The Christian of 40-50 years ago is not the Christian of today. In fact, in many instances, they are diametrically opposed.
But how can that be? The Word of God, the Bible tells us, is forever settled in heaven, so clearly God’s everlasting standard hasn’t changed -- which leaves us with the inescapable conclusion that many of us have twisted God’s Word to mean whatever we say it means.
That works great here on earth, as our declining society embraces sin and calls it holy, so we may do whatever manner of perversion while still expecting the heavenly reward of a faithful servant -- but God will have none of it.
Millions of people who have been deceived into believing they are Christians are going to be so very disappointed when it matters most -- as the Bible says in Matthew 7:14 (NKJV), "Because narrow [is] the gate and difficult [is] the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” For non-believers, this is not an issue. They have chosen their fate, as is their God-given right. But for those who profess faith, yet act as if they are a god unto themselves, understanding God’s real truth is an everlasting life or death issue.
This is being written to suggest that we all need a 100,000 mile faith check-up. As no one is promised life to the next second, we need to know, not think, know! we are right with our Creator. And we can only know that based on Scripture. It doesn’t matter what I say, or what your pastor says. God and God alone is the arbitrator of holiness, without which we will not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
The point is, it does not matter what we think of our faith. The only thing that matters is what God thinks of our faith. The question then becomes, how are we to know where we stand with the One who matters?
It’s not just a matter of saying the right thing, as anyone can do that -- then too, our words mean less than nothing. “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) Our human standard of talking a good game is of no value to God. Walking the walk is the bottom-line.
Sadly, with each passing year, the truth has less value to our society -- we do what we want, when we want, and with whom we want -- and if it’s a sin, we’ll call it something else we can live with. The truth, like God’s Word, means whatever we say it means. This deceptive falsehood, repeated through many generations, is now accepted as “truth,” notwithstanding it is opposition to the Word.
As a lay minister/counselor, and Christian writer, I’ve asked hundreds of people if they’re a Christian. To those who answer “yes,” my follow-up is, “How do you know?” Most give a statement regarding their faith that mimics John 3:16. I politely then say, “That’s wonderful that you’ve accepted the Lord, but that doesn’t answer my question, so I’ll ask again. How do you know you’re a Christian?”
No one has ever had the right biblical answer.
Two of the most powerful verses in the Bible on this subject is John 10:37-38. "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father [is] in Me, and I in Him."
Jesus, the Son of God, and our Lord and Savior, has set the standard by which our faith will be judged. He says that if His works do not match His rhetoric, we should not believe Him. Why then, if this is the standard we are to judge Him, would we not realize that is the standard by which He will judge us.
If we profess faith and are obedient, our claim to be a Christian can and should be believed. But if we live in rebellion, notwithstanding church attendance and public piety, it is all a lie.
Understand the difference here. You can have faith and not be a Christian. Remember, demons believe Jesus is the Son of God, but they are not Christians. Becoming a Christian is taking our faith and putting it into actions that give credit to our claims. Our works reveal our faith sans our opinion(s).
Bringing this full-circle, we only have to look to James 2:26 -- “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
This is the truth of your Christianity. Embrace it. Let it set you free. We are told in Titus 2:14 that we (Christians) are “ …a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Does that describe you? Do you stand out as “peculiar” in a secular world, or are you one of the guys? And are you “zealous” about good works, or do you go along to get along?
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) This verse is direct and to the point. We can say and do what we want, as we have been given the gift of free will, but on Judgment Day we will be held to His standard. And that’s substantially higher than the “if it feels good do it” mantra of our society that openly mocks faithful obedience as being out of touch and passé.
Here’s the truth -- being a real Christian is never out of touch or passé.
Edward Mrkvicka is a lay minister and counselor, and life-long Bible student. His religious writings have been awarded Best Christian Book of the Year, Best Christian Study of the Year, named a National Best Book Awards finalist, and a winner in the Christian Choice Book Awards. He has also been awarded the prestigious Faith Writers Seal of Approval. His efforts on behalf of families, the understanding of adultery, and the devastating effect of divorce on children has earned him a United States Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition. His newest book, No Innocent Affair: Making Right the Wrong of Adultery, has just been released and is available at Amazon.Com.
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