Seventy-five percent of polled American adults identify as Christians. That is a lot of individuals, a lot of people who claim to have a relationship with Jesus, just based on the label, Christianity. This should be a good thing, right?
One of the scariest scriptures in the Bible, for those who claim Christianity, can be found in Matthew.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear good fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear bad fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
Again, this isn’t an easy article to write, but a necessary one. This above scripture indicates that there are those who stated they did many things for Jesus, yet Jesus’ response to them is, “I never knew you.” Could it be possible that out of the 75 percent of polled Americans who claim Christianity don’t know Jesus? Is it good enough to be called a Christian, but not walk with Jesus? Is it possible to faithfully attend Sunday and Wednesday services but never really know Jesus? For those that don’t claim to be Christians but desire to know Jesus, there is a cost associated with following Him.
“And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other still is a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
Sometimes, Christianity can appear “glamorous,” when following Jesus requires sacrifice, requires a giving up of everything.
I don’t want to live this life on earth as a “Christian” and do all of these amazing things for God, yet not be known by Him, as we read in Matthew. Claiming the title of Christianity, unfortunately, isn’t good enough. “By their fruits you will recognize them.” I want to be a Christian that is known by Jesus and produces good fruit. Turn to Him, whether you are a person reading this and don’t claim to be a Christian but you desire to know Jesus or you are someone who has claimed Christianity your whole life, but have never really known Him, it’s time. Let’s be Christians that are known by God, and not Christians only be a title. The best title we can have is to be called sons and daughters of God.
Jesus is soon coming; turn from your sins, repent, and follow Him. I would rather be known by God and produce good fruit, than be known as a “Christian” but not be known by Him.