“Well, at least they’re going to church.” For what reason, do you believe it makes you holier, does it show that you at least recognize there is a God, maybe that’s where He sits and waits for you each week, while you spend the rest of your time concerned with other pursuits, your job, your family, what’s new on the internet or on the television tonight. Busy life, He should see just how much effort I put out just to be there on Sunday morning. My continuing appearing shows that not only I believe in God, but that I care enough to show up, to take time out of my busy schedule, it’s one of the surest ways to prove I’m a Christian, to others and myself.
“Well, at least they are reading their Bible, occasionally.” It’s a good book, it helps me a lot sometimes, makes me feel a little better when I’m having a tough day, I don’t necessarily believe everything in it, some of the stories are kind of wild and crazy, but it makes me feel better at times. I don’t read it often, maybe I should more, but I’m pretty busy, work, the family, I’ve got a lot to do, and I’m sure God understands.
“Well, at least I tell people about Jesus.” Actually, not really, I say things like, “That’s in God’s hands” or “If that’s what the good Lord wants,” stuff like that, I really don’t feel comfortable asking people if they have a personal relationship with Christ, it just seems a little pushy to come right out and ask them if they have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord, besides, I don’t feel called or prompted to do that, if they want to know about Him, I usually just invite them to church, it’s not really my responsibility.
“Well, at least I don’t drink, cuss or swear, I am always polite and kind, I have a clean haircut and dress appropriately.” If people see me at my best all the time, if I watch my language, try to be polite and kind to everyone, well then, most people will just assume I’m a Christian, they see me going to church, they have heard me say, “Praise God” and “It’s in His will,” I live pretty much a good, clean life, keep my place up, what more would God expect than that.
Close enough is not good enough, not with the Most High, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” (John 15:10) Not some of them because you feel obligated to, not some of them because it makes you feel better, not some because it assists you in feeling a little less ashamed. “Well, we will just have to see what the good Lord has in store” is not close enough, “Who do you say Jesus is and what are you going to do with Him,” that is.
We do not speak to others about Christ because we do not feel prompted to at the moment, we do not ask others if they know Him and serve Him as Lord because we do not want to seem pushy, that it’s really not our business, we do not do these works that we have been commanded to do because we are ashamed of Him, because we do not love Him enough to perform even the most basic of tasks. These truths are self-evident, and if you fall into these, “well, at least” categories, then you are not far from the kingdom, (Mark 12:34) but you will not be entering into it.
Faith requires action, love is an action, it is not hiding behind the false pretenses of emotions, the world says close enough is good enough, God does not. Going to church, memorizing Scripture verses, saying the words, “Praise God” does not make you a born-again believer, if you will not confess His name in front of others, than He will not profess yours in front of the Father, Christ’s words, not mine. (Matt. 10:33) Perhaps it is time to stop deceiving yourself, perhaps it’s time to stop feeling like a Christian and start behaving like one, perhaps it’s time to stop saying, “Well, at least.” Close enough is not good enough with God, close enough will find your soul in hell. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” (Romans 1:16)