Summary: It expalains what makes on real Christian as opposed to artificial Christian.
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. 22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.
Can you tell if this is real one or artificial? (showing a real or artificial flower) Why is it so hard to distinguish real one from one artificial? You can¡¯t tell the difference. They look alike and same. Just by looking at it, you won¡¯t be able to tell the difference.
But, I am not here to talk about flowers, but, like flowers, I believe there is such a thing as artificial Christian. Actually it is more difficult to see the difference when it comes to the matter of faith than that of flowerers. It won¡¯t take that long before you can tell if it is real flower or not. You can touch it or smell it, then you will know almost right away if it is real one. But that is not the case for the matter of faith. Why is it?
Because, we can easily act and talk as if we are Christians when we are not. We can pray, read bible, praise, help people, and even worship as if we are Christians. I don¡¯t mean to say, some of us pretend to act out like Christians intentionally. Rather, we actually mean to do what we are supposed to do as Christian.
This is what makes the problem more serious and complicated. If we realize ourselves that we are not Christians in spite of our Christian-like activities, then we might have a chance to repent and change ourselves. But, more than often, not knowing our true identity, we assume ourselves to be Christians since we are doing Christian things. Never questioning whether we are truly Christians, and never realizing our true identity, we may live and die thinking we are Christians when we are not.
That¡¯s why Jesus said this is what is going to happen in the judgment day, (listen what Jesus said)
¡°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¡¯ Matthew 7:22-23
¡°I never knew you¡± Jesus will say to them. There wasn¡¯t even a moment when Jesus knew them, yet they lived and died believing that they were known to Jesus.
I pray that this may not be the case for any of us. But, at the same time, we have to take extra measure to make sure that it wouldn¡¯t be the case for you and I. With this in my mind, I would like to share with you how can one become a real Christian though I am sure many of us here are already Christians.
But before I do that, may I see you hand up if you think you are already Christians?
May I ask why you are Christian and why not? Can some of you tell me?
Let¡¯s go back to the scripture verses that we have read: 1st Peter verse 23.
23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
What does it tell us by ¡°You have been born again¡±? It tells us, becoming a Christian is like a birth. Thus, becoming a Christian is not a process but a momentary event, which means it either happened or not. Growing as Christian is process, but becoming a Christian is an event. That means you are either born or not. You are either Christian or not. There is no between.
By the way, how many of you think that all human beings are children of God.
All human beings are so precious before God, but not all human beings are children of God.