“Yes, I am a Christian.”
We have all heard these past few days about that hateful gunman in Oregon asking his intended victims whether or not they were Christians. Reportedly, if they responded in the affirmative, he would kill them after telling them that they were going to be with God. If they responded negatively, they were spared. How frightening that what has happened for years in other countries and on other continents is now coming home to roost in our own country! This is the very thing – this martyring of our Christian brothers and sisters abroad – from which we have mercifully been sheltered in the United States.
Don’t get me wrong, we have suffered some persecution. We have lost many of our religious freedoms. We have seen the care and upbringing of our children be determined more and more by the government. We have seen our morals and the things we hold dear turned topsy-turvy, ridiculed, and in some cases outlawed entirely. Despite all of this, we haven’t suffered much violence or seen many of our brethren killed on American soil because of our Christian beliefs. Praise God for the hedge of protection that we have enjoyed all of these years!
I believe it is time for Christians to get very serious about practicing, protecting, and spreading our faith. We live in a crazy world. It seems to get more and more wicked each day. Unless our dear Jesus returns soon, our children will rear their own children amid this evil.
Many of us have been guilty at some point of only giving lip service to God… maybe some of us are today. We may become a little squeamish or even defensive if we ask ourselves some of the following questions:
How many of us say proudly, “Yes! I am a Christian!” yet live in such a manner that nobody could tell absent our announcement?
And, sure, you can worship the Lord and study His Word wherever you are on Sunday morning (or any other time for that matter), but do you… will you?
How many of us complain and even “share” on our social media pages complaints about the lack of prayer in schools, yet haven’t earnestly prayed in… well… when?
Do some even encourage kids to take Bibles to school, yet haven’t opened one up to read in… well… how long?
Are there those who want desperately for their children to be Christians… enough that they make sure to drop them off for church services or send them along with someone else, but they haven’t so much as mentioned Jesus in their homes or been in church themselves in… well… do you remember when the last time was?
Who among us sharp-shoots and critiques local churches, and their members, and their leadership but do nothing to improve them because they’re too busy ‘not attending’ to help make a change or to see a change in those “wretched hypocrites”?
Which ones of us disparage our country’s leadership by accusing those we do not like of belonging to other faiths, or being part of terrorist groups, or stomping on our Christian religious freedoms – yet don’t really practice any religious freedoms to be stomped on?
How many of us, if we really are honest, are ashamed of our answers to at least some – if not all – of these questions? I don’t know about you, but this writer has been guilty on more than one of them more than once.
The truth is that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 and “there is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” Romans 3:10-11. You see, none of us, apart from the Lord are worthy of salvation. None of us would seek after God on our own. The Lord tells us that our hearts are “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked…” Jeremiah 17:9.
What we are left with is the simple fact that each of us before conversion are black-hearted, sinful, and in desperate need of salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ. Because The Lord God is a righteous judge, all sin must be judged by him. Prior to receiving Jesus into our hearts, we are headed straight to sinners’ hell which is the very real place where the unsaved miserably spend eternity after death.
Only Jesus can wash away our sin allowing us to stand before God as though we had never broken His laws. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. Jesus told us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 If you have never asked Him to be your Lord and Savior don’t wait, call out to Him now! Repent and be saved. Then you too will be a Christian and your eternity secure in Glory. You don’t have to wait to get your life straight before you accept Him… come as you are. He will change you from the inside out into a new creation. If you need to talk to someone, send me a message. I will do my best to answer your questions, or will put you into contact with someone who can.
What if you have been saved, but you don’t feel that closeness to the Lord that you once did? What if you have back-slidden? Maybe like the Church at Ephesus you have left your first love. Revelation 2:1-7. First of all, repent. Get rid of whatever it is that is separating you from the Lord. Turn away from your sin and turn back to Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He loves you. You are never too lost to come back home to Him. Just as the father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) rejoiced when his son returned, imagine how our Heavenly Father will rejoice.
Once you have taken those steps, join and get active in a local Bible believing church, fellowship with other believers, study the Word of God, and tell others the good news! Live in such a way that others see Jesus in you. That way if you ever make the statement, “Yes, I am a Christian,” those who know you or who have watched you will not be surprised. Most importantly, you will be confident in the Lord Jesus that your eternity is secure with Him who loved us when we were unlovable, saved us when we were helpless, and created us anew when we were hopelessly broken. Worthy is the Lamb!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said,
“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad
is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life,
and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14