Over the past few years I’ve become a fan of country music. Many of the current songs remind me of the southern rock I listened to in the ‘70’s. Most of today’s artists are singing about patriotism, God and family, striking a cord with the philosophies that I value. But then there are those songs that celebrate a lifestyle of sin, trying to justify an affair or divorce or just living for earthly pleasure. It’s interesting that an artist can sing about Jesus as the answer in one song and then the pleasures of sin in another. To me, that’s an indication that the artist either doesn’t understand what it means to have a relationship with Jesus, or doesn’t want to.
Sadly, I’ve known people in the church who have done the exact same thing, and I would be dishonest if I claimed to have never done that. I think most of us have been guilty at times of trying to live with one foot in the world of sin and the other trying to walk with God. Kenny Chesney performed a song with the same title as this post. In it he says:
Said preacher maybe you didn’t see me
Throw an extra twenty in the plate
There’s one for everything I did last night
And one to get me through today
Here’s a ten to help you remember
Next time you got the good Lord’s ear
Say I’m comin’ but there ain’t no hurry
I’m havin’ fun down here.
Everybody wanna go to heaven
It beats the other place there ain’t no doubt
Everybody wanna go to heaven
But nobody wanna go now
It’s an entertaining song and most Christians would agree that his philosophy is wrong. The lyrics don’t represent a true Christian life. They represent someone who lives the way they want to live, indulging in the flesh yet presuming upon God’s grace as a “get out of jail free card” for when they meet God face to face.
In preparation for my small group meeting tonight, I’ve been reading chapter 5 in Crazy Love by Francis Chan. As I’ve read the chapter, I’ve been highlighting things that stand out to me. I think I could highlight the entire chapter, but consider this thought: “Many of us believe we have as much of God as we want right now, a reasonable portion of God among all the other things in our lives… We say to the Creator of all this magnitude and majesty, ‘Well, I’m not sure you’re worth it … You see, I really like my car, or my little sin habit, or my money, and I’m really not sure I want to give them up, even if it means I get You.'”
We can’t have it both ways. In Matthew 16:24-25, Jesus tells his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Are you following Christ with your heart or with just your head? Everybody wants to go to heaven. There’s only one way, and that is to confess Jesus as Lord and surrender to Him.