This is an important question. No one should simply take it for granted that he is saved because he is born into a Christian family, or is a good person, or is sincere in heart and mind, or thinks that God is so loving that he’ll let everyone into heaven. These things do not make anyone a Christian, nor do they guarantee anything with God. Only faith in Christ (Rom. 5:1), trusting in Him alone for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 4:12), and receiving Him (John 1:12) is what being born again is about. It means to be changed from the inside because the Lord has changed you, saved you, and the Holy Spirit is now in you.
What kind of a Christian are you? Are you one on the outside but not on the inside? Are you a social Christian? Do you claim the name but not the heart of Christianity? Are you a person who knows he or she is saved because of the work of Christ on the cross and you trust in Him alone? Or do you think that your sincerity and good works, in cooperation with God’s grace, will get you to heaven? Are you the kind of a person who believes in God yet walks into sin, knowingly, painfully? Maybe you listen to the world and think that homosexuality is an acceptable alternative life style. Or maybe you think that true Christians need to remain open minded and not condemn anyone. Is premarital sex is okay if you love each other and/or plan to get married? Do you think that adultery is just an “affair” or is it a terrible sin against God? Whatever your opinions are is what reveals what you are inside: biblical, worldly, or a little bit of both. Ultimately, though, you must examine yourself to see if you are in the faith. Basically, if you agree with the Bible, you’re fine. If you do not, then you are wrong.
Here are some questions meant to get you to think and examine yourself to help you see what kind of a Christian you are, maybe to see if you really are one. The Holy Spirit can prompt you. He can let you know about sin and righteousness (John 16:8). Lovingly and humbly submit yourself to Him.
* Do you believe the essentials of the Christian faith: Trinity, Jesus is God in flesh, salvation by grace through faith, Jesus rose from the dead physically?
* Do you confess that you are a sinner before a holy God? (Rom. 3:23)
* Do you confess that you cannot please God through your own efforts? (Isa. 64:6)
* Do you acknowledge that Jesus is the only way to salvation? (John 14:6; Acts 4:7-12)
* Do you acknowledge that there is only one God in all the universe? (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8)
* Do you seek to do the will of the Lord? (Matt. 7:21)
* Do you know that God loves you and desires your relationship with Jesus? (1 Cor. 1:9).
* Do you acknowledge that sin causes a separation between you and God? (Isaiah 59:2)
* Do you approve of social agendas in the church? (Rom. 12:12)
* Do you believe that morals are relative? (Exodus 20:1-17)
* Do you suspect that reincarnation might be true? (Heb. 9:26).
* Do you casually look at the Bible as a guide book, not the rule of truth and faith? (2 Tim. 3:16)
* Do you believe that feelings are as valid as Scripture to find truth? (Jer. 17:9)
* Do you believe that those who reject Christ will go to hell forever? (Matt. 25:46)
* Do you pray only when something is wrong in your life? (Phil. 4:6)
* Do you go to church only on special occasions? (Heb. 10:25)
* Do you use the Lord’s name in vain? (Exodus 20:7)
* Do you regularly watch things on TV and in the movies that you shouldn’t? (Phil. 4:8)
* Are we basically good in nature or bad? (Eph. 2:3; Psalm 51)
* Is the devil a real being? (Rev. 20:1)
* Is dust collecting on your Bible?
If you have the Son in you, the Holy Spirit will bear witness of the truth of your life in Him. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:27-28).
A call to repentance and commitment
Repentance means to turn from that which is unholy towards that which is holy. It means to turn away from sin and move towards God. God is not where our sin is. He is not where rebellion to His word is. He is not in the world that seeks to use the Church as a social instrument, nor with the Christian who wants to change the church and make it more “tolerant.” He is not in the hearts of the cold who do not take His words seriously but instead give casual regard to it only when it agrees with their feelings and wants.
Repentance begins when we realize that our hearts are not in accord with God and we willingly submit our wills to God’s will as it is revealed in the Bible. We discover our need to do this when we compare ourselves to the Lord Jesus. We discover this when we compare ourselves to the word of God.
After repentance comes commitment. Commitment to God and His word should be the heart of every Christian. After all, Jesus said that those whom He knows hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:27-28). That is, they follow what Jesus says and do what He does.
What kind of a Christian are you?
“Basic Christian Doctrine” by Matthew Slick, http://www.carm.org/basicdoc.htm.