earlier, “those who live with Jesus” and “those who are married to Him.” Let’s compare:
|Live with Jesus||Married to Jesus|
|Profess to be Christian||Profess to be Christian|
|Go to church||Go to church|
|Do good deeds||Do good deeds|
|Have a moral code that they may or may not live by||Have a moral code that they may or may not live by|
|Compare themselves to the morally bankrupt and believe that they are superior||Compare themselves to God and recognize that they “fall short” of His glory and perfection|
|Hope their good will outweigh their bad when they die||Trust in and receive God’s “gift” of salvation, knowing it is not earned by good works|
|Empowered by willpower||Empowered by the Holy Spirit|
In the list above, there are many striking similarities between the two camps. But even more obvious are the differences. These are the differences that are worlds apart eternally.
If after reading through the list you wonder if you’ve simply been “living with Jesus,” I challenge you to read the following scriptures: John 3:16, Romans, 3:22-24, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9-10, Ephesians 2:8, and 1 John 1:8-9, Rev. 3:20.
And if you feel that you want more than just a casual commitment to Christ, then simply pray through the following:
- Acknowledge to God that you want to know Jesus as your Lord, Savior.
- Admit to Him that you are a sinner.
- Be willing to turn from your sins (repent) and to give Him free access to your life.
- Believe in your heart and mind that Jesus is the Son of God—that He died on the cross for you and was raised back to life.
- Accept His free gift of salvation and invite Him into your life.
- Thank Him for forgiving you and coming into your life.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20 (NIV)