Soon after a family moved into their new house, it began to show the effects of their slipshod lifestyle. The yard was littered with trash. The lawn withered for lack of care and even when replanted it died out again. To enter this house was to enter a shambles of sorts. It never was clean, kept, or in order. But another family eventually bought the house and moved in. They painted the house, cleaned up the yard, and replanted the lawn. The results were completely different. What had happened? There was a dramatic improvement in the appearance of the house because there was a change in those who lived in that house.
In the same way, it is impossible that there not be a change in a person’s life once he becomes a Christian, because there is a perfectly new resident living within. He is called the Holy Spirit of God. He transforms us by the renewing of our mind.
The story is told of a seminary student who, during a children’s church service, spoke on the Christian’s walk. He presented his message in a dramatic way. His illustration incorporated a costume where he wore two large antennas with sensors attached to the ends, halved eggshells for his nose and eyes, a bright orange suit, and beautifully knitted wings. He proceeded to tell his story as a butterfly who was describing his former state and lifestyle as a caterpillar. Obviously, he could no longer live as a caterpillar, since his state had been so drastically changed. His message was well understood as he pointed out that the butterfly could no longer live as a caterpillar just as a believer can no longer live as an unbeliever.
The change makes this entirely impossible. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17). Because of Christ, the old lifestyle dies and a new character is generated.
Don’t be fooled by those who say they are a Christian if there has been no obvious change in them. There are some who claim to be Christians who, on judgment day, will be turned away from God’s kingdom. They will be like counterfeit money when it finally reaches the bank. Just suppose you are given a counterfeit bill in change at a store. You believe it is genuine so you use it to pay for gas. The station owner uses it to pay one of his employees who in turn purchases groceries. Finally the bill goes to the bank where the teller says, “Sorry, this bill is counterfeit!” True, the bill may have been used to do a lot of good, but when it arrived at the bank it was exposed for what it really was then put out of circulation.
A counterfeit Christian may do good works, but at the judgment will be rejected by the Master. How disappointing this is yet how naturally true. Some counterfeiters are good at what they do, because their motive is to deceive for personal gain. But, when they are caught they always pay a hefty penalty. The penalty will outweigh any good that was done.
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.