This week, I spoke with a gentleman in my community that is firmly convinced that the world will end in about three months. Now, most of the guys I work with think he is, "as crazy as a bed bug", as the old saying goes. I don't think the man is crazy, I think he is just wrong and cannot be convinced otherwise. This man holds his belief in the world's imminent doom so strongly that he has prepared underground shelters to protect himself and his family. He has invested his time, energy, mind, talents, and money into his firm belief that we are all doomed very soon.
Now, I am not here to discuss eschatology (the subject dealing with end times and prophecy). Honestly, I have not studied bible prophecy extensively enough to have a truly informed opinion of the subject. Although, I have read through the book of Revelation many times and, to borrow a line from the film Princess Bride, "I don't think that means what you think it means".
I am more concerned about what you and I believe. No, I mean what we really, believe. It is easy for us to label ourselves as Christians, or followers of Christ. It is very easy for us to claim that affiliation- but do we believe it?
This gentleman goes around our little town and tells everyone who will listen that doom is upon us. Do we go around and share the Good News of Christ in the same way? I am ashamed to say that I do not. Do we invest our time, energy, talent, mind, and money into the cause of Christ? Or are we just happy dropping a twenty in the plate as it passes by, thinking of how good we are?
In the early church the followers of Christ were willing to die for the message of the Gospel. Are we ready to believe anything that strongly?
Now, I'm sure someone reading this may think, "I am a Christian but I have so much doubt in my heart. I feel like Thomas when I see how overwhelmed the church seems to be with hypocrites and judgmental people ". You are right, the church is full of those people. I will even go so far as to say that many of us are those people.
However, doubt is not the opposite of faith. Doubt drives us to seek answers to our questions. Without doubt, apologetics, would not even be necessary. Many great men and women of God had great doubts and fears. I read once that Charles Spurgeon, that "Prince of Preachers", was often so overcome with doubt about his life's calling and the truth of the Gospel that he would fall into fits of severe depression. I think, also, of John the Baptist who, while imprisoned, sent messengers to Christ to make sure He was, indeed the Messiah.
Faith and true belief is not the absence of doubt. It is the striving onward, the acting on, what you know is true and real even in the face of your doubts and misgivings.
How much striving are we doing? Are we acting on our faith and belief in a risen Lord, or are we just playing Christian? The Gospel is true. Do we believe it?