Eighty percent of Americans claim to belong to Christ. Yes, saying that you are Christians means by definition that you believe in Christ Jesus as your Savior and live your life by His teachings. Get it…CHRISTian. So suffice it to say, I think that we have redefined Christianity even more broadly than we are trying to redefine holy matrimony. If eighty percent of Americans actually belonged to Christ, I have a feeling our nation would look a tad bit different. As a matter of fact, if eighty percent of Americans were Christians, that would be over 254 MILLION Christians alive in the US today. I think that we could probably change the WHOLE world with that many people following Jesus and living by His every Word.
America is not a nation of Christianity. It is a nation of moral deism. MOST of that 80% of people that are so sure they are Christians, simply say that because they might believe in a God and He might be the guy who establishes right and wrong. BINGO. I’m a Christian. Others may think that they become a Christian culturally like Jews and so if their parents were Christians…BAM! I’m a Christian. A few might even think that because they attend church somewhere on Sundays and holidays…YEAH BUDDY! I’m a Christian. And in my opinion many are held captive by the enemy through false or partial teachings of Jesus and His Word…this is the most dangerous type of so-called Christians because they are less likely to ever admit that they don’t truly know Jesus.
The Bible is very, very straightforward about the need for us to examine our hearts and guard ourselves from false teachings. Here are just a couple of Scriptures that speak toward that end…
- 2 Corin 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.
- Prov 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
- 1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
- Phil 2:12-13 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
- Matt 7:18 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire…
God’s Word is our only source of truth when examining our own hearts and motives and it is CRUCIAL that we do this as believers. In the best interest of love for others, we cannot leave them in the easy deception called American Christianity. True believers will be consistently GROWING in the faith. So this is a call to examine yourself. You NEED the real thing…some easy, deceptive substitute only makes for warm fuzzy statistics…it doesn’t change your life and it doesn’t change your destination.
You might NOT be a Christian if…
- You do not believe that JESUS is the ONLY way to reconciliation with the Father. John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” In His own words, Jesus makes Christianity an exclusive kind of relationship. He doesn’t leave room for spiritual adultery. He doesn’t leave room for spiritual polygamy. He doesn’t leave room for us to choose our road to heaven. He says “I AM.” The One. The Only.
- You cannot confess with your mouth that JESUS is your Savior. Romans 10:9 “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Many in this day and age easily let the name of God roll off their tongue but have a really hard time confessing Jesus unless they are cussing. He is the darling of heaven. You ain’t getting in if you can’t love His Name.
- You are ashamed of the Name of Jesus or of His Holy Word. Luke 9:26 “Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!! If you can’t say it…you may not be redeemed. When you experience true redemption, you can’t help but say so.
- You hate someone. I John 4:20 “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” We are all made in the image of God. You cannot hate someone without insulting God Himself.
- You don’t experience the discipline of the Lord through the Holy Spirit. Heb 12:6 “because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” If sin can sit around comfortably in your life, you might want to have a little talk with Jesus. If the Holy Spirit is not “getting on to you” on a regular basis and helping you to walk in new life, there is a problem.
- You continue in your old sinful ways without struggle. I John 3:9 “Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.” When Jesus comes to live inside of you, sin will make you uncomfortable. If you can keep on sinning without conviction, you have met the wrong Saviour. The more you get to know Him, the more you will hate the sin within you.
- You do not open your Bible. John 14:23-24 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me…” Deut 32.47 “They are not just idle words for you–they are your life.” I cannot emphasize enough how open we are to deception if we fail to read, study, understand, and speak His Words. THEY ARE YOUR LIFE.
- You are not bearing good fruit. Matt 3:10 “The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” As Christians, we have a responsibility to be salt and light in this world. We are God’s ambassadors. He doesn’t save us so we can sit around on the couch watching TV and waiting on Him to come. We are to be DOERS of the Word and NOT HEARERS only. If we are not doing good…if we are not searching for and following the call of Christ in our life… then we should examine ourselves to make sure we are truly in the faith. Christianity is NOT a lazy, comfortable faith. It is a scary, adventurous, walk on the water faith.
- You love the world. I John 2:15 “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.” I’m not going to get on a soapbox here, but this is a portion of the Bible that has seemed to fly out the window in American churches. We cannot serve two Masters. We must choose. Either we love this world and it’s offerings or we love Christ and His. Loving the world looks different in every persons heart, but I honestly think that most of us hope that heaven is just a perfect version of this world where we can eat dessert and not get fat, live in a vacation fantasy, and party hardy in mansions that we don’t have to pay for. If you cannot imagine spending eternity worshipping a Saviour who PAID it ALL for you as He reveals more and more about Himself then we could ever imagine knowing, then you might have been sold on the wrong kind of heaven.
- You walk alone in darkness. I John 1:6-7 “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” If you hide…If you avoid other Christians…if you think you can work it all out on your own…if you can’t or won’t bring your sin to light…if you walk in darkness (and somehow you know if you are) then you are not in fellowship with Him…for He IS light and that light will shine into the depths of your soul…and that light will change EVERYTHING. Maybe not right away, but as you keep walking in that light…reaching for that light…you will find that He IS the answer to every problem.
I have written this prayerfully and in love hoping that it will be used as a tool of light. I want to shine a light on darkness. I want darkness to LOSE in your life. I want you to experience the love, joy, and peace that grow steadily in the life of true believers. I want to see an end to the chains of sin that bind the hearts of those in this nation claiming to be free. I want to see Jesus high and lifted up…because when that happens, He will draw all men unto Him. Let’s examine our hearts…let’s walk in the light…
“With this in mind, we always pray for you, asking that our God might make you worthy of his calling and that through His power He might help you accomplish every good desire and faithful action.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11
(Don’t know where to start in your Bible? Why not start with the verses I used here and make sure I used them in proper context? 🙂