The biggest anti-Christian campaign in the world is run by Christians. For centuries, those who claimed to bear the name of Christ lived lives in total contradiction to what Christianity is all about. Sadly, whenever this happens there are always those who will use the situation as an excuse to ignore what the true essence of Christianity is all about.
It is not without reason that the 3rd of the Ten Commandments says you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. There are many people who claim to bear the name of Christ, but their actions and even personal convictions contradict the heart of what Jesus taught. The same goes for other religions as well, and we should not judge Christianity (or any other religion) on the basis of the actions of a few who are not necessarily living up to the code.
When people kill in the name of Christ, we can safely assume they are not truly Christian. When someone claims to be a Christian but wilfully deceive when a business deal is made, it should be questioned whether they are in fact a new creature who has been changed from the inside out. By this I’m not saying Christians are perfect and never make mistakes – in fact, they’re not – but those who are true followers of Christ will not go around killing people in His name.
Unfortunately logic and sound reason goes out the window when atrocities are committed by so called Christians, and it would be wiser to judge a situation on merit rather than emotion. After all, Jesus taught that we should bless our enemies and not curse them, to forgive and not to take vengeance.
Titus 1:16 warns of those who…
“… profess to know God [to recognize and be acquainted with Him], but by their actions they deny and disown Him. They are detestable and disobedient and worthless for good work of any kind.”
Jesus warned, with reason, that the true Christians and false Christians will be revealed and separated from each other on the Day of Judgement. In Luke 13:23-28 we read,
“And someone asked Him, ‘Lord, will only a few be saved [from the penalties of the last judgment]?’ And He said to them, 24‘Strive to enter through the narrow door [force aside unbelief and the attractions of sin]; for many, I tell you, will try to enter [by their own works] and will not be able. 25Once the head of the house gets up and closes the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door [again and again], saying, Lord, open to us! then He will answer you, I do not know where you are from [for you are not of My household]. 26Then you will begin to say, We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets; 27but He will say to you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers! 28In that place there will be weeping [in sorrow and pain] and grinding of teeth [in distress and anger] when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out and driven away.’”
Furthermore, Jesus gave a grave warning when He said in Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV),
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Salvation is not about what happens in the mouth, but about what happens in the heart. When a person cannot acknowledge his sin and his need for a Saviour, he cannot be saved. Furthermore, if a person cannot embrace Jesus as the new Lord of his life, he also cannot be saved. The fact that many go around claiming to be Christian but contradict the teachings of Christ, is evidence that the person is lacking in one or both of these ingredients.
The life of a True Christian is a life that bears recognisable fruit. The Bible says we need to bear fruit that is evident of the things that accompany salvation. Jesus said in Matthew 3:8,
“So produce fruit that is consistent with repentance [demonstrating new behavior that proves a change of heart, and a conscious decision to turn away from sin]”
To the woman caught in the act of adultery (who was supposed to be stoned for her sin) He said,
“Go and sin no more!”
Being a Christian does not mean you are perfect and won’t sin again. However, there should be a desire to live a life free from sin, in line with the teachings of Jesus.
A True Christian is also someone who has laid down his old life and no longer lives for himself. A true Christian instead lives a life that is in accordance with the will of God for his life. In Luke 6:46 Jesus said,
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not practice what I tell you?”
What are the things that Jesus told us to do? Jesus told us to love our neighbours like He loves us; Jesus told us to pray for our enemies; Jesus told us to submit to the authorities; Jesus told us many things. Jesus also told us to…
… go into the world and preach the Gospel!
Galatians 5 says that through Jesus Christ we have been liberated from the bondage of sin. This passage in the Bible contradicts the life of the old sinful man with the life of a man who has been saved. Galatians 5:19-21 say,
“Now the practices of the sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), 20idolatry, sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], 21envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
In contrast to this, the life of a True Christian who is led by the Spirit of God is described in verses 22-24 as follows,
“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature together with its passions and appetites.”
While only God can judge who is saved and who is not, it is important that we recognise there are True Christians and False Christians. If you claim to be a Christian, then evaluate your life in light of the Scriptures to make sure you are actually in the faith. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 13:55,
“Test and evaluate yourselves to see whether you are in the faith and living your lives as [committed] believers. Examine yourselves [not me]! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves [by an ongoing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test and are rejected as counterfeit?”
It is also important to recognise that it is possible to be personally convicted and assured of your own salvation, as the Bible declares that the Holy Spirit convicts us of righteousness if we are truly saved.
If you are still assessing whether Jesus is the only way to God, please do not base your decision on the actions of those who only claim to be Christian while they lack the fruit of a truly born again follower of Jesus.
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