“Am I A Christian?”
It is a question that must be answered, and the person asking the question MUST know for certain the answer!
No doubt whatsoever!
The Bible teaches that there are many false converts. As persecution against Christians rises worldwide, the falling away of false converts will happen quickly, as people either leave the church, or join organizations who call themselves “Christian” (and maybe even “Church”), but deny God’s Holy Word and the things He has written in it.
Are you a false convert who will “fall away” when persecution comes, or are you truly a Christian who will endure through it all?
Consider the teaching of Jesus in the book of Matthew: “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying “The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:24-30
Are you “wheat” the product of good seed, or are you a “tare” , an unbeliever pretending to be a Christian, or maybe even believing yourself to be a Christian, but are not “born again” (John 3:3)? Are you of those who will fall away? The question isn’t whether or not you will be able to stand the fires of persecution, the question really boils down to this, “Are you really a Christian?” For no false convert will stand for Christ and the Bible when persecution comes, but will change and “enlighten” themselves to conform to society rather than face trials and tribulation. Sadly, throughout history and even as I type this, many who are in true, evangelical, Christian Churches that yet still preach God’s Word, are in reality, “tares”, and will fall away when real persecution comes. So this short devotion is written to you who call yourself a Christian, are you “wheat” or “tares”? This is a question which you MUST answer first, before you can answer the question, “Will I be able to stand, when the fires of persecution come?” So how do you know?
The answer to this can be found in the Word of God. The book of 1 John gives us some incredible insight into the question of whether or not you are truly a Christian. So let’s now consider the following verse at the end of 1 John:
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:13
John gave a series of characteristics of a person who is truly born again. Consider carefully the following 10 traits of born again believers. It is not all inclusive, but these 10 are very revealing. Are these traits manifested in your life? Is your life a picture of what the Bible says a Christian is?
#1. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
1 John 1:7
A Christian loves to hang out with and fellowship with other Christians
Do you love other Christians so much that you love to be around them and be a part of their lives? You cannot wait until the next time you see them. You regularly attend church and fellowship with Christians and call them your friends. The places you frequent specifically for the purposes of getting together for communal interactions are filled with other believers.
#2. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
1 John 1:8
We know our lives are marred by sin
We know we are sinners. And not just in a superficial way, like, “Ya… I know I am a sinner…” but rather in a deep soul wrenching, sorrowful way that says, “Woe is me. I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips. I have violated the law of God and in me dwells no good thing. My sin is ever before me. I am wretched, miserable, unholy and unworthy to stand in God’s presence.” (see: Isa 6:5, Eze 22:26, Psa 51:3, Rom 7:24, Rev 3:17, 2 Tim 3:2, Acts 13:46)
#3. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”
1 John 2:3
We know and keep His commandments
1. We love God above all else. Everyone that knows us, knows that we serve the Lord and are a Christian
2. We don’t make idols. We don’t say, “My God is… (fill in the blank)” Rather, our God is the God revealed in the Bible.
3. We do not take the name of the Lord in vain.
4. We honor God by giving Him one day a week to worship and serve Him.
5. We honor and obey our parents.
6. We do not murder (not even in our hearts by being unjustly angry with someone)
7. We do not commit adultery (physically or in our minds… we don’t look with lust!)
8. We do not steal
9. We do not lie
10. We do not covet things which God hasn’t given to us.
#4. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
1 John 2:15
We do not love the world or the world’s things
Our hope is in God. The world seeks after stuff that moth and rust destroy. The world seeks pleasure above all else. The world seeks joy in whatever source it may be. The world seeks acceptance for their sin. If you seek the things of this world, rather than the things of God, then you can be certain that you are NOT saved.
#5. “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”
1 John 2:23
We know who the Son of God is!
Jesus is not just “A” god, He is God! He is not just “A” savior, He is “The” only Saviour! He is not a product of creation, He is the Creator of all things! He is not just “A” prophet, He is the source of all true prophecy and the very embodiment of the Word of God! He is not just “A” way to eternal life, He is the “way, the truth, and the life”, no man comes to the Father but through Him! He is the propitiation for our sins. In other words, our sins were not just laid on Him, but He became sin for us, and then suffered the wrath of God because of our sins that we should have suffered. He is King of all and Lord of all! He is coming again to judge the world in righteousness! All men will glorify Him as Lord, whether they do that for eternity in hell or for eternity in heaven.
#6. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
1 John 3:2
We long to see Jesus!
When we pray, we pray for His soon return. When we walk underneath the stars at nighttime, we look up and our hearts plead for our true home. We love our family and friends, but our true desire is the God in heaven above. Jesus is at the forefront of our thoughts each day, and the cares of this world seem insignificant compared to the hope that lies within us. We don’t think we will get bored in heaven, but look forward when we can praise the God of heaven eternally.
#7. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
1 John 3:7-8
A Christian has a lifestyle of holiness
A Christian is moving toward holiness not sin. When others look at him they can see the difference in him. Others see how the Spirit of God is working in and through him to make him more like Jesus! Not that he is perfect, for only Christ is perfect, but he desires perfection in his life because he wants to please his Father in heaven! He may fall into sin, but he does not plan for sin. He does not plan his Las Vegas vacation because “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” and therefore he can’t wait to go and revel in his fleshly lusts! Rather he seeks after the things of God, and when he does sin, it grieves him.
#8. “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”
1 John 3:14
A Christian loves other Christians
He hurts for Christians hurting. He rejoices when Christians rejoice. When he hears of Christians who are sick, or suffering persecutions, he reaches out to them in love and help. He supports ministries who go into hostile countries to care for the persecuted church. He frequents the businesses of Christians rather than the world as a testimony of his love and support for them. He reaches out to Christians in his church to help them grow closer to the Lord, and to bear another’s burdens. He shares what God is doing in his life and listens to how God has worked in others to give and get strength from the fellowship of believers (iron sharpeneth iron). When the world looks at him, they see clearly that he loves other Christians! There is no doubt!
#9. “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”
1 John 4:6
Christians love preaching, teaching, hearing the Word of God
A Christian cannot wait to hear the word of God preached! He loves to go to church and hear his pastor proclaim God’s Word! He has a library of sermons and teachings from men of the faith! The reading of God’s Word, the Bible is a delight to his soul! After a church service he rejoices in how the Lord has convicted him of sin and convinced him of righteousness. When the doors of church are open, he is there to feast on what the Lord would have for him! When he hears a truth revealed in the Bible that he hasn’t heard before, it is a delight to him. When he sees how Jesus was made manifest in the Old Testament, it is such a joy to him that he cannot wait to tell others! Each and every day he looks for truths in God’s Word. He memorizes the Word of God and hides it in his heart, so that he might not sin against God. He would rather hear a sermon than sleep in on Sunday! It is not a chore to go to church, it is a pleasure beyond measure, a vacation from the cares of the world, and a respite for the soul!
#10. “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”
1 John 4:15
A Christian actively shares his faith with others
Christians cannot wait to tell others of the reason for the hope within them. They see the lost around them and fear for their souls… so much so that they give the Gospel out to them. It is a joy to share the Gospel with others, not a burden. They seek out the lost around them and tell them of Jesus. They are not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, but look for opportunities to tell someone of their desperate state and need of salvation. Their passion is to help others to know the joy unspeakable and full of glory inside them. They are no stranger to evangelism, but engage it themselves at every opportunity!
Someone who is not a Christian has no desire to tell others of Jesus, because they themselves don’t know who He is! Cults (Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah’s witnesses, Catholics, Ba Hai, Krishnas, etc., etc.) reach out with their idolatrous gods to entangle them in a web of deceit and lies and works-based religions, but these false religions don’t proclaim the Jesus of the Bible, because they do not know Him. If they did, they would cast off their false religion realizing the putridity and moral corruptness of the false god they were serving and cry for mercy to the God of the Bible!
Charles Spurgeon, one of the most famous Christian preachers in all of history said this concerning evangelism, “If you do not have a passion to see souls saved, you are not saved yourself! Be sure of that!”
If you are not saved, not born again, then these traits are sorely lacking in your life. Why not repent of your sins and trust in Jesus today. It will not save you from persecution, rather it will ensure persecution is coming your way. Those that reject and despise God’s Word, even from your own family, will hate you! The Bible promises that! But your joy in the truth of knowing God will eclipse all pain and suffering! And the joy of knowing Jesus is the greatest joy of all!
If you are truly saved, these 10 traits will be clearly manifested in your life. You do not live for the world, but rather God is so real to you that a simple, quick peek at your life, reveals these traits… moreover God’s Word is revealed in your life as you grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. When persecutions come, who cares? There is nothing this world can do to you that can rob you of the precious Saviour.
Please watch the following video from Paul Washer about the most terrifying attribute of God: