Every Sunday countless people all over the world sit in church buildings with a false sense of security. They assume that their morality, lifelong church membership, or baptism will earn them a place in heaven. While many of these folks sincerely desire to please God, they are confused about what the Christian life is all about. They think in terms of doing rather than being. So they imitate the actions of good Christians: going to a weekly service, praying, reading the Bible, and trying to be decent people.
However, salvation is not the product of good works. We come into the world with a corrupt nature, and all our wrongdoing is born of a heart turned away from the Lord. Because we are sinful people, we sin. It's that simple. The good news is that in the salvation experience, we are given a brand-new nature (2 Cor. 5:17). Our sin is wiped away because Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for us. From the moment we trust in Him, the Holy Spirit dwells in our heart so that we can live righteously.
The world values action, but the Father prioritizes relationship--specifically a right relationship with Him. People who scurry about flaunting religiosity are missing out on the deeply satisfying and joyous intimacy between a believer and the Lord.
We can help turn others' tragic misunderstanding into triumph by being ready to explain why we have hope (1 Peter 3:15). Speak of the personal relationship with Christ that's possible when a person admits his need and trusts in the Savior. If your light shines, it reflects well on the church.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.