Bill was an interesting character- that is, if you find characters interesting. He was intelligent, educated, with a bachelor’s degree in music, and did work on a master’s degree in another field. He was also a womanizer, and, oh yes, a drunk. He played the sousaphone in the high school band, and he and three friends made up the “Little German Band,” which made a lot of noise during their high school days. From there he went to college and somewhere along the way took up the base fiddle. Later, he and Sharon, who played the piano, were a duet in a local bar.
Fast forward twenty-five years or so and he has been through a marriage that lasted a few weeks, a live in girlfriend who he caught in a sex act with two men at a birthday party he was throwing for her, and now there is an assortment of young ladies who are young enough to be his daughters. He told me of parties where they all got naked and sat around his living room with some sort of weird lights, that one of the “ladies” had devised, and indulged in various sex acts as they saw fit. Evidently there was a couple of other guys there too. Once while visiting in his home I found laying there a “ladies’” magazine with various pictures of naked men. He told me of two young women going through the magazine together and likening the men’s sex organs to guys they had been with. He also told me that this one young woman had been involved in devil worship.
Later I happened to drop by while this young woman was there. I had been studying into devil worship so I used this opportunity to ask her about it. She told me what she had been involved in and some of what they did. At first she was reluctant to tell me anything for she didn’t want to “rat” on anybody. I finally convinced her that I wasn’t a cop and was only trying to understand how it all worked.. Finally, she said she got out of it and did not want to be committed to anything “right now.” That statement stuck with me.
“Commitment” is a popular subject these days. College sports teams look for commitments from high school athletes. The military looks for commitments from young men and women, and of course, we Christians are expected to make a lifelong commitment to Christ. I joined the Air Force right out of high school when I was just seventeen. The commitment was for eight years; four years active and four years in the reserves. During those four years I lived where they told me, worked at what they told me and got what pay they decided to give me. In other words, I had given them control of me for four years. Being a natural born rebel, I very much wanted to get it over with.
Christ offers us eternal life in heaven. He offers grace for every trial and the peace that passes understanding. He says He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother; He says He will never leave us nor forsake us and He will supply all our needs. In view of all the promises He has made us, one would think everybody would be standing in line to receive all of this. But there is just one problem. It involves commitment, which is surrendering control of ourselves. We might like to receive all of this from Him but we want to keep control. To this He says, “No deal!”
So what has mankind done about this? Well they have thought of seemingly endless ways to have Christ without surrendering to Christ. This, while all along the Bible tells us that, “as many as are let by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” It is amazing how we can ignore that or misconstrue it. We may want Christ, but we also want control. If you don’t believe this just look around at all the various brands (sects) of Christianity that are available.
You can go to confession, take sacraments, join the church, get baptized with water, teach Sunday school, preach the Gospel, go on the foreign mission field and “give (your) body to be burned,” but if you have not made a lifelong commitment to serve Christ you are without hope. “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” If you have not to Christ surrendered, you have not His salvation. In the final analysis you are not better, or better off, than the young “lady” who had worshiped the devil and attended wild sex parties.