A while back I read several interviews conducted with a man who professes to be a “Christian” – yet, his statements seem to be very contradicting with regards to what one would expect to hear from one who claims to be a born again child of God. It should be noted here that it is not important as to who the man is; it is, however, important for us to know the difference between what it means to simply “profess” to be a “Christian” and what it means to truly “possess” a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
The man made the following statements in one interview concerning his faith, “I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful.” If this was all you had heard concerning this man’s “faith”, you might be led to state that this man appears to be a “possessor” and not just a “professor” of a relationship in Jesus Christ. But in another interview the same man stated, “He has a deep faith ‘…rooted in the Christian tradition.’” He added, “I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people, that there are values that transcend race or culture, that move us forward, and that there’s an obligation for all of us individually as well as collectively to take responsibility to make those values lived.” Regarding his conversion experience, the man said, “It wasn’t an epiphany. It was much more of a gradual process for me. I know there are some people who fall out; which is wonderful. God bless them. For me, I think it was just a moment to certify or publicly affirm a growing faith in me.” He said, “The difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and proselytize. There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that if people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior, they’re going to hell.” The man further stated that he did not believe that he or anyone else was going to hell and that he wasn’t sure he was going to heaven either. “What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded. I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, aligning myself to my faith and values is a good thing.”
God’s Word immutably declares that there is a Heaven and a Hell – and the only way that one can have a home in Heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.”
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
God’s Word also declares that one can only be a “possessor” of a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ; not of works one has performed, nor one’s alignment to faith and values.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
1 John 5:10-12,
“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Are you a “professor” or a “possessor” of a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ?