We often speak of the difference between following religion and having a relationship with God. Many of us, while in the United Pentecostal Church or similar churches, ended up getting caught up in religion and our focus shifted.
Below is a quote from an article written in The Reporter News (a local weekly paper near the Houston area) on March 15, 2006. A minister by the name of Casey Jones is the author.
…if I had tried to convince some*one to become a Christian, it would have been a matter of my trying to get them to agree with me, rather than wishing for them to meet and experience God.
The above quote says a great deal. Think about it for a bit. How many focus on getting people to their church or at least their organization? How many focus on getting the person into the baptismal tank or to have them speak in tongues?
Compare these things with wanting the person to meet and have a one on one personal relationship with God. See the enormous difference? Perhaps you have been guilty of the same? I know I am.
I well remember when people from my former UPC church would go out door knocking. In fact, I was in charge of it for a time. It was to get people to come to our church. It was to get a Bible study started that taught our particular teachings. It was to show them that their church was not saving anyone if they were attending another church. If someone had been prompted to attend some other church after our visit, we would have seen that as a failure. It really was about US and what WE had and indoctrinating them into our beliefs that were separate from most of the Christian world.
Some other believers could go door knocking or send out invitations to their church, but would have been happy if, as a result of their efforts, someone went to another church in the area. While they would have welcomed the person at their church, it wasn’t just about filling up their pews or hurrying up to drag them to their water baptism. For them it was about the people coming to know Jesus.
Do you see the difference?
This brings another thought to mind, and that is how some are in such a hurry to drag people into the baptismal tank and get them to speak in tongues. They will gather around and stay with the new people until both happen and then move on to the next ‘unsaved’ believer. It is all about getting two acts completed so a person is ‘saved’ and often there is little focus on helping them develop a personal relationship with God.
Something to think about….