You Might Not Be a Christian If…

We all need regular spiritual check-ups:

Most folks do regular health check-ups. They go through various tests to make sure that they are in good shape and that there are no serious ailments or diseases or problems lurking anywhere within. It is the same with their teeth – most folks routinely will go to a dentist to do a check-up, just to make sure everything is OK.

If we spend all this time and energy to ensure that our physical health is in good nick, then surely we should do the same regarding our spiritual health. And we have good biblical warrant for this very thing. In 2 Corinthians 13:5 the apostle Paul said this: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.”

So all those who claim to be a follower of Christ should be engaging in regular check-ups – for their soul. We must not be cavalier about, nor take for granted, our spiritual health. What follows are some possible questions we might ask ourselves in this regard.

But let me make a few necessary prefatory remarks. I write for myself first and foremost. If I were the only person on earth, I would still need to read and digest articles like this. I need regular spiritual check-ups just as much as any other Christian.

And as I often say, only God knows for certain those who are truly his. Yes, Scripture gives us a lot of indications of who are really his, and Jesus said we can judge people by their fruit and so on. So there are various tests we can apply to others, but again, the point here is to apply these tests to ourselves.

Also, I say “might”. We are likely all guilty of these things to a greater or lesser extent, and may still struggle with some of them. So it is not particular sins as such that can keep you out of the Kingdom, but rather longer term patterns and habits that may well indicate a person was never born again to begin with.

As always, justification is a once-off process wherein we get right with God by grace through faith. And proof of being justified is a life-long process of sanctification where we cooperate with God in becoming more holy, more Christlike, and less full of sin and self.

Here then are a few things we can all consider as we appraise our Christian walk and where we are really at with God. Let me first begin with a purely biblical checklist. The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 gave us a list of what Christian love is all about:

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

And let’s make it very real and practical here. Simply substitute your name for the word ‘love’ and see how well you are doing in this regard: ‘Bill is patient and kind; Bill does not envy or boast…’ This is as good a test as any if you are interested in properly monitoring your spiritual health.

But there might be various other things we could look at. You might not be a Christian if…

-If you can find sin in everyone else but not in yourself.

-If you are more concerned about what others think of you than what God thinks.

-If you have little or no interest in regularly reading and studying the word of God.

-If you think nothing of the life to come but are only interested in this life.

-If you get far more excited over a game of sport or some material object than knowing and worshipping God.

-If you would rather go out and party than spend some time at a prayer meeting or Bible study.

-If you spend most of your time going on heresy-hunting crusades, convinced that most other Christians and their theology are heretical and to be condemned, while you and a few of your buds are on the straight and narrow.

-If you have no interest in sharing the gospel with others, and praying for their salvation.

-If when things go awry you always find someone else to blame, and never consider that you might be part of the problem.

-If you refuse to forgive others but hold grudges and bitterness for years and years.

-If you think you are a really terrific Christian while everyone around you has so very far to go.

There would be many more such possible indicators that we could mention here. Again, having some of these may not necessarily mean a person is unsaved. The real key here is our heart attitude. We may be guilty of some of these things, but the thing is, we know it is wrong, it grieves us, and we ask God to help us overcome these things.

That is what separates the men from the boys – the sheep from the goats. If you find plenty of these things in your life, but it does not bother you in the least, nor make you want to change with God’s help, then you may very well not be a genuine Christian.


You might be interested in reading a companion piece to this:

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6 Replies to “You Might Not Be a Christian If…”

  1. I often dwell on these things. I ask the Lord to test my attitude, my actions, my thoughts, and my MOTIVES. I may be doing and saying the right things, but why I am I doing them? “LORD, change my heart! Change me. Help me to be more like you.”

  2. Because we are fallen beings living in a fallen world we constantly sin and fall short which is why we are constantly having to get right with God. I certainly know that’s the case with me. Another thing being a real true Christian is about is believing everything the bible says. A lot of so called Christians like to cherry pick the bible. They like to pick the bits of the bible that they like and that suit them and ignore the rest. Those people are not real true Christians. Those people are phony fake Christians.

  3. -If you are more concerned about what others think of you than what God thinks.

    I don’t care what others think but I always worry God will be displeased because I haven’t done enough haven’t been good enough.

    -If you have no interest in sharing the gospel with others, and praying for their salvation.

    I pray for other’s salvation but the couple times I tried to save someone it didn’t work out. I just didn’t have the words. I don’t have the gift.

    My biggest worry is I am a disappointment to God. That he is NOT proud of me.

  4. Thanks Paul. As has often been said, ‘We are not called to be successful but to be faithful.’ If our main aim to to follow, serve and obey the Lord, even as imperfectly as we will do so, that is all that can be asked of the believer. So keep on keeping on.

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