You might at first dismiss this important question. Please ask yourself, “Am I A Christian?” Do I have the unwavering conviction that comes from a life transformed by being a follower of Jesus Christ? The reason I ask is that I regularly come across people that believe that they are a Christian yet do not have the confidence. This past Sunday I had the privilege of baptizing a gal that had been raised in a good Christian home, knew the truths of the Bible and had even said the prayer of salvation. Yet, she did not have the confidence mentioned above until she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. I am wondering if this could be you? Locked into a place of thinking you are a Christian but not really having a relationship with Jesus.
We have been privileged to see many that have broken out of this place of bondage to religious practice and found true joy and freedom by surrendering their will to become a follower of Jesus. This joy and freedom is found when we strip away all the cultural and religious stuff that become a barrier to a real relationship with God. The barriers can be thinking that I am a Christian because I was raised in a Christian nations, I have attended church or that I even know Bible truth. I also know of many that have made “spiritual decisions” as a child of young adult, said a prayer or even responded to an invitation. And while all of these things can help a person to find a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ none of these makes a person a genuine Christian. One of the most common indicators that you do not know Christ is the lack of unshakeable assurance of a true follower. The gal baptized this past week shared, “I never had the confidence that I was a genuine Christian.” When I asked her what was different now, she shared about the joy she has experienced, the peace of being right with the Lord and the unshakeable confidence in her relationship. Her comments reminded my of 1 John 5:10 “Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself.” The “testimony” speaks of the internal confidence of knowing that what God has revealed about Jesus is true and that by accepting it you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you belong to Jesus. The Bible says it best in the following verses, “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:11-12)
So my question to you is, “Do you have this assurance that you belong to Jesus Christ?” If not I would encourage you to talk to your pastor so that you can make sure. I believe one of the worst things in life would be living life thinking one was a true follower but not really knowing Christ. Now I realize that all true believers at one point or another can or do doubt their faith. What I am talking about is when your life is characterized by doubt and uncertainty. My recommendation in either case, is to talk with your pastor to make sure. Let him guide you through the Scriptures like Romans 10:9-10, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
-Pastor Joe Parkinson