Talented people make difficult things look easy. That sports star you watch, the books you may read, actors on the big screen all make what is for most a very difficult task look like child’s play. Granted, many have practiced their trade for years, studying from those who have come before them, spending countless hours training their minds and bodies to perform feats that most of us will never attempt. The dedication required to perform these feats is just as impressive as the action itself, thousands of hours of practice just to perform one singular act, the mind must be trained as well as the body. These individuals can summon their talents at will, what they were not born with they have honed into a fine craft, they have become machine like in their precision, they are for lack of a better description, driven individuals.
The majority of us sit in the stands or turn on our televisions and marvel at what these individuals can accomplish, and many times it is our desire to emulate them. Sadly though, most lack the dedication required, their time they have decided to allot to other endeavors, and although they may be somewhat proficient in those tasks, they will never receive worldwide recognition for their pursuits. But think here on their longevity, how many can name the stars from one hundred years ago, or one thousand, all those lives spent in the ardent and fervent pursuit of that which will not last, which will find no place of honor in the eternal. Great men and their deeds are forgotten over time, they knew the praise of men only, their selfish ambitions were for self-fulfillment and self-recognition, and we follow after them year after year.
Most people sit in the stands, as it were, most people throughout time always have, they are onlookers, not participants, not doers of the word, but hearers only. (James 1:22) Those who will not try will never fail, and those who will never try will never know the rewards of success. The greatest rewards we can know as born-again believers are those times that we fail, for each time we know that what we are attempting to do is worth the effort. The greatest evangelist never brought every single person he met to Christ, the most enabled missionary knew failure at every turn, but they found joy in these trials and tribulations, they found peace at the feet of the Savior who was there every time to pick them up, to encourage them, to give them strength to try again.
A just cause is reason enough to try, if one-tenth of the individuals who have given their lives to Jesus Christ would spend just one-tenth of the effort that they spend in pursuit of the things of the world on their pursuit of Christ instead, the world would be a much different place. But alas, most have determined to at best just be spectators, listening but never really hearing, feeling but never really doing, they leave the work of soul winning to others, Scriptural studies are replaced with worldly pursuits, their lives are spent in patient anticipation, waiting for someone to tell them what to do, hoping that no one ever does.
They are neither cold nor hot, (Rev. 3:15) their ambition level for the pursuit of Christ is at nearly zero, they fulfill only the most minor of obligations, and still believe they should receive the same rewards that those who are on the playing field constantly will receive. These individuals believe themselves to be saved because they congregate with the children of God, they believe they also are assured a place in God’s eternal kingdom because they associate with the chosen. They are aware of the work they are to be doing, but the effort is too much, they will not keep their eyes on the prize that is Christ, their view is temporal, not eternal.
You cannot study to show yourself approved if you do not pick up your Bible and study it, you cannot reap rewards if you do not participate, and no treasure awaits anyone who does not strive for the mark. (Phil. 3:14) Your participation is required, salvation is a gift, it cannot be earned, but far too many are deceiving themselves in the assured knowledge that they have even received this greatest of gifts. Your fruits are what show the world you are truly saved, your efforts are required, there is no such thing as a passive Christian.