WARNING: this piece is hazardous to the religious mind of a Christian. Reader’s discretion is advised. 🙂
I have spent the past 5 years of my life as a student of the prestigious and highly religious Obafemi Awolowo Univeristy, ile-ife, Nigeria. About 2 to 3 years of that time, I served as a pastor to a campus fellowship…… a responsibilty I’m pleased to have been trusted with because it gave me a platform to bless people. Those were perhaps the best periods of my life. Having said that, something like what I titled this piece many would reason should not be heard from my lips and many of my friends and colleagues will be deeply surprised and some disappointed I am posting something like this. Despite all, I choose to maintain and stand upon what I’ve said; it isn’t a mistake, I won’t give my life to Christ and if you stick to this a little longer you’ll know why and probably opt to do the same.
First, I searched through the KJV bible (using my e-sword) and shockingly, I did not see ‘literarily’ anywhere in which Jesus asked me to give my life to him (methodology: type give your life to christ( or me) in your bible search engine and scroll through the results if you find any). I searched the epistles again which I personally attach a lot of importance to and disappointingly I still couldn’t find any such request or instruction there. Desperate to be convinced, I opened the highly contemporary THE MESSAGE translation hoping someone would have sneaked in something king James mistakenly omitted but it was still the same story.
All my life as a Christian, I’ve seen and heard many preachers (myself inclusive) ask people to give their lives to Christ. All that while all of them seemed to have used a bible when preaching but now I wonder which bible they got that idea from because I can’t seem to find it in mine.
I then decided to do something else. I replaced the ‘g’ from give with an ‘L’ to get the word live. I re-did my search and this time I came across some scriptures and I’ll love to point your attention to the one below
2Co 5:15 And He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake.
(AMP) emphasis mine
We are asked to live for him rather than give our lives to him. Now, this is the point I get to say that living for Christ and giving our lives to him pretty much mean the same thing. It’s just plain semantics but I believe it got some people’s attention but before you get at me for that let me now also state and explain the point I am really trying to get across. What I really want to bring out here however is that our life is meant to be lived not given away. God gave us life so we can live it and not just keep it or store it up somewhere.
Here is the problem with ‘giving our lives to Christ’. Most people who have this mentality tend to fall into either of these 2 groups. The first group are those who claim with their mouths to have ‘given Christ their life’ but who then go behind and take it back by the way the live that life. They are the ones who live life as they please with no regard for the precepts and instructions of God (they place all the importance on the moment they ‘confessed Christ’ and have no regard for the period after that).
The second group are the ones who ‘give their life to Christ and refuse to do anything else with it. They prefer to leave it all to him so he could do it all for them (looking at this closely, most people here do it not out of love for God but rather out of fear of hell and a selfish desire to have him do things for them). Many people that live with this give-away mind-set refuse to really live life. They are the heavenly-conscious-earthly-irrelevant-people who have trusted their lives in God’s hand waiting for Jesus second coming and doing all they can to avoid the world, its people and its system so as not to get ‘corrupted’ with the sins of this world. They won’t go into politics, entertainment, business or anything. They are okay with just getting by….they sing ‘this world is not my own, I’m going home one day to meet my God’.
So its like 2 extreme positions. Those that are over-living and those that are not living at all. Once again, balance is our problem.
Really like Dr Myles Munroe said, there is indeed no greater burden than freedom as freedom requires the highest level of responsibility. Christ has bought us freedom. However, he didn’t pay the price of his life so that we can be dummies and robots for him, rather like the verse above said, he wants us to live our lives for him. See this…..he lived because of us and died/ gave his life FOR us so we can die to self first and then LIVE FOR him. Christ expects us to be responsible enough to live right, choose right and by our living, reveal his love and wisdom to the world, spread his gospel, all of which will eventually bring glory to his name.
So salvation is not an escape route from hell as some people view it, but rather a door into a new life of kingdom responsibility. God wants us to live life and do good works here on earth while we are at it. He didn’t ask us to receive him only to wait till when he’ll return to receive us, but rather that we should get busy living our lives to establish his kingdom here on earth. In essence, the essence of salvation is not so that you will make heaven but beyond that, that we should create heaven here on earth for others around us thereby leading them in the process to God.
Jesus instructed in Luke19:13b that we occupy till he comes. In other words he was saying get busy with living life! Jesus was telling you here not just to give your life to him, fold your arms and expect him to keep it for you only, but rather that you live your life, unleash your potentials, make impact, and Achieve Greatness.
Let me state it clearly again as I conclude. Giving your life to Christ and living your life for Christ really mean the same thing. I made that decision for him a while back and it is the best I’ve made so far and I stand by it. What I have tried to point out is the problem having a ‘give your life to’ mind-set creates. It produces Christians who are either living life in their own terms with no regard to God’s will and desire, or Christians who have decided to stay alive but stop living life because Jesus is coming soon. If you fall into any of the 2 camps, you need to get out now! Start living life and this time live it for him. To do that, you’ll have to ‘die’ to self first so you can begin to live for a greater cause (john12:24-25). Remember he lived first and then he died and now he lives for ever. So live for him on earth, be his representative, touch lives, make impact, create an heaven experience for those around you, invade the systems and take over them for God, bless your generation and leave your foot prints on the sand of time. Christ’s finished work avails you all these and more. To whom much is given much is expected…. Achieve greatness.
Soaga Afolabi Olusegun
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.