One thing that has always confused me since becoming a Christian is why people who have not grown up in the church are zealous for Christ while so many of the people who have grown up in church are at best luke warm. This is NOT to say that that applies to everyone either way. It's just an observation.
I was 19 when I gave my life to Christ. I grew with very little Bible knowledge and we never went to church. By the age of 19 I had done many things I was ashamed of. I didn't really know anything about God and everyone around me was doing the same things as me so it wasn't an imposed guilt that I felt. It was something deep inside me that told me the life I was living was wrong. So, when I went to church one night because my mom had recently started going and begged me to go, I was SHOCKED by the message I heard from the pulpit. It was Christmas that night so I was sure I would hear about Jesus in the manger... But, instead the Pastor was talking about John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only son, that WHOSOEVER believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life." I had never heard such a thing. I knew God was my Creator and Judge, but not my REDEEMER. Jesus had come to redeem me, to set me free from all my baggage and bondage. NOW that was a message I could use. Like I said I knew God was my Judge, but I had never been told that God had loved me so much that He did something drastic about the situation I was in.
I decided right then and there that ANYTHING God wanted from me in return was perfectly fine, but I COULD NOT live one more moment without HIM. He was my SAVIOR, MY REDEEMER, and even now my FRIEND. What more could a person want? I zealously wanted to please my new Father. Don't get me wrong as a baby christian with no one to really lead the way I screwed up big time lots of times. I was confused and I even left everything behind to go back in the world at one time, but I LOVED GOD. He had been SO GOOD TO ME. I was not disciples in the ways of God.
Which brings me back to my former statement. I couldn't understand why people who had grown up in church would leave the Lord. I "thought" they knew better than I how to serve God and live for him, but what I found was a bunch of joyless drones who did what they "had" to do to get by. So many times I saw people who were just going to church because that's what you do. People my age who grew up in church were leaving in record numbers and trading in the blessedness of following Jesus for the world. I had been there before and I KNEW there was NOTHING out there. WHY were they leaving? Why didn't they love God or see what He had done for them?
I don't know all the answers, but I know some of it is home-life, and some of it perspective. Something else I have learned is too much of the time we Christians focus on the Don'ts of God and NEVER on the DO's of God.
There are over 600 laws in the word of God and everyone of them is for our Good, but the I'm mostly talking about the 10 commandments.
I thought about those 10 laws and wondered what they would look like if they were the 10 Do's of God???
1. Do KNOW that there is ONE God and WORSHIP HIM.
2. Do realize that no one has ever seen God so we can't compare him to anything we know of.
3. Do call upon the name of the Lord WHEN you need Him and only use His name in Praise.
4. Do Keep the Sabbath holy and set it apart to rest with your family and worship him together.
5. Do Honor your Father and mother and DO live long and be prosperous because of that honor.
6. Do LOVE your neighbor and enemy and see every life as valuable.
7. Do be faithful. "It makes you feel better to do the right thing."
8. Do work hard and provide for your family. "It makes you feel better to do the right thing."
9. Do ALWAYS tell the truth. It makes you feel better to tell the truth.
10. Do be thankful for everything you have and realize that God is GOOD and He knows exactly what you need. Somethings you want are not good for you.
The big lie has always been that God is not Good, but for those of us who have been dead in our trespasses and sins KNOW that God is Good. Those of us who have lived apart from God and were desperate and lost without him know that HE alone satisfies. We know where we have been and never want to go back there. As for our own children who we are raising in the faith, we MUST pass on our zealous love for God and focus on the Do's of God. There is so much that we can DO in this christian life it's a shame so many focus on what we can't do.