We sell the best and service the rest
Have you ever seen this expression on a business’ sign or on one of their vehicles? The assumption is that this company feels they have a superior product, however, if you don’t purchase what they have to offer they will be glad to repair what you have.
Sadly, I think a lot of local churches (and some denominations) have this same mentality. In an attempt to get as many people as possible through the doors or to not offend anyone they will not only promote Jesus as the best God has to offer but are willing to let people believe that they can still keep their own practices and mix in other religious beliefs / spiritualities that have nothing to do with dedication to Jesus.
Consider with me the following story from The Prairie Overcomer:
The man huddled on the cabin floor was slowly freezing to death. It was high in the Rockies in southwestern Alberta, and outside a blizzard raged. John Elliott had logged miles that day through the deep snows of the mountain passes. As he checked for avalanches and as dusk and exhaustion overcame him he had decided to “hole-up.” He made it wearily to his cabin but somewhat dazed with fatigue, he did not light a fire or remove his wet clothing. As the blizzard blasted through the cracks in the old cabin walls, the sleeping forest ranger sank into oblivion, paralyzed by the pleasure of the storm’s icy caress. Suddenly, however, his dog sprang into action, and with unrelenting whines, finally managed to rouse his near-comatose friend. The dog was John’s constant companion, a St. Bernard, one of a long line of dogs famous for their heroics in times of crisis. “If that dog hadn’t been with me, I’d be dead today,” John Elliott says. “When you’re freezing to death you actually feel warm all over, and don’t wake up because it feels too good.”
This moving story illustrates the spiritual condition of many people today. They are cold spiritually, and sadly are oblivious of their true condition. Thank God for all the ways in which He arouses such sleepers. He sends His messengers to nudge them awake. Sometimes the methods used to awaken them are drastic, but always for their good. Let us not imagine that because He shakes us, He therefore hates us. He awakens us from lethargy because He loves us, and wants to save us from an eternal death. When we were “ready to perish” (Isaiah 27:13), He was “ready to save” (Isaiah 38:20).
Those of us who have committed their lives to Jesus Christ must be careful with how we live that we don’t let people freeze to death while feeling warm all over. There is only one way to the God the Father and that is through an uncompromising allegiance to His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus isn’t just a really good choice for someone to follow His ideas or duplicate His behaviors. He is the ONLY way that our Creator has provided for us to live life to its fullest. In the words of Max Lucado, “God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus.”
(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)