Sin and salvation is like the storm in Fortnite. (Yes this is for the younger generation.)
When we are in the storm, we are marked for death. And death is the consequence of our sins. Even though we can spend a great deal of time in the storm without dying, you never know when you get pinned down and run out of time to clear it. The time we have been given on this earth is not for us to be selfish and experience as much as we can before we die. By grace, we are each given a certain amount of time to decide if we are going to remain in the storm or strive for Christ.
Though Christ, we are able to overcome death (if we choose to walk toward where He is). For in Him is life and salvation. To logically believe in God without backing that faith in our actions is a pointless gesture. That would be like knowing how to get out of the storm, but not walking in that direction. All throughout scripture we see that our actions reveal and bear witness to our faith. Jesus provides the rifts of restoration, but we have to walk into them.
We all hate the storm in Fortnite, for it never lets us get comfortable. It continually pushes us closer to the very center of the map to face harder struggles.
Salvation is not something we receive one night on our knees for all eternity. If it was, everyone would make their kids do it so that they could all go to heaven. (some have tried that). Salvation is not given at a specific time and place; it is not a ticket you receive and can hold onto. Eternal life is a person. It is the very nature of God. Salvation is found in Christ alone, yet we still retain our freedom to accept it. This is called holiness.
There is no kinda, sorta Christian. If we place one foot in the storm and the other in Christ, we still are in danger of death. The lifestyle of those who follow after Jesus is bathed in our choices everyday. We can either choose to take the easy road of sin and let the storm overtake us, or we keep moving closer to the center of His will no matter the obstacle we have to traverse.
Many times an enemy will try to engage us when the storm is close behind and sometimes the storm does overtake us. This is all part of the process of redemption and we can’t allow Satan to make us feel unworthy of running back out of the storm when we sin. Nothing we could ever do can separate us from God’s love. He will never turn away those that are seeking after Him. And when we truly ask for forgiveness (with a humble and repentive heart), He not only allows us to live at low health, He gives us a chug Jug every time and fully restores us to life.
On our Christian journey, we will be pushed uncomfortably toward our salvation, and it will seem that the things that Jesus once allowed in our lives before will begin to shift into the storm as Jesus continuously refines and transforms our hearts. He may choose to show us the sinful actions we do in public as we begin our walk of faith, yet after time, He will shift focus inward to work on the motivations and thoughts of our hearts.
This is because as new Christians, the Spirit of God may be working on the big sins of our lives, but as time goes on, the storm shrinks and more and more things become off limits or sinful. It is at these times that we need to remember that Jesus only disciplines and refines those He loves and that the more storm envelopes (the ugliness of our sinful ways), the closer we get to our prize. This process of the storm shrinking is called sanctification.
Is it wise to voluntarily go back into the storm to receive some type of benefit (even if it might be of epic quality)? May it never be! It is easy to gamble our lives away in a game, but what about our eternity? For every time we make the conscience choice to purposely sin, we raise a fist against a living God and walk back into the storm. Thankfully, in God’s mercy, He gives us the time and means to walk back toward Him (most of the time).
Finally, Christianity is not about being the last guy on the map to win the game. Jesus has already won, and it is His victory royal. All we are called to do is to strive in seeking after that which He has revealed to us as we obey Him through the Spirit’s power.
Jesus never said that we won’t be tempted or suffer while we are on this earth. In fact, He says the exact opposite. And Jesus never said that we were going to make it to the very middle of the circle before our time on the map comes to an end. Some people die very young in their faith and still have many rough edges, while others who have been faithful for years seem to make it into the top 10. Yet no matter how well we play, the only thing we are judged on is if we had the faith to stay out of the storm and remain in Christ. That is what we will be judged on.
Adam and Eve only got one chance to be in the storm and they died because of the choice they made. Through grace, we are given the mercy to go back and forth between the storm and the circle too taste and see that the Lord is good. We get to see the effects sin has on our lives and realize that it is only through faith in Christ that we can fill the void in our souls.
If you are a teen reading this today, God has given you tremendous grace as you have left the safety of the battle bus and have taken the time to gather some recourses and experience. Even at a young age, many of you have already faced encounters and have taken on damage as you have been engaged by the enemy.
If I could give you any advice it would be that the storm is approaching, and no matter how enticing it is to try and heal or upgrade your inventory, it would be much wiser to run toward Christ void of any equipment.
The storm is coming. Eternity is not a game. There is no respawn or reboot card in this life. Therefore, no matter how long you last in the round, make sure that you act on your faith so that when you fall, you will share in the victory royal with the rest of us. For all who believe in Jesus become children of God. Basically, we get to join His squad… And yes, on that great day, I will probably break out some “Orange Justice” since I am old school like that…