Wednesday, August 31, 2005

# 64: Vicarious Exchange

Much of the talk by religious people about “Christians” going to heaven, is most likely erroneous. Here is the reason why: To become a Christian, a person first of all must do one thing. He/she must believe all that Jesus Christ did—the perfect life He lived, the death He died, and mainly, His resurrection from the dead. Now here is the catch: Just believing the preceding accomplishments is of no value if that belief is not verified by the life one leads. What I mean is that if one believes everything there is to believe about Christ yet does not obey what He commands, that belief is in vain.

As most of us know, Christ died a vicarious death for all who believe in Him. Yes, He died in our place because we alone couldn’t inherit what He had waiting for us due to the foul lives we lived before making Jesus Christ our boss. In other words, we deserve some sort of eternal death. Christ took our place, and now we must take His place. Through our belief in His Son, God’s grace is activated and then God can count us as holy and pure as His Son. All that Jesus Christ ever was, all His love and power, is now ours vicariously. We now possess His status of perfection and are free of all wrongdoing (selfishness). We all must constantly remember that a person can easily be tricked into believing he or she is a Christian, yet at the same time be without Christ’s life. I call it “Christianity” without Christ. At this point in time, if one’s life doesn’t start to agree with what God made us into, we are only fooling ourselves and really don’t believe. Let me make it clear. It is impossible to be a real Christian, living in a realm of perfection, while we are not actively heading in the direction of Christ’s perfection (as mentioned previously, we should be becoming more perfect with each passing day).

How else could God continue the work of Christ if He didn’t have an army of Christ’s? We are that army, if we are showing—not so much telling—the world what His pleasures and displeasures are. It is impossible to be doing our own thing and Christ’s thing at the same time. We are either working for Christ, or for ourselves in His name.

We all must reconsider our status. Are we real Christians, or are we fooling ourselves? We must remember that we love to paint ourselves pretty. But, to think we are Christians without possessing the above- mentioned hard-core evidence is a waste of our lives. If we are not going to be in the company of God and we know it, we could be having a hell of lot of what the world calls fun: raising hell while still on earth.

Though it is right to live as God dictates (living the life of another, namely Christ), it is by no means easy. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that the Christian life will be easy. Isn’t it funny that religion says the exact opposite? The genuine Christian life is, in fact, an extremely demanding life. It is easier to die a torturous death in the name of Christ than to live for Christ (actually taking His place) without much, if any, personal attention. If you don’t believe me, I dare you to try it.

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