Thursday, January 10, 2008

Are you living like you know Christ?

God began challenging my views of Christianity and salvation about 2 years ago. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that he began to rock my world and shake me up. Through intense reading and studying of his Word he awakened me out of a sort of spiritual coma caused greatly by incorrect understanding of Gods grace and showed me that being his follower is more than just getting a membership to the “Christian Club”, but involves my whole life. I have a passion to share this truth and do it out of a sincere love for others and a desire for people to truly embrace Christ. So, let me throw out some of those challenging thoughts.

If you look like the world, act like the world, and are embraced by the world, then more than likely you belong to the world and not to Christ. You can only serve one master, not two. There is no such thing as a carnal Christian – one who is surrendered to Christ yet lives like the world. If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The way you used to think and act is history; it’s dead and gone.

Are you wrapped up in the trappings of worldly culture? Do you watch what the world watches on TV and at the movies - the things that glorify sin, selfishness, materialism, and chaos? Do you spend your time pursuing wealth in order to gain the riches of this world and enjoy the comforts and pleasures that this world has to offer? Do you talk like the world and engage in coarse joking and gossip? Or, is your mind set on the things of God? Is your heart surrendered to the will of God? Is your motivation and focus to serve God everyday with every fiber of your being? Are you truly living by the Spirit and do you have the mind of Christ? Have you been transformed or are you still conformed to this world?

There is a significant and noticeable difference between those who live for Christ instead of for themselves and for the world. They produce good fruit. They obey God and say no to the lusts of the flesh. They truly have become a new creation and it shows in what they do, what they say, and how they live.

I say these things because some people think they know Christ. They think they are “saved” because they said a prayer and go to church. However, their lives have not truly changed and there is no fruit to back it up. I am not judging anyone because that’s not my place to do so. Instead, I am moved by a love for people and a desire that people not be duped into believing a lie. I will leave it with the words of Jesus…
Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' - Matthew 7:17-23

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