How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded.” 2 John 1:4 NLT
What a joy it is to meet brothers and sisters in Christ who are genuinely serving Him. Many people go to church. Many claim to be Christian. If you were to ask anyone if they are a Christian, the response would likely be yes. I have heard the many different ways people use to identify themselves. Here are some of the things they say:
"I go to church"
"I was raised to believe in God"
"I don't go to church, but I do believe"
"My dad is a pastor"
"My family is Pentecostal"
Sadly, many people identify themselves by their heritage, an association, or tradition. While these things have their value, none of them can save us. Only a personal relationship with God through His One, and only, Son Jesus Christ can make us genuine "Christians". When we truly know Him, our lives should speak for themselves. Others shouldn't have to ask if we are Christians, they should be able to see it demonstrated in our character and conduct. The words we say and the deeds we do should match our lip service. Quoting Isaiah 29:13, Jesus said this: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Matthew 15:8 NLT Talk is cheap. We cannot claim to be Christian just because we sit on a church pew no more than we can claim to be a car just because we are sitting in a gas station parking lot. Christianity is living like Christ. People should be able to hear Christ in our words, see Him in our actions, and sense Him in our Spirit. Truly born again children of God know that they belong to the family of God called "the church". Each of us should be participating in a local assembly of believers. (See Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37; Hebrews 10:25) Yes, we should be going to church and walking in fellowship with the body of Christ. We are called to serve together. The church belongs to Christ! It is His bride (see Ephesians 5:25-33). We cannot say we love Him without loving His church. He instituted it (Matthew 16:18). The Holy Spirit inaugurated and empowered it in Acts Chapter 2. I'm not endorsing a denomination. I'm endorsing the church, the body of Christ. Yes, there are true believers in many denominations. However, there is only One Lord and One Church. How refreshing it is to meet and get to know those who are genuine followers of Christ. Are you a true, born again follower of Christ? The evidence speaks for itself.
Rev. Curtis Norris