'No, they are with Christ now'
The title of this post is a quote from one of the Ethiopian youth workers I met last week. In context, we were headed to show the Jesus film in a predominantly Muslim area outside of Hosaena and he commented that he used to be a Muslim. My colleague asked if his family were still Muslims and he replied 'No, they are with Christ now'.
For whatever reason this answer blew me away. He could have said a number of things, 'no, they have been converted' or 'no, they are Christians now' or even 'no, they have been saved'. But there is something more to this answer. It reveals the true meaning of salvation more clearly than any other response he could have offered.
It communicates the change that has occurred in their standing, they were once without Christ but now they are with him. It communicates that they belong to Christ, there is an intimacy described in this response. And it shows the choice involved both by God and by them. God chose them to be with him and they responded in kind and chose to be with Christ.
Maybe it was the matter of fact way that he put it or maybe it's because I'd never heard it put that way before but I'm still mesmerized by his answer. And I think that's a good thing.
It's causing me to think a bit more about my life. Is it evident to those around me that I am with Christ? Do I have a solid understanding and, perhaps more importantly, an appreciation for what Christ has done for me?
These are good questions for us to wrestle with.