If you ask the average American if they are a Christian, most will say yes. But are they really? What does it mean to be a child of God? It’s true, we are all created by God, but we are not all God’s children.
As Jesus told Nicodemus in John chapter 3:3b “except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” There you have it: you must be born again to be a child of God.
A lot of people think they are Christians maybe because they went to Vacation Bible School as a child and somebody asked them if they wanted to go to heaven. So of course they raised their hand, said a prayer, filled out a card and went home thinking they were saved. But was there a change? Who doesn’t want to go to heaven when they die? Tragically, we are not all going.
Jesus said in Matthew chapter 7 that the way is narrow that leads to everlasting life and there will be few that find it, but broad is the way that leads to destruction and many will go that way. (my paraphrase).
So how do you know for sure if you are a true child of God? In 1st John, there are a few simple tests that should give you reassurance if you are saved and should get you to thinking, if you are not. Please read the book of 1st John. It is only 5 chapters and can be read in a very short amount of time. Then ask yourself these questions:
1. Do you say you know God but continue to walk in darkness? “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.”
2. Do you say that you have no sin? You’re a good person, right? Do you think being good will get you to heaven? No. Jesus said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father, but by Me.”
3. Do you keep His commandments? “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and love thy neighbor as thyself.”
4. Do you read and study His word? Do you live as much as humanly possible like Jesus lived and walk as He walked?
5. Do you hate or dislike other people? “He that says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is in darkness still.”
6. Do you love the things of the world? “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
7. Do you love the people of God and love being with them in fellowship? Do you attend church regularly, prayer meetings, etc?
8. Have you ever suffered persecution (even mildly) for your faith? Jesus said “marvel not if the world hate you, for it hated Me first.”
9. Do you have a relationship with God? Do you talk to Him in daily prayer? Jesus said "My sheep hear My voice and they follow Me."
10. And finally, are you actively working to help bring others to Christ? "Faith without works is dead." Works WILL NOT save you, but Jesus said "You will know them by their fruits."
I’m going to give you one more statement and if there is anything at all inside you that rejects or rebels against this, you may want to check your heart – because it is true:
You and I are evil, despicable, ungodly, heinous, wretched, wicked creatures who completely deserve to go straight to hell.
But by the amazing grace of God only, through the blood of Jesus Christ only, we can be made righteous. Because God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have eternal life.
If you are truly born again, you will know it. 1st John 3:24b says “And hereby we KNOW that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.” The Holy Spirit of God comes to live inside you and literally changes everything about you. There is nothing in this world more blessed or peaceful than this. Love comes alive for the first time! It's like the light is finally turned on and you are able to see everything totally different. You feel clean and brand new on the inside. God restores you and gives you hope again. Please do not miss out on all that God has for you in this life, but more importantly; in eternity.
If you are in doubt, take the test. And if you fail, repent…for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Peace be with you.
Thank you for this article. This would be a great witnessing tool and I will refer to it as needed when these questions arise to witness to others. It is so true that many are deceived- just because they said a quick prayer- fire insurance- they are now on their way to heaven- it has to be about change, and loving the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind! If you get a chance read my testimony -I just posted. May God continue to use your gifts of writing to reach the lost and encourage the found! Love Danette