- By Michael Sitko
Have you been inoculated? A common question these days in Canada and a controversial one at that. Inoculation is the process by which the spreading of disease is curbed through the process of infecting a host with a neutralized version of a disease or virus that could lead to long term impairment, disability or even the death of the host. The intended result is the boosting of the hosts immune system to make them resistant and unable to be infected by the disease that they are being inoculated for. The nature of diseases and what makes them so dangerous, is that when they enter the blood systems of a host they literally take over and begin to infect and affect the host until every aspect of the life of the host is absorbed and consumed by the disease, often times, to the point where the host becomes incurably infected.
In the early 2000’s, my wife served for a time as a public health nurse and was in charge, among other responsibilities, of overseeing the immunization program for the community in which we were living. During that time we were starting our family and as our children were born the time came for them to receive their immunizations. As young parents, we wanted to learn everything we could about the things that involved our children from the food they ate, to the medical care they received.
With Somerset coming from a public health background we had the inside scoop on immunizations and their role and purpose in lives of our children. As she taught me about the different diseases that were out there and that had been defeated over the past 150 years in Canada through the power of inoculation, I began to understand and see the power and the benefits of inoculation and we prayerfully decided which inoculations we would have our children receive.
You may be wondering why on earth I’m writing about immunizations and inoculations on a Catch the Fire Blog site, well as I was spending time with the Lord this morning He began to talk to me about the power of inoculation and a correlation to one of the dangers facing His church today that is quickly reaching an epidemic level. Allow me to explain, in the same way the power of medicine has brought us such immense and amazing freedom from all manners of deadly sickness and diseases, through the power of inoculation, the Lord began to show me that the enemy was using this same tactic today in the church to rob people of an authentic encounter with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
You see, the enemy figured out that if he could successfully inject just enough of the truth of the message of the Gospel into a persons life to convince them that they were saved but little enough that they didn’t feel compelled into embracing the call to discipleship, that they would be fooled into believing they had embraced Christianity. The result would be that they would never truly experience the transforming power of the gospel that God intended to be released into their life, thereby inoculating them to the real gospel. As a result he would effectively keep them from being infected by Christianity.
The results of this false gospel being propagated can be seen all around us today in the form of a watered down or “neutralized gospel” being spread among our populous that is resulting in a high number of false conversions; whereby people believe they are saved simply because they prayed a prayer or because they attend a church when in reality the gospel of Jesus Christ was intended to be infectious to the point that it took over and consumed the entirety of the life of those touched by it. The Holy Spirit warned the church through the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 3:1-9 that this was coming and to be on guard against it.
This false gospel, is a gospel of convenience, of escapism, one that demands no fruit or demonstration of the realities of the life of the Saviour who desires to indwell us and it’s robbing the church of mission. Christ’s message is so clear, “Go into all the world and make disciples!” Unfortunately the reality that we are quickly awakening to today is that much of the church is working hard at making converts and doing very little to make disciples and in the process we are inoculating the world around us against the realities of the Christian life, which God intended to be nothing less than the complete manifestation of the life and person of Jesus Christ lived out through the lives of His sons & daughters on a daily basis in their homes and in their communities.
So I want to encourage you today to give an invitation to the Holy Spirit to come and search our hearts to see if you’ve truly been incurably infected, hopelessly and forever changed by the blood of Jesus; transformed into a disciple that makes disciples or if you've just been inoculated with a gospel of convenience.
Jesus said come and follow me! Which meant come and do what I do, speak how I speak and live out your life the way that I lived mine. It's time for us to get back on mission and start making disciples once again.
As each one of us begins to live infected by the person of Jesus Christ, the results will be the same for you and I that was experienced by the early church, the world around us will declare, “those who have turned their world upside down of come here too!"