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If someone were to ask you right now. What would your answer be?
You see, as we all "walk out" this Christian walk. We really have to "check our hearts" often!
We have to look within ourselves, and ask, "are we serious about our faith?"
  "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified."
                                   (2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV)
Is God paramount in our lives? Or are our jobs, hobbies, other things, people (etc.) more important to us? Have they replaced our commitment to God?
We live in such a world today that there is little, if "any" time, that people give God much a thought!
Even His own people! They will often remember Him on Sunday, holidays, or whenever they are in need!!
And people in this world today seem to think that He is "irrelevant", or "outdated". But for those of us who really know Him, we Know who He really is:
  “ Look to Me, and be saved,
      All you ends of the earth!
      For I am God, and there is no other."
                                      (Isaiah 45:22 NKJV)
And He does not change:
For I am the LORD, I do not change
    Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob."
                                         (Malachi 3:6 NKJV)
But we have to ask oursleves, are we "playing Church"? Or are we really serious about our faith?
You see we all know within ourselves, if we are right with Him:
  "Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God."
                                         (1 John 3:21 NKJV)
Do we live for Him? Are there any thoughts during our day, that are about Him, His will? Or that we take notice around us, the dying world that needs Him?
You see there are many people these days "filling up" the seats in Church. They have the "smiles", "kind gestures", and seem to have the "appearance" of a "sincere" believer. Many of these same people walk out of Church, seeming to be just a "little wiser". A little more, "in touch", with who God is. What He is about. His plan.
                           ....But are they really?
When they walk down the street and see a prostitute, or a homeless man in need, do they take notice? Do they stop and say "hi", "can I do anything for you?" Or "how are you today?" Do they offer to pray for them?
Do they treat them as people who are valuable to God?
Or do they just keep walking, perhaps on the other side of the street? Afraid that they may have to "confront", or acknowledge" Them? That there is someone in need before them? And so for many, they ignore that they had just seen a person in need.
Or do they simply avoid the parts of town that they may see these people? Like a child who covers their eyes to avoid their parents stare?
And did not Jesus say that as we minister to others, whether prison, hospital, etc. Are we not ministering to Him?
  "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 
 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
                                    (Matthew 25:34-40 NKJV)
And do they read the Bible at home? Do they spend time in prayer seeking God? getting to know Him better? Seeking His will? Or are they "Sunday Christians"? Playing "Church"?
You see if we "truly" are in Jesus, we have to examine ourselves, "from time to time". And see where our hearts truly are (2 Corinthians 13:5)? We have to "look deeply" and recon with who we are!
Does the heart of Christ beat within us? Or are we no different than we were the day before we accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior?
You see we can try and "fool" ourselves, but we can never fool God:
  "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."
                                          (Hebrews 4:13 NKJV)
Now we know that we are not perfect. That we are being "sanctified". And "santification" is a process. A process in which God is "ever molding" us into who He would have us be (for more info click here: God's patience!). And this takes time. We also will make many mistakes! We are human, it will happen!
But do we learn from our mistakes? Do we allow God to change us? To "mold us"? Or do we go on, "business as usual"? No different, than the rest of the world?
You see we often wonder why this world does not "get" that they need Christ. But what we should be asking is, why don't "we get" that we MUST have the "heart" of Christ to reach them!
We can go through our lives and just "play church". But that is NOT what God has called us to do!
He has called us to be His people:
 "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy."
                                        (1Peter 2:9-10 NKJV)
Called us to be "conformed" to His Son's image:
  "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren."
                                         (Romans 8:29 NKJV)
And to worship Him:
  "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
                                            (John 4:23-24 NKJV)
And to reach a dying world:
  "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen."
                                       (Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV)
But when we just go on "business a usual", everyone suffers! We suffer for not doing as we should!! Churches suffer as we do not use the gifts God has given us to serve!!! And a dying world suffers as there is one less person, ministering the love of Christ! And what happens when you add all these "ones" up? It adds up to many!!
And it adds up to many never hearing the gospel presented to them in a loving, and real "viable" way that they can understand!!
You see there are too many people "playing church" today! They like to look like they "have it all together". Walking around as if they are perfect!Putting on a "show" for others. Never being "transparent" and honest that they are also sinners who struggle! Whose only hope is in Jesus!!
Or they are trying to "fool themselves". They think that if they go through the motions they are "justified" before Him.
And it's a dangerous "game":
  "So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 
For many are called, but few are chosen.”
                            (Matthew 22:10-14 NKJV)
You see we all know within our "heart of hearts" if we are His! Going through the "motions" does NOT mean that we are!!
And how we live our lives is a testimony to what we REALLY believe!!!
Real justification only comes through sincerity in Christ:
 "Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels."
                                          (Luke 9:23-26 NKJV)
And living for the Lord, for real, will bring some suffering (for more info clock here: The "reality" of the real Christian life! )! This is a reason why many fall short. They do not want to "loose friends" (or those they "perceive" to be friends"), family, work. Or other things that their faith might cause them to loose!
But this is the reality. There is a cost to following the Lord:
  "Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also."
                                         (John 15:20 KJV)
And denying Him does also!
  "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
                                    (Mark 8:38 NKJV)
   “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ 
“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
                                (Matthew 25:41-46 NKJV)
But the benefits, and the return, are AWESOME:
  "So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life."
                                         (Mark 10:29-30 NKJV)
And we we have peace of mind (1 Timothy 6:6)! And we also have the awesome benefit of a close relationship with our Lord and Savior! Which can NEVER be replaced, or substituted (by anyone, or anything)!!
But we do have to look in the "mirror" often (i.e. "now and then") and ask ourselves, "am I playing Church?" You see it can happen by accident, or can can be on purpose!
Complacency can happen to ALL of us! So we ALL must be careful!!
And God does know who are really His!
So those who are "playing" Church? Be assured of this, God knows it (Hebrews 4:13)!
And here's some "food for thought":
 "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad."
                                    (Matthew 12:30 NKJV)

Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
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POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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