How do you know if someone is a true Christian? Perhaps some of you say that’s none of our business. It’s a matter between each individual and God.
You are right. I am not promoting going about judging the Eternal Fate of others. But the question posed above makes for good and relevant Christian conversation.
More importantly, all of us will spend eternity either with the Lord or apart from the Lord. So the most important decision any of us must make in this life is regarding our eternal fate.
Contrary to the opinion or the beliefs of others, salvation is not subjective. A person is not a true Christian just because he attends a local church faithfully or even preaches the gospel. The Bible makes some profound statements about how to know if you are a Christian.
Three Things True about Every Christian
The following things are true about every true Christian. No bona fide Christian is an exception to any of these, according to the Scriptures.
1. Every true Christian obeys the Lord’s commandments. Of course, we are saved by grace through faith in Christ. But that truth is not a license for disobedience to the Lord.
‘By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him’ (1 John 2:3-4, NASB). That’s about as clear as it gets.
2. Every true Christian loves the people of God. Fellow Christians are our brothers and sisters. And God has put His amazing love in our heart by the Holy Ghost. Jesus says it is by that love we have for each other that the world would know we are His disciples (John 13:35).
“Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15).
3. Every true Christian keeps the faith until the end. I am sure we all know someone who seems to have started with the Lord but later did an about-face. I am often mystified by some who do that given how strong they seem to have started out.
Notice, I said the person seems to have started with the Lord and then stopped. Only God in heaven knows that truth. The question is, what is the eternal fate of such a person? Was the person genuinely saved or not?
I know; that’s not our business. But consider this verse: “We are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul” (Heb. 10:39).
Notice how emphatic these verses are. They leave no wiggle room as to how to know if you are a Christian. Those who know the Lord will keep His commandments; true believers will love fellow believers, and a true Christian will keep the faith to the saving of his soul.
How can the Word of God be so emphatic about these characteristics of a true Christian? Because the born again experience is not merely a religious ritual. Rather, it is radically life-changing. No one but no one who has truly met the Lord can remain same.
Let me be clear that we don’t have to do the things mentioned above in order to be saved. Rather, we will do those things because are a saved. That’s the impact of the life-changing power of the gospel.
Copyright © 2019 by Frank King. All rights reserved.