Philippians 3:13, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead”
Is there such a thing as being a part-time Christian? All we need to do is read the book of the Acts of the Apostles for this answer which is a clear No! If we read the general exhortations of names in the other NT epistles from John, Peter and Paul for example, you also get the answer of no, there aren’t part-time Christians. You are either growing and maturing in your Christian walk, or you are not growing or maturing at all.
Let me explain why. A sinner from birth is depraved, incapable to even believe in God or in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Our fallen nature shows us being as rebels to God, dead set to destroy His kingdom, to fight to our last breath against Him. Some believe they have a cooperative agreement with God, so they give Him the terms of their surrender through their world religion and unless God agrees to these terms, the war will continue.
Jesus makes a definitive statement in John 3:3 when He said ““Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Despite the world and its religions telling Jesus “this is how one is born again”, the statement stands. It will be only by God’s regenerating hand on a sinner’s heart which makes them into a new creation.
Enter the part-time Christian. By most likely moral guilt through a world religion, they were told they have been born-again. State this creed, participate in this ritual, and POOF we now declare you a new creation. The problem is the sinner is not a new creation, but had been deceived in this notion. So they attend church on Sunday out of guilt not in any rest in Jesus Christ, recite some creeds, and the rest of the week they live for the devil. Their so-called Christianity is part-time. For an hour or two a week they blend in with Christians, the rest of the week they blend in with the world.
The part-timer really has no testimony in Jesus Christ. After years and years of claiming Christianity, they really don’t have much to state in their witness other than possibly some boasts in themselves and their church attendance or sacrament participation. Their testimony will be as disjunctive and obscure as their part-time involvement in Christianity. They might just like the ambiance of the church and hang around, but God has not yet regenerated their heart and their part-time involvement is the evidence.
The other mark of a part-time Christian is their passivity towards the Gospel. The Gospel needs to be hidden in some venues, and when it is OK and self-preservation is realized only then does this part-timer declare the Gospel, of course, apologetically not to offend the sinner. But when the coast is clear and it self-preservation is assured, only then they might share the Gospel. They will appease sin on demand, they can’t upset or offend unbelievers because the commitment to Christianity is not really there.
Another mark of a part-time Christian is the use of Christianity only in the time of need. They may be down on their luck, a health issue, or a job interview coming up, and POOF they throw on the Christian hat during this time believing God should be bestowing them their wishes. As soon as the dilemma passes, the hat goes off, they go back into the world blending right in until the next crisis.
Other part-time Christians use Christianity for popularity. I shall post a Bible verse on my Facebook wall now and then and see how many likes I get from other Christians is an example which comes to mind. The other posts on the FB wall are all contrary to the Gospel mind you, all worldly things, but let’s throw a bone out there every so often out of guilt to the Christian world. Or I shall sing in the choir where people notice my voice and talent, but have no intention to fellowship with others outside of this.
Part-time Christians are easy to spot especially on social media. Your online presence should be no different than offline. If you are using Christianity on a part-time basis, your posts and comments coincide.
8 Convicting questions (please reflect on each one).
1. Have you shared the Gospel freely today? If not, why?
2. Have you spent anytime in Scripture today?
3. What steps are you making to grow and mature in the Holy Spirit?
4. What is your passion? Is it to give God the glory or are you still seeking worldly cooperation and popularity?
5. What are you doing in the church? Are you equipping others, helping others, supporting others, teaching others?
6. Reflect on your testimony and witness in Jesus Christ. Do you have one? If so, has this testimony grown or is it stagnant and out-dated.
7. What do you see as your mission in life? Is it to come and go out of the world, or did God really separate you from the world.
8. What is your top priority? Is it God’s glory and Kingdom, or it is your popularity and esteem or possibly others in your life.