A lot of people will tell you they are Christians. Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that ﬁnd it.” Most Americans believe they will go to Heaven, but the words of Christ tell us that this is not the case. Everyone who simply makes the statement, “I am a Christian” is not accepted by God.
Jesus continued later in the chapter by saying, “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. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (vv. 21-23). In Peter 4:11 it says, “If any man speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God …” Let’s look at some groups who claim to be children of God, but in reality, are not.
- Just because someone is born into a family where the father and mother claim to be Christians does not make them a Christian. In various religions of men, physical birth into a family is sufﬁcient to make one a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, etc. In fact, this is partially true with Catholicism. However, this is not true with the New Testament. Physical birth into a Christian family does not make one a Christian. It is only after one has become an obedient believer in Christ, thus being born again and entering into the family of God (John 3:3-5), that one can truthfully say he is a Christian.
- Just because someone was sprinkled at birth does not make them a Christian. In the ﬁrst place, baptism is not sprinkling, but burial in water (Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:3-4; Acts 8:38-39). In the second place, the one being baptized must be baptized on the basis that he has heard the truth (Romans 10:17), believed (Romans 10:10), repented of his sins (Luke 13:3), and confessed with his mouth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:10). The Bible makes it plain that only the believer can be baptized for his own sins. Also, children are not responsible to God for their actions until they reach an age at which they realize the difference between good and evil (Matthew 18:1-3; Romans 7:9). Sprinkling at birth or at any other time in one’s life is not enough to make him a Christian. This was an addition made by men, not a command from God.
- Just because one claims to believe that Christ is the Son of God does not necessarily mean he is a Christian. One must believe that Christ is the Son of God to be a Christian, but this alone will not save him. If this were true, the devils would be Christians because the Bible said they believed and trembled (James 2:19). But to be a Christian one must believe in Christ to the extent that he will not only believe that He is the Son of God but also believe in Him to the point that He is willing to obey His teachings (Hebrews 5:8-9; 1 Peter 2:21). After obeying, a Christian has to endure trials and persecutions (Acts 14:22; 2 Timothy 3:12).
- Just because one is a member of a denominational church does not mean he is a Christian. There are many churches and therefore there are many who claim to be Christians because they are a member of one of them. Christians are made only when people follow Christ. You cannot become a member of a denominational church as a result of following Christ. Only the Bible can make Christians (Acts 11:26). Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:10 that the scriptures will unite us in Christ. If one is a member of a manmade church then it means that he is not a Christian. Now he can offer all kinds of excuses and make all sorts of arguments, but the fact remains that he is not a true Christian as the Bible teaches. If he were a true Christian he would not be in a denominational church, but would be a member of the Lord’s church and would live faithfully (Acts 2:47; 1 Peter 4:16).
- Just because one says he is a Christian does not mean that he is one. One could make many claims for himself but without proof to back up his claims, he would be pushed aside as an impostor. Yet almost anyone can claim to be a Christian and convince people. However, the Bible says something different. Unless one can prove by the word of God and by his life that he is a Christian then he is not one, regardless of the claims he may make (Matthew 7:21-23).
We beg of you to consider if you are a Christian. Are you one according to the teachings of the Bible? Have you obeyed the Lord? Are you faithfully serving Him? If you are not then become one by believing in the Lord, repenting of your sins, confessing Christ as the Son and God and being baptized for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38). Christ will save you, add you to His church, and then you will be a Christian (Acts 2:47; 11:26). Do not be lost to laziness, arrogance, or unbelief. Know why you are a Christian (1 Peter 3:15).