If Everyone Was Like Me

I desire that all sports icons understand the powerful influence they wield over children all around the world. A Christian never has to worry about whether or not they have to follow an example. Hebrews 13:7 says, “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.” Christians know for certain that they must follow good examples. But that is only half the story. Not only must Christians follow good examples, but they have to be good examples themselves. Matthew 5:13-16 says, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” It’s good to examine our influence and ask the question, “What if everybody was like me?”

First, would the Bible continue to be a best-seller? If everyone was like me, would it be possible for Bibles to become worn and possibly need replaced because of use? Psalm 1:1-2 says, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.” Would Bibles ever be given as gifts? Would television’s popularity diminish because of home Bible study? Would Bible-oriented material such as dictionaries, commentaries, periodicals, or church bulletins disappear? Would we continue to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18)?

Second, would local churches exist? If everyone was like me, would we even need the church except on special occasions such as Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day? Would there be such a thing as “evening” or “mid-week” assemblies or would they die a slow, painful death because I was not interested enough to attend? Hebrews 10:23-25 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.” But do I even care? Would there be Bible classes for adults and their children or would there be empty rooms because of student disinterest and teacher apathy? In Acts 20:7, the disciples at Troas were willing to listen as Paul prolonged his message past midnight. Would the local church be able to maintain their work both by member’s participation and financial support or would it be a struggle to pay the utility bills? Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.”

Third, would others ever hear and see the gospel? If everyone was like me, would families be grounded in the knowledge of God’s word? Philippians 1:27 says, “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ; so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” Would friends, neighbors, or co-workers ever learn the truth? Would they know you’re a Christian by your behavior, speech, dress, or recreation? Would they ever be invited to a Bible study, receive a religious tract or church bulletin, be directed to a church website, etc.? Peter wrote, “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15). Would our speech reflect interest in God’s word, or would we just talk about the weather, sports, jobs, politics, etc.? Would erring Christians ever be restored? Galatians 6:1-2 says, “Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.”

Fourth, would worship assemblies or Bible classes be canceled because of conflict with worldly activities? If everyone was like me, would the local church have to close its doors during ballgames, visits from family, work, hunting, fishing, rodeo roping, etc. because no one showed up? Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” Does missing worship assemblies for these activities really demonstrate this principle? Would children’s Bible classes be canceled because parents allowed them to attend a school function, spend the night at a friend’s house, do homework, attend ball practice, etc.? Are these not the very ones that have allowed themselves to become choked with the “cares and riches and pleasures of this life” (Luke 8:14)? Would worship assemblies be canceled because every one made the deliberate choice to go to work? Would this really exhibit the spirit of Romans 12:1-2 which states, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, {which is} your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Fifth, would anyone be ready at the judgment? If everyone was like me, would we be using our opportunities for good? Galatians 6:10 says, “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” We know that night will finally come when no man can work (John 9:4). Would we be rendering obedience to God’s word? Matthew 7:21-23 says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” Would we have a prepared heart? Proverbs 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life” (cp. Ezra 7:10). Romans 6:17 adds that “… you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed.”

What would it be like if everyone were like me? Would everyone be faithful? Would everyone be devoted? Would everyone be going to heaven? Soul-searching questions demand an answer! If we don’t answer and correct them now, we will certainly answer for them before the God Almighty in the day of judgment.

Kyle Campbell