Have you considered what a Christian truly is? “And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” Acts 11:26 AV Notice that it was the disciples who were first called Christians. It wasn’t the general public who were attending the church, but those who were the teachers, those who knew the faith and were able to teach the people. Notice also that they had assembled themselves with the church for a whole year teaching the converts. Today because a person has attended a church some time or other, they consider themselves a Christian. The thought behind this is to assure an inquirer that they are good people who live decent lives as opposed to those who are obviously a lower sort who drink more than average, and go to the races. These “Christians” would be surprised to know that they are a far cry from being what they think they are, even most regular church goers.
Jesus was called “Master”, meaning teacher, by most of whom He met and ministered to. Yet, He was rejected by the Scribes and Pharisees of His day, as related in the following text:
“But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” John 5:36-47 AV Christians are sent by Jesus to do His work, the work of God in the world to all people.
If we were able to determine who and how many are true Christians today, we would be quite amazed and disappointed. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:12-14 AV FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT!! Why? Because most do not treat others as they would be treated themselves. This is the law and prophets, “love God with your whole self and love your neighbors as yourself.” These are the two commandments of our Lord for those who would be one with Him. This is the fruit of the teachings of Christ, and only those who bear this fruit can qualify as a Christian.
As Christians go with this love into the world, teaching the Gospel of Christ, they are rejected just as Jesus was rejected in the account from John 5 (above) because the worldly know that they cannot produce this fruit of love without first submitting their lives to Christ by hearing the Gospel and allowing themselves to become secondary to those in need, as did Jesus and all true Christians from Antioch until today. The greatest work of love is the teaching and preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, yet where are these workers and teachers of love? Most are in the comfort of the church walls, not in the highways and byways of their communities where souls are dying and are headed for Hell.
If you consider yourself a Christian and are not bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God personally, you are not a Christian. You may be in training to become a Christian one day, but until you are born again into the Kingdom and are actively preaching the Gospel as he commanded, you are not in Christ. Rather, you are rejecting Him just as the Pharisees did in His day on Earth. This is sin, pure and simple because it is breaking God’s law.
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Galatians 3:24-25 AV Knowing that you are breaking God’s law and are guilty of this sin, and knowing that there will be no sinners in Heaven because God is separate from sinners and cannot allow unredeemed sin in His presence, then you must know that your condition is perilous. The solution is to repent of your sin and especially this sin of rejecting Christ’s law of love, receive Him, submit to Him and be committed to His work of Gospel teaching and preaching where ever you may be at any time of day. Then and only then can you call yourself a Christian.
WTL Ministry www.wtlministry.org 8/6/2002