“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Are those in the church different than those in the world? What differentiates those who claim salvation? Attendance? Involvement in ministry? A baptismal certificate? A bumper sticker claiming Christ?
That which sets apart those who are Christian is a genuine conversion experience. In II Corinthians, the Apostle Paul unapologetically declares, “… if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Paul does not allow for wiggle room here. He does not declare that someone who is in Christ must walk an isle or have a baptismal certificate. Neither the Apostle Paul nor any other authors in the New Testament speak of a Christ follower who is indistinguishable from the world around him or her. Nowhere in scripture do we see one who is nominal Christian or a good person declared as approved by God.
The youth at the church which I serve have spent a large part of the last six months examining those characteristics which distinguish a Christian. Through study, the youth have dispelled the myth that one can be Christian and not be changed.
Yet, the untruth that nominal Christian is acceptable continues to be commonplace churches throughout America and the world. Rather than quash this notion, the church has come to be a place where it is propagate. The church must not concede defeat to the culture. If the church is to survive in the culture climate of today it must be made up of those who are new, converted creatures and not of those who unconverted attendees. It must not allow others to see Christianity as a part-time responsibility. It needs cease sanctioning the “good person” mindset. Rather, the church needs to return to biblical understanding salvation and calling its members to live lives which demonstrate an encounter with the Almighty. This has been a call issued to the youth of Millen Baptist and is now a call issued to all.