At church service yesterday, Pastor Tom Larmore delivered a message that really resonated with me. It was titled, “You Must be Crazy!” Living in today’s world with a Christian world-view is not easy. In fact, a friend called me several weeks ago wanting to know about this faith I have and repeatedly said she wanted to understand, but she felt it was just crazy!
In his sermon, Pastor Tom compared sports fans with Christians and the many levels that you find therein. At the most basic level, there are those who truly enjoy the sport. They catch their favorite team when they can and can hold a conversation about stats and players. At the next level, these fans make sure they block out time for the game, have friends over and post vigorously on Facebook during an exciting game. Then there are the über-dedicated fans. The ones who buy seats for the season, wear team jerseys, put their babies–and sometimes their pets, in team apparel! They are zealous about their team!
The same is true for Christians. Many go to church occasionally, feel pretty good about that and go about their weeks as usual. These might be “Believers.” Others may read their bibles and live repentant lives. These might be “Disciples.” And then there are the “Radicals.” They often go to church several times a week, do daily devotions, weave Jesus into everything they say and do. And they keep the Lord’s command by going out and spreading the Gospel.
Why do we cheer on the zealous sports fan and persecute the passionate Christian? The world often looks at Christians who truly live out their faith and say, “Wow! He’s crazy!” They wonder why we don’t look at our watch and fidget to get out of church. They wonder why we “Praise the Lord” when something wonderful comes our way and why we trust a God we do not physically see when we go through difficult times.
So there is a split in the road, in my mind, with this sermon. First, is the message to people who profess Christianity. Revelation 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.” Being a mediocre fan of the Lord is not the goal. Secondly, is the message to the unbeliever which is even more poignant.
Pastor Tom put it like this: “What’s really crazy is that you’d step out into eternity taking a chance with your soul.” I thought about that sentence over and over again for the rest of the day. I was struck by the sadness of that statement. Our souls—the part of us that can live for eternity in a heaven that is incredible beyond our broadest imagination, and so many are willing to take a gamble. To accept what other people say about salvation or to avoid the subject all together. To believe that there are many ways to salvation because it makes them feel good. I realized it’s not even a gamble. With a gamble, at least you have a small percentage of chance to win. When you gamble with your soul, it’s always a losing game. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” There’s no 50/50. Not even 80/20. It’s 100% Him and no other way. Win or lose. The idea seems crazy if you are afraid to face the truth. The choice to follow Him with passion is far from crazy because He is worthy!