Three ‘Christians’ go to church each week, one volunteers in the nursery, one is an Elder, the other a member of the choir. Each has their own story, each continues in their chosen sin unabated. Which leaves this question? Is the woman who is having an affair with her best friend’s husband a Christian? Is the man who sells illegal drugs to pay for his daughter’s education a Christian? Or what about the man, who divorced his wife because he wasn’t in love with her anymore, is he a Christian?
What is a Christian? If you were to ask 100 “Christians” you would get 100 different answers. I think the reason for that, is partly because we have a lot of anemic, shallow preaching today, which has left the church with a generation of people who think they are Christians but really are not. These are people who have been told to believe, but they have never been told to repent. They have been promised heaven, but they have never been warned of hell. They have been told that God wants them to be happy, but they have never heard that God wants them to be holy. I wonder whether a lot of these people even know what the genuine gospel message is. Recently there was a survey that revealed that 7 in 10 American adults have no clue what John 3:16 means “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (As I have pointed out before believes means to obey, for even the devil believes, yet he is doomed)
The same study also revealed that barely one-third of all adults know the meaning of the term, "the gospel." Thus it should not surprise us that the fact is, what is considered as Christianity by many today would not even qualify as such in the first century. However the Bible is very clear about who is a Christian. According to the apostle Paul, a Christian is someone who has put his or her faith in Jesus Christ, and Christ alone, as Savior and Lord and God. A Christian is someone who has turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God “to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’” Acts 26:18.
It is not for me or you to decide who is a Christian and who is not. That is ultimately up to God. We are told however that we will recognize them by their fruit. I do know one thing, what we don't need more of today are 'sort-of Christians'. What we need are 'no-doubt Christians'—people about whom you could say, "There is no doubt in my mind that person is a follower of Jesus Christ." Could you say that about the three individuals mentioned above, could you say that about those you know, more importantly would they say that about you?