Friday, May 22, 2020

Christian Or Religious?

Many people claim to be Christians when, in reality, all they are is religious - if that. They lack understanding of what a Christian really is. 

I remember doing an informal survey many years ago. I wrote on small pieces of paper the following: "In your opinion what does it mean to be a Christian?" I handed them out to dozens of people I came in contact with. I received most of them back. As you can imagine, there were very few correct responses. 

Even today, many do not have a clear understanding of what it means to be a Christian. They can come up with any number of answers. Perhaps these are answers they have heard through the years or even been taught somewhere along the way. Yet they are not correct answers. 

Some say they grew up in a Christian home so they are Christians.  Cindy and I were asked to teach the adult Sunday School class at a church we attended a number of years ago. I thought it would be good for each person to share their salvation experience. Each person was sharing when and where they believed on Jesus and accepted Him as their Savior. One lady, raised by her grandmother said, "You aren't raised by my grandmother and not be a Christian". We discussed what the Bible said about salvation and what it took. She just knew she was saved because she was raised in her grandmother's house. 

Wrong answers!

Some say they go to church every Sunday and that makes them a Christian. Some even attend services multiple times a week. The famed evangelist, Billy Sunday, once said, "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car". I venture to say there are people who attend church every Sunday who have never believed on Jesus. It is routine to them - something they have always done. 

Wrong answer!

Some have Sunday School pins (do any churches still give them out?) or certificates for perfect attendance. Some believe because they grew up going to Sunday School they are a Christian. 

Wrong Answer!

Many say they try to live by the Golden Rule and they live a good life. That's a good thing to do but just living a good life won't get you in to heaven. 

Others say they have been a church member for many years. They put such an emphasis on their name being in the church membership book. 

That won't get you in to heaven!

Is your name in the Lamb's Book of Life the Bible speaks of? We recently sang a song titled, "Please Search The Book Again". The chorus goes like this:

Please search the book again, I thought my name was there;
I went to church on Sunday, though I never knelt in prayer;
Please search to book again, it's too late now I know;
Please search the book again, before you make me go.

You see, its not about the things we have done. We cannot work our way into heaven. We cannot save ourselves. Jesus paid that price - once for all. Once we believe on Him we are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the Day of Redemption. 

I recall hearing an interview with a man on a Christian radio station several years ago. He had a terminal disease and was not long for this world. He was a Christian and was at peace knowing what his eternal destination was. At the end of the interview he shared some words that I wrote down in the back of my New Testament that I had with me. He said, "Above all else, get to know Jesus!" These words have stuck with me. I have used them often while preaching. It's imperative to keep the main thing the main thing. There is nothing more important than getting to know Jesus. 

I encourage you to examine your life. Do you recall that time you believed on Jesus? Do you recall the difference He made in your life?

Quit saying you are a Christian if all you are is religious. "Above all else, get to know Jesus!"

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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