There have been inquiries concerning the previous posting wanting clarification about works and faith, and further distinctions being made on the nature of these concepts. The proper way to handle further clarification is to define some terms and demonstrate how our faith is alive only when we put shoe leather to it (works). Christianity starts with a personal decision, but must manifest itself in day to day life, or it is nothing other than ‘cheap talk’. Anyone can make a claim they are Christian or’ saved’, but far fewer demonstrate this claim by backing it up with tangible evidence and actions.
Too many interchange the words ‘perfect’ and ‘excellence’ and even though both are similar, their distinctions couldn’t be further apart than day is to night. Perfect means doing everything right all of the time whereas excellence means striving to do your best most, if not all of the time. Since we already know we are not perfect, and can never be, our only real option is the pursuit of excellence. (If you don’t believe this, look at how quickly one Christian will be to point out another’s failings and ‘discredit’ their witness). When we pursue what we know to be right, we are on the road of living a sanctified life. Knowing we will not be perfect then, will allow us to be in the action mode. If we waited until we were perfect in our actions, we would never get anything done.
Despite the fact we cannot earn our way into heaven on our own merits, we accept the free gift of salvation and live our lives in such a way that we attract others to Christ. We are not responsible for getting others into heaven, but we can be very instrumental in accomplishing this, and it is in this action that we receive a reward. If we influence others to accept Christ, and they in turn receive eternal life, God ‘rewards’ that action and the reward is forever. Likewise, if we distract another from the faith, we will be dealt with in a like manner, and very well may have ‘reward points’ deducted from our account. Either way, there is an economy of actions and they do have a price attached.
Mother Teresa once told one of her novices when the novice noticed negativity thrown mother Teresa’s way, and saw how mother Teresa did not react negatively to this action: “My job is not to worry about results, but to plant seeds” We don’t know what will happen by our actions, but we do know we need to act on what we know to be true. What a person of free will decides to do with the actions is totally up to him, and he will be bound by his actions. When someone, who claims to be a Christian, sees injustice and does nothing, not only denies Christ, but is spreading a false gospel in that the message being conveyed is, it’s ok to do nothing in the face of evil and in the end, all will be made right. No, our works while here will make all the difference in the world come eternity, and once the score is tallied, the game will be over.
In the end, it very well may be the greatest number of sins will fall under the rubric of sins of omission. Too many are doing nothing about what they see and identify as evil, and have multiple excuses to justify inaction. This will not wash out in the end, and very well may put a ‘saved’ individual in the role of heaven’s janitor for eternity. The churches are not preparing their flocks for the times we live in, and the majority does not know how to fight for or live their faith. No one wants to discuss persecution and hardships anymore despite the overwhelming evidence of both that are becoming more prevalent with each passing day. To not act on what we know to be true is the greatest dereliction of duty we can have for our fellow man. No one should expect perfection; however, one should readily expect some efforts in the face of the very obvious evil we see on a daily basis.