If a friend of yours claims political party loyalty, yet doesn’t even know the candidates or policies, would you believe them? If a celebrity protested against oil for environmental reasons, but freely travelled around in a private jet (which uses excessive amounts of oil) would you believe they truly cared for their cause?
This same question could be asked of anyone who claims to be a Christian. Can a person truly be a Christian if they don’t know what it means to follow Jesus? And if they aren’t committed to the way of Christ, are they truly devoted to the cause? As we answer these questions, it’s important to understand Jesus said there would be many who claimed to be His believers, but, would never truly be saved and that these people would face eternal judgement in hell (Matt 7:21-23).
Therefore, it’s essential people consider what is salvation and if they’re truly a Christian.
The following six questions and answers will be a guide to help determine if you are truly a Christian, and if not, they will tell you how to become one!
- Do you pray?
Just as communication is necessary in human relationships (e.g. parent and child or boss and employee), communication between God and His children is absolutely necessary. While there are many people who pray and aren’t saved (e.g. Muslims, Buddhists), if you don’t pray it’s unlikely you’re saved.
- Do you read AND obey the Bible?
The Bible is the Christian’s standard for all aspects of life, it’s important to find answers from God’s Word. In fact, the Bible says that if we love God we will obey Him (1 John 5:3), but how can you obey someone if you don’t know their standards? Furthermore, reading the Bible is the best way to know God, because here He tells us who He is and what He’s done! Reading Scripture doesn’t mean you are saved, but not reading it is an indication you may not be saved.
- What is most important in your life?
How much do you value family, friends, your job, or good health? Each of these suggestions are not wrong in themselves, but Jesus was very clear about the priorities of believers, in Luke chapter 14, verses 26-27 and 33 says ““If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple... “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” This passage does not mean to literally ‘hate,’ but that in comparison to loving God, our love for everything else would be like hatred, or we cannot be Christ’s disciple.
- How do you respond to sin?
Sin is anything we do wrong in thought, word or deed according to God’s holy standard, as recorded in the Bible. When you disobey God do you admit this is sin to God or do you try and minimize your sin as only a ‘mistake’? All Christians must admit their sin, so they can be forgiven (1 John 1:8-10) and then they must seek God for help to overcome this sin; because those who continue in the same sin are not true believers (1 John 3:4-10).
- Has your life changed?
The life of a true Christian demands a life transformation because instead of being dead in sin, they’re now alive (Eph 2:1-7), and a new creature (2 Cor 5:17). Being a Christian requires a person to live each day with Jesus as Lord, and this should show through every aspect of life because no-one who says they’re a Christian and disobeys God, is likely a Christian (1 John 2:3-4). James chapter 2 verse 26 says “that faith without works is dead.”. Some people are deceived by thinking they can pray a ‘sinners prayer’ and continue their same lifestyle, but this is false hope and false salvation. It is concerning if someone thinks they’re a Christian, but their life hasn’t changed.
- Why should you be allowed into heaven?
If, when you die, God asked this simple question, what proof would you give Him? Would you tell Him about your prayers, Bible reading, and church attendance? Maybe you could even tell him how your life changed. All of these deeds seem good, but… the Bible says the only hope for entrance to heaven is through Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the only way, because He lived in perfect obedience to God’s Word and when He died on the cross, He received the punishment all humanity deserves. Three days after He died, He rose from the dead and now He acts on behalf of all sinners who believe in Him.
Now, if you will admit your sin, seek God’s forgiveness and submit to Him, your sin will be transferred to Christ and you will receive His perfect obedience, so that in God’s eyes you will be morally perfect! There is no other way to become ‘right’ with God and this decision is the most important of your life, because it impacts your eternity (either eternal heaven or eternal hell). Although you must commit to live God’s way, there could be no better life than that which you were designed for!
So, there’s really only one question to ask… have you accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior? If so, you will be inspired and committed to prayer, the Bible, your life will be transformed, and the only response you have to give as you face judgement is, “my sin has been removed by Jesus Christ, through His death, on my behalf.”
Canadian Genevieve Wilson is a happily married home-schooling mum of 3, whose passion is to see people come to know Jesus. She is a seminary wife to her amazing husband.