Borrowed Truths

How Can You Tell

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Borrowed Truths

How Can You Tell

One of the most wonderful things about being a Christian is how easy it is to spot other Christians, that fantastic, ethereal glow that just emanates from us is brighter that any light bulb, and at night we just shine like the stars. (Dan. 12:3) Oh, wait, that hasn’t happened yet, has it! Well then, how are we supposed to recognize each other? I know, it must be that fellow over there with the suit and tie on, or maybe that guy with the polo shirt and the khakis, even though he’s wearing tennis shoes, though they are very clean. You know what, that woman over there has never been seen in a skirt above her knees, much less outside of her house with any makeup on, she must be a Christian. I tell you what though, that man with the long hair and beard, the one with the holes in his jeans, there’s no way he’s saved, even if he does have a t-shirt on with “Jesus saves” on it.

How in the world are we supposed to be able to tell who all the Christians are? I know, I’ll bet they’re all in the church’s every weekend, no matter what denomination the sign out front says they’re a part of, why of course, that’s it, all I have to do to find a Christian is go to any church on any weekend, right?

It’s sad to say, but these seem to be the two main ways that many today make a determining factor of who the Christians are, not by what the Word of God says. If you dress appropriately all the time, have the ‘right’ haircut, go to a church, doesn’t really matter which one, they’re all the same, right, and never say anything out of sorts, you must be “one of them.”

Which by the way, got me thinking the other day, do you suppose after Pentecost (Acts 2) that day when Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, stood up and preached mightily the Word of The Lord, if he ever inadvertently emitted a curse word again, something he seems to have been somewhat accustomed to blurt out occasionally. I know, some of you just screamed “Blasphemy!” But was he not human, like we are. How about when Paul said, “but what I hate, that I do” (Rom. 7:15) what were those things he wished he had not done, what did he hate that was not proper in himself.

Looking like what the world thinks a Christian should look like does not make you a child of God, and if you dress like this to fit in, as it were, with the world around you, then you have forgotten that this world is not your home. Even worse though are those that are in a church building each weekend, and the times that they miss a service, they will make sure that everyone there knows why, but do not have a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus called them hypocrites, white-washed sepulchers, (Matt. 23:27) and for a show they continue to attend, some for many decades, others even holding leadership positions within the congregation, voted in because they are upstanding, nice guys. I know these are tough words, but they are truth, and in far too many cases this is happening today all over the world.

I would like to quote Dr. J. Vernon here, though not quite verbatim, he said, “I would rather stand before the throne of God as a heathen from the farthest reaches of the world, than as a man that attended church regularly and knew not Christ as Lord.” So, how are we to know who our brothers and sisters in Christ are, how can we recognize them when we meet them. By their works, of course. Not works that draw attention to ourselfs, not things that are said or done that bring glory to the speaker, but to God only.

I actually heard a different pastor speak the other day who said that “There are Christians that do no works at all for the Lord, yet they are still saved.” Needless to say, I will no longer be listening to this man again. “Show me your faith without works…” (James 2:18) Granted, there are extremely extenuating circumstances where this may be true, but I tend to look at this statement in light of the thief on the cross beside our Lord that day, it does happen, though it is so very rare that in the four thousand year recorded history of the Scriptures, it is only mentioned as happening once.

Any individual who has truly acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord will be an obedient servant to the will and Word of God and works done through us by the Holy Spirit will be a natural outpouring of that salvation transformation. And though baptism is nothing more than an outward sign of an inward faith, it should be your first work. I have always felt that if it is possible, all of your unsaved acquaintances should be invited to your baptism for surely they will be the first in line to hold you accountable, for in their eyes you have just become a “Jesus freak”, a “Bible thumper” to them, someone who now “needs a crutch” to make it through life, yet you may be the only Bible that some of them will ever read.

Dressing like a Christian, going to church, or ‘acting like a Christian, does not make you a Christian, being a submissive, obedient follower of the Lord Jesus Christ is what transforms your mind. (Rom. 12:2) Do a short study of just how many times our Lord said “If you obey me”; If you do what I have commanded you, then.” The word ‘then’ is the operative word here, my friends, for I am sure that you can recall Matthew 7:22. If these individuals did such mighty deeds as to cast out demons in His name, yet were cast out themselves into outer darkness, how much surer should we be that we are truly His children. Do you not think that God can see thru the ploy of these people, these that are deceiving themselves. Whether they are being deceived by Satan or within their own hearts for their own ends, they need our prayers.

Look at even the most simplistic ways that He has shown us that we can serve him; a mere drink of water, maybe some food or extra clothing. (Matt. 25:37) By our works, my friends, by our works that are done only to glorify God and to lift up the name of Jesus, that is how you can tell. Did not our Lord say “and greater works than these…” (John 14:11-14) can you imagine doing greater works than those that are recorded in the Scriptures, things that are far above your ability to do. I know it is hard to imagine, and at least speaking for myself, I am not worthy to attain even to the least of these, yet our Lord spoke it, and His promises are true.

What is the surest sign of a faithful servant of our Lord, what is the one thing that sets us apart from the world and all its false religious doctrines, Love. True, honest, for the glory of the Lamb love. Not a love that is sloshed all over, not given without discernment,  and definitely not a love that is part of our natural selves, but a Holy love that abides in us, a love that always says ‘because He loves me, I can love you.’ This is how you can tell who the Christians truly are, there is no guile in them, they are not self-centered, but Christ centered, they love those that hate them and pray for them that despitefully use them. (Matt. 5:44) Do we fall, of course we do, do we repent and allow our Lord to dust us off and put us back on the path that He has chosen for us, always.

Truth be told, these obedient servants are rarely happy in this world, but they are constantly full of joy, there is a peace and confidence about them that is undeniable, and with their words they always want to share this incredible gift that they have been blessed with, both in word and deed, to all that they meet.

That’s how you can tell.  

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