Paul Washer says, "Christians are supposed to be different from the world, are you any different? Do you look the same, dress the same, listen to the same kind of music, watch the same kind of things? Do you laugh and joke about the very things that nailed your supposed Savior to a cross?"
Wow, that's a convicting thought. I've heard a similar thing before - if you were to be arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to find you guilty?
So, has your life changed since becoming a follower of Jesus Christ? Notice that I didn't say "believe" in Jesus Christ, because even the demons believe, yet they are not saved (James 2:19).
If you submit to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you should obey Him rather than the world. Are things different in your life? I believe that I was recently tested on this.
I went to the pet store to buy the supplies needed for a lizard for my daughter. All the stuff you need is kind of expensive, you need an aquarium, dishes, lights, rocks and all sorts of stuff. Money's tight these days, so as I was walking out with all this stuff and realized that I was charged about half of what I should have been, my first thought was, "Hey, cool - a blessing from God!" They forgot to charge me for the aquarium.
But God doesn't bless us by things contrary to His Word revealed in the Bible, and I knew it. There was another unknown charge on the receipt for $14 - fair exchange for the $70 aquarium? A few years ago, I would have said yes, suppressed the conviction I was feeling and attempted to justify my sinful actions.
From a worldly perspective, this would be a good deal, and only a fool would walk back into the store and ask to be charged for something they had accidentally been given for free. But God convicted my heart, and I knew I had to do the right thing, even though I didn't want to.
I went back in and asked what the extra $14 charge was for. It only showed a bunch of numbers, and no one could figure out what it was. Then I mentioned that I hadn't been charged for the aquarium either. There were more people in this guy's line, so he asked another checker to ring me up for the aquarium. He didn't know what the $14 charge was for either, so I asked him if he would take it off.
I would have thought that they'd have been more appreciative that I came back to correct the mistake, but no one seemed to care.
That's alright, I didn't go back in there for recognition, or for the store, or for the cashier and I don't care if they thought I was foolish for doing it. I went back inside and paid because I must be obedient to God, and it was the right thing to do. I need no thanks from man, it would be stealing to take merchandise for free, even when it's a cashier's error. I gave the cashier a Gospel tract on my way out.
No happy worldly ending here, no prosperity or immediate reward for doing the right thing, just simple obedience to the Lord. And guess what else? They were out of the lizard that we were supposed to be getting for $60. My daughter had saved up for months to buy it - I made the deal with her that if she saved up enough for it that I would buy all the supplies that were needed. Somehow it seems that I got the bad end of that deal.
Anyway, these lizards are available at other stores, but now they cost $100 instead of $60. Kind of seems like I should have taken that free aquarium deal, doesn't it? No way!
To sell out Jesus Christ for the price of an aquarium? He gave His life for me, and I preach on the streets every Saturday night and hand out Gospel tracts. Could I play the hypocrite and deny Him by my actions?
you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?
Back to the Paul Washer quote that I started with. He also said, "Do you think that there will be people in heaven, who have been tortured, drug through the streets and skinned alive because they would not deny the Name of Jesus Christ, and do you really think they'll be standing up there next to people who by their actions have denied Him in the smallest of things?" No. No, I don't.