Monday, July 17, 2006

Who is Really a Christian?

I believe this is one of the most important questions we could ask of ourselves. How does a person know he is really a christian?

I am not going to ask somebody else whether I am a true christian or not just as I am not going to ask the friends of Tony Jones whether or not he is a christian, even though they may be quick to answer in the affirmative. I would hope both Tony Jones, all of his friends, and I would look to the infallible Word of God to see if we are really true christians.

The book of 1 John is good to read as a way of checking ourselves to assure that we are living in obedience to Christ (indicator of a true christian). Look at these examples....

• if we say we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness we lie. -1:10

• if we say we have not sin we are a liar -1:10

• we know we know him if we keep his commandments -2:3

• he who says he knows him but does not keep his commandments is a liar -2:4

• whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother, walks in darkness -2:9

• if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. -2:15

• whoever continues to sin has not seen him and neither knows him. -3:7

• he who keeps his commands abides in him and he in him and we know he abides in us by the Spirit he gives us. -3:24

• if a man says "I love God" but hates his brother, he is a liar -4:20

• by this we know we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments -5:2

• these things were written that you believe on the name of the Son of God that you may KNOW that you have eternal life -5:13

These are some verses from each chapter of 1 John which help us check our standing before God. I would recommend reading all five chapters carefully.

If a person does not use the Word of God as the standard by which to determine the authenticity of his/her faith, this person is being deceived and the consequences will be eternal damnation and separation from the presence of God forever in hell.

What if you think you are a christian but you never read your bible? You never have a desire to pray? You need to go to the doctor for a check-up. You may not be a true christian. You may have a terminal disease which could kill you any minute and it will be too late to do anything about it. True love will warn someone if they look spiritually sick. If you look sick and proud, you may not be a christian like you think you are and you may be on the path to destruction. If you enjoy worldly things and have no desire to spend time with God alone, you may not be a christian. If this is you, you better find out quick and repent and receive God's mercy and grace since He poured out his blood at Calvary with his crucifixion on the cross to pay for your sins and rose from the dead to offer you eternal life through his redemption. You must agree with God about your defiance and rebellion toward his holiness and character which cannot look upon sin. When you do this as David did in Psalm 51, God offers his forgiveness to you. You must first be broken before him and hate the sin in your life and want to get rid of it. Jesus took care of it in his suffering on the cross.

There is way too much at stake here to be flippant with this. Would you like to hear...

"Well done, good and faithful servant! "


"I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" ?

This is the topic Paul Washer is discussing in THIS AUDIO. He boldly challenges his listeners to examine themselves against the Word of God to be assured of salvation in Christ.

Please listen and ask God to speak to you.



Blogger norman kelleher said...

Hey Kenny, I don't think that you could have said this any more clearly. You are truly a blessing and our Lord is very pleased with your work. I am afraid that I fall short far too often and really need to test my personal relationship and see if I am really walking with Christ the way I should be.

You have been a blessing in my life and I love you and your family very much. I would hope that anyone who claims to be a Christian would not have any problem with another Christian brother trying to help them test their faith in the light of scripture. It seems to me that it may be a sign that there is something amiss if someone is not willing to listen to another Christian when they are clearly trying to help steer toward the truth of Christ's teachings.

I still can't believe that you and Keith put all of this time into this site to help so many people when you are both supporting your families. Thank you so much.

This new emergent movement seems very subtle in the way it pulls people from the truth. It may be nice to think that people who are leading heretical movements are just being deceived themselves and simply do not realize the error of their ways. My belief is that the leaders of large movements that pull people away from biblical Christianity are very aware of what they are doing.

There are many instances of supposedly "good" or "holy" men who have started religions that have led many people into bondage and eternal damnation.

Far from being a great holy man the way he is described by many, Muhammed was a horrible human being. He took God's word and made subtle changes in it and decided that Christianity and Judaism had quite a bit of truth but there were certain basic teachings that were wrong. Conveniently, he was able to convince others that God had spoken directly to him and decided that he was meant to bring people back to the true god. Of course, Muhammed's god also decided that Muhammed was supposed to have more power, money, and women than other men. He slaughtered anyone who defied him and because of his desire for personal enrichment well over 1 billion people have been led down a path to eternal separation from the one true God.

Joseph Smith was another who has led millions away from the Truth of God's word. He decided to change the bible to fit his teachings because of his hatred for traditional Christianity and of course wrote his own book (the book of Mormon) that was meant to add to and twist the gospel. He of course alsogot to have more money, power, and women.

Charles Taze Russell personally enriched himself and his family while simultaniously deceiving millions.

Some may believe that these were just misguided individuals who were trying to do the right things but just missed the point or didn't understand the truth. My personal belief is that they knew what damage and destruction they were doing and in each case hated God and wanted to deceive His people.

In each of these examples people can say that these leaders were dealing with a completely different worldview and therefore it was just a differnt way of understanding how our relationship to the divine works. Also, these people never claimed to be Christian. Ieach example they said that they were there to bring a new revelation about man's relationship to god.

These new church "leaders are doing something different than the other three mentioned. They are claiming to be Christians. I cannot judge whether they are or not and not knowing them personally I really have nothing to go on other than their words and actions. You are not trying to destroy people or hurt them personally but rather you are pointing out the specific things these men are saying which is twisting the word of our Lord. The fact that some of these "leaders" seem to be denying the gospel and saying things that are clearly unbiblical and anti-Christian, there is no reason for you to not point these out. The fact that none of the people I have seen answers your specific questions but rather just make arguments appealing to general christian-like concepts such as "you shouldn't judge other people" gives me a fairly clear indication that they do not have an answer for your questions.

Whether these people are really trying to teach the truth and are just confused or whether they are puposely misleading is a tough call when there are subtle differences in what they believe and true time tested conservative biblical teaching. The fact that these people associate with others who have openly anti-Christian and new age beliefs tends to detract from their contention that this is just an honest attempt to interperet what Christ would have us know.

The valuable time that you generously give to this site simply to try to help other Believers sort out these confusing and conflicting beliefs is extremely helpful.

Hopefully some of these leaders will realize that they shouldn't keep attacking you for trying to ensure that other beleivers are not deceived and will pray that God will reveal to them whether they are in fact teaching false doctrine.

No Christian should be upset with another who is asking them to take the Bible at face value or to test their teachings to see if they are in line with the clear understanding of long established textual meanings of the verses.

Sorry about the rambling. It is a little late and I just wanted to let you know that you and Keith are awesome and there are people out here who appreciate all of your work.

Take care,


3:05 AM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

Thanks Norman, those were some encouraging words and are appreciated. Thank you too for your friendship and wisdom.


8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Norman. Very good points. And amen to what you said about there being people out here who appreciate what Keith and Kenny are doing here on Thinkerup to inform and warn believers of the wrong teachings of the postmodern, emergent church movements and for all the ways they clearly point to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Keep up the good work guys and God bless you and your families. Hopefully many who read your blogs will see and understand the truth. -CT

1:48 AM  
Blogger carla said...

Great ramblings Norman. :)

4:40 PM  

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