Saturday, August 28, 2010
Day 58: I Need More Room For More Stuff
Actually I need to get rid of a lot of "stuff". This is the top shelf of my side of the closet, filled with NASCAR die-cast collectibles. Anyone want a good deal on a couple thousand pieces of memorabilia from the NASCAR premier circuit?
I started to collect NASCAR items back about 12-13 years ago. My favorite driver then, and through his retirement, was Kyle Petty, son of "The King" Richard Petty. WHy did I choose Kyle as my favorite driver? It wasn't for his win record, that's for sure. It was because he was different than the rest. He sported a long ponytail and earrings. Something of which I had both of at the time. Plus he professed to be a Christian, yet again something I "had" at the time.
I used to get a lot of ribbing for my choice of fave driver. Kyle's better days were easily in the 80's and definitely not in the time period of my NASCAR days. He did have that magnetic type personality though. The kind that said "I'll do what I want, say what I want and get what I want, if you like it or not." Which was an attitude that I admired at the time because I was nothing like that, but wanted to be oh so much.
Well, things change over time. I haven't purchased any NASCAR memorabilia in a few years now, seldom do I watch a race and Kyle Petty retired. His retirement year was the last year I watched because I had no one to cheer for and didn't really want to invest any more time or money into something that I could live without. Also something else happened in that same time frame - God saved me.
That is probably the main reason I do not watch NASCAR racing nearly as much anymore. My desires have changed. I thought when I was a big fan of the sport that I was a Christian, it was actually a deciding factor in my choice of Petty as a favorite driver too. I later realized that I was really deceived in my profession of faith, as I put all my trust in my prayer as an 8 year old and a declaration by a pastor. My faith was in my "decision", even though I didn't really know what sin was at the time, nor know that I was a sinner in need of God's grace. I was doing something that all the kids did at church - " got saved", but from what? I think at the time it was saved from the embarrassment of everyone else saying they were saved and knowing that I never had said "the prayer" before. So I did "it". I walked the aisle, agreed with what the preacher was saying, because I was too choked up to say anything and I got it over with. I was good to go, had my ticket and was now free to move about as I liked. But something was wrong, I wasn't truly converted.
I lived the next 30 years looking back to that time when I did what I was told and taught to do as my salvation. God was very good to me and allowed me to see that I never trusted in Him or repented of my sinful life. Then is when He saved me, aged 38 years. Praise God that he saves those that thought they were saved. I was probably one of the ones that seem the least "save-able", those that made a profession, but nothing really changed about them. They have been fed a steady dose of poison in the form of a man centered, false message that says to just repeat a prayer and you're in. These people live like the world, talk like the world, are entertained by the world and are mired in a thought that they are "good" and on their way to heaven. Only thing is they only grace the pew of a church on the occasional Holiday. Some may even go every Sunday morning, one hour a week, with their thoughts far from the message and have their Sunday's best clothes and attitude on. Thing is, the other 167 hours of the week they are living life like they are lost, which is because they are lost.
These poor souls don't want to hear anything about holiness, sanctification or God's judgment on sinners. They think they are all right, so why would they need to hear about any of that? To them I am just one of those "religious people" that want to cram my beliefs down their throat, which is as far from the truth as anything. These people will not listen to anything said to them, unlike someone who does not not profess faith. I can talk to someone that says they are an atheist about God more readily than someone that is deceived of their conversion.
That is why my heart aches for these false converts. I was once one and they are the ones that are going to proclaim on judgment day "Lord, Lord" and Jesus will tell them "depart from me, I never knew you". Countless millions on their way to hell because of the false gospel that saturates most church buildings these days. It is only getting worse too, as "pastors" and elders turn to worldly ways to bring people in, give them a message that is centered around their needs, never proclaims the Word of God, never mentions their sinful state, never speaks of repentance, never explains what God demands, just "every head bowed, every eye closed, say this prayer, bam you're in". Then they must continue with the worldliness that brought them into the church to entertain them, instead of God being proclaimed in truth.
What brings them in will be what keeps them in. Sad, but true. If you offer worldly music as a draw to sinners then one days stop playing that music, half your congregation will leave. God's Word should be preached every Sunday, every time someone is in the church building. No compromise, no worldly antics, no worldly entertainment. The, when God works in them it will be a true conversion and these people will crave the nourishment of God's Word. They will need it for life as they need physical food for life.
Pray for these folks. You may even be one of them, your children, your parents, your friends. Just lovingly preach the gospel to them and let God take care of it. That is the most loving thing you can do, tell them the truth.