These days it seems so few know what the Bible really says about being a Christian. Many think it does not matter what you think. They say: Follow whatever you prefer. Just call yourself Christian, and try to “be a little more Christian” every day: be nicer, kinder, less cranky, more tolerant, accepting of others. That’s what it’s all about… they say.
But a Christian is not a name you yourself can define however you want. There is no meaning at all if anything can be whatever you want it to be. Puny man: who do you think you are, to think you yourself can define what it is to be a Christian? [See: puny mud-man in The Damning God]
Funny one should call himself “Christian”, but say it does not matter what you believe! How rational is that? Doesn’t it make more sense to examine the teachings of Jesus, to see what is or what is not “Christian”? After all, isn’t Jesus the “author and finisher of our faith”? (Hebrews 12:2) Not you. Not me. Jesus!
It matters what you believe. It matters who you give your allegiance to. It matters where you take your life, who you follow.
A Christian is one who has acknowledged Jesus Christ as God in the flesh, acknowledged his/her own sinfulness, and has asked forgiveness of God, desiring to serve Him the rest of his/her life. That alone is what “converts” a person into a Christian. That is what “Christian” means… a little Christ, a follower of Christ.
The Bible is quite clear. If you do not acknowledge Jesus as God, then you are not a Christian. That is what Scripture says. Peter calls Jesus “our God and Savior, Jesus Christ” – 2 Peter 1:1
We must be careful that we actually follow the actual Jesus – and not some other.
18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. 20 For they could not bear the command, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned.” 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I am full of fear and trembling.”
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. 25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking.” – Hebrews 12:18-25a
It is a huge “other world” we are coming into through the grace of God, through salvation in Jesus Christ. It is “the city of the living God”! It behooves us to follow Him, and not some man-made religion. No matter how great it seems, a man-made belief system is not of God, and will fail you in the end. ONLY those in Christ will be saved. What does your church teach about Jesus, the Christ? If you believe that we will all be saved – then look again, because that is not the gospel of Jesus the Messiah.
The Apostle Peter wrote “to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours….” (- 2 Peter 1:1) And all over Scripture we are warned to be wary of “other doctrines”.
7 “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
8 “Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.
10 “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. – 2 John 1:7-11
“For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” – 2 Peter 1:16
The Apostles were aware of “cleverly devised tales” that were not part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And they warned of false teachings to come. And they warned us to examine our faith and make sure we were truly following His teachings.
Do you love your cleverly devised faith so much, that you will not examine it closely and see if it actually is teaching the gospel of Jesus? We are all warned to examine ourselves and see that we are truly following Jesus.
“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” – 2 Corinthians 13:5
It does matter what we believe. We have to agree with God. We have to agree with His Word. We have to agree with Jesus’ own words. If we do not, then – are we truly following Jesus? I think not. I think that Peter would say we are following another god, if we do not agree with Jesus’ own words.
Christians are folk who have been transformed by God, and are following Him. Christians are not perfect. A Christian will fail, will fall, will be disobedient, will have some wrong-headed beliefs, will do wrong things. Those wrong things do not “undo” one’s salvation in Christ. Once we are truly saved, it is God who holds us in His hands – and nothing can separate us from Him. He saves us – not we ourselves.
“Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” – Psalm 100:3
8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
It behooves us to strive to be a little more like Christ every day. We are to “walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:12 As Christians we are always to love others. When we are hated, persecuted, loathed, mistreated, bullied… because of our faith in Christ, Scripture teaches us to love, forgive, be patient, be kind, merciful, long-suffering, gentle. It is always wrong to belittle, demean, be unkind, hateful.
But we do not strive to become saved or to desperately hold on to our salvation. We strive to please our Savior. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us, His Own.
Article written in response to:
Why can’t Christians be more Christian? By Jason F. Wright
Published September 14, 2015 FoxNews.com
Being God damned on earth is to be simply living your life – without Christ, living in rebellion against God, refusing to bow your knee to God, refusing his free gift of eternal life, living for anyone or anything else…
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