Strange Marriage
The wedding was over. Joe and his new bride were alone. As the car pulled away, the bride said, "Take me home."
"HOME?" Joe exclaimed. "But we haven't started the honeymoon yet!"
"Joe," she said, "I'm glad we're married. We belong to each other and I can use your name as mine, but I want to go back to my old apartment. Now that we're married, I'll try to see you once a week. But as far as living with you is concerned, nothing doing. I'm going back to my old occupation, friends, and pastimes. Oh, yes, I do love you! I've accepted you as my husband, haven't I? I belong to you forever. But I refuse to let you interfere with my life. Of course, if I am sick or need money, I'll call you at once because, after all, you're my husband. In the meantime, thank you for loving me and being my husband, but keep your hands off my life!"
What do you think of this "marriage?" Yet there are so many who call themselves Christians whose attitude toward Jesus is exactly the same as this bride's attitude toward her husband. They say, "Lord, I have confessed you as Savior. I've been baptized. Thank you for saving me. Now leave me alone! I am going back to my old way of life. I'll expect you to help me if I need it since you are my Savior. But as far as living with you is concerned, nothing doing. Of course, when I die I want to come and share the home you are preparing. But I hope that will not be for a long time."
In Romans 7 we see what is involved in becoming a true Christian. Paul, using marriage as an illustration, says that in becoming a Christian you are joined to Christ who died for your sins and rose again in triumph from the tomb. The implied inquiry is, "Will you take Jesus to be your Savior and Lord for eternity?" becoming a Christian one's response is, "I will" At the precise moment you come forth from the waters of baptism you are "married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead." (Rom. 7:4)
. . . .Author unknown

The story above is fictional, but speaks a very strong message. When one does not commit their life and everything they have to Jesus, they are in effect doing the same thing. When they despise Jesus so much that they choose not to live with Him, Jesus has no choice but to turn away from that person. Many people claim to know Him, but by their deeds, they deny Him (Titus 1:16). To deny Jesus is to tell God that you do not want His offer that can provide salvation for you and everyone else whom God has invited to His great feast. We must realize that everyone is invited, yet most will reject the offer that God offers. To be more specific, most will reject the conditions that God tells us are required in order to receive the salvation that Jesus died to make possible.
Many, like in our story, act this very way. They do not want Jesus around telling them how to live, but at the same time, they want the assurance that salvation is theirs. Of course, there are teachers out there in the world who will teach whatever message the hearers want to hear. Paul said that they would not endure sound doctrine in 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
Jesus said that if we confess Him, He will confess us before God; yet if we deny Him, Jesus will deny us.
Speaking of a marriage arrangement, what would you think of a husband that on occasion would not come home and spend weeks at a time out doing all sorts of things with other women, then one day come in for lunch and ask "what is for lunch?" What would you think of a woman who would dismiss his absence and prepare a lunch as always? I am sure that most of us would expect the woman to inquire about his whereabouts and activities. What if he did it again? Could we consider him a faithful husband? Certainly not! But at the same time, people skip the assemblies of the church, and play with the world, and then sometime later walk in as if nothing was wrong, and expect to be treated as a faithful member in good standing with God.
If we can see this, should we not examine ourselves to see if we are faithful (2 Corinthians 13:5) enough?
By Carey Scott

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