Are you a Christian or a church person?
Have you come to believe that the one great commandment for the believer in the Word of God is “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,” (Heb. 10:25) and all others are secondary to it? Has your church attendance become a habit simply for its own sake, a place where you go each weekend to meet your friends that you didn’t have time to visit during the week? Do your conversations there revolve mostly around yours or their lives of the previous week, the weather, the normal pleasantries of conversations that friends usually enjoin in?
Do you go there to listen to the man behind the podium speak, but never really hear what he says, much less apply it during the week? Is the chapel area, the hallway and parking lot the place where most of your conversations are held, plans made, handshakes offered, and hugs given? Are these conversations generally void of the sermons message, but friendly and polite, nonetheless? Is there a place in the pews explicitly known as yours, a spot on a coat rack where your coat always hangs, even an unmarked spot in the parking lot reserved just for you, but with no placard declaring it? Are you expected to be at Church or the mid-week Bible study, and are there for that reason?
Do you spend extra time in the finance meetings voicing your opinions on the light bill, the missionary expenditures, and the color of the carpet for the new remodel project? Do you hold a place of authority in the church, untitled, never voted on, but yours nonetheless because of the years you have attended, the amount of money you give, your relationship to those in other positions of leadership within the church?
Were you voted into the position of elder, deacon, or any of the other titles your church may use because of the high and lofty words you use, the amount of time you have been attending, your smart but common sense attire, you ability to always have a smile on your face and a kind word? Do you sit on positions of authority because of your authority within the community, the associations that you have with certain business owners and council members? Are you asked to perform certain functions within the church because of the way you carry yourself, your demeaner around those that look up to you, your status as a good person? Does everyone see you as a nice guy that goes to church?
Are you always prepared with a good laugh, a good joke, a pat on the back and unending smiles of approval for all? Are you always attentive, never questioning, never correcting, keeping your opinions to yourself? Are you always friendly, no matter your inner mood, keeping your problems to yourself, not wanting to burden others with them? Are you always neighborly, but never asking too personal of questions, not wanting to seem intrusive? Do you leave the teaching and preaching of the Scriptures to those you feel are more qualified, even though you have been there longer than they, never interrupting, agreeing with everything, never needing to check the words spoken by those behind the podium with those in the Word of God? Do you keep church at church, leaving God’s business in His house, not speaking to others outside of the building about Him for fear of possibly offending, not wanting to seem pushy? Do you keep your life in the world separate from your church life, from your “spiritual life? Do you speak to those at church basically the same way that you talk with everyone that you meet outside of the church building?
If you are this person, congratulations, you are a church person, but you are not a Christian, you are not an obedient servant of Christ. You have either been deceived by Satan or yourself that by fulfilling all these obligations above you have become a Christian, a person worthy of being called by the name of the one who hung on the cross.
Those who know Christ personally not only know of His suffering, but have suffered for His name, willingly. Those who have trusted in Christ know of no other master, not even themselves, they keep their lamps full and all that they meet as often as possible see Him in them. They cannot but open their mouths to all that will listen about His wonderful, glorious name, they find no joy outside of His words.
They worship inside and outside of the church building, praising His name in their hearts and with their lips. They seek nothing from men but their ears, and from the world nothing at all. They never seek the praise of men, turning down all accolades and always give God the glory for everything that He allows them to accomplish. Their lives are spent in finding ways to bring glory to His name, and as in many ways as is possible to lift up the name of Christ.
They reprove and correct in love, never allowing sin to find a foothold in either their lives or the lives of their brothers and sisters in Christ. They take no extensive time for idle conversations, their words reflect the Scriptures, they find no time for the worlds view of anything, the transitory holds no grip on them. They willingly bear the burdens of others and ask them to do the same for them. They repent openly before all that they have harmed or wronged when they have fallen, asking for forgiveness in true repentance.
They spend no extensive time in idle bantering, seeking out others instead who are either further grounded in the Word than they themselves are, or helping those who are not on how to rightly divide the Word of truth. They are never busybodies, but are always busy, their words are never hollow, but effective to the task at hand. They always speak face to face, never behind any ones back, and always in love with firm truth. They judge righteous judgement but are never judgmental.
Their free will has been freely given to Christ, they know that He holds the future and so they are never afraid of it. Christ has forgiven their past, and they have forgiven themselves as well. The world and all that it has to offer them holds no value for them, their citizenship is not of this world, they long ago stopped trying to fit in. The assurance of their salvation is never questioned, they never lose sight of the Lamb. Trials and tribulations are welcomed, the question of “Why” never crosses their minds. They seek out the commandments and will of God daily and obey them. Their prayers are rarely for themselves, are in accordance to His will, and are always brought to the throne after giving praise to His name. They seek the kingdom of God first and know no treasures here.
They seek diligently to know all that He deems necessary to show them, and each day they crave more. No one, nothing is more important to them than their Lord Jesus Christ. They long to be in His presence, but they submit to His will each day, never wearying in the work until that everlasting moment arrives. They are prepared to leave all for Him, to die for Him if it is in His will.
Now you can decide which one you are, a church person, or a Christian.