Wednesday, March 12, 2014

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Who Is A Christian?

Who Is A Christian?
         I, in all honesty , have to start this writing with the statement that I don't and can't know for sure who is and who is not a Christian.  If I were able to read the Lambs Book of Life, it would be easy to tell whose names were in it.  Since I don't have access to this book, I can only go by the guidelines as set forth in the Bible. Since the Bible is the inerrant Word of the Living God, I have to trust it to be true and accurate. 

          There are people in the world today who have their salvation locked in.  There are those, who every day are qualifying for their entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.  There are those who will come to salvation between now and the time they die (even up to the last possible moment).  There are also those who will never come to accept the salvation available to them.  Only the Lord knows the difference.  I do know that there is rejoicing in Heaven every time someone turns their life over to the Lord.  Since salvation is in the heart of the saved, I can only know about my relationship with the Lord.  Salvation is within the personal relationship a person has with the Lord.  It is an exclusive bonding of the persons soul and spirit with that of the Lord; one on one and forever.

          The Bible tells us that we, who have our names written in the Lambs Book of Life, have had them there since the foundation of the world.  This does not mean that there are those who are forbidden from receiving the salvation available, but rather that God knows everything that has happened, is happening and everything that will happen.  Except for one very specific thing, our free will is the deciding factor as to where we will spend eternity.  That specific thing is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is giving Satan credit for the work of the Holy Spirit, or the attributing the works of Satan to the Holy Spirit.  Jesus, himself, warned us about that one. 

          What does it take to enter into the Kingdom of God and become a Christian?  "Ye must be Born Again." (John 3:7)  Jesus told us about the Born Again experience when He first described it to Nicodemus in the book of John chapter 3, verse 3.  The two Bible verses I like to use, to describe what it takes to become Born Again, are John 3:16 and Romans 10:9.  Believing, with all your heart, soul, spirit and mind that Jesus is Lord; was born of a virgin, lived as a man, died for the sins of mankind and was raised from the dead for the remission of our sins is the first step.  Repentance (changing your mind, from not receiving Jesus, to receiving Jesus) is the second step.  Admitting you are a sinner and asking for forgiveness is the third step.  Receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and turning your will and life over to Him is the forth step.  Testifying to others, that you have been born again, is the final step.  Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."(John 14:6)   There truly is only one way to qualify as a Christian, and enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.  That one and only way is through faith in Jesus, the Christ of God.  Put simply, salvation is based on what Jesus did for us, not what we have done for Jesus.

          Since we can't know, for sure, who has qualified as a Born Again Christian, we must Love one another as God loves us.  There are those who profess to be Christian and have never been born again.  These are the hardest to deal with,  because in many cases, they are prideful and therefore not willing to receive instruction.  These are the church people who will be left behind at the rapture.  Two Bible statements apply here - "the fear of the Lord, is the beginning of wisdom" and "pride comes before the fall".  We must read the Bible for what it says, and for what it means.  2 Timothy 3:16 says: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:".

          Although we are instructed to love everyone (because God loves everyone, regardless of their state of acceptance of Him), we are not instructed to like everyone.  Jesus was wroth with the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the scribes, the money changers and many others.

          We learn, in the Bible, that the Lord lets the tares (ungodly) and the wheat (the godly) exist together.  It is not our duty to decide who is and who is not worthy in the Lord's eyes.  When the time comes, the angels will be given the duty to separate the sheep from the goats.


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