ARE YOU SURE YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN?
In this 21st Century, one of the famous words likely to be found in the vocabulary of any individual among the estimate of 7 billion people that exist on this planet called Earth is the word ‘Christian’ or even better, Christianity. According to the analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers on what they call “The Global Religious Landscape”, this is the breakdown of religions in the world per their population size;
- 2.2 billion Christians (32 percent of the world’s population).
- 1.6 billion Muslims (23 percent).
- 1 billion Hindus (15 percent.
- 500 million Buddhists (7 percent).
- 400 million people (6 percent) practicing various folk or traditional religions, including African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, American Indian religions and Australian aboriginal religions. (source – “The Washington Times )
It is thus inevitable that the largest religious group in the world is Christianity however I am pushed to believe that the stats are wrong and that you yourself reading this might not be a Christian. You might be wondering ‘Krampah, exactly where are you driving at?’, and ‘what has the stats got to do with my stand as a Christian’? This is quite a controversial issue and most Pastors are either ignorant of it or they are afraid of taking the risk to enlighten their church on “Becoming a Christian””. It is rather unfortunate that more than half of the 2.2 billion people (which you are likely to be part of) who form the 32% of the world’s population as Christians are rather something else than Christians.
Then you ask, Mr. Krampah on what basis do you making such declaration? My argument is clearly based on the WORD of GOD from the Holy Bible. I wish it was as simple as the “A-B-C-D” we were taught in kindergarten however it is not. So then let’s glance through the Scriptures together and bare witness for ourselves. “For many are called (invited, summoned), but few are chosen” – Matthew 22:14 AMP. This verse is taken from one of Jesus’ infamous parables known as ”The parable of the Marriage Feast”. Among the lots of undeserved (i.e. beggars, commoners, educated, illiterates, etc.) that were called to partake of the royal feast, there was one that angered the King so much that he was sent outside (probably to the dungeon or prison). What was the reason? He insulted the King’s name when He appeared not dressed for the occasion although provision had been made for that [Matthew 22:11-12].
So here’s the issue. Are you dressed up for the occasion? Are you sure you are a Christian? Yes I know you were invited and granted entrance into the palace and all: I mean you go to church every Sunday and maybe more than once in a week, you pray and get your prayers answered yet I still challenge you today to review yourself whether you really are a Christian (i.e. whether you have what it takes to partake of the feast and not just granted access into the Palace). So far it seems I’m yet to actually make my point clearer to you. Here is a list of possible reasons concerning people’s basis for being a Christian;
- I was born in a Christian home, I’ve been a Christian since birth
- I attend church every Sunday and I belong to “so- so and so” Christian fellowship
- My beliefs in the philosophies and doctrines of the church makes me a Christian
- It is my religion/ belief system… that’s where my faith lies
- I went up to the altar call in church one time to give my life to Christ
All these are good reasons and can be argued from a point. The all make sense and to the human mind and way of thinking but Proverbs 16:25 enlightens us that “There is a way that seems right in the sight of man but the end of it is destruction”. The Message Bible paraphrase it like this “There’s a way that looks harmless enough; look again—it leads straight to hell”. Thus you can seemingly walk with God all your life and then on the day of accountability hear these words “I know you NOT!” [Matthew 7:21-23]. The foundation of Christianity or on the real identity of who the Christian is can be found on one basic thing namely Christ Jesus. In John 14:16, Jesus clearly outlines that there is no way any man can reach the Father except through Him. Therefore in order to connect to the Father and truly be part of the Kingdom of God, your only ticket is through Jesus Christ.
To give your life to Christ is to surrender your very will and mind. It is not just a lip service but a true decision made out of a free will with a sincere heart and mind. So if your altar call is any different from that, please re-examine yourself in order to ensure that your salvation is genuine. If not, you are just another soul with a misplaced identity proclaiming to a Christian. To be a Christian is to follow in the steps of Jesus Christ. What it means to follow in the footsteps of somebody is to take on the person’s personality. You believe what the person believes, talk like the person, walk like him, think like him and to some points physically adapt his/her appearance (facial appearance and clothing). I remember the time when the famous Michael Jackson died, people paid tributes to him by representing him. They dressed like him and danced like him. Most of us have certain celebrities we adore as our Mentors thus we talk like them, dress like them and act like them. Similarly you can’t claim you follow Christ yet you think different, believe different, act different, etc.
The Christian is one who is identified with Jesus Christ as his disciple. A friend of mine passed a mind busting statement to me some time ago like this “We claim we know God but does God know us?” The only way God can identify us as part of HIS Kingdom is through Jesus Christ. Jesus says in Matthew 16:24 [AMP] the only true way to becoming his disciple is in denying yourself and carrying your cross (His personality, will and mission). Paraphrasing it would be like this, “The only way you can be a Christian is by denying yourself and becoming like Him”. Thus Paul states in 1 Corinthians 11:1 that the Church should imitate him as he imitates Christ, indirectly telling them to imitate Christ.
The Christian is not a person that is trying fervently to please God with His strength rather he is one who seeks God’s strength through Grace and Faith to walk in the will of the FATHER as well as fulfill his purpose. Grace and Faith is made to connect us to God.
Through Grace and Faith we build a stronger bond of intimacy with GOD through Jesus Christ. Grace and Faith is meant to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and not on ourselves or our sinful nature. Jesus Christ never came to establish a religion but rather establish God’s Kingdom on earth. He did so by introducing us to the Culture of the Kingdom of God. Thus the Christian is meant to be of a caliber that thinks different, acts different, talks different, etc from the world. That is why Paul entreats us in Romans 12:1-2 to renew our minds unto the Kingdom culture.
Will GOD ever task us to do anything which the supposedly all-knowing GOD knows is beyond our capacity to do even if you are to someway somehow obtain mutant powers like Spiderman or Superman? The answer is a big NO!!. Yet I find a lot of supposedly called Christians (of which you might be part) indirectly calling God a liar every day. So you might be wondering; Mr. Krampah how is that even possible? Well, let me give you a small test;
- Can a Christian live on this earth without sinning?
- Is it possible for man to be Holy like God in heaven?
- What does it mean to be Holy?
Most people’s answer for the first two questions are ‘No’ whiles others who choose the option ‘NO and YES’ for question 1 and 2 respectively find ‘question 3’ questioning them about the validity of their answer. The correct answer is YES for both question 1 and 2. This is because God never tasked any man to seek HIM with willpower and gust [1 Samuel 2:9] like many people do but rather through Grace and Faith through Jesus. It is never an easy pathway and it is more personal than we can ever imagine but it not a mission impossible journey as well. Just like every journey, it starts with a step. Until your steps are ordered by the Lord, there is a question mark on your Christianity. Christianity is an identity that is only gained when you nationalize into the Kingdom of God. So therefore are you sure you are a Christian? Are you dressed up for the occasion? Take some time, re-examine yourself, if you fall out of place, remember that there is still the opportunity to give your life to Christ , it’s not too late to make things right. Always remember, whoever denies Jesus Christ (in words or action) is automatically denied before the FATHER [Matthew 10:33].
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