The trouble with two minute Christians
When we say 'yes' to following Jesus, do we really know what we're committing to?
Becoming a Christian the way you make two minute noodles can ultimately lead to becoming a two minute Christian.
I like things that are quick and simple. For that reason I like camera phones. In the old days, if you wanted to take a photo you had to buy a camera, a roll of film, take 24 photos, take your film to a camera shop, wait an hour, collect your photos and then manually put them into your photo album. You’ll find Instagram is much quicker.
How many of us want to make our own pasta from scratch? You’d need eggs, flour, a whisk, a rolling pin, hands to knead dough and a time machine to go back to 1957, the year before someone invented instant noodles. I prefer two minute noodles because they take precisely two minutes. Because I like things that are quick and simple, I like microwaves over ovens, elevators over stairs and liking a Facebook status instead of having to write out a comment.
Paul in Romans 10 is describing how to be saved. It too seems quick and simple: "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved". Later he says everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Easy!
'Raise your hand to be saved'
Growing up, I saw many young people put their hand up and go forward at evangelistic meetings to be saved. I was so excited to know my high school friends were now walking with Jesus. The only problem was many of them didn’t walk with Jesus at all. After they went forward to be saved, their lives didn’t seem to change. They didn’t get involved in church community or any form of discipleship and the decisions they made didn’t appear to reflect that Jesus was now King of their lives. I read these verses in Romans and thought they must be saved because they’d confessed with their mouth that Jesus was Lord. At least they’d confessed something with their mouth even if it didn’t seem to make any difference to their lives.
What were these teens really inviting Jesus to do? Were they inviting Jesus to be their King or were they just asking him to give them a free ride to heaven? Many of these teens were looking to be saved the way you make two minute noodles. They were looking for the quickest, easiest and most convenient way to be saved without making Jesus Lord. Unfortunately becoming a Christian the way you make two minute noodles ultimately leads to becoming a two minute Christian.
The Christian road is long
It's been a number of years since then and I'm not completely sure where all of those young people are today or what their walk with God is like now. It's not for me to decide which of these young people were saved or not. But what I would like to see is people deciding to follow Jesus for the right reason - because they want Jesus to be the Lord and the leader of their lives.
We should think carefully about the words 'Jesus is Lord'. Lord means supreme master, leader or king. Sure you want to go to heaven, but do you want Jesus to be the leader of your life? Do you want to make his mission your mission? Do you want him to be in charge of all the areas of your life? Becoming a Christian isn’t as simple as raising your hand, saying a prayer and adding boiling water. Becoming a Christian is about following Christ, inviting him to be the leader of your life and making his cause your cause.