Amongst other things, to be truly Christian is to be holy. It’s an unpopular word though. But the Bible is unequivocally clear about it. “Be holy for I am holy.” (Lev.11:44,45; 19:2; 20:7,26; 21:8; Deut.23:14; 1Pet.1:15,16)
A few reasons why holiness is difficult today.
First, we are too smart and educated, so we have learned to justify what we do and what we want to do. Simple obedience has been thrown out, and worldly values embraced.
Second, we want to be accepted by the world too much. We have forgotten that we are in the world but not of the world. (Jn.17:14-16) In order to be accepted by people around us, we make compromises and we do stuff to make ourselves look like the world and sound like the world. So the church is often no longer set apart, not enough Christians stand out in the crowd to really change the world. Instead, we let the world change the church.
Third, we want a big church but we can’t manage it – we have no time to make sure every member is properly mentored and discipled – teaching them to obey everything Lord commanded (Mt.28:18-20). So we do mass “discipleship” by running “excellent” weekly services. As long as they keep coming, we assume we are successful in teaching them. But are they living holy lives? We don’t really know.
These are just three of many reasons why it is hard to be holy and truly Christian today.
What should we do? First, choose simple obedience and stop justifying. Second, love God, not the world. Third, make intentional discipleship a priority, don’t spent all or even most of your resources and energy on weekly services.