There is a very old question that I would ask that you ask yourself, perhaps you have spoken it to others, but have you spent any real time contemplating the answer that you would give if it was asked of you. It is this, if you were set in a courtroom in front of a jury of your peers, charged with being a Christian, would you be found guilty?
How many questions would need to be asked of you, what defense would you give, what proof could you offer to them, assuming of course that you would want to be found guilty, and I hope you would. Would it be your nearly perfect church attendance record, the teaching of a Sunday school class, some of the discussions that you have had with other believers? Now, perhaps I should have mentioned this in the beginning of this letter to you, but I wanted you to see where your own mind took you, for the peers sitting in the jury box are not the Christian friends you know, but the lost that you meet regularly, your coworkers, the gal down at the café, the doorman or cab driver that you know, those who are not of the fold. Now stop and think before you give your answer, and be truthful with yourself, would these individuals be able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt to the judge that you are what and who you say you are, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are quite a lot of people out there who think they are saved, but can give no real, fruit of the Spirit, (Gal. 5:22-23) viable answers to these questions that would be posed to them, at least not any that could be seen outside of the church doors. It is an interesting visualization technique, if you will, for it forces us to look at what we have done, and not what we have only intended to do, and that makes it all that much more important, because when the Judge of all mankind asks you these questions, He will need no jury, and you will have no other option but to answer Him. Many will be filled with excuses when they stand before Him, in what will more than likely be a little more than a thousand years from now at the Great White Throne of Judgement. (Rev. 20:11) They will claim those things that have been mentioned here, all of the works that they did in and for the church they attended, but not one time when they voiced their so-called faith outside of those church doors.
Many will attempt to blame the Lord Himself, quoting John15:5, “For without me ye can do nothing,” saying that He did not make His voice known to them, that it was not clear what they were to do. He will say that His Word was clear, from Genesis to the Book of Revelation, many there were that were used to show them the examples they were to follow, He will tell them of the drink of water they never gave Him, of how they never visited Him, (Matt. 25:42-43) He will speak of how they were to go into all the world, professing His name, (Mark 16:15) how they were to give an account of their faith in every season to all that would listen (1 Peter 3:15) and then they will be shown that they did not truly love Him as they said they did, when they did say it.
So then my friends, can you answer yourself, can you see yourself in that chair with those twelve or so faces staring back at you, demanding an answer for this faith you say you have, can you show them the works that you will be judged for? (2 Cr. 5:10) God looks on the heart, (1 Sam. 16:7) we prove the love that we have for Him by being obedient in every aspect of our lives to His Word and will, no matter the cost. Hopefully before the trial ever began you would begin speaking of how the Lord has seen fit to bless you by allowing you to be a profitable, willing servant, by the works outside of the church doors that He has used you to accomplish His will on this planet for His glory. If not, it could be a long and drawn out trial, with you doing nothing more than fumbling for words, and then pleading for mercy, a mercy that will not come from either them or Christ when that day arrives.