Too often we think, “We are living in a Christian country. Everyone in the good ole U.S. of A. is saved.” Everyone except the atheists, Communists, Muslims and Buddhists. Well, that thought is nice, but what does God say? In James 2:14-26, we hear that there is not such thing as an apathetic Christian. There is no such thing as a good intentioned Christian. He also tells us that being a Christian is not just not doing a bunch of “noes.” Being a Christian is a yes, an action, a doing, a living for Christ. Being a Christian negates “cheap grace,” that is, I am saved so I can just sit around and enjoy life for myself.
Now, before you accuse me of teaching work righteousness, please understand that I am not advocating, nor teaching work righteousness, rather I am advocating a Gospel action moved by the Holy Spirit, based on saving faith. True saving faith is not believing there is a god. Even Satan believes that (James 2:19); besides, that belief would be a different heresy, universalism. True saving faith is not a spare tire God to bring out when you need Him. True saving faith is complete trust in Christ’s life, suffering, death, and resurrection for salvation.
Where, then, do these “works” come in? Because of what Christ has done for us, we cannot help but live our lives according to His will. We cannot help but let our faith show forth in our lives. We cannot help but do the things God has prepared for us to do (Eph. 2:10), using the gifts, time, and treasure He has given us to do them.
What, then, does this reassessment mean for us? We do include many people on our mission list, all those who do not show by their lives that Jesus Christ is their Savior. The harsh reality is that the list may include your mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, wife, husband, neighbor, fellow church member, etc.
Remember to start with prayer. Pray for these people specifically. Then, with the help of the Holy Spirit working through you, work to get our apathetic “Christian” friends involved, so that they, too, may be a part of the excitement of living for the Lord.