I accepted Christ as a young girl, but only out of fear of going to Hell, not out of any real love for Him. My best friend at the time explained that now that I was a Christian, my sins were gone. Well, it only took until the next fight I had with my mother to realize my sins were right where I had left them, so in my nine year old wisdom I concluded that Jesus passed me by.
That was the beginning of what would become the central focus of my life. Figuring out what I need to do to get God to let me into Heaven. And thirty years later, I can say with some conviction that I have absolutely no idea what God expects from me. I am more confused than I ever was about who Jesus is and what it means to be a Christian.
Jesus said that all we have to do is love God and love our neighbor. If that’s all it takes then I can do that whether I am a Christian or not. But Jesus also said that nobody comes to the Father except through Him. This is where it gets tricky. Do we need Jesus to be saved? And who decides which among us has Jesus in their hearts?
Lil Wayne, a rapper, who sings ‘colorful’ lyrics has a Bible verse tattooed on his back. He sings of open Bibles on his nightstands. It would appear that he has reached out to God, and yet many would suggest he is not a Christian. Why? Because he still struggles with this life? Even Paul, probably the greatest Christian who ever lived, struggled with sin. He spoke of it often, he was terribly distressed by his actions at times and yet I would be hard pressed to find someone claim that Paul is not in Heaven with Jesus. So lack of sin doesn’t seem to be the determining factor.
When the rich man asked Jesus what to do to get into Heaven, Jesus told him to sell all his possessions. One look at the lives of prosperity preachers like Joel Osteen would suggest that they skipped over that verse. So much for blessed are the poor.
The more I seek God the more questions I have so I tell myself to just have faith, believe and trust in what I cannot see. Yet, Thomas doubted Jesus right up until he could actually feel the scars on his resurrected body, and Jesus did not condemn him.
Figuring out God is not an easy task, and while I have many opinions, I have no answers. But that does not deter me from continuing to seek Him and His kingdom first, and hope that from that, good things will come.