For 12 summers now I have been involved in the leadership of multiple youth camps. I saw it every week; each time a different spin on the same story, but Dillon's struck home with me. Dillon was a pastor's kid who had never known a time apart from church. He held prominent positions across the board of his church ministry opportunities. He was a leader among teens, and respected by adults. He said all the right things, and lived his life the right way. But Dillon had a big problem. He was lost.
Gripping the back row with beads of sweat running down his face, he stared intensely at the floor. The sermon was not even about salvation, but a war was being waged in his heart and mind. When the invitation was given, as heads bowed, I saw him sneak to the front and bow at the altar's far right edge...hoping no one would see. After a few moments, I followed with my Bible ready. I kneeled down beside this body that was shaking violently, and after we exchanged stories and opened up the Scripture, Dillon accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Moments later he stood before a group of teens and said something like this: "I've fought this for years, you know....Scared out of my mind that people would judge me or mock me. I'm a preachers kid who everyone believes is saved. As a little child I made a profession of faith. I don't listen to the wrong music, I don't go to the wrong places, and all in all I thought I had it under control....But tonight I confessed my sins and have invited Jesus to be my Lord and Savior...."
That's when it hit me like a ton of bricks, and I didn't hear another word he said. All of a sudden my mind envisioned that Mark 10 passage of Scripture where stands the rich young ruler. He is inquiring of Jesus how he might inherit eternal life. In other words, "how can this thing be handed to me? (Inherit) Jesus replies with the commandments, to which the rich young ruler says, "All of these have I observed from my youth." Jesus said he lacked one thing. "....come, take up thy cross and follow me."
Dillon and this rich young ruler have a commonality with many lost "Christ followers." They have made a PROFESSION of Faith. No, not a testimony in church; rather, they have transformed their faith into a profession....a job. Professional Christians.
Real Faith is not a job title or position you hold. Real faith is not based on performance. Furthermore, salvation doesn't come from a magic prayer. Many treat faith as a job which they acquire through a professionally worded prayer application. Often, for the 1-2-3 repeat after me prayer people, serving Jesus is nothing more than routine because "it's what we are supposed to do." It's our job. (And boy, are we good at it!) We wear the uniform on the outside while doubting on the inside. We do our duties mostly for our own satisfaction, not because we're seeking the glory of God. We spout cliches, but we don't build the kingdom. We go to the church, but we are not the church. You know what Christ is? A job. An employer we clock in for and clock out of. And hopefully, if we do a good enough job, we'll get a regular paycheck of blessings.
What is salvation then?
Romans 10:9 speaks of salvation coming by way of a confession. Not to a man in a box. The word confession means so much more. To confess is to concede or acknowledge. I need a Savior. To own or admit truth. Why? Because I am a sinner. And to acknowledge one's faith in and declare adherence to. A relationship that is made public without fear. (Matthew 10:32)
There are lost people every day who live by professions of faith. Professions that are little more than a vocation that requires knowledge, who's body is engaged in an occupation. They know, do, and say the right things: a form of godliness. But deny its power because their relationship is not genuine. (2 Timothy 3:5) It is not a cross-bearing, Christ following, sell-everything, sold out life. It's still all about the act.
Are you "professing" Christ like it's your job, or are you confessing Christ because He is your life?
Why would we ever believe that a 'gospel' that lacks the power to transform and consume us here on earth would have the power to transport us to heaven? I would submit to you that Christ is Lord of all in our lives, or not at all. You don't get to clock out. You don't get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you like and don't, for we only truly believe the parts we obey. In a day of surfacey, fake, professionals...isn't it about time we gave the world something real?
If you're ready to explore THAT kind of faith....I'd love you to join me here: