Religion: a mental relationship with a concept, usually a vague one.
Random Sunday School Teacher: “Every person has a God-sized hole in their heart that only He can fill.”
In the U.S. (other places, too, I’m sure, but I’m here so I can speak authoritatively!), life is so busy and burdensome that religion is usually enough to suppress the emptiness to a level that we can ignore the pain. To the times that we’re not busy, add alcohol, drugs, partying, or even social media, and the result is a sustainable spiritual lull that most people can maintain their entire lives, up until the point that eternity begins. It’s true that only the Holy Spirit can fill the hole reserved for Him in the hearts of every person, but with enough filler and duct tape, the longing can be suppressed.
So, those that do not know the Lord are keeping busy and missing/avoiding an introduction to Him. What about us? There are times that busy-ness just happens, is unavoidable.
I am working construction rehab’ing apartments and houses. Gotta pay the bills, and need money to finish getting the house ready to sell (soon, to get rid of some of those bills!). I’m taking a missions course and trying to keep on contacting churches, and am busy spending what little money is left over after bills on repairs/upgrades to the house. On top of that, trying to maintain the family and our spiritual lives.
I’m not complaining, trying to follow the path the Lord has laid out and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know it’s temporary, maybe God’s testing us, maybe it’s more training (always more training!), and maybe we’re not doing everything right and a scolding is imminent. But as we fight to keep our minds/bodies/souls/family/dishes/friends/lives somewhat sane and sort of stable, we must also take the time to look beyond our selves, our lives, our family, and be aware that there are those around us fast-tracking to an eternity without Christ.
In the U.S., almost everyone calls themselves a “christian”. Most of the people I talk to, specifically those that most likely don’t actually know the Lord, have gone to church at some point in their lives. And they all know just enough to be dangerous, as the saying goes. They know enough of the lingo and the even some of the rules to think they’ll “get to heaven”. They’re wrong, all they have is religion. They have that mental relationship with a very vague concept, a concept with just enough substance that they can combine it with other distractions and continue unabated down the path that avoids direct contact with the only One that can truly save them.
Pray for us and yourselves as we all come in contact every day with those that do not know the Lord. He’s prepared the hearts of many, pray that we’ll be ready when we come in contact with those He’s prepared. We may have a short season in your life from time to time that you’re too busy to even stop and rest, but if it’s for more than a short season, we must re-evaluate our lives and our priorities, because God can not bless a life that’s too busy to honor Him, that’s too busy to take the time to introduce others to Him in the hopes of expanding His kingdom.
We will never win a soul to the Lord, that’s His job. We are to make the introduction, to have the conversation, to be available and willing to take the time to talk about Him at every opportunity, to be sufficiently knowledgeable about what we believe in order to share the Good News of Christ’s death and resurrection, to be open to the lost souls that He has prepared. At the same time, we must maintain a testimony that reflects Christ, to keep from being what almost all that do not follow Christ say is the reason they no longer go to church, a hypocrite.