I recently read an article about how one could be assured of their salvation, in other words, how one could be sure that he were a “Christian.” You know it’s not uncommon to hear people say that they are a “Christian,” but saying does not make it so. A. W. Tozer once said, “Tens of thousands, perhaps millions, have come into some kind of religious experience by accepting Christ, and they have not been saved.” When you read that how does it make you feel? Have you ever doubted whether you’re a “Christian” or not? I confess that when I read that quote, it made me stop and consider. I don’t think anyone who’s honest can say that they haven’t ever asked the question of themselves. To be honest, I’d be worried about you if the thought had never gone through your mind. If you really love Christ, I believe you’re going to be concerned about whether you know Him or not, and if your life is pleasing to Him.
We live in a country where many proclaim “Christianity” but, as we all know, just because someone says something doesn’t make it so. Who of us hasn’t ever claimed to be something we weren’t? A lot of people lay claim to families, wives, children, houses, cars, and businesses, but just because we claim them doesn’t mean we own them, that they belong to us. In fact, how do we know that what someone says is true, that what they claim actually belongs to them?
I know you’re thinking that’s a dumb question, but is it really? How many of us have thought we knew someone, and what they were about only to find out that we didn’t know them at all? We live in a world where “misrepresentation” is the norm, where “appearance” is everything. From the President on down, we all know people who have made claims, made promises, that they had no right to make. Now how do you and I know that? Do we have a secret decoder ring? Did we call 1-800-I can tell you? Did we watch it on the news, or read it in the paper, or get it off the internet? A lot of us get our sources of information from these places, and I submit to you that’s a part of the problem.
Truth is that most of us know when we’re being deceived, when we’re being lied to, and most of us know when somebody has made a false claim. Most of the time the reason we know a false claim when we see one is because the evidence doesn’t support the claim. There’s an old saying that goes, “The proof is in the pudding.” You know what I’m saying. Nobody in this world has to be a genius to figure out when they’re being lied to, misled, and manipulated. All of us have personal experience with having done all these things, and so recognizing the signs isn’t all that hard. Perhaps you don’t like being lumped in with everyone else, but truth is truth, so if you’ve never heard this before it’s time you knew.
Now getting back to the question of being sure that you are indeed a “Christian.” It’s not as hard as you may think. First of all, the “Word Of God” gives us that assurance. Did you know that? If so, do you know where to find it? If not, then perhaps that’s why you’re having some trouble. You’re going to have to take my word for it when I tell you that I know where it is because I’m not going to tell you. You want assurance look it up. If you’re looking to anyone or anything other than “God’s Holy Word” the Bible to provide it then you’re looking to the wrong thing. It’s just that simple. This is an opportune time to ask yourself a few questions, “Do I have an interest in the Word of God?” “Do I have a hunger for the Word of God?” “How often do I read and turn to God’s Word when I need guidance?” I’ll let your answers stand for themselves.
You know I’ve often heard that the problem with “Christianity” is “Christians.” Do you think that’s true? If so, I’ve got news for you. It’s not! The problem with “Christianity” is people who claim to be “Christians.” You have a misconception about “Christianity” if you think it’s about claiming Christ. “Christianity” is about Christ claiming us. That’s where too many of us have a problem, including yours truly,and that’s why so many “Christians” struggle. It’s because we’re trying to maintain the claim, we’re trying to work the claim. We want the power. We want to claim “Christ,” and He is not ours to claim.
Too many “Christians” in this country and the world over live with the attitude that we’ve done “Christ” a favor by letting Him die for us. What a privilege it must have been for you, God, to send your son to die for me. Let me tell you something you will never experience the light and love of Christ and the grace He offers until you understand that “Christ” gave himself for you. He willingly took your sin upon himself and died for you. At the moment He died, He laid claim to your life, so stop living like He belongs to you, instead of the other way around.
Too many people go around living their lives like God is a little puppy following them around so thrilled to belong to them, and just wanting them to love Him. You claim Christ? Good for you. A lot of people do and they feel wonderful about it, and they’re so happy. They go around living their lives paying no attention to the pain and needs of others, building monuments to themselves, entertaining themselves, and thinking God loves me so whatever I do is okay. Get This….it’s not!
You want to know if you’re a Christian. Ask yourself not how much of a claim you have on Him, but how much He has a claim on you…