Theology Corner

Addressing commonly asked questions about Christianity from the perspective of a non-theologian

82. DOES GOD EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM CHRISTIANS?

Do you, as a Christian, say to Jesus Christ:

“Almighty God, You are a hard Master, reaping where You did not sow and gathering where You scattered no seed.  You expect me to sow the seed so that You can reap the harvest.  But Your expectations overwhelm my skills.  Your demands exhaust the capabilities I have received from You.”

This accusation is hazardous to make because God has given you the Pentecostal gift of the Holy Spirit.  You must not measure your spiritual capacity by education, intellect or personality traits.  Your capacity in spiritual matters is determined by the promises of God and is limited only by the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through your heart, intellect and will.

The wealth of Jesus Christ comprises the sum total of all saved souls.  Jesus expects Christians to increase His wealth by helping those who are being convicted of sin to make it across the finish line of salvation where Jesus can gather them to Himself.  If we decline to use our great gift of salvation to help others cross the finish line, then we are no better than the wicked and slothful servant who hid his master’s wealth in the ground.

Pastors and church leaders have great difficulty accepting the idea that ritual faithfulness is not a substitute for Great Commission fruitfulness.  If Christians huddle together in worship, study and fellowship, if they lift their voices to create magnificent music, if they recite Scripture from memory and faithfully attend all church activities but never take risks that might motivate the unsaved to accept the great gift of salvation, then they will engender the wrath of God (Mat 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-27). 

We, who have received the great gift of salvation, must not hide that gift in the ground.  Although our efforts will expose our own incompetence and inability, we must move forward with Great Commission endeavors even when it puts our reputation, wealth and safety at risk.  Ritual faithfulness is not a substitute for Great Commission fruitfulness.