“For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” James 4:15
In the Book of James, chapter 4:13-17, there is a passage that shows a business man’s (or woman’s) intentions to go to a certain city and do business, and hopefully make money. He has big plans, every detail is carefully mapped out. However there is one serious flaw in the scenario; he does not mention God at all in the plans. The passage is replete with personal pronouns, but no God!
To be fair, the Bible has much to say about planning. We should save, plan for the future and prepare as best we can for the things we hope to accomplish in life. There is nothing wrong with that. However, believers in Jesus Christ should be bathe every decision in prayer to seek the will and mind of Christ. Since the Holy Spirit lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation, we have a built-in teacher and guide. Unfortunately, so many don’t even give God the time of day when it comes to planning their activities, which brings me to my point.
I often hear about another famous Hollywood celebrity or perhaps a powerful politician, etc., who openly declares that he/she is an avowed atheist. They make no bones about it, “there is no God” they say. By the way, God says in Psalms 14:1 “The FOOL hath said in his heart, There is no God.” Atheists do not want to hear any of this religious nonsense or have anyone’s views and beliefs forced upon them. I’ve often wondered why so much money and effort is expended by fighting and opposing something that one does not even believe exits! You know what? That’s one of the great joys and rights we have by living in America! A person is free to believe whatever they want to believe and live their lifestyle accordingly, as long as they do not break laws, commit crimes by harming people or property.
On the other hand, I have known and observed people all of my life, who are what could be called “practical atheists.” These are people who profess to be saved, born-again Christians. They say “Jesus is my Lord and Savior, I am heaven-bound!” However, their daily lifestyles, actions and words, do not reflect the character traits of a true Christian. Someone is probably already gearing up to say that we should not be judgmental. . . a popular thing to latch onto, of late. I readily admit that we never really know what is in a person’s heart, or their relationship to Jesus Christ. But you can ascertain, with amazing accuracy, what is in a person’s heart by what they do on a daily basis. A person’s habitual, routine lifestyle reveals what they are. What a person believes can be clearly seen by their actions. Jesus said you’ll know a tree by the fruit it bears, (Luke 6:44 “For every tree is known by his own fruit”). Simply put, people DO what they do, because they ARE what they are!
Millions of people profess that there is a God, but live their lives like there is no God. They try to ignore God, His church and everything that is characteristic of a Christian. They say they believe in God, but live their lives as if there is no God, hence the term “practical atheists.” They call Jesus Lord but do not submit to His Lordship. “Nobody is going to tell me how to live my life,” they say. By the way, for those who say, “well I believe in God!” Congratulations, so does Satan and every demon in hell! It is one thing to “believe” in God, but does your life exemplify Jesus Christ? Does your light shine? Are you walking daily in His light and according to His Word? Just saying “I’m a Christian” does not make one a Christian any more that living in a barn makes one a horse. Do you love His church, being around His people regularly in corporate worship and fellowship? Friends there is simply something wrong with saying I’m a Christian, while not living the life a Christian should live. While we have not attained perfection in this life, there is a mark, a standard of holiness, for which we should strive. We are not perfect, but forgiven and loved by the Father.
As I close, let me remind any reader who does not know that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, please know how much He loves you. The Bible doesn’t say that God so loved the world that He saved the world. No, but it says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). God’s love is the reason He gave his unique, only begotten Son to pay the price and suffer the penalty for our sins, for Jesus had no sins. On Calvary, man did his worst, and God did His best. God has done all He will do to make salvation available. Salvation may be free, but it is not cheap. It cost God His precious Son! He paid a debt He didn’t owe, because we have a debt we cannot pay!
Jesus died a cruel, bloody death on a cross for your sins and mine, was buried and rose again three days later. He ascended back to Heaven and longs for you to be saved. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Eternity is too long to be wrong, we must, and can know, where we will spend it. For those living your life like there is no God; you better hope there is no God! Remember, “the fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”