Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Are You Really A Christian?

"And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

One of the things that really bothers me is how many people claim to be Christians, yet when you see them in real life, they disobey God at almost every turn. Then when you show them what the Bible actually says, they reply, "Oh, that's your interpretation!" Really? I wonder what Jesus would say to that?

Actually, Luke 6:46 (our thesis verse today) is what I think He would ask most "Christians" today. There are so many that do what they want to do, but then try to call themselves by His name. In Matthew 7, Jesus warned us to be on the look out for those who claim to be His but actually seek to destroy us. He went on to say that many people will approach His throne, pleading their case to be let into Heaven, talking about the works they did before men in His name, but that He will command them to depart from Him as workers of iniquity, whom He never knew. Are you one of them?

Just what does it take to be a Christian anyway? I think we need to answer this question before we do anything else at all.

Simply put, it is one who has repented of his sin and been therefore forgiven of his sins, by God for the sake of Jesus Christ who paid for our sins. What does it mean to repent? The Greek word translated "repent" throughout the Bible is a word that means to turn around completely. An about face. Bascially, you recognize your life before Christ as worthless and make whatever changes He deems necessary for you to line up with His will.

You say that's not what you signed up for? Well, maybe you aren't really a Christian, then. This is what Jesus said: Now huge crowds were going along with [Jesus], and He turned and said to them, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his [own] father and mother [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God] and [likewise] his wife and children and brothers and sisters--[yes] and even his own life also--he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple.
"For which of you, wishing to build a farm building, does not first sit down and calculate the cost [to see] whether he has sufficient means to finish it? Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to complete [the building], all who see it will begin to mock and jeer at him,
Saying, 'This man began to build and was not able (worth enough) to finish.'
"Or what king, going out to engage in conflict with another king, will not first sit down and consider and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand [men] to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if he cannot [do so], when the other king is still a great way off, he sends an envoy and asks the terms of peace.
So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple."
--Luke 14:25-33, Ampl.

Jesus Himself said that there was a cost to believing on Him, and that price tag is your rights and all you hold dear. "My rights?" Yes, your rights. How does a dead man--one who is crucified--have rights? He has none. He is ruled by the Cross. His natural affections are abandoned, because he is ruled by the Cross. The world's enticements mean nothing to him, because he is ruled by the Cross. That is the kind of life that Jesus calls us to live. That's the price that he calls us to pay.

Are you willing to pay it?