Casual Christianity by Kay Keith Peebles

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“Que sera, sera” is a dangerous theology!  The song “Que Sera, Sera” which means- “Whatever will be, will be” was written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans in 1956.  It was sung by Doris Day and featured in the movie “The Man Who Knew Too Much”.  The premise of the song was we do not have control over our lives because our fate is determined by the “gods”.  It is a care-free, casual belief which motivates people to live their lives to the fullest centered around their own desires, because they have no say or power to determine the final outcome.  This belief has seeped into the church and is affecting how people regard the good news of the kingdom (the Gospel).

My husband and I attended the funeral for a 16 year old young man several years ago.  He was one of four passengers killed in an automobile driven by a drunk teenager.  They had all been partying and the driver was speeding when he accidentally plowed into a large tree killing everyone in the car.  The mother of the teenager was an employee of the company my husband managed.  The family was inconsolable.  We came to the funeral to express our love and sympathy for their deep loss.

The funeral began with a hymn and a prayer; then the pastor stood at the pulpit to preach a sermon.  He asked the mourners a question:  “Why did God take this young man”?  He then proceeded to answer his question by sharing his version of the sovereignty of God.  His message to the grieving family in essence, was “Que sera, sera” (whatever will be, will be).  He explained his belief that the Lord required the young man in the prime of his life and there was nothing the family could do about it because God is God.  His remarks were similar to things I have heard others say to those grieving; “God needed your _________ (family member) more than you did.”  His message left all those in the pews feeling hopeless and brought no consolation to the family.  It did, however, stir doubt, and perhaps anger toward a God who would “take” our precious loved ones from us.  It was heartbreaking to hear him blame God’s sovereign will for the death of the teenager.  He left the entire room of people questioning the futility of life.

God’s sovereignty is blamed for many things that are not His doing but rather, they are the result of the missteps of others.  Unfortunately, like I witnessed the day of the funeral, many people believe in the theology of “Que sera, sera”.

Although the Lord is sovereign over all of creation, He created mankind with the ability to choose to follow or reject Him.  Those who believe that everything happens according to God’s perfect plan must eliminate the majority of the Bible.  From Genesis to Revelation the written Word of God is filled with God’s intervention in men’s lives, but His will is also subjected to man’s free will choice.  God never made man sin nor was he created with the propensity to do so.  Adam and Eve chose to rebel against God’s commandment.  Their disobedience caused sin, death and destruction to enter our world.  The Bible is clear, it is not God’s will for anyone to perish eternally, but many do because they reject God’s call to salvation, kingdom living and destiny.  See 2 Peter 3:9.  Many people die every day because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.  God is sovereign and all-knowing, but we make our own choices.  He does try to influence our decisions but we have been given the right to choose whether we obey Him or not.

This dangerous theology deceives Christians into thinking they have no part or responsibility in what happens here on earth.  It especially affects their attitudes toward their having an active role regarding their own Christian walk, the salvation of others and the end times.  They feel no need to study the word of God and mature in the things of God.  They participate in church with a casual attitude, lightly esteeming the Lord because they are pre-occupied with their own plans.  They do not know fully what they believe and why, which can make them targets to the lies and doctrines of false prophets within the church.  See Matthew 7:15.  They can then be easily swayed by human reasoning which contradicts Biblical Truth.  This is currently happening today!

We are presently living in a treacherous time and therefore we must know the Word of God because we are daily being positioned with opportunities to speak truth or succumb to lies.  If we do not know the Word, we are in danger of believing whatever is presented as the Gospel, rendering us unable to stand in faith on God’s side.

Jesus’ disciples asked Him what the sign of His return would be and what would take place at the end of the age.  See Matthew 24 (entire chapter).  “Jesus answered them, Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error].”  Matthew 24:4 AMPV.  He continued, “And then many will be offended and repelled and will begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred, And many false prophets will rise up and deceive and lead many into error…”  Matthew 24:10-11 AMPV.  Jesus continued speaking in parables about our responsibility to be diligent, watchful and busy about the kingdom’s business while we wait expectantly for His return.

Our Christian faith is far from casual.  It calls us to be active, equipped, matured, discerning and focused on Him.  We must not be busy doing solely our own activities while leaving no room for Him, except an hour on Sunday mornings.  Jesus described what the kingdom of heaven is like in Matthew Chapter 25 by comparing 10 virgins.  These virgins represent the church, those who are righteous by receiving salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.  The Bridegroom represents Jesus Who will return at the end of the age.  (See Matthew Chapter 22; Revelations 21:9, 22:17; John 3:29 and Isaiah 65:5)  Five of the virgins were described as wise and five as foolish.  The five wise virgins were sensible, intelligent and prudent.  They were prepared by pre-planning and using their time wisely.  The five foolish were negligent, wasteful and casual in regard to their bridegroom’s return.

The bridegroom delayed His reappearance long enough the five foolish virgins nodded off and went to sleep, not considering how long or difficult the night might become.  Unprepared, their lamps burned out and they had no way of acquiring the oil to re-light them before He came back.  When the bridegroom arrived, the five foolish were nowhere to be found, because they were searching for the necessary oil (the evidence of their faithful obedience) in vain.  The five wise virgins who had prepared themselves entered into the marriage feast with Him.  The door was then shut and no one else would be allowed to enter in.  When the five foolish virgins finally returned it was too late.  They insistently knocked at the door of the wedding feast.  The bridegroom answered the door and spoke heartbreaking words to them.  “But He replied, I solemnly declare to you, I do not know you [I am not acquainted with you].”  See Matthew 25.  Although they had been invited to the wedding feast, their casual attitudes toward it and the bridegroom kept them from properly preparing themselves so that they could enter in.  They were sadly rejected from the kingdom for all eternity.

God is sovereign, but we can thwart His perfect will from coming to pass in our lives.  We, like the Israelites before us, can become rebellious, calloused or simply too casual in regard to Him, risking eternal judgement.  It is true, the Word of God says the enemy (devil) cannot snatch us out of God’s hand.  We can, however, be denied entry through our own continual disobedience by having a casual disregard of His Word, His kingdom, His presence and His own sovereign plan for our lives.

The kingdom of God was offered to us at the cost of Jesus’ painful sacrifice.  He was mutilated and crucified because that alone could demonstrate the depth of wickedness our sins created.  He bore the fullness of our shame, guilt and mocking which we deserved.  Salvation was given to us freely by His great love for us, although we deserved eternal judgment.   He fully gave His life for us; therefore, to truly be a disciple of Jesus Christ, we must give our lives to Him completely.  Whether we live or die, we are His only.  2 Timothy 2:11-12 proclaims, “The saying is sure and worthy of confidence:  If we have died with Him, we shall also live with Him.  If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.  If we deny and disown and reject Him, He will also deny and disown and reject us.  If we are faithless [do not believe and are untrue to Him], He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself.”  His faithfulness to His Word and his righteous character is the very reason He denied the five virgins entrance to the wedding feast.  They were imposters of the true believers.

Many of the churches in Germany succumbed to the pressure of the Nazi regime in World War II, compromising their beliefs and exchanging true Biblical doctrines for the Nazi propaganda.  Today, many in the churches in America are capitulating to the pressures of our society and the escalating resistance to God’s word by our American culture.  There is a growing pressure for Christians to approve those who live godless and immoral lives.  Believers are already being persecuted for taking their stand with God.

Every day we are inching closer to the Lord’s return.  We must be equipped to endure to the end.  The night is drawing nigh.  We must prepare our lamps by filling them with the oil of the Holy Spirit while the Lord’s presence may be found.  The diligent will reap the reward.  The seeker will apprehend the prize.  The faithful will see the Lord.  There is NOTHING casual about Christianity; that is why so few are willing to walk on the narrow path.  Are you one of them?

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