by Donald Mehl 9/24/2006 / Christian Living
Hmmm . . . , ‘Covert Christianity’? Do you notice something strange about those words? I know that I do because when combined, they obviously form an oxymoron. The words ‘covert’ and ‘Christianity’ are contradictory and therefore, simply cannot be used together.
I believe there are many people today who call themselves Christians, but are living covertly with their claimed ‘Christianity’. They choose to be unseen, inconspicuous and not openly engaged in sharing their faith. Many others have become lukewarm, complacent and content to only show up for church on Sunday morning. Moreover, God is not uppermost in their thoughts and lives each day during the week.
If these folks were asked to tell of the last time they shared Jesus’ gospel message of salvation with someone, most of them would not be able to remember the time. In fact, it’s likely that many of them have never done that. Also, those same people probably don’t have a daily prayer time with the Lord, nor do they study and find comfort in His written Word each day. They just don’t have a personal relationship with Him. Perhaps they have never truly met Jesus at the cross, repented of their sins and have never deliberately invited Him into their heart as the Savior and the Lord of their life.
In John 8:12, Jesus declared that He is the Light of the world and whoever follows Him will have the light of life. The apostle Paul tells us in Eph. 5:8 that true believers are light in the Lord and must walk as children of Light. Jesus commands us to let our light shine before men as written in John 5:16.
Is the Light of the Lord shining brightly from within you for all to see and hear? Do you freely express your faith with others openly and verbally, or is it kept hidden from view? However, the Bible also teaches that all visible good works done without having your salvation secured by faith alone through Jesus’ finished work on the cross are all worthless in the sight of God.
Also, Jesus said in Matt. 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”
Salt has some amazing qualities in that it not only preserves and creates thirst, but it also cleanses. Followers of Christ must be filled with the salt giving power of the Word of God. However, if the spiritual salt in our life loses its flavor, then our witness for the Lord becomes worthless and ineffective. Also, a lukewarm nature is clearly nauseous to God and does not have a place in the body of believers. Rev. 3:15,16 says, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.”
In Matt. 4:19 Jesus said, “Come, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men”. Notice here that He was not saying that we ‘can be’, or ‘might be’, or ‘should be’ fishers of men. He was saying we ‘will be’ fishers of men – after we answer His call to follow Him by becoming born again believers.
Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” He warns in Matt. 10:38 that those who do not take their cross and follow after Him are not worthy of Him. Also, in Luke 14:27 He provides another warning that anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Him cannot be His disciple.
We have other additional promises and warnings from Jesus in Matt. 10:32 & 33, “Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. But whoever disowns Me before men, I will disown him before My Father in heaven.” Likewise in Luke 9:26 Jesus said if anyone is ashamed of Him and His words, He will be ashamed of them before the Father in heaven.
All born again believers are not only part of a larger ministry, but each is called to proclaim the gospel ‘in season and out of season (2 Tim. 4:2)’, wherever we are in this unbelieving world. Are we doing that? Do we watch for and respond to witnessing opportunities? The Bible says in Matt.7:20 that all true believers will be known by their fruits. Do we have a burden and ministry to reach out to our lost family, friends and those we associate with each day? If not, then perhaps we have not followed Him because we do not truly belong to Him.
If you have never completely turned your life over to Him, then you need to know that God loves us, His creation, so much that He provided a plan of salvation for all who would choose to accept it. In John 3:16, we learn that God sent His Son Jesus to shed His blood on the cross in our place so that whoever believes might have eternal life. He paid the full penalty for all our sins on that cross. His free gift is offered to us, but it will not be ours until we reach out by faith alone to receive it. To claim that gift, we must realize we are lost sinners and need the Savior in our life. We must understand what He did for us and humbly confess our sins before Him. We must ask His forgiveness for our sins and truly repent of our sinful ways. Then, we need to invite Jesus into our heart and life as our Savior and Lord. Only then can we truly live for Him with all our heart and soul.
The very moment we consciously and deliberately do that, scripture tells us we become born again as new creature in Christ and then, all things become as new. We will learn to pray and find comfort in His Word. He will be our strength and shield as well as our friend forever when we put our complete faith and trust in Him.
Jesus gave His life for us on the cross. What will we choose to do with Him and for Him? Scripturally, ‘Covert Christianity’ is simply not possible. Will we step out in faith and obedience to share and proclaim the matchless Name of Jesus with those who are searching for Him? We must take all scripture very seriously. It is the duty of every Bible believing Christian to plant the seeds of faith. If our heart is right with the Lord, then we will joyfully serve Him as He commands with confidence, thanksgiving and praise.
During retirement, my prayer is that I might serve the Lord by sharing the Gospel through my writing. As the Lord leads, my work will inform, challenge and encourage. I also enjoy Biblical theme woodcarving, Bible studies and Christian music. Watch, pray and keep looking up!