Basement Christians

'Basement Christians' or
'Low Man on the Totem Pole'

I've heard both used by people who know they're not living right. When they die, they figure they'll get to heaven, but in the lowest position. The thing is, if they know it, they can do something about it:

...behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
    II Corinthians 6:2b

Our Part, His Part
Realizing we've been living shabby Christian lives, we can stop it here and now. We can choose to repent and seek God with our whole heart. If our attitudes aren't right, and we feel we just can't cut it, (not enough desire) we can trust the Lord to make the corrections:

Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.
    Proverbs 16:3

This verse contains two powerful messages. Let's see it put in action.
In the first instance, let's say we have trouble using foul language. This verse tells us, if we do all we do as servants of Christ, we'll have controlled thoughts. This would affect our speech. In other words, we won't slip into the use of foul speech.

In the second instance, let's say we want to watch movies or TV shows righteous men wouldn't watch. We're in the situation of having wrong desires, but wanting a right heart. In this instance, consider that our 'works' are everything we do, including our choice of entertainment. We decide to watch only what's appropriate, even if the attitude may not be there yet. This scripture shows we'll have the attitude we should possess, and our desires will be godly, when we do as we should.

Committed, or Fooling Ourselves?
I've heard people express the attitude, 'to live according to all the scriptures call for is too much'. Here, in the United States, we live in such ease compared to other countries. We've not been tortured for our faith, yet do we consider putting away ungodly pleasures too much for us? I read an article saying in 1996 alone — 160,000 Christians had been martyred in totalitarian and Moslem countries. While people are tortured for their faith in Christ, we consider turning off the TV too much to sacrifice. We're contemptible!
Jesus said:

...No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
                    Luke 9:62

How many of us really want Christ? We say we're Christians, but are apathetic over being conformed to His image. We hear a rebuke, but don't take it to heart. We hear of Him and continue to make our own plans for the future. Who are we really living for? What's it take before we carry His calling to heart?

Growing Deep or Broad
I read a good illustration in a book on the Holy Spirit. In the days of the early church, Paul had to travel places rather slowly compared to today. As Paul went from town to town ministering, it was a slow journey where he could spend time with God. He didn't get frayed nerves from heavy traffic and occupy all his time listening to the stereo. He could have quiet contemplation of God. It was his chance for godly communion and strengthening.

In today's society it's rush, rush, rush, always occupied. With increased knowledge and the internet, we grow very broad. We're lacking something critical, something very serious. We don't grow deep, that extra dimension of strength and fellowship with our Creator. His love doesn't grow in us. His attitudes aren't cultivated in us. Why? We look around our home and see all the toys we've accumulated. What ultimate value is any of it? Does it bring contentment, peace, life? When we die, what good will it be in the light of eternity? I'm tired of breadth, I want depth! It's easy to get distracted by things and activities. We quickly fall away to our old wasteful lifestyle. We must strive if we're to grow deep. Read God's word whether we feel like it or not, pray likewise, fellowship and minister. Seek God, not the things of God, but God!

Take Heed - Repent!
What do I mean? Many get caught up in Revelation studies, gifts of the Spirit, studies of biblically controversial issues, yet never long and lust for God. The church in Ephesus got a rebuke in Revelation 2:1-7 from Jesus. He charged them, noting they were doctrinally clean and behaving properly, but they had lost their love for Him. After all their striving, they failed because they got distracted by activity. We need to long for Him, love Him, and if our love grows cold, do as Jesus told the Ephesians:

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works;...   
     Revelation 2:5a

[An historical note: The Ephesian Church didn't heed Christ's warning in Revelation. They were destroyed.]

Take this lesson to heart: Grow deep, hunger and thirst for Him, spend time every day praising Him, seek His help for others in prayer, feed on His words.

Different Greetings in Heaven
The 'Basement Christian' and 'Low Man on the Totem Pole' are such sad pictures. I want you to picture a singular moment in glory Jesus told us about. When we get to heaven, He will say to some:

...Well done, thou good and faithful servant:..   
Matthew 25:21

I earnestly look forward to seeing His face and hope to hear those words. That's not the only possible reception to consider though. We're also told some will suffer stripes, some a few, some many, some cast out altogether with the unbelievers:

41 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? 42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. 45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.    
Luke 12:41-48 (Deut. 32:19,20)

Based upon the passage we just read, picture the following: You die and suddenly find yourself being transported from your body to the gates of a beautiful city. You see those loved ones who have gone before you in Christ standing there to greet you. Your spouse, children, parents, other loved ones and the lone figure that stands out above them all, Jesus. Instead of a smile on His face you find a hard look of anger. Suddenly, two strong looking angels step up, taking you by the arms. They turn you around. You see a whipping post. They lead you to it and bind you. One of the angels steps out a distance and picks up a bull-whip that was laying on the ground. You wonder, 'What is going on!' Finally you hear the voice of the Master. You think it's about time, before the burly angels get a workout on you. To your dismay you hear Him read charges against you. Being His representative on earth, He commences itemizing ways you slurred His name. As He itemizes, you feel a lash for different offences from which you had never turned. Eventually the list comes to an end. Your loved ones have tears in their eyes.

Wearing Crowns, Stripes or ?
We know some will have crowns of honor to wear in glory, but many may find they wear stripes of reproach instead. Some will find they thought they were 'Basement Christians', but to their surprise, they had gone down too many flights of stairs. The 'Low man on the totem pole,' will be such a person, unless he repents. For some, their hardness of heart might not be clearly itemized in scripture, but the result will be the same.

Don't play in the basement! If the transgressions don't take you over the edge into the camp of the unredeemed, there will be shame to face when you reach the other side. Take heed to the Ephesian call:

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works;...  
 Revelation 2:5a

Please Rate this Page
1 - Poor
5 - Excellent


3 + 4 =
(to prove you're a real human, not a spammer)

Free to Copy under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND3.0 License by Darrell Farkas
All quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible

Return To Library