Not all church members are Christians! Does that shock you? But then, neither are all who do NOT go to Church “unchristian.” Come judgment day, there will be many who never missed a single church service in their life only to hear the Lord say to them, “Depart from Me, I never knew you” (see Matthew 25: 41-46). I do not argue the fact that the Church today has a multitude of faithful people - faithful to their money, faithful to their homes, faithful to their favorite sports team, faithful to absolutely everything - EXCEPT - Jesus Christ. They are faithful to the wrong things. You see, you can know all about Christ, you can be steeped in knowledge of His life, you can even know the Bible forward and backward and still be lost. The Bible tells us that there must be clear ‘evidence’ in your life and mine to corroborate our claim to Christianity. Paul called these the “marks of Christ” (Galatians 6:17). Let’s take a few moments to look at what those marks are precisely.
First - Jesus said you will know that a person has been truly saved by the “fruits” that they bear (Matthew 7:16). If you are not bearing fruit then, according to Scripture, YOU DO NOT ABIDE IN CHRIST. You are a “dead branch” (John 15: 2, 4, 5 & 6).
Then there is the mark of “consecration.” This is the great problem with many Christians and churches today. They are neither what they ought to be nor what they claim to be. It was Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of India, who once uttered one of the saddest phrases ever spoken when he said, “I would have been a Christian - if it had not been for the Christians.” I wonder just how many have gone into eternity lost “because of the Christians?” One day many years ago my dad was talking with a great missionary and he said to my dad, …..“You know Preacher, the really sad thing that I have found in all my years of serving as a missionary is that the chief obstacle to Christianity is the rotten behavior of those who call themselves Christians”….. Wow! Isn’t that sad? Doesn’t it break your heart knowing what a terrible thing it is that this is the mark we ‘Christians’ are making on the world. What about you tonight? Are you a consecrated Christian? To be a consecrated Christian means that everything about you including your demeanor, your character, your attitude, your temperament, the whole of everything about you must set you apart from the world. Have you been set apart? Do the fruits that you bear give clear indication to the world that you have been set apart?
Next is the mark of “consistency.” Consistency simply means “faithfulness.” It means remaining true and faithful to Jesus Christ all the days of your life. The Bible says “Be thou Faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
Then there is the mark of “conviction.” REAL Christians have convictions. They are not all over the board with their morals and values. They do not adjust their morals to fit the situation. They stand up for what is morally right according to the principles of righteousness in Christ Jesus, at any cost.
There is also the mark of “compassion.” Every day we walk right past countless individuals who do not have a personal and saving relationship with Jesus Christ. There is no difficulty at all in finding lost souls, they are all around us. They are our neighbors, our friends, our co-workers, even our own family. What are we doing to take advantage of those opportunities? What are we doing to make those people aware of Christ’s incredible love for them, a love so wondrously expressed through His unmerited grace and mercy upon the Cross?
Then finally there is the mark of “Christ-Likeness.” This is the culmination of all the other marks combined. We absolutely must have this mark. People may give you all sorts of compliments in life but the very best thing that you can ever have said about you is that they see Jesus in you. Bottom line? If you are one who claims Christ as your Lord and Saviour then you need to be certain that you are bearing all the marks of a Christian.
God bless you,