Ask most people if they are a Christian and the response will be in the affirmative. Because we are good people and don’t do lots of bad things, are nice, give to charity once and awhile, because we go to church or just live in America makes me Christian- Right?
Paul the Apostle told a group of Corinthian believers to “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test (2 Corinthians 13:5)?”
We come to the Lord through faith and we cannot earn salvation; but there is clear evidence if someone has turned their life over to Christ. Here is the criterion to know if that has truly happened: Keeping the Commandments of God!
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching (John 14:22).” The idea that a “Christian” can ignore the clear teachings of the bible is foreign to the thinking of Jesus. That’s why Jesus said “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit (Matthew 7:16, 17).”
John the apostle wrote “This is love for God; to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome for everyone born of God overcomes the world (1 John 5:3, 4).” He also said the evidence one truly loves God is walking in obedience to His commands (2 John 6).
Jesus did not give people a free pass to live any way they desired and use His name to say they are Christian. Jesus always held those who claim his name, to high standards of morality and conduct. I am a traitor to Jesus if I think my lifestyle and how I conduct myself in this world doesn’t matter to God.
“Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9).”
God’s word makes it clear that my actions matter! The idea that a real Christian is immoral, lives with a partner, cheats, steals, dates while separated, doesn’t believe the bible etc. redefines the biblical definition of Christian. Those who never spend time in God’s Word, who seldom pray, who live for their own will instead of God are living blind. Hence Jesus says “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say (Luke 6:46)?” He warned us that “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21).”
The fact is, there is a huge deception in America, a false comfort, a pseudo Christianity that looks nothing like the relationship with God, Jesus gave His life for. The good news is that we can come to our senses and change our ways anytime if we truly desire. Then and only then do we get the privilege of saying “I am a Christian.”
All Scripture references are The New International Version-NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc