Dear church,

If Christ invites you to enter into the kingdom of God. Don’t delay. Just go. Too many do delay, and too many don’t go. They walk right up to the edge of the Promised Land, and then they turn their heads and see something they think is better, or at least good enough. 

“Let this land be given to your servants for a possession. Do not take us across the Jordan.” A new term in American Christianity is “exvangelical.” These are people who have stopped just short of believing in the full gospel – about the reality of human sinfulness and its remedy in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For these “exvangelicals,” other things have caught their eye. 

Perhaps they can’t come to terms with some core doctrine of traditional Christianity. Or perhaps they have agendas that don’t quite square with the faith. Or maybe they had a bad experience in church and cannot see beyond that experience to the historical Jesus.

No matter. They have stopped short of responding to the invitation. “Please have me excused” (Luke 14:18). And they begin to point out what else is on their mind. “We have found a place that well-suited for us, and we want to stay here,” they say. But it is not the land that was promised. It is something else. 

God, of course, is gracious. He gives people what they want. But he also will keep issuing invitations. “Go out on the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23). 

Are you responding to the daily invitation of Jesus to take up your cross and follow him? Has anything else caught your eye that this world has to offer? Faith is believing, even when the temptation to stop believing becomes strong – and even when a “promised land” of our own making seems to appear right before us. 

Chris

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