I'm A Christian
by Robert J. Stewart
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." —2nd Corinthians 11:3
If you were to ask me what religion I am, I would reply "I'm a Christian." Automatically, you would classify who I am in your mind. Basically, you would think I'm Catholic. Though this certainly would not be true, I'm sure at least eighty percent of you would think I'm Catholic. Now why is that? It's because all your life you were taught that Catholics are Christians. Just because I say "I'm a Christian," doesn't mean that I'm a part of your religion!
Because I say "I'm a Christian," people often ASSUME I'm a Catholic, a Mormon, a Jehovah Witness, a Seventh-Day-Adventist, a Lutheran, etc. Most people identify a "Christian" as someone that pertains to THEIR particular religion. Something is very wrong here. The Jehovah Witnesses claim to be "Christians". The Baha'is claim to be "Christians". The Church of Christ claim to be "Christians". Roman Catholics claim to be "Christians". Lutherans claim to be "Christians". Many, many different religious groups CLAIM to be "Christian". IRONICALLY, each of these religious groups claims that the other groups are NOT Christians. So whose the genuine Christians? Talk about confusing!
What is a Biblical Christian? To find the answer, lets go to the Word of God. In Acts 26, we find the Apostle Paul preaching the Gospel to king Agrippa. In Acts 26:28, king Agrippa makes the following statement to the Apostle Paul...
"Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." -Acts 26:28
Obviously, Paul had defined to the king what it means to be a "Christian." How could king Agrippa consider becoming a "Christian" if he didn't know the meaning of being a Christian? What did the Apostle Paul say to king Agrippa? Whereas Paul had once murdered Christians, now he testifies that he himself is a Christian! The Apostle Paul recounts the Words which Jesus spoke to him on the road to Damascus...
"And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." —Acts 26:15-18
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." —1st John 4:1
You heard it from Jesus' own mouth..."To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." King Agrippa knew exactly what he needed to do to become a Biblical Christian...he needed to place his faith in Jesus Christ as his Saviour (that his sins would be forgiven). The ONLY way to become a genuine Biblical Christian is to trust upon the Lord Jesus Christ. This excludes any human effort to earn salvation. This excludes baptism, church membership, holy communion, the seven sacraments, and all religious rituals. The Word of God is clear that a "Christian" is someone who has placed there 100% faith in Christ alone for salvation. Sadly, king Agrippa rejected Jesus Christ that day. If king Agrippa never believed upon the Lord, then he is sadly burning in hell this moment (thousands of years later). You see, you're not a "Christian" just because you say you are. You MUST believe ONLY upon Jesus!
Let's take a look at a few religions to see of they're "Christian" or not:
- Are Catholics Christians? Catholics say their Christians, but they follow the Pope and the doctrines of the Catholic Church instead of the Word of God. Roman Catholics place their faith upon the Blessed Virgin Mary and the promises of the Catholic Church. Catholics openly admit that "works" are as necessary as faith to enter heaven. Catholics are taught that they MUST observe the Seven Sacraments in order to please God and go to heaven. Catholicism also teaches that Christ IS the Catholic Church and that salvation is obtained through the Catholic church alone.
However, the Bible teaches no such nonsense. Catholics readily admit that many of their doctrines cannot be substantiated from the Word of God (such as the Assumption of Mary, which became an official church doctrine in 1950). They just keep making up new doctrines. So are Catholics Christians? Absolutely NOT! They are NOT trusting Jesus alone for salvation. Instead, Catholics idolize Mary, bow before statues, trust in all their ceremonial rituals, and think that the priests can absolve their sins in a confessional booth (or during last rights). Catholics aren't Christians!
- Are Jehovah Witnesses (JW's) Christians? JW's claim to be Christians, but they teach that Michael the archangel came down to earth as Jesus. That's right, the JW's believe that Jesus was Michael incarnate. I triple-dog dare you to show that from the Bible...good luck! JW's also deny that Biblical teaching that Jesus rose bodily from the grave. To no surprise, JW's also deny that Christ will return bodily to the earth as the Bible clearly teaches He will (Acts 1:11). In addition, JW's teach that Jesus is NOT Almighty God, but rather just "a god." Would someone please show every JW Revelation 1:8, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." JW's have the wrong Jesus, NOT the Jesus of God's Word. Also, JW's require baptism to go to heaven. I dare you to show me any mention of "baptism" in Paul's presentation of the Gospel to king Agrippa. 1st Corinthians 1:17 clearly indicates that baptism is NOT necessary for salvation. Are Jehovah Witnesses Christians? Absolutely NOT!
- Are Lutherans Christians? Lutherans claim to be Christians, but they believe that salvation can only take place through baptism. They also mandate holy communion as a requirement to salvation. Though Martin Luther came out of Roman Catholicism, Roman Catholicism never came out of Martin Luther. Luther clearly states in his small and large catechisms that baptism and holy communion are requirements for salvation. In addition, Lutherans believe that Jesus couldn't come to earth without Mary's permission. Just as the Roman Catholics, Lutherans idolize Mary. There is NOTHING in the Word of God which leads us in any way to recognize Mary. Lutheranism is nothing less than diet Catholicism. Revelation 17:5 mentions the "MOTHER OF HARLOTS". Who do you think the "harlots" are? That's right, the children who came out of the THE GREAT WHORE of Roman Catholicism. Are Lutherans Christians? Absolutely NOT!
- Are Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA's) Christians? SDA's claim to be Christians, but they clearly believe that trusting Jesus Christ is NOT sufficient by itself to go to heaven. SDA's believe that Jesus entered into the holy of holies (in heaven) back in 1844 to begin His work of what they term, "investigative judgment" (which is NOT found in the Word of God). SDA's teach that investigative judgment is the process by which Jesus decides whether or not a person is "worthy" to go to heaven. So even in spite of your 100% faith in Jesus Christ, SDA's believe that you still might not make it to heaven. Of course, the Bible PROMISES us salvation if we simply call upon Jesus. Romans 10:13 proclaims, "For whosoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved." It doesn't get much simpler that that folks! SDA's don't believe the Word of God. In addition, SDA's require that a person observe the Sabbath Day with sincerity to be saved. They believe that a person's attitude towards the Sabbath is reflective of their commitment to God. SDA are a false religion! Though they are accurate on many Biblical doctrines, they are way out in left field on many others as well. Again, SDA's deny that simple faith in Jesus Christ saves a person. The Bible declares the "simplicity" of salvation (2nd Corinthians 11:3). SDA's are NOT Christians!
And the list goes on and on...
I am convinced that ninety percent of the people who claim to be "Christians," are NOT really Christians! When I say "I'm a Christian," I mean that I am a Biblical Christian. Being a member of ANY religion WON'T make anyone a Christian. Religious people go to hell by the thousands every day. Religion is self-righteousness.
"For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." —Romans 10:3
Most people have "Churchianity" without "Christianity". As the Scripture above reads, many people are IGNORANT of God's righteousness, going about to establish their own self-righteousness. God's righteousness is ONLY in Christ Jesus (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Most people have no idea of what it really means to be a Christian. To be a Christian is to be a "believer" on Jesus Christ. To be a Christian means that you have obtained the righteousness of God, which can ONLY be obtained God's way. How does a person get God's righteousness? The answer is found in 2nd Corinthians 5:21...
"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." —2nd Corinthians 5:21
The righteousness of God is found IN HIM (in Jesus Christ)! This is what it means to be a Christian. You can join all the religions you want and still burn in hell someday. You can get baptized, homogenized, pasteurized...it won't help you a bit. You need the righteousness of God which is found exclusively in Christ Jesus. The Pope CANNOT give it to you! The priest CANNOT give it to you! The Blessed Virgin Mary CANNOT give it to you! Only Jesus!
I'm humbly glad to say, I'm a Christian!
May God work in your heart as He sees fit on this serious matter. Amen.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." —Romans 1:16