We discussed in detail in Part 1 of this series regarding how important it is to live a life that reflects that you are truly a Christian. We went into detail regarding how important it is
to live a fruitful life. This is an extract from the last message:
” If you are truly saved, you will hate sinning and instead you will love obeying God and avoid sin. John says that a child of God does not keep on sinning. He does not say that a child of God does not sin but, he says that he does not keep on sinning. So, if you look at your life and it reflects a continuous unbroken pattern of sin, then you are not a child of God and are not saved. A true Christian will sin from time to time but, he will hate the fact that he has sinned and disobeyed God. A true Christian will repent from that sin and ask God to forgive him and help him overcome that sin. A true Christian does not enjoy and justify sinning. Now, if you find yourself currently in your life living a life contrary to what God has commanded us, if you find yourself living a life of disobedience to the word of God, stop trying to find reasons why you should continue in that kind of life and instead, stop, repent, ask for forgiveness and forsake that kind of life.“
The key words in the above extract, is the highlighted and bolded words. If you are truly a Christian, you will not keep on sinning. If a person’s life reflects a continuous unbroken pattern of sin, then that person is not and cannot be a Christian. What does this mean in our day to day life. How can I tell if I am indeed a true Christian? Let us look at some practical examples that one can use to identify true Christianity as opposed false. These examples are not exhaustive but are merely the most common ones that I have seen.
Gogo: “Hello young men”, Thief: “Hello Gogo. Gogo: “Its Sunday, why are you not in church. Are you not a Christian, young men?”, Thief: “I am sorry Gogo, I am a Christian but I don’t have parents, so I have to take care of my younger sister. I have to work even on Sundays.”. Gogo: “That is sad to hear. How can I help you?” Thief: “I am here to take your car. Please give me your keys?” Gogo: “But I thought you said you were a Christian?” Thief: “I am a Christian but I also have to survive”
Reading the above discussion, would you be as surprised as Gogo is about being robbed by a Christian? I for one will not be surprised at all. I have seen a lot of people who claim to be Christians whose life continuously collides with what God expects from us as Christians.
How many of us who claim to be Christians, reading this message right now, are continually engaged in sex with our partners but we are not married? Despite the bible prohibiting it in 1 Cor 7:2. How many of us who claim to be Christians, reading this message right now, are continually committing adultery or are having sex with married men or women? Despite Exo 20:14. How many of us who claim to be Christians, reading this message right now, continue to worship and sacrifice to ancestors? Despite Exo 20:5, 2Kings 17:36. How many of us who claim to be Christians, reading this message right now, continually make cuts on our bodies or shave our heads for the dead, in mourning or for any other reason? Despite Lev 19:28, Deut 14:1. How many of us who claim to be Christians, reading this message right now, are continually racists? Being racists simply means hating another person simply because of the race they belong to. This is despite Jesus having said that the greatest commandment of them all is to love. This is despite 1 John 3:15 where John says that hate is murder and Exo 20:13 saying thou shall not murder. How many of us who claim to be Christians, who are reading this message right now, have someone whom they hate and continue to hate and have made a vow never to forgive? This is despite hate being murder and God saying if you don’t forgive, I will not forgive. How many of us who claim to be Christians, reading this message right now supports abortion and have found a way to justify it? Despite the bible being against it? How many of us who claim to be Christians, who are reading this message right now, have supported and continue to support women to be pastors and elders in the church or are ourselves women pastors or elders in our respective churches, despite Paul’s objection to this, and justify it by saying this prohibition is undemocratic, old fashioned and not relevant to us today? Some even accuse Paul of being sexist. What else about the word of God is undemocratic, old fashioned and irrelevant, who gets to decide that? Do we obey only the parts of God’s word we are comfortable with? How many of us who claim to be Christians, reading this message right now, don’t love their wives as Jesus loved the church or don’t submit to our husbands as we submit to The Lord? Despite what is commanded in Ephesians? How many of us who claim to be Christians, reading this message right now, are continually engaged in homosexuality and have somehow found a way to justify these acts, contrary to a scripture wide condemnation of this sin. How many of us who claim to be Christians, reading this message right now, hate and/or mistreat homosexuals and think that you are doing it in the name of Jesus. If you claim to be a Christian right now, reading this message and you continually hate homosexuals and you treat them bad, know that you are not doing God a favor but you are doing it because you are of the devil and not a Christian. Jesus said that we must love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Neighbour means and includes everyone. All these are just the most common sins that generally, those who claim to be Christians continually engage in respectively.
9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people- none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.
It is important here to note that I am not referring to a once off sin. I am referring here to a Christian who is continually engaged in sin. This is a Christian who despite having the knowledge that what they are engaged in, is a sin, they decide to continue to engage in that sin anyway. Instead of stopping, they find a way to justify it and they go as far as to change and/or twist the word of God to justify their sin. These are the types of Christians who are deceiving themselves or are being deceived into thinking that they are Christians when they are not. In 1 John 3:6-9, John clearly makes a distinction between a true and a non true Christian.
1Jo 3:6-10 (NLTse)
6 Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.
7 Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this:When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.
Can it be stated more clearly than what John has done in the above verse? I don’t think so. So, examine your life and identify whether you are in the faith. This reminds me of Romans 12 and I will live you with a quote from it
(NLTse) 1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice- the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.