In today’s society, the Lord Jesus Christ has become a Christ of convenience, bearing little if any resemblance to the Christ of the Bible.
Followers of this false view of Christ tend to fit loosely into two categories: those who are professing Christians and those who are not. In the case of those who claim to be Christians, I like to call it paint-by-number Christianity. Paint-by-number Christianity is when someone professes to be a Christian but only takes the parts of Christianity and the Bible that they are comfortable with to apply to their lives. They leave out the uncomfortable parts – the commands of holiness and perfection, the pain of taking up the cross, the Great Commission to preach the gospel, and the rejection, scorn and persecution that comes with boldly standing up for the gospel. What they do accept are the comfortable parts, such as the promise of heaven, or completely made-up or distorted false teachings such as universalism or the prosperity gospel. These people only go to Christ when they want something, as if he is a genie in a bottle to be summoned and who is obedience to their every command. Or they go to Christ when the have a need, which there is nothing wrong with in and of itself, except that they forget all about him when things are good. The Christ these people worship is only a cardboard cutout of the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of glory. Their Christianity has no challenge, no discomfort, and no faith.
For those who are not professing to be Christians, their Christ tends to be a distorted picture of God in heaven. He is seen as a Father who doesn’t really care what his children do. And everyone is his child. There is no wrath or justice or holiness, only love and unconditional acceptance. Again, they end up with a picture of God that little resembles the God of the Bible. They use arguments like, “An all-loving God would never send someone to hell,” and “I can do what I want in this life, and God will forgive me later.” This Christ becomes whatever they want him to be, and is made in man’s image. I call this paint-by-number religion.
The Christ of reality is nothing less than the Savior of the world, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords of the universe. The Lord Jesus Christ does not exist to do our bidding and give us whatever we want. He is not here to make our life comfortable and give us all the worldly things we desire. On the contrary, he came to take us out of the world. He calls us to be born again and forsake the world for his sake. He is our mediator in the heavenly realm, and this has eternal significance. The temporal has nothing to do with it.
What does your Christ look like? And can he save you?