|From the writings of Paul the apostle he wrote: "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Prove yourselves." - 2 Co 13:5. This really is a test to see if you are a real Christian or not. Here are some of the ways to test yourself or even someone else for that matter(but always being careful not to judge another. Point out sin and rebuke yes, judge no See the judge not page).
The following are ways to test and know if you or someone else is really a Christian or not, because many who claim to be fall short.
1.Real Christians love and forgive in ALL situations. This means a real Christian can't hold grudges or offenses against anyone else for any reason. No excuse will be good enough for God to overlook.
2.If you are the only one who knows you are a Christian, guess what? You aren't. In Mark 8:38 it reads 'If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels. This does not mean a Christian is to cram the gospel down others peoples throats as Jesus never did that himself, but he did show other people the way through his actions, works and words.
Many times you don't even have to say much at all as they will see your love for others if you are real that is. Of course sometimes words are needed too. A word spoken in due time is like a glass of cool water. So go and preach the gospel and if necessary use words but make sure your actions are backing up your words.
3. If you are addicted to anything other than Jesus you can't be a Christian plain and simple. See the addictions page for this in more detail, but if you are a slave to sin, any sin ie: internet porn, you can't be a Christian. You can become one or come back to God if you are away, but you need to break the habit no matter the cost, for the punishment will be more than you want to endure or want to believe is even possible.
4.Real Christians bear some or all of the following fruit, but beware as even non-Christians can at times bear some of these. Also a real Christian can bear fruit for a time, stop and start again. The key is starting again or not stopping the first time. The Fruit of the Spirit is Visible Growth in Jesus Christ. " The Fruit of the Spirit" is a biblical term that describes the nine visible characteristics of a true Christian life. Galatians 5:22-23 says these attributes are: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.
We learn from scripture that these are not individual "fruits" from which we pick and choose. Rather, the fruit of the Spirit is one nine fold "fruit" that characterizes all who truly walk in the Holy Spirit. Collectively, these are the fruits that all Christians should be producing in their new lives with Jesus Christ.
So for instance if someone calls themselves a Christian, but is holding a grudge or offense against someone else, then Love which is the most important of the fruits, is not at work in that person's life and Jesus himself said in Matt.6.15 " but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your father forgive your trespasses."
This is extremely heavy but if someone does not forgive another they CAN'T enter the kingdom of heaven EVER. Why not you may ask? Well it's a sin #1. Unforgiveness is a sin and any sin even one will separate ANYONE "so called Christian" or not from God's presence. If someone "calls themselves a Christian", goes to church, but divorces their spouse for instance, without the one biblical excuse than can be used which is sexual infidelity, then that person can't enter the kingdom of heaven UNLESS they confess and repent of that sin. Of course any sin that's unconfessed and unrepented of is not covered by the blood/crucifixion of Jesus, but any sin that is, WILL be covered regardless of how bad it may sound to man.
If you have ever heard these words: I thought you were a Christian,? Then you have wandered from the path and need to come back quick before it's too late. The bumper sticker which says: 'not all who wander are lost' is true, but only if you come back. If you keep wandering you will in fact be lost forever. Someone who is practicing sin that won't confess or acknowledge it but says they are a Christian is in fact a hypocrite as Jesus said and a hypocrite does more damage to the cause of Christ than a person who does not claim to be a Christian.
In fact in Revelation 3:14-19, when Christ is talking to the Church of Laodicea, he is addressing the people of that city known for its wealth. Despite its financial prosperity, it was spiritually starving. He said to the people "You are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, I am about to spit you out of My mouth. For you say 'I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.' You don't realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked."
Some say, oh this letter to the church and the other six letters in Revelation where only written to those back then in the 1st century. Not true at all. Jesus in his brilliance knew then and knows now that history repeats itself because we humans never seem to learn from our mistakes. Not only that, but the bible was written just as much for us as it was for those then and all in between from then till the present day. so the fact is not only was there an actual church of Laodicea in Laodicea, but there have been hundreds if not thousands of churches in every century since then that would resemble the church in Laodicea.
The churches in America today on the whole resemble the church in Laodicea and in fact it's almost like a mirror image. So the question is, what are we going to do about it. If the answer is nothing, which so far seems to be the case and may even be worse than the church of Laodicea, then the punishment is also for us and to be spit out of Jesus mouth will not be a pretty sight. We won't be spit into heaven. So called Christian or not, there is eternal punishment for all those who say they are Christians but live another way(See the eternal security/OSAS link). The lukewarm which has been most of us including myself from time to time, need to repent and change our ways before it's too late.
So the real key to heaven is to confess and repent of sin not just once, but every time it's committed! But a real Christian knows this and lives a humble, gentle, repentant kind of life ALL THE TIME. The key is daily repentance, as evidenced in the Lord's prayer which he gave us as a model to pray after, not once a year but daily. A real Christian prays and reads God's word daily and in fact we are to pray without ceasing and pray about everything! Jesus said don't worry about anything but instead pray, pray, pray!
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