Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Are you a Christian?

Matthew 7:21-23 - "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Who do you suppose Jesus is talking about in those verses? Could it be you? How would you know? Do you test yourself (2 Corinthians 13:5)? I compiled and expanded on a checklist of questions from a sermon given by Todd Friel in Bethel, Texas. (You can find the sermon audio here) I encourage you to honestly examine yourself in the light of Scripture by asking yourself the following questions:

1. Do I like hanging out with other Christians? Is there a special relationship with my brothers and sisters in Christ? Am I involved in a local body of believers (church)? (I John 1:7- But if we are living in the light of God's presence, then we have fellowship with each other.)

2. Do I know that I was dead in my sin, an enemy of God, and that my nature, apart from Christ, is wicked? This is more than “I have a God-shaped hole in my heart” - this is “my heart was wretched, prideful and blind”. (I John 1:8 - But if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.)

3. Do I obey the commandments of God? Do I strive to be obedient to His word? (I John 2:3 - and how can we be sure that we belong to Him? By obeying His commandments. If someone says, 'I belong to God,' but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and does not live in the truth.)

4. Do I love the world? Do I delight in the things the world offers? Think music, friends, clothes, stuff…Are money or movies or food or relationships more important to me than Jesus? What am I striving for? If it isn’t the glory of Christ, it’s worldly. (I John 2:15 - Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you.)

5. Do I know who Jesus Christ is? Do I worship the Jesus of the Bible? Is my theology about Him based on the Word of God (this is not the Jesus of the Jehovah's Witnesses, or the Latter-day Saints' Jesus, the Muslim Jesus, the Jesus of Eckhart Tolle, etc)? (I John 2:23 - Anyone who denies the Son doesn't have the Father, either. But anyone who confesses the Son has the Father also.)

6. Am I excited about going to heaven, and seeing Christ? Not because I am tired and weary from this life, but because I have a genuine excitement at being face to face with my Savior? (I John 3:2 - Yes, dear friends, we are already God's children, and we can't even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns.)

7. Do I love my brothers and sisters in Christ? Am I growing in love for them? (I John 3:14 - If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to eternal life.)

8. Do I love to learn from the Word of God, and hear preaching and teaching? Do I read my Bible? (I John 4:6 - But we belong to God, that is why those who know God listen to us.)

9. Do I intentionally share my faith with others? (I John 4:15 - All who proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God have God live in them and they live in God.)

10. Do I persist in sin? This is not, "Do I sin?" We all sin. This is, "Do I see my lifestyle as God sees it? Do I have remorse over things that I keep doing that don’t please God? Do I share these things with God and others so that I can turn from these sins?" (I John 3:8 - When people keep on sinning it shows they belong to the devil.)

Please hear this: the Christian walk is about direction, not perfection. Perfection is God’s eager gift to us through Christ, and we know for sure that we have bowed our hearts to this gift if we are being directed by His Spirit in how we choose to live our lives.

My prayer for myself and you is that we would cherish Christ, the Lord and Creator of the never ending universe, who came to this earth as a Man to show us how powerfully and passionately God loves. He wrote words of warning so that we would never have to experience, for all of eternity, His promise to judge unrighteousness.

Please honestly examine yourself, in light of God's Holy Word. If you have not truly repented, please do so right now. If you need to stop living a lifestyle of immorality, abandon it and turn to Christ, who is mighty to save.

Let me know if I can pray for you, or minister to you in any way.

*this is an edited version of the post from this morning, if you happened to catch that one
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