I was talking last night with some friends about whether or not a person is a Christian because she remembers an emotion filled walk down the aisle and praying to ask Jesus into her heart. I have no problem with walking the aisle and praying with someone to express faith in Jesus. But I do have a problem with this being that which gives a person assurance of truly being a Christian. The Bible never invites us to look for such an experience for assurance. Instead, we are invited to look at our lives and ask, “does my life look like Jesus’ life?” John tells us that we can know we are Christians by our departure from sinful lifestyles, a self-sacrificial love for our brother, and an orthodox belief in Christ. To be a Christian is to have God abiding in you which cannot help but make your life different from the rest of the world. Walking the aisle and saying a prayer does not make you a Christian. If that is all there is in your life to differentiate you from the world, then you would be wise to fear the Lord. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 ESV)”
In Matthew, Jesus explains that being a disciple of Jesus demands your first priority. It cannot be a back-pocket he’ll-insurance card.
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:37-39 ESV)
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: Jos 2, Ps 123-125, Is 62, Mt 10