|More than 400 sects and denominations call themselves "Christian"—but they all have some basic, and often fundamental, differences. Would Jesus Christ recognize the organizations using His name today?|
Have you ever met a true Christian? Have you ever attended a church full of true Christians? Are you sure? What is it that makes a person truly Christian?
The NAME of Christ Is Often Misused
Since the life, death and resurrection of the Son of God, a great deception has resulted in the placing of Christ’s name on every type of pagan, heathen, perverted philosophy of man that has come along!
This noted historian plainly acknowledges that church leaders did not take Jesus’ life and His teaching as the standard for their so-called "Christian" churches!
Are Denominations "Christian" Because They Do Good Works?
There is no question that good works have been done by a wide spectrum of religious organizations. As people treat their neighbors well, they and those around them experience blessings. Speaking of the spiritual laws and principles of the Bible, Jesus said, "The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). In other words, these inspired words describe intrinsic values and forces that operate automatically in many cases—just like the law of gravity. If a person does good to others and treats them with love and kindness, it almost automatically works out that he is going to be blessed in one way or another. This principle holds true no matter what someone’s religion might be.
A Planned Deception
The fact is, true Christianity—and true Christians—do exist. But they may be harder to find than you would think. If you will examine what the Bible teaches, you will find out why there are so few true Christians.
In the above quote, this mainstream Protestant author acknowledges that the professing Christian church became vastly "different" after the original Apostles died. Why? Who gave anyone the authority to change the beliefs and practices of the Church? Or did deceived men just take it on themselves to make these profound changes?
What Jesus Actually Taught
To understand how the various churches have become so "different" from one another, we need to get back to the source of Christianity—Jesus Christ. If anyone knows what true Christianity is, it would certainly be Christ Himself!
The Law of Liberty
Think of it! If the whole world would start living by the Ten Commandments—as magnified by Jesus Christ—we would have no crime, no murder, no adultery, no broken homes, no displaced children and no wars! The deep sense of stability, peace and security that would then fill the world would have a definite healing effect in every way. The incidence of depression and mental disease would greatly diminish. Even physical sickness and suffering would decline because mental attitudes affect our physical health.
What Should You Do?
If you want to become a true Christian—the kind of Christian the Bible describes—there are several things you need to do.
Repent and Be Baptized
We have already seen from James 2:9 that sinners are convicted by the law. James also states: "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all" (v. 10). The law has ten fundamental points—the Ten Commandments. If we break any of them, we are convicted by the law.
A Covenant with Your Creator
So when you decide you want to become a true Christian, you need to be willing to "bury" the old selfish self in baptism. Frankly, only God can grant you the real repentance you need to fulfill His will (Acts 11:18). But if He is, in fact, opening your mind to grasp what true Christianity is all about—and calling you to be in the first resurrection—then you must utterly surrender your will to the Creator. You must sincerely and bitterly repent of having carelessly gone your own way all these years—and repent of continually breaking and smashing God’s Holy law in both your thoughts and your actions. Real repentance means to be profoundly sorry—so sorry that you turn around and go the other way! You must, then, make a covenant with your Creator not only to stop breaking the Ten Commandments but—with the power of God’s promised Holy Spirit—to start keeping them as a way of life.
The Spiritual POWER You Need
As we have seen, in order to keep God’s spiritual law and to overcome our own sinful ways, we need the love that only God can give. And this He has promised through His Spirit. Furthermore, we have just learned from 1 John 5:3 that God’s love operates through keeping His law.
Is There Hope for Me?
Many people are wrongly convinced that God could never forgive them because their sins are so awful. Yet, speaking as a sinner in serious need of forgiveness, the prophet Micah wrote: "With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God?… .Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams or ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" (Micah 6:6–7).
The Fruits of a True Christian
Jesus said: "Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7:20). The "fruits" or results of God’s Holy Spirit working in our lives show whether or not we are truly Christian. Jesus explained the most important thing for a Christian to do when He said: "‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’" (Matthew 22:37–39).
Keep Your Eyes on the GOAL
If God has called you to true understanding and you grasp what you have been reading in this booklet, you have undoubtedly been called to become a full son or daughter of God (2 Corinthians 6:18). The meaning and ultimate purpose of your calling is awesome.
What Is a True Christian?