A young Christians was working as a clerk in a country store. The husband and wife owners of the country store were Christians. They were also members of a small, very rural congregation. One day she was ‘flustered’ as she planned a trip. This trip was a rare visit with relatives in a city for a weekend. She was anxious because she did not have a hat. In those days a woman commonly wore a hat to church as an act of faith. Several times that day she was talking out loud to herself about what she should do. Times were difficult and buying a hat just to wear to church in the city for on Sunday was unreasonably expensive. But, attending a city church where she would be the only woman without a hat was unthinkable. Finally, she talked to her husband about her dilemma. The young Christian just listened. Then, with resignation, she said, ‘Well, you know what the Bible says: ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ The young Christian neither had the courage nor the heart to ask where the Bible said that.
How well do you know your Bible? Do you understand things better today than you did last year: The Work of God? The will of God? God’s purposes in your life? God’s objective in our world? God’s purposes and work in Jesus Christ? God’s purposes and work in the Holy Spirit? If you made a list of the spiritual realities that you understand better today than you did fifteen years ago, how long would your list be? If you made a list of spiritual realities in which your understanding had made zero change in the last fifteen years, how long would that list be?
We have sanctioned the great divorce. We have divorced real life from church life, and church life is not necessarily spiritual life. Real life behavior is for our everyday, real world. Church life behavior is primarily for Sundays, with a few exceptions. But do not mix those two behaviors; they are not in relationship. We endorse an unbiblical conviction: the system saves. If you do the right things to plug into the spiritual system, if you remain a part of the system, the system will save you. Faith in the Savior does not save; relationship with God does not save; the system saves. We declare that the foundation of true faithfulness is determined by issues and position, not an understanding of Jesus Christ and the Scriptures. Too often Christians determine the ‘faithfulness’ of other Christians by asking: ‘Where do you stand on…?’ Too seldom is faithfulness determined by devotion to and service for Jesus Christ.
In Jeremiah 10, Jeremiah told the nation of Judah that their ignorance guaranteed their destruction. He said every man is ignorant and devoid of knowledge (10:14). If God sent a prophet like Jeremiah in our midst today, what would he tell us? Things to think about as we start the New Year. Take advantage of our Bible classes and sermons this year. All of them.” This article was written by Richard O’Connor and taken from the Betta-View Hills church of Christ bulletin.
Let us notice, in more detail some points in this article. Not all people sanction this “great divorce” that is discussed. Some might but not all for sure. Some do divide their lives into three departments. One is their real life: this is the life of every day and yes, it is a life from Monday through Saturday. This can be seen in many people’s lives and heard as they talk day by day. There is a lady know personally by the writer of this part of this article that one could go to in this city and hear the kind of talk. She would talk about drinking and doing all kinds of things during the week, but come Sunday, she was right there in the midst of her church life. She and her husband taught Sunday school! Yes, in their life there was a divorce from the real life and church life. One wonders how many in the Lord’s church do the same things. Does your real life differ from your church life, if so, why? They both ought to be the same kind of life. We need to be practicing what we are preaching and if we are not why not?
But mentioned is made of a spiritual life. Is this a different life than the church life or the real life? To some, the answer may be answered in the positive, but how can this be? How can spiritual life be different from church life? To some their spiritual life may be more like spiritualism rather than anything else. Do we really think things like the “Ghost whisper” can really take place? Should that be different than what we think of our church life? No, not really. All three of these lives ought to one and the same and not different entities in our lives.
This then is the point of the article. Do you know enough Bible to make the connection between all three lives? Do want to please God so much that you are willing to do what He says each and every day of our life? On the Judgment Day, Christ will not judge us by three different styles and then decide which one won so that He will know where we will be for eternity. 2 Corinthians 5:10 states: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive then things done in his body, according to that he had done, whether it be good or bad.” We must know what God’s Word says and we will be accountable for that. Then we must make application to and in our lives so that when that Great Day comes we will hear: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…” (Matthew 25:21, 23). This is why it is important to take advantage of every opportunity that the elders give us to know what God would have us to do, not only to be saved but also to keep on being saved! It is not once saved always saved, but is it always striving to keep the Will of God. As Paul said, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).