Monday, October 29, 2007

Where have all the Christians gone?

The more I look around the more I wonder where all the Christians have gone! I hear people professing to be Christians but I can't see it in their lives. It seems a little curious! In my desire to know God's Word and what it says we should look like as believers I am saddened by the lifestyles and practices of those who profess Christ as Lord. It has made me a little suspicious.

1 John is the book of diagnostics for the believer and a book we would all do well to read over and over! As I have read through this book and confronted people with it's truth, I have had to examine my own life to see if I am displaying these same characteristics. As a sinner by nature I must do this regularly. 1 Cor 13:5 says I am to examine myself. "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?" Sobering words, huh? So, I must do this to keep myself in line lest I get to the finish line only to find I didn't run the race with endurance nor get the prize; and eternity with the King of Kings! Not something I want to face!

Now I know some of you may be thinking things like, "I don't smoke or do drugs" or "I am faithful to my spouse" or "I am not cruel to animals" or "I go to church every time the doors are open" and the list could go on. Well, those things are well and good but won't get you to heaven nor are they proof of your salvation. I do propose that smoking isn't good for you and our bodies are, after all, the temple of the holy spirit so why would we want to do something to our bodies that are harmful? Being a faithful spouse, especially in todays society, is noble and Biblical but any moral person would do that. Hebrews 10:24 says, "not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." So, going to church is Biblical and should be a natural part of a Christians life. Still, not proof of salvation. Many go to church who are actually unsaved.

So, what are the distinguishing marks of a believer? Well, here's your homework. Read 1 John and it won't be hard to discover what we should look like to the world. Pay close attention to 1 John 4 where it talks about confessing Christ. You'll hear a lot of people out there saying they are Christians and profess Jesus Christ but the message has been a little warped and the confession does not match up with Scripture. Discernment needs to be carefully applied when listening so you can test what is being said against Scripture. If it doesn't match up, they aren't talking about the Christ of the Bible, you can be sure!

When you're done with that flip on back to Romans 12, then top of your study with Galatians 5:14-26. If you aren't sure by that point then let me know!! We'll have a wonderful conversation! I pray your studies will deepen your love for Christ and cause you to imitate Him in behavior, thought, word and deed. If in your studies you find that you really don't know the King of Kings, repent of your sin and turn to Christ. You will stand before holy God one day and answer for your sin and what you did with Christ. He stands ready to receive the repentant.

May God bless you as you seek Him through His Word! A wonderful message waits for you to unfold it!

For Christ and His kingdom,