I'm just going to say it: I think that many claiming the name "Christian" are such for reasons lacking in scriptural basis. I don't say that to proclaim that I have never had the "wrong reasons" for faith (although, even thinking about that day in 1990 where I met Jesus for real, I think it was more right reasons than wrong reasons for surrendering to him), but just because in my calling, I ask the question often, "So, why do you call yourself a Christian?" I get all kinds of answers, such as:
"I dunno, I've just always gone to church."
"I don't want to go to hell."
"I'm American. Aren't we a Christian nation?"
"My life stinks and I want Jesus to make it better/fix everything/take away the bad people/_______."
"I believe in God. Isn't that enough?"
And on and on and on...
I think we often miss some of the points of faith in Christ. I don't even pretend to have it correct all the time, but as I was reading this morning, I saw something that I haven't paid much attention to. I decided to read on my own "The Peters" (1 & 2 Peter) since a sermon podcast I listen to is spending EONS in those books. Pretty quick, in the first chapter of the first book, I read this:
8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.: 1 Peter 1:8-9
The goal of faith? Salvation of your soul. That's it. Not your best life now. Not the death of your enemies. Not even just a Get Out of Hell Free Card (certainly that is part of it, and salvation IS with God in eternity as opposed to the opposite...but some folks just seem to "say a salvation prayer" to cover their bases or something...just in case...). It is the fact that our souls NEED saving at all...and that Jesus, the God-man, took care of it through his life, torture, death, and resurrection. And for our salvation, we must release ourselves to Christ. That is the goal of our faith. Oh God, help me to rejoice in that goal alone this day...