A few weeks ago, I was flipping through the pages of Crazy Love by Francis Chan, looking for a quote that I was wanting to use in an upcoming sermon. This book is a favorite of mine, but I have to admit, it’s been about five years since I’ve set down and read it in its entirety. As I was flipping through the pages, I eventually found the quote I was looking for, but I came across another that struck me hard. I posted this quote on my Facebook page and said that I would write more about it at a later time. Well, it’s about a month later, but this quote is what I want to talk about in my newsletter article this month. So, let’s start with the quote. Francis Chan states;
“Lukewarm people feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America. Just as the prophets of the Old Testament warned Israel that they were not safe just because they lived in the land of Israel, so we are not safe just because we wear the label “Christian” or because some people persist in calling us a “Christian” nation.”
Before I go any further, this is not intended to be a political debate. Honestly, I think that our relationship with Christ is far more important than any political holdings we could ever have. So, for the purposes of this article, I don’t care what voting tendencies you have. What I am concerned about is the growing statements by religious people around this country wanting the USA to become a “Christian” nation once again. I grew up thinking that we were a Christian nation, and that my Christianity and my patriotism was the same thing. Don’t get me wrong, I still love this country and am very patriotic, but I have come to realize that, if I let it, that can become my religion instead of actually following Christ.
What am I trying to get at? It doesn’t really matter if the USA is a “Christian” nation. Just like it didn’t really matter that the Jews lived in the land of Israel. It matters what we do and what’s in our hearts. We aren’t safe just because we say we believe in God. James warns that even the demons believe that there is one God, and they shudder. (James 2:19)
To borrow from our current sermon series, we need to WAKE UP and fall deeply, truly in love with God. We can’t go on being lukewarm in what we believe. And that is exactly what we are doing when we claim we want America to be a “Christian” nation again, because we think that makes us safe. We need to take personal responsibility for our relationship with Christ. Jesus warns what will happen if we stay lukewarm in our faith for too long. In Revelation 3, to the church in Laodicea, Christ warns about their lukewarmness. I’ll let you look up the whole section, for sake of space, Revelation 3:14-22. But just for reference, here is Revelation 3:15-16, which states; “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Do I want America to come back to God? YES! But more importantly, I want to see as many individuals come to God on fire, not lukewarm. That is my desire above anything else, finding truly, completely, on fire lovers of God that can sweep across this nation, bringing others the good news of Christ! That’s the cry of my heart this Easter, and it starts with us, individually deciding what type of relationship we want with Christ. “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14) God Bless.