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DocReits January 16, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Thank you Robert for the great article!

As you know, this is one of my main concerns about the “church” today. Just because we are in a garage it doesn’t mean that we are a car. Those within the “church” are not necessarily Christians.

Your theme is “A True Christian”, and I agree with you that a true Christian exhibits the qualities you have listed, but so do many non-Christians.

I would suggest that a person can love God, the Bible and people, be morally upright(hating sin) and actually campaign with the youth group or the “church” on evangelistic out reaches and be totally lost. I have known these people and they have been in my youth group and yours.

I also presently know these people and they are Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and members of your church and mine. It is not enough to love God, hate sin, love the Bible, and love God. It is a peril, and the pews are filled with these lost souls, lulled to sleep by pastors unwilling to tell them the truth. It makes me very angry. I have labored for hours pleading with pastors to preach the truth.They call me intolerant and a blasphemer…honest.

If the sinner is not made aware(convicted) by the Holy Spirit, through the preaching of the Word, of their complete brokenness….their utter depravity, and repents, turning towards God in Christ for forgiveness, there is no forgiveness, and no salvation. All else, you have mentioned, flows from this starting point. No starting point…no “True Christian”.

Thank you for allowing me to vent. This is one of the few venues where I can.

Blessings,

DocReits

Robert January 17, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Doc,
Sorry it took so long to respond, I’ve been a little too busy. I absolutely agree with you. And, really, I think we are saying the same thing…just with different words. You wrote, “All else, you have mentioned, flows from this starting point” and that was one of the main points I attempted to make in my article. The ‘true’ Christian (the man or woman who has realized his or her sinfulness and trusted Jesus Christ for salvation) is the only person who can genuinely possess those characteristics.

Now, some may ‘act’ like they love God, hate sin, love the Bible, etc., but it will only be an act. Because, inwardly they do not love God, the Bible, hate sin, etc. Because, one who disobeys God is not one who loves Him; one who discounts the Word of God is not one who loves the Bible; one does not truly hate sin until he or she understands how God sees sin. And certainly, one who merely ‘acts’ the part is not forgiven.

Therefore, I think we are both saying the same things, even if we approach the subject from different vantage points. Outwardly, unsaved people can ‘appear’ to be ‘true’ Christians; nevertheless, inwardly they are not. I hope my article has the result of causing many to look inward and reassess their salvation; as Peter wrote, “…to make their calling and election sure” (II Peter 1:10).

Doc, I always look forward to your comments. You are always thoughtful and thought-provoking. And I can easily see that you take your relationship with God very seriously and are concerned with the salvation of others. You can vent here anytime.

Yours in Christ,
Robert

Paul Belter January 17, 2014 at 6:42 am

Came across a sermon can John Wesley gave in July 1741 called “The Almost Christian”. In the sermon he writes about the “almost Christian” compared to being altogether “a Christian”. The Christian “loves God”, “loves his neighbor” and “believes in the Son”. It is a sermon – much longer than Mr. Driskoll’s good, short writing.
Paul

DocReits January 17, 2014 at 11:56 am

Hey Paul,

Thank you for the heads up on the sermon. I just read it and was hoping I would see the need for repentance, which I did. Here is a small excerpt from the sermon:

“4)But here let no man deceive his own soul. “It is diligently to be noted, the faith which bringeth not forth repentance, and love, and all good works, is not that right living faith, but a dead and devilish one. For, even the devils believe that Christ was born of a virgin: that he wrought all kinds of miracles, declaring himself very God: that, for our sakes, he suffered a most painful death, to redeem us from death everlasting; that he rose again the third day: that he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father and at the end of the world shall come again to judge both the quick and dead. These articles of our faith the devils believe, and so they believe all that is written in the Old and New Testament. And yet for all this faith, they be but devils. They remain still in their damnable estate lacking the very true Christian faith.”

God’s Love is shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit after salvation(Rom 5:5). Man’s love may be displayed, and is, by many, without any knowledge of being born again. It is a deception for many to think that they are saved by doing good, “Mother Teresa” works and having a form of godliness, displaying their acts of love.

True love comes from God and is indeed a hallmark signature of being born again. God is Love. We must not forget the steps to God. They are listed on this site under “Do you know Jesus” at the top of the home page. Repentance…turning from sin, and turning toward Christ is one of the key steps.

Blessings,

DocReits

Scott Miller January 17, 2014 at 11:52 am

“…if he or she truly understands what it means to make Jesus the Lord of one’s life.”

If you’ve made Jesus the Lord of your life, you have the wrong Jesus and may be in the wrong church. Jesus is already the Lord of your, and everyone else’s life, as everyone will eventually admit (Phil 2:10). Christians realize this now. Instead Jesus calls you to be his disciple, not the other way around. He does this by calling you through the gospel (Romans 10:17) and occasionally combining his word with physical elements, such as ordinary water, wine, and bread.

DocReits January 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Hey Scott,

Good points. 1 Peter 3:15 says:

“But set apart Christ as Lord in your hearts…”

Even though Christ “is” Lord, there remains a “work” for the believer, to set apart or to “make” Jesus Lord, or Ruler(Master), right?

DocReits

Robert January 17, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Hi Scott,
Thanks for reading and commenting. Sorry it took so long for me to respond, lot of irons in the fire these days. Let me clarify my statement, “…if he or she truly understands what it means to make Jesus the Lord of one’s life” if I might. While it is true that Jesus is Lord, and everyone will eventually realize and admit that truth, there are many that refuse to allow Him to rule their lives. They reject His lordship and are in wilful rebellion against Him. It might have been clearer if I had written, “…if he or she truly understands what it means to recognize Jesus as the Lord of one’s life and to follow Him”. That was the meaning behind what I wrote. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to clarify that, Scott. God bless you.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

Scott Miller January 17, 2014 at 2:36 pm

I think the context for 1 Pet 3:15 calls us to “set apart” Christ in our hearts where he is already, as a witness to our persecutors. I cannot deny that scripture calls us to “works” but the enthronement of Christ, whether it be in heaven or our hearts is not one of them. Otherwise if making Christ the Lord of our life, or making Christ anything is a “work” for the believer, than salvation is not by grace. Rather it’s only by grace that we could acknowledge Jesus as Lord. If that’s what is meant by “making” Jesus Lord I could write the difference off as a poor choice of words. But words mean something and poor word choices confuse or mislead innocent people, so “making Jesus Lord” is not the message of the gospel.

DocReits January 17, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Hey Scott,

I get it. Unfortunately semantics is getting in the way. Jesus of course is the King of all creation. So how could “anyone” make Him that which He already is? We didn’t make Him the King of all.

Now having acknowledged that point(which I believe you are making…correct me, if I am wrong), then we can bow before Him now, in this life, and follow Him as our Lord and Savior, or bow before Him later, which all creation( believers and unbelievers will someday do).

Scott, do you know of anyone who believes as you are suggesting, that when the Christian submits to the Lordship of Christ(which in all Christian circles I know of “making” Him Lord means), would ever conscience the idea that they are creating Christ’s Kingship…that they are personally responsible for delivering Christ’s thrown to Him, seating Him, through their submission to Him, on the right hand of the Father, which has already happened?

Think about that. Jesus is already seated in Lordship and Kingship at the right hand of the Father(Acts 2:36, Rom 8:34, kmp 16:19). He is already King, therefore this concern of yours, IMO, is moot.

You think otherwise, yes?

Blessings,

DocReits

Charles January 17, 2014 at 6:13 pm

. . . . participates in the sacraments (John 3:5, John 6:53).

cken January 17, 2014 at 11:22 pm

First, he left out two of the three most important qualities for a Christian. Secondly, if you love the Bible that is idol worship.

DocReits January 18, 2014 at 2:24 am

Hey Cken,

Ok, I’ll bite, what are the two?

Secondly, Robert spoke of loving the content of the Bible, not the ink and paper(why do I think you already knew that…;-)). God said through David in Ps 119:140, that the “…Word is very pure, Therefore your servant loves it.”

Stay with me now. The “content” of the Bible is the Word of God. Are you really calling God an idol worshipper? Scary…

DocReits

David January 19, 2014 at 4:56 am

Recently listened to Don Basham “The prodigal who strayed“ on youtube. Whew that was some message a challenge if ever there was one. David Central Europe





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