How can we tell who is a real Christian?

Pointless Posts, Raves n Rants, Obscure Opinions

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
EphesiansGal
Student
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:42 am

How can we tell who is a real Christian?

Post #1

Post by EphesiansGal »

How can we distinguish between a real Christian and a pretending one? Is it ever enough to just pretend?

Reading through some of the posts on here I can see there are plenty of people who have, in many cases, justifiable criticisms of the behaviour and the beliefs of those who call themselves Christian. One such criticism is that there is disunity and division in the Christian faith. To the onlooker without faith there are innumerable denominations and sects, and even cults…and all of them believe they are right. But are they?
With all this denominational confusion it is no wonder that the non-Christian world is not impressed with us: we deserve to be criticised for not coming into unity, for not showing love to each other, for not adhering to the commands of Jesus, for not being “real� enough that others want what we have.
A visit to the Gospels shows us that Jesus is well aware we need a few signposts to help us properly identify who is who in the Christian world, as follows:
Matt 7: 13�Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.�
So for starters the way to life is narrow and the way to destruction is broad…we have to find that narrow path and Jesus Himself says there are few that find it.
Matt 7: 15�Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.�
And here Jesus identifies the deceptive nature of the false prophet, the one who will mislead, as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, actually a predator, out to kill you spiritually. This one will look like a Christian and sound like a Christian, saying all the right things…but really they will hunt you down and lead you to your own destruction, if we don’t recognise who they are.
We will recognise who they are by the fruit they bear: if what they say and do does not lead you into a place of safety and of peace in Christ, but rather into a more confused and divided state, they demonstrate that they do not actually know Him at all, and therefore cannot lead the way for you, if you are genuinely seeking. Good fruit will also be characterised by truth: saying what is right as opposed to saying what you want to hear. You will know what good fruit is when you sample it, and likewise bad fruit has its own characteristics and consequences.
In the Gospels there is no mention of denominations or branches of faith. Jesus separates people into two categories, like sheep and goats, wheat and tares: those who work according to the will of God are like the sheep and the wheat, whose inheritance is eternal life; those who work wickedness and iniquity are like the goats and the tares, who inherit the wrath of God and eternal damnation.
There is only one way to become a true Christian. Among the Jews Jesus saw there were those who exalted the scriptures but would not come to Him personally to receive life, and these same ones did not bear the fruit of the love of God, as follows:
John 5: 39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. 41 I receive not honour from men. 42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
It is the same for us, we need to come personally to Jesus in order to receive life through being born again. Once born again the love of God compels us to minister according to His will.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
No more pretending. No more misleading. Jesus is the way, the truth and the LIFE. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

User avatar
ttruscott
Site Supporter
Posts: 11067
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:09 pm
Location: West Coast of Canada

Re: How can we tell who is a real Christian?

Post #2

Post by ttruscott »

EphesiansGal wrote:Matt 7: 15�Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit,

Here is the thing: if we apply the two phrases in bold to GOD, HE is the good tree, the tree of life so HE can bring forth good fruit , ie, do all kinds of good and righteous things, but HE cannot bring forth evil fruit, do or create anything evil at all.

HE is light in whom is no dark at all. 1 John 1:5.
In HIM is no wickedness at all. Psalm 92:15.

So if we find a sect that claims GOD creates moral evil as per Isaiah 45:7 I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create evil; referring to evil as moral evil and not just disaster as a judgement against evil, are we being faced with wolves? More than one congregation claims this is the way to read this verse.

What about those who claim we are born / created sinners because of Adam's sin and our being created to be human in his bloodline? GOD did not have to make us humans in Adam's bloodline but could have made us innocent like Adam was when he was created so by creating us to be evil in Adam, how is this not a wolfish doctrine that GOD creates evil people?

Yet this doctrine are shared by the majority of Christian congregations!

I also like to think about the doctrine that GOD offers us salvation but we have to take it to get it. I wonder why GOD waits for some people for so long yet others die as sinners in disbelief so young. It is written love is patient and since GOD is love and HIS love is perfectly patient, why does HE not wait for everyone until they finally accept the offer? To say HIS patience must end is to denigrate HIS perfect never ending love is it not? Therefore all the Churches who preach we must accept HIS offer which HE is waiting for us to do or we will end in hell must be wolves too, because if it is up to HIS perfectly loving patience, hell must be empty!!! Or else they misunderstand the doctrines of election and salvation, eh? Pretty wolfish stuff.
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

User avatar
ttruscott
Site Supporter
Posts: 11067
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:09 pm
Location: West Coast of Canada

Re: How can we tell who is a real Christian?

Post #3

Post by ttruscott »

EphesiansGal wrote:In the Gospels there is no mention of denominations or branches of faith. Jesus separates people into two categories, like sheep and goats, wheat and tares: those who work according to the will of God are like the sheep and the wheat, whose inheritance is eternal life; those who work wickedness and iniquity are like the goats and the tares, who inherit the wrath of God and eternal damnation.
Yes, Jesus separates or do they rather separate themselves by their free will decisions or... It is interesting that they are NOT SEPARATED by their earthly experiences and decisions but are sown into the world already separated into their respective groups.

Another interesting thing about the parable of the good seed and the tares is because it says in the explanation - which contains no symbolism or metaphor - that the good seed are the people of the kingdom sown into the world by the Son of Man and the tares are the people of the evil one sown into the world by the devil, ie already separated and,

since sown cannot mean to create since the devil does this sowing also, it must have its original meaning of seeds / people being removed from a place of storage (such as Sheol) to a place for growth, the earth.

Should we just ignore the message here (it is the most ignored parable of them all) and pretend this is not weird or should we embrace it as truth? Where do the wolves come in on this one?
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

User avatar
ttruscott
Site Supporter
Posts: 11067
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:09 pm
Location: West Coast of Canada

Re: How can we tell who is a real Christian?

Post #4

Post by ttruscott »

EphesiansGal wrote:Jesus separates people into two categories, like sheep and goats, wheat and tares: those who work according to the will of God are like the sheep
Yes, the sheep who have gone astray. They do go astray don't they, Jesus did not lose any of them from His flock, HE being the good Shepherd and all. No, going astray means wilful disobedience, right? So some sheep were in His flock and then wilfully left to got to Sin City with the prodigal son.

But Peter said to new converts that they were sheep gone astray but now returned... 1 Peter 2:25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. Surely he must be referring to their time of apostasy but, I wonder, when did they go astray? If they are now returned should he not be warning them not to go astray in the future? Is not the usual time line: sinner, convert to sheep, going astray to apostasy, RETURNING to Him their saviour. When did the sheep he is preaching to apostatize themselves?

Peter seems to be calling their time of sin before their conversion as a time of going astray from His flock, language best suited for a flock member who went into sin, was born in that sin, and then was converted to return to His Shepherd he had left before his birth. Are you not a sheep returned? Well then, when did you apostatize from Him so you can now return? IF you were never a sheep until your conversion, how can it be called a return to your Shepherd?

I think a wolf might have crept into some churches to hide the word return from our minds so we can sail on blithely with what we assume Peter said.
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

EphesiansGal
Student
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:42 am

Re: How can we tell who is a real Christian?

Post #5

Post by EphesiansGal »

ttruscott wrote:
EphesiansGal wrote:Matt 7: 15�Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit,

Here is the thing: if we apply the two phrases in bold to GOD, HE is the good tree, the tree of life so HE can bring forth good fruit , ie, do all kinds of good and righteous things, but HE cannot bring forth evil fruit, do or create anything evil at all.

HE is light in whom is no dark at all. 1 John 1:5.
In HIM is no wickedness at all. Psalm 92:15.

So if we find a sect that claims GOD creates moral evil as per Isaiah 45:7 I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create evil; referring to evil as moral evil and not just disaster as a judgement against evil, are we being faced with wolves? More than one congregation claims this is the way to read this verse.

What about those who claim we are born / created sinners because of Adam's sin and our being created to be human in his bloodline? GOD did not have to make us humans in Adam's bloodline but could have made us innocent like Adam was when he was created so by creating us to be evil in Adam, how is this not a wolfish doctrine that GOD creates evil people?

Yet this doctrine are shared by the majority of Christian congregations!

I also like to think about the doctrine that GOD offers us salvation but we have to take it to get it. I wonder why GOD waits for some people for so long yet others die as sinners in disbelief so young. It is written love is patient and since GOD is love and HIS love is perfectly patient, why does HE not wait for everyone until they finally accept the offer? To say HIS patience must end is to denigrate HIS perfect never ending love is it not? Therefore all the Churches who preach we must accept HIS offer which HE is waiting for us to do or we will end in hell must be wolves too, because if it is up to HIS perfectly loving patience, hell must be empty!!! Or else they misunderstand the doctrines of election and salvation, eh? Pretty wolfish stuff.
Hello, quite a lot of things to answer in your posts so I will go for the bits that stand out to me.

It is important to see that our personal sin isn't a doctrine, it is a fact:

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

So the Lord has laid on Jesus all our iniquity, and through Him has made a way for us to be saved.

The fact of our sin is something we can't escape from through doing works, it doesn't make the sin go away:

Ephesians 2: 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

...and we know that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23)


Trusting in the shed blood of Jesus therefore DOES make the sin go away, provided we are found in Him in the first place, as follows:

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

So in order to be found in Christ where our sin is covered and cleansed we must CHOOSE receive Him and be born again. If we haven't received Him, then He is not in us and neither can we be found in Him.

NB He will not violate our free will to choose Him.

But if we HAVE chosen Him and we ARE born again and walking in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and access to the blood of Jesus Christ which cleanses from all sin.

The precious commodity here on our part is FAITH by which we are justified, and without which we cannot please God.

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

By faith we enter the one true church through the grace of God, as above Eph 2:8, and by faith we are justified

Galatians 3: 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

User avatar
ttruscott
Site Supporter
Posts: 11067
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:09 pm
Location: West Coast of Canada

Re: How can we tell who is a real Christian?

Post #6

Post by ttruscott »

EphesiansGal wrote: Hello, quite a lot of things to answer in your posts so I will go for the bits that stand out to me.

It is important to see that our personal sin isn't a doctrine, it is a fact:

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

So the Lord has laid on Jesus all our iniquity, and through Him has made a way for us to be saved.

The fact of our sin is something we can't escape from through doing works, it doesn't make the sin go away:

Ephesians 2: 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

...and we know that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23)


Trusting in the shed blood of Jesus therefore DOES make the sin go away, provided we are found in Him in the first place, as follows:

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

So in order to be found in Christ where our sin is covered and cleansed we must CHOOSE receive Him and be born again. If we haven't received Him, then He is not in us and neither can we be found in Him.

NB He will not violate our free will to choose Him.

But if we HAVE chosen Him and we ARE born again and walking in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and access to the blood of Jesus Christ which cleanses from all sin.

The precious commodity here on our part is FAITH by which we are justified, and without which we cannot please God.

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

By faith we enter the one true church through the grace of God, as above Eph 2:8, and by faith we are justified

Galatians 3: 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
This preaching does not give one answer about the wolves that might be creeping your flock...
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

User avatar
OnceConvinced
Savant
Posts: 8922
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:22 pm
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Post #7

Post by OnceConvinced »

The bible makes it quite clear that we can tell who the true Christians are based on the fruits of the holy spirit as already pointed out. Gal 5:22-23 also goes on to tell us what the fruits are:

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control

So if one is not exhibiting these fruits, why would we believe they are Christians? One would think that a true Christian would exhibit them all. No exceptions.

It may be that just showing the majority of them is fine and because we are a work in progress we learn to exhibit them. But why would that be the case? If the holy spirit is within us then surely it would not be possible to NOT exhibit them?

1 John 3:9
No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.

So it should be obvious who the true Christians are because they would exhibit ALL the fruits. This is very telling because as soon as someone shows a lack of patience or self-control or any of the other fruits - that could be evidence they are not true Christians at all.

There appear to be many who claim to be Christians who show very little of them. Even just accusing others of being false Christians shows a lack of Love, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control. That's 5 our of 9 not exhibited! Potentially even more than that.

Surely we have to go by the fruits? Surely that is the only way to weed out the false Christians from the true ones?

Society and its morals evolve and will continue to evolve. The bible however remains the same and just requires more and more apologetics and claims of "metaphors" and "symbolism" to justify it.

Prayer is like rubbing an old bottle and hoping that a genie will pop out and grant you three wishes.

There is much about this world that is mind boggling and impressive, but I see no need whatsoever to put it down to magical super powered beings.


Check out my website: Recker's World of Fantasy

jimtatertayte
Scholar
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:39 pm
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: How can we tell who is a real Christian?

Post #8

Post by jimtatertayte »

EphesiansGal wrote: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:50 am How can we distinguish between a real Christian and a pretending one? Is it ever enough to just pretend?

There are no Christians on earth, they are all dead.
These that claim to be Christians are
not authentic Christians.

There was no word or term "Christian" in any language till
the heathens at Antioch as written in the book of Acts of the Bible
coined the slang word or term to refer to
them that followed the teachings of Jesus as "Christians".

The word and term "Christian" is only recorded 3 times in all the Bible.
And when they were referred to as "Christians" they were still alive on earth for
they were known at Antioch as "Christians" and through out the land.

The word or term "Christians" is not written in the book of Revelations.
That is because there were none at the time of the book of Revelation.

There are only two races of people on all the earth.

The children of God and the children of the devil.

So how do you tell the difference from the two?

That is easy.

Post Reply