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PASTOR’S CORNER: Which category do you fall in?

Jesus must be disappointed! I say this because many professing Christians have fallen far below his expectations.

Over the years, since his ascension, we have succeeded in changing his church from the unified church he built into the fragmented, disjointed organization it is today. And, the prognosis for improvement seems rather dim.

After 48 years of observing Christians inside and outside the church building, I have concluded that each of us can be assigned to one of four major categories. Category 1 includes the most familiar to most of us, the infamous Closet Christians; those who love God and Jesus, but choose to hide their faith from the world.

Category 2 may not be as familiar. I call them . These folks are the opposite of the Closet Christians in that they flaunt their faith publicly. They include the super-spiritual; the scripture-quoting, amen-saying, church-going folks who look good on the outside but, once you take a bite, you realize they’re just full of air, with no substance found inside.

And then there’s Category 3, the newcomer to the list, the Complacent Christians. These folks are just as saved as anyone else; just as grateful to Jesus for his sacrifice on the cross; love God equally as much as the next guy; but have developed an I-got-mine, you-get-yours attitude toward the unsaved of the world.

Those who make up these three categories all have one thing in common: they all back away from doing anything within the body of Christ in furtherance of God’s ultimate purpose — the redemption of humankind. It’s not that they don’t know their callings. They do! They know all about the great commission and the witnessing mandate. They have merely chosen to drop out.

And, as a result of that choice, our savior is disappointed. But, thank God for Category 4, those who bear the brunt of our evangelistic calling, the ideal Christians of the world. I’m reminded of the old 80/20 rule, when 80 percent of the real work of the church is done by 20 percent of the people in the church. Ideal Christians are the 20 percent. They have done, and continue to do, a remarkable job.

The danger is that they may become discouraged by the sheer volume of work yet undone and join the ranks of the existing dropouts of the world.

Scripture teaches us we should encourage one another. That’s step one in preventing that from happening. The final step is to trust God. He has promised to finish what he has started, even if it takes until Jesus returns (Philippians 1:6).

So be encouraged. Help is on the way. No one knows what God will do or how he will do it, but one thing we can depend on — his promise. He will get it done it spite of all efforts to distract us from what he has called all of us to do. Just stay prayerful, be faithful to your individual calling, and, as Dr. Charles Stanley often says, “obey God and leave all the consequences to him.”

Rev. O.L. Johnson, a retired LAPD lieutenant, is an associate pastor in his home church. Greater New Zion Baptist, 501 W. 80th St. in Los Angeles.

Pastor’s Corner is a religious column that looks at the relevancy of scripture in life today. The column will appear monthly in The Wave and on its website, www.wavepublication.com.