This post is for my Christian readers…
One of the reasons I love to read Keith Green’s No Compromise is that it is incredibly challenging. Keith never shied away from admitting his own failings and he wouldn’t allow other people to hide behind theirs either.
The rich young ruler came to Jesus, and Jesus said, “You still lack something. Go away. I can’t take you right now.” Who today would say, “I’m sorry, brother, I can’t lead you in the sinner’s prayer. You’ve gotta give up your dope, your selfishness, your love of possessions, your clinginess to family and friends – and your life”? Aren’t you a little disappointed at how Jesus handled such a sinner? Didn’t the Lord know how to lead a soul to himself?
The requirement for salvation is not just a prayer. The requirement is an open, totally empty heart that’s ready to be full of Jesus Christ. After saying the sinner’s prayer, if in a few months your friends can’t tell that you’re born again, if your relatives can’t see a change in you, if your teacher can’t see that you’re a Christian, you’re probably not.
Because let me tell you something, when someone’s born again they get excited! It changes the way they live, what they do, how they speak, how they act, what they do with their money, their cars, their girlfriends- it’s all different!
The rich man from the Bible passage was holding onto his wealth too tightly and he valued it more highly than his salvation. The above passages (from Keith) I read yesterday and this morning I read Isaiah chapter 6 and can’t help but feel the parallel. Isaiah has a vision in which he sees an incredible scene from heaven. Isaiah recorded,
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
Isaiah knows he’s not good enough to be in the presence of a holy God. Like mud tracked in over new white carpet he’s really out-of-place and could be in a lot of trouble.
Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips, your guilt is taken away and your sin is atoned for.”
Isaiah knew his guilt and admitted it, the attitude of his heart recognising that God was holy (perfect, worthy of all praise) and that he was not. God (through the angel) took away his guilt.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here I am. Send me!”
Then, Isaiah – newly minted and free from guilt – hears that God is looking for someone to do something for Him. “Pick me!” Isaiah cries. Someone who is thankful, who has been given much, is eager to give back.
Take it away Keith:
If you want Jesus Christ to completely take over your life, you’re willing to die for him, give him every possession, every friend, every loved one, every plan, every hope, every dream. You’re willing to give it all up if necessary. I’m not saying that’s what he wants you to do, but you are willing. … Jesus Christ is not your Savior unless he’s the Lord of your life, and Lord means he owns and controls—lock, stock, and barrel—your destiny, your future, and your present.