Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
[Not everyone who professes to be a Christian will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. You must be doing the will of God, not the will of man].
I borrowed the following words: A true Christian is not someone who has chosen a particular “religion” because it appeals to him or because it seems reasonable. Rather, he comes to know his Creator by REVELATION, and comes to know Jesus personally as who He actually is: the only begotten Son of God and Savior of the world. REVELATION is also required to see yourself as you truly are in God’s eyes.
Reading the Bible does not automatically bring REVELATION, but when God’s Spirit brings conviction and certainty about His truth, then you can respond with true FAITH. Matthew’s gospel [Matthew 16:15-17] gives a powerful example: Jesus said to His disciples, “But what about you?” “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. Peter’s answer about Jesus was revealed by God, Himself.
REVELATION from God also can come in other ways, such as visions, and there is general REVELATION from nature which testifies to an intelligent Creator. However it comes, REVELATION is God’s part in the process of becoming a Christian. But REVELATION alone will not make someone a true Christian. Many people receive REVELATION from God in many ways but never become Christians. This is because they refuse to repent and believe; they do not respond with REPENTANCE and FAITH. REPENTANCE means turning around and away from one’s own understanding and way of life, which is sinful and self-centered; and turning to God. It means responding to REVELATION from God recognizing His existence, His perfect holiness and our hopeless sinfulness. When we truly repent, we really understand and agree that we are sinful unto death, that “all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23]; that we desperately need forgiveness and a purification that we cannot accomplish ourselves, because by our very nature we have violated God’s law and His holiness. Only being deeply convinced of these things we can truly respond with a FAITH that trusts completely in Jesus, the Savior who died for sin, and reconciled us to God.
My thoughts and questions follow: Want to be a true Christian? Learn the will of God (Again, see Matthew 7:21 above). Study and contemplate scripture, pray, discuss them with other believers, etc. on a continuous basis. It takes action on your part; put your heart completely into it, seek His Kingdom first. Again, study God's word completely and continuously learn the truth [John 17:17]. Learn what Christ's doctrines are and support the teaching of His doctrines only [2 John 1:9-11]. True Christianity is wonderful; it is a reality. It is not a religion, or playing church, or a weekly ritual or a tradition of man; please don’t be guilty of just playing church.
There is a game that people play, In which religion is involved. It is the most dangerous game of all, For the loss of one’s soul is involved.
It is a game of pretension, And is popular as can be. We are the actor and play a role, And a Christian we pretend to be.
The game is called “Playing Church,” And Sunday is game day. We suit up in our very best, And act like we’re in the narrow way.
Our message is a happy one, For holiness we think is boring. The Holy Spirit we think is working, But it’s an evil one that’s imploring.
We’re energized and excited, By the preachers stimulus package. We’re made to feel like winners, While our life’s a sinful wreckage.
We play this game inside the church, Where we’re still religious but lost. We think the Gospel is a joke, For which Christ Jesus paid the cost.
We think the Holy Spirit is the One, Stirring up our rebellious heart, But an evil spirit impersonates Him, Working his deceitful satanic art.
We can only become a Christian, By faith in Christ and confessing our sin. Playing the game will never save us, And will never bring peace within.
Playing Church is a satanic game, And Satan’s the one that creates it. He makes religion fun and frivolous, And everyone’s a loser who plays it.
James H. Cagle