Complacency in our spiritual lives - and in our church - can lead to real problems. Here is an interesting “letter” that I filed away years ago and just came across. The author of this piece is unknown, though it is written in the style of C.S. Lewis,’ “The Screwtape Letters.” Perhaps as you read, it will cause you to pause and reflect. As you begin reading, ask yourself this question: “Could this be written to me?”
In His Grace, Pastor Kevin:
“To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing to you because I owe you a tremendous debt. Although I realize you are in Christ’s eternal fold and are no longer mine, you have done some things that are helping me, and I felt it was time that I wrote you a letter of thanks.
First, I want to thank you for the way you have lost your focus. The year you were saved, your enthusiasm bothered me. I was concerned that you were going to have an impact on your relatives and community. In fact, I was making plans to trip you up in some sin, so your testimony would be marred. Fortunately, that wasn’t necessary. You’ve become so involved with other Christians, you’ve had no time for unbelievers. I get excited with the emphasis your church has on fellowship. I don’t like to hear a church use the word outreach. Keep up the good work. The other Sunday someone mentioned how your church has doubled in the last five years. I hoped no one would notice that it’s been by transfer growth as believers switch churches. Transfer growth doesn’t bother me. Conversion growth does.
I also need to thank you for the time or two I’ve heard you present the gospel. Thank goodness that you’ve not done it much. At least when you have done it, you made it so confusing. You keep telling people “you need Christ,” but you never explain the gospel clearly enough for an unbeliever to understand. Don’t change. I don’t want non-Christians to know that His death paid for their sins, and that they need to trust Him alone to save them.
I want them to think that they can obtain heaven by good works and religious efforts. That way, I can have them sitting in church every Sunday as one of my children – not one of His. That’s what I call the ultimate deception.
Let me mention another thing I admire about you. It’s your incon-sistency. When life rolls along smoothly, your life reflects the fact that you’re a Christian. But when a day doesn’t go right, you’re a great asset to me. For example, you haven’t known it, but Christ is working in your neighbor’s life, so I’m really working to combat His efforts. The other morning you came out to go to work, and you were very late. Remember? Your car’s front tire was flat, and your spare tire needed air. Your neighbor came out of his house the same time you discovered all of that. He heard you use a few of those “choice words” that I brought to your mind. My plan worked. He said to his wife that night at dinner, “I can honestly say we live a better life without going to church than most of those who do.” I do somersaults of glee every time that happens.
Well, I need to run. I just thought you needed to know how you’re assisting me. I can’t do anything about your eternal home, because that was settled the day you trusted in Christ. But at least you have been a big help in hindering others.
Prince of Deceivers
P.S. – Oh, yes, I almost forgot. Thanks for neglecting your communication with the Lord. I’ve noticed that Bible Study and prayer give vitality to Christians. You’ve let so many other things take their place. That’s been a real help in keeping you stagnant. Don’t change, I like you just the way you are.”
"Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel." Colossians 1:21-23