Once upon a time you could tell a Christian from someone who was not.   A Christian was positive, usually had a smile on their face, and a kind word no matter what their circumstances were.  They were absolutely upright in everything they did.  But these days, Christians seem to be going “undercover”, blending in so well with non-Christians that it is becoming hard to know the difference.  Driving down the road yesterday, at the posted speed limit, I saw a car fly by me so fast I could barely read the “Follow me to church” bumper sticker as they disappeared in the distance.  Wow! I guess they couldn’t wait to get to church…..

What happened to personal integrity among Christians?  That incident was not an isolated incident, either.  People worry more about “fitting in” than they do “pleasing God”, and that bothers me.  If ANYONE should be obeying the laws of the land, it is Christians.  I’ve ridden with Christians who drive like everyone else does, well over the speed limit, and it bothers me and makes me wonder what other “compromises” they have going on in their lives.  Am I judging them?  No, that isn’t my job, I’m just concerned what they will tell the LORD when they appear before Him to give account for their lives.

As a Pastor, I have a responsibility to point people in the direction of the Word of God, and an even bigger responsibility to BE an example of God’s Word before them.  Years ago, the LORD told me, “If you’re going to be my representative, you will obey the laws of the land, including the speed limit.”  Well, I’ve always enjoyed the fast lane, fast motorcycles, fast cars, fast food, fast……  well, you get the idea.  You don’t know how hard it is for a person like that to drive the speed limit when everyone else isn’t.  The common excuse is, “Everyone ELSE is doing it….”  Well, if everyone else is breaking the law, does that give YOU an excuse to do it?  I don’t have to give account for them, but I do have to give account for ME.

It is written in Romans 13:1-10,
13 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

I’d like for you to think about something; driving over the speed limit is putting yourself and others in danger, is that “loving your neighbor”?  or is it just “loving yourself” and being a law unto yourself?  Now in case you think I’m just picking on speeders, I’m not.  ANYONE who claims to be a Christian should be living as one, and there should be NO area of compromise in any area of their lives, whether in speech or action.  We are SUPPOSED to be representing Christ Jesus by our lives.  Many say they would DIE for Jesus, but yet they won’t LIVE for Him day in and day out.

Anyone who names Jesus as Lord and Savior should be living a life that looks just like His.  Once upon a time, that was just the way it was.  There was no doubt who followed Jesus and who didn’t.  Can others look at how you live and KNOW you are a follower of Jesus?  If they can’t, then you need to be aware of the following verses in Matthew 7:13-23;

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

That word “INIQUITY” translated out of the Greek means: 1. the condition of without law; a. because of being ignorant of it,  b. because of violating it  2. Contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness, unrighteousness. Lawlessness.

So, if you are a Christian, you have no excuse for ignorance what is good and what is bad because you have or should be reading the Word of God, which is the plumb line for what your life should be.  Notice the severity of God here, for although we have grace available, there is no grace for disregard and contempt for God’s Word.  Though you say Lord, Lord, lip service is cheap.  Obedience is the only condition for the true man or woman of God.  He will not judge you for what you have not yet learned, but rather for what you do know and what you’re doing with it.

I look at myself and ask, Can others see Jesus in me? If they can’t, then I need to bring myself into line with the Word of God.  After all, I want to hear Jesus tell me, “Well done, good and faithful servant”, as I’m sure you do, too.  If I’m telling you it’s ok to live like non-Christians do, being a law unto themselves, then I’m not only doing YOU a disservice, but the LORD as well.  Grace is a “safety net” for when you’re trying to do the will of God and you accidently slip.  There is a huge difference between a “safety net” and a “trampoline”.  Which are you on?  Those living in grace will HEAR “well done”.  Those living on the trampoline will BE “well done”, know what I mean?

Once upon a time, it was easy to tell who loves Jesus and who doesn’t.  I think we need to bring those days back again, don’t YOU?  And we can do it by being shining examples of Christ Jesus.  Many have told me they want to preach the Gospel but just don’t know how to get started.  Here’s how:  LIVE THE GOSPEL!  BE THE GOSPEL!   Will you join me?