Lately, I have become interested in watching Christian movies. The genres run the gamut from documentaries, to Christian dramas and everything in between. (Side note- I highly recommend a documentary called “Is Genesis History?” It covers so many aspects of Genesis from a scientific Biblical perspective.) However, I really enjoy watching Christian fiction movies with a romantic twist. I know some of them (okay, most of them) are hokey but I love the way the conclusions are always tied up in a perfect little “Jesus” bow. And, of course, I love seeing the guy and girl fall in love, too!
The last movie I watched was called A Matter of Faith, a story of a Christian college student, Rachel, who wrestles with her beliefs in a biology class. In the movie, one of the characters, a Christian student named Evan, shared with Rachel truth that was so simple, yet so profound. He rhetorically asked her why does one Christian take a stand for his faith and the other one doesn’t? Why do some Christians have convictions about Biblical truths and others don’t? He answered these questions by suggesting that the answer lies in how we first came to the Lord- by addition or submission.
He further explained that some people add Jesus to their lives, while others submit their lives to Jesus. The difference, however, has eternal consequences! Now, let me be clear that only God can judge another’s salvation but it is our duty to inspect our fruit and others’ fruit. Matthew records Jesus talking about this very thing. Jesus says:
“Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to me “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?”And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:20-23)
These verses are some of the most condemning toward “Jesus adders” in the new testament. I’m sure you know friends or family who are self-professing Christians who add Jesus rather than submitting to Him. They may even go to church, read the Bible and volunteer at the animal shelter every weekend. Jesus even says they have done miracles in His name. However, they rely on the world to set their standard, not Scripture. They care about what their neighbors think about them instead of what Jesus thinks. They agree with worldly views instead of Biblical views. In other words, their fruit is bitter, rotten or non-existent. Sadly, these folks believe they are saved. I know this type of people very well- I used to be one!
Scripture also references this type of people as “lukewarm” believers. In Revelation 3, Jesus speaks to the church of Laodicea. He says in verses 15 and 16, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold not hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
On the other hand, a person who submits their life allows God to transform their heart and mind to conform with God’s view of the world. You can’t help but want to read the Bible, be kind to others, and even lift your hands up during worship! You don’t care who’s watching or what they are thinking. You just want to commit yourself to Jesus- mind, body and spirit. Thanks be to God- I can relate to this person, too! I am slowly but surely abandoning the strongholds this world has on me. God has changed my heart about marriage, money, career, the importance of life and so much more! Most importantly, He has given me the desire to love and please Him.
In Matthew 16:25, Jesus tells us that, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Are you adding Jesus to your unchanged, worldly life or submitting your life to Him? How has your life evolved since you began walking with the Lord?
These answers lie between you and God alone. If you are only adding Jesus instead of a submitting to Him, I urge you to get right with Him today! I promise you brothers and sisters- nothing in this life is worth holding onto in light of Christ!