7/23/17 Meghan and Chris early 20's
While reaching out with the Gospel, I met a young couple with a simple faith that I found refreshing. I had met Meghan and Chris on the sidewalk, asking about their views on what happens after we die. Both said they believe that some people go to heaven, while others go to hell, so I asked what it is that determines who goes where. Instead of the typical assumption that “good people” go to heaven, they both simply said “The people who go to heaven are those who believe in Jesus”. No doubts, no apologies for being too exclusive, just a simple straightforward belief in Jesus as Savior.
But, like many, their simple faith lacked a few things. They had little to no biblical knowledge, little understanding of the Gospel beyond “Jesus saves’, little to no church involvement. And, judging from their demeanor, their bodily adornments, and the circumstance of when and where I met them, they were very much caught up in the ways of the world swirling around them.
The impression I got was that, although they related to Jesus as Savior, they really didn’t know how to relate to Him as their Lord. Yet He is both, and to relate to one aspect of Jesus without the other is to relate to an imaginary Jesus.
So must Jesus be Lord of our lives as soon as He is Savior? Didn’t He teach that we will be able to identify who the true believers are by their fruits? Yes and no, I believe. If we take His analogy a little further, we know that fruit doesn’t appear and mature overnight.
Near the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus made an interesting statement to his disciples. “If you love me, keep my commands”. The disciples had the advantage of 3 years of training and close fellowship with Jesus. They should know this simple, logical truth, yet they needed to be taught and reminded that the only appropriate response to Jesus as Savior is to obey Him as Lord.
Meghan and Chris were at a place I once was in my simple faith. They understood Jesus as savior, but were never really challenged to obey Him in response. They had grown up in a formal and very traditional church that had not emphasized the benefits of Bible study, church fellowship, and personally relating to Jesus and to God as our Heavenly Father.
There is so much more to Christianity than eternal security. The Kingdom of Heaven happens when we are in a right relationship with God our Father through Jesus our Savior. That right relationship with God can and should begin here, now. It begins with Jesus as our Savior, and grows as we relate to Him as our Lord.