Drawing Lines In The Sand
By Joe Keim
July 1, 2011
"They think they're the only ones up here"
A young man died and went to Heaven. He had only recently become a Christian, but not a member of any particular church, so St. Peter showed him around the heavenly mansion. In one room were people sitting in quiet prayer. These were the Amish. Down the hall were people shouting in every language. These were the Pentecostals. On and on they went until Peter suddenly held his finger to his lips, and said Shhhh,"we have to be very quiet going by this room." "Why? the young man asked." Because, said Peter, "These are the Baptists, and they think they're the only ones up here."
Now, I pick on Baptists but you can put hundreds of other [denomination] names in their place.
Christians of all backgrounds and cultures draw lines in the sand, and say, "this is who we are. If you want to join our group, you have to get behind this line and become like one of us."
- You have to look like us
- You have to act like us
- You have to speak like us
- You have to, you have to, you have to...
The list goes on and on. In fact, is it not true that some church flavors carry such a large list of do's and don'ts that even Jesus wouldn't fit in.
Yes, we ALL do it. We are ALL guilty of drawing lines in the sand and putting up walls.
Than we stand back and point our fingers at others and say, "hey, don't you know your line is too far back? Too far down? Too far up? Too wide? Too steep? Too short? Now, come on, how could you NOT know you are so far off? - move it closer to my line or we'll break ties with you."
And you! Over there! The one that just jumped over the line. Come back here and get behind the sand line you were born into. Don't you know you could die and go to hell?
Some other things that come to mind:
- Don't you know God put you behind the best line in the sand in the world?
- Don't you know, young man or woman, if God would have wanted you over there behind that other line of sand, He would have placed you there when you were born.
It must tear the Lord's heart apart! When are we going to repent and get rid of our man made, stubborn, pride filled lines in the sand?
While the world is falling apart and good people are going to hell, we are fighting on whose line in the sand is more correct.
Do you ever wonder how many more people would be in heaven, if only Christianity was less confusing and more oneness? Possibly millions?
Jesus, when He prayed His lonest prayer in the Bible, prayed twice in three verses: "Father, please help them [Christians] to be ONE as we are ONE, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
John 17:21-23 That they all may be ONE; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be ONE in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be ONE, even as we are ONE: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in ONE; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
As you consider the many thousands of lines in the sand; can you now also see why the world has chosen to turn their back on Jesus? It should cause us to weep bitterly and cry out to the Lord for forgiveness. Instead, many of us continue to hold on as if heaven depended on us.
I wonder if the Apostle Paul would compare us to the church at Corinth, when he said:
1 Corinthians 3:3-4 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
The word carnal means fleshly or worldly minded. In other words, the Corinthians were so caught up in themselves and who they belonged to that they forgot the simple and most important fact, and that is, it is all about God; not us.
Just a few verses later, Paul wrote:
1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Meaning, there is only one line in the sand. No, it's not mine, nor is it yours. It is the line that Jesus Christ drew. All other lines (foundations) are weak, man made and worldly; they will not stand up against the storms of life.
- Our lines in the sand will come and go. They will blow over and change from one group to another.
- Our lines in the sand will only cause division, jealousy, pride, bitterness, self righteousness and depression.
- Our lines in the sand cannot give everlasting life. In fact, they snuff it out and cause the world to look at us and say, "why should I join them?"
I truly believe that as the persecution of Christians becomes greater, many of us will start crossing over our lines and come together for support.
What once seemed important in our life is all of a sudden going to seem childish and totally ridiculous. We will wonder, "how on earth could I have allowed such a crazy thing to keep me from fellowshipping with another born again Christian."
I have no doubt in my mind that God will judge us drawing lines in the sand. It is a serious matter, my friend.
Colossians 2:20-23 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, [such as...] (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a appearance of wisdom with their self imposed worship; their false humility, and harsh treatment of the body; but they are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
-- Joe Keim
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