I’m not sure when or where the empowering statement arose.
“We can save lives for Christ.”
“You can save lives for Christ.”
The very statement, “for Christ,” implies that the action is something given to Christ, or in this case “someone” is given to Christ. Meaning that people are “saved for Christ” by another human being.
Jesus Is The Savior
On the surface, the statements may be just that. They may appear to be completely safe and sound. They may even appear to be justified by scripture.
But this is wrong.
We are not the second hand of God. We did not sacrifice our life to the entire world. We do not have the power or ability to forgive in the same capacity as the Great Almighty. We cannot wipe away another’s sins.
Yet, we say we “saved”. Nope. Only Christ. He and only He can do all things. Only Christ can save another’s soul from sin and from Hell! There are no mortals who have walked this earth, except the Son of God, who can do this.
We saying we “saved” another person, bear with me, derives from a selfish seed. A seed with the words written on it, “Look at what I’ve done.”
When it should say, “Look at what Christ has done.”
There is a large amount of confusion when it comes to salvation. We are all called by Christ in the Great Commission. And we are called to preach it.
Preach And Let God Be The Judge
(NIV) Mark 16:15,” He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
Notice it says preach the gospel.
No where does it say or use the word “save” when referring to Christians reaching out. Even in Matthew when the scripture says “make disciples”, that does not point to “saving”. A babe in Christ is not a disciple. Rather, a babe in Christ needs to be guided and taught how to be a disciple.
Being saved through salvation is entirely focused on the individual, not the one reaching out and preaching. The reason is because a relationship with Christ is a choice the individual must make.
And it is not a single choice alone. Every moment, every thought, every word, and every action are accountable.
A relationship with Christ is exactly that. A relationship. One for life and eternity, whether for the good or the bad. He is still Alpha and Omega whether a person chooses to believe it or not. He is still the Judge in the end.
We Cannot Pressure People
For this reason, it is detrimental to pressure anyone to have a relationship with Christ. When we pressure someone to have a relationship with Christ or make them uncomfortable (not in the sense of conviction) we are actually pushing them away.
Also, they don’t see Christ. They see a false Christ, a false prophet, which is us.
They see the flaws in us and unfortunately see/believe God to being the exact same way. After all, we are to be imitators of Christ. Right?
Jesus never once pressured people. People willingly followed Him. There were some people, who the disciples couldn’t understand, who put more faith in Jesus than the men who were chosen by Jesus.
When we are focused on acts of goodness or “righteousness” we are, in fact, stumbling. It becomes a numbers game. We might fall in priding ourselves and our “works”.
(NIV) James 2:06 “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”.
Let Faith Speak For Itself
Faith is always connected to God. Meaning anything that happens in our life related to faith is not caused by us but by the One who encourages us. Our faith is not a measure. Miracles, good things, blessings, and ways we feel God reaching out, these works come from faith.
(NIV) James 2:18 “But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.”
Many misunderstand this to be good works such as charity, helping others, etc. We are called already to do these things, and just because we do what we are called to do doesn’t mean we obtain faith through them as scripture suggests. No, we gain faith through the works that are produced by God in our relationship with Him. When God does something no one can explain.
(Example) Praying for an increase or enough money in the bank account till the next pay, and by the end of the month there is still enough to pay the bills by the grace of God. This is a work of God through our faith and relationship in Him. This act of God, this work, increases our faith in Him.
What we do in our lives and in the lives of others is not for gain. We are required to be humble for a reason. So when in fact (continually) we pressure people to go to church, to other Christian services repeatedly for the sake of them being saved, we are crossing a line.
Be aware, I’m not discussing invitations or talking about God and Christ. In fact, these aspects of our life and our relationship with God should be encouraged. But people enjoy getting to know one other. People want a reason to trust us.
Why should they when they only see consistent pushing to go to one place? We are to be the example and reflection of Jesus Christ. An offer from a stranger to go to church is not always enough.
When We Lead We Become Part Of That Person’s Life
The point I want to make clear is that as Christians we could turn the focus away from God and turn the focus to ourselves. Church is indeed a community and it is meant to be a place to strengthen and encourage.
But above all else, Christ has to be first! The Holy Spirit’s fire has to be within the foundation of community because that is all the church is. A community. What defines the community in values and mind set will define the majority of the individuals partaking in it.
Before we lead people to shepherds, we need to be aware because we could be leading potential babes in Christ, and ourselves, to a slaughter house. Because, let’s face it, there are some in the world who only care about numbers of “saved”. They won’t guide a lost soul after salvation, leaving them confused and misguided.
We ourselves can be guilty of this. If we are to push someone or (hopefully) encourage them, we put ourselves in the position of checking on them, being an example to them, and guiding them. It isn’t just about “saving”.
There is a world and relationship after someone accepts Christ, and if we were witnesses to that person getting that far, then we are accountable to God and to them. And there is a world outside of church and church services.
Do Not Forsake The Assembling Of Yourselves
We can’t make relationships with people convenient only when it is convenient when we are in church. If that’s our only time to reach out and connect, then that’s a problem.
With Jesus, it was never about what was convenient for Him in reaching out to others and strengthening His disciples. It did not occur only in one place, or once a week.
As individuals, we need to be aware and stop ourselves from being deceived by knowing the truth. If we are with Christ, He will be reflected. If we are not…
(NIV) Matthew 15:13 “He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.”
We are accountable. May we be accountable to our Lord and others!
(Can’t get enough posts? Check out my second blog Peeking Beneath)