How do I know if I am Christian?
the changes in the world scare me.
I worry for my parents who are athiests that should Jesus return today they would be sent to an eternal punishment. although i would love to consider myself a Christian i know I have not lived a life God would be proud of and have done many things i no are unacceptable with the excuse that there are no blatant guidelines in the Bible on such things.
I am very appreciative that I was sent to a private school all my life so was given the opportunity to learn about God that I couldn’t at home but I’m scared that should Jesus return today that I would not be accepted because I haven’t done heaps to right my ways. I have never been the member of a church before so I find the whole thing of going to a new group of ppl about a subject I am very closed about very intimidating (even though I know any Christian group would be very welcoming).
I’m just looking for any form of support or sense of security…?
The world is a mess, isn’t it, in so many different ways. If its not the big issues like terrorism or global warming, wars or famine that strike then its the pain that comes from people treating each other badly or being selfish or greedy. Wherever we turn, things are not quite right or as good as they could be.
It is good that you are turning to God in this issue. Of all the places or people that we could turn to to make sense of the world, God is the only one who can do something about it. In fact the reason God has not come and set thing right is because he wants us to look at the world, to suffer the consequesces of our own actions, and realise that something is wrong and turn back to him! And this is what you are doing.
In the midst of this scary world I can offer you hope and security because the message that God has for the world is not judgement but salvation and love.
If you have a bible take a look at the letter to the Ephesians chapter 2 verses 1 to 10 (if you don’t you can read it online here. This passage shows in a succinct way what God thinks of the world and what he has done about it. Let me explain.
In verses 1 to 3, Paul (who wrote this letter) describes what we were/are from God’s perspective - it is not a glowing report. We are, by nature, people controlled by sin. Sin is simply rebellion against God that is seen in our attitudes and actions towards him and other people. The consequence of this rebellion is that our relationship with God has been broken and he is angry with us. Our future is bleak, we face his anger and judgement and are “dead” (we just don’t know it). This is the state of most of the world!
But in verse 4 starts ith a big BUT. God, not being happy with this state of affairs, has dealt with our sin so that we can be forgiven and be reconcilled to him. He has done this by taking our punishment for us when his son, Jesus, died on the cross. The three great words that describe God’s attitude to us in these verses is Love, Mercy and Kindness. God has done this because he loves us, he wants us to turn back to him and has given us this gift een though we do not deserve it (that is what grace means). It is free and comes with no strings attached.
The key verses to understand here are verse 8 and 9. We are saved by God undeserved gift of salvation. It comes to us through faith (which simply means trust) and requires us to do NOTHING (i.e. we cannot boast that we did something to save ourselves).
So what do you do? Well God offers us this gift and we accept it simply by putting our trust in him and what Jesus has done for us. We do this by acknowledging our sin and asking God to forgive us. Its that simple. You can look at this article for a more detailed explanation of this.
What happens, though, is astonishing. God forgives you, reconcilles you to himself and sends his Holy Spirit to dwell in you. This may sound a bit spooky but all it means is that God’s presence is with you to help you understand his Word and helps you live as God want you to live.
Being a christian, in the end, offers hope for the future because God, who is able to all things, is on your side working for your good in all things bith good and bad. It gives you security because you know you are loved and that your future is not tied up with this world but with heaven. You need not be scared as a christian because no matter what this world throws at you it cannot come between you and God’s love for you.
I don’t know if you have taken the step to turn back to God. If you haven’t let me encourage you to read this and think about it carefully.
I hope you have found this helpful. Please ask us any other questions you may have.
Answers are kindly provided by our friends at Christianity.net.au