I overheard this sometime ago & couldn’t help but think. A guy asked another guy “How’s your faith?”
“Faith? I’m okay. I believe in God” I could feel that the guy who posed the question saw that as an opportunity to share. “Oh but you can have a relationship with Him…” to which the other guy rebuffs “I said I’m okay. I don’t need a lecture on religion.” and he walks off.
I understand that some people get turned off by the idea or talk of religion and faith, but if it’s in the subject of SALVATION, believing that God exists is definitely not all there is to it. True, as humans with the natural tendency to sin, it is impossible for us to attain salvation by ourselves. No matter what we do, no matter how many prayers we memorize/recite or how much we give for tithes/offerings, these cannot cancel out our sins. Only the blood of Jesus can cancel it out.
As far as I know (if my theology or statement is wrong, please do not hesitate to point it out), understanding & accepting the reason why Christ died on the cross for you and me and accepting Him as our Lord and Savior is VERY DIFFERENT from saying “I believe that God exists” or “I believe in God”. Everyone can believe in God. Even Satan believes & admits that God exists. I hear people who even use God and Jesus’ name as part of their cussing or swear words.
It is never too early to begin a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. I’ve conversed with a lot of people who say that they’re fine and they’re still alive and it appeared to me that as long as things are going well for them, they are not going to take their faith seriously. I think this mentality has to be changed. Jesus is not a 911 number you call for emergency. Jesus wants to have a relationship with you & me. He loves us & would want to get involved in our lives. Now some may not welcome that.
I think I sorta understand their fears.
Being committed to Christ means walking in the light. If Christ reigns in your life, you no longer have to dabble in worldly pleasures that lead to sin. It truly is a struggle and I admit that even if I’ve been a Christian for many years, following Christ & taking up my cross daily is not always an easy task. I think that’s where the fear comes in. When you commit your life to Christ, you will have to say “NO” to many things and I think a lot of people are afraid of that. They want to be able to go about worldly activities without feeling guilty about it.
When we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit will dwell in us permanently and will transform us into Christ’s likeness. That is where the struggle comes in. Before committing to Christ, it may be easy to go drinking, gossiping, dabble in sexual immorality without feeling any guilt, but when Christ comes into your life, you’d be thinking twice about deciding to sin and I think you can also rejoice at that point, because when you struggle, that means the Holy Spirit is at work in you. He is reminding or showing you that “Oops, that is not in line with Christ-likeness.”
I believe Christ/God exists ≠ salvation
I believe in Christ/God ≠ salvation
Salvation is = believing in God, acknowledging our sinfulness and the impossibility of being saved according to our own efforts, realizing that it is only through Jesus Christ that our sins can be cancelled out and that we be made righteous, placing our trust and faith in Jesus Christ as the Only Way to be saved.