Today there are many denominations of “Christianity” that appease the different emotions and lifestyles. And there are many diverse doctrines, yet they all proclaim to know God. Jesus tells us that not everyone who says they are a Christian is a Christian, so how can we tell if someone is a real Christian or a fake?
The answer is simple: READ YOUR BIBLE!
The Bible is God’s complete collection of His-story for us. The books within it were written by men; some wrote one book and others wrote several. These men weren’t theologians or philosophers; they were chosen by God and anointed to write God’s words and not their own thoughts or ideas. The words they wrote were the divine inspirations of God; therefore, the Bible is true and is God’s Word.
- All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.—2 Timothy 3:16
There is only ONE God who inspired these men, and Christians worship Him alone.
- Thou shalt have no other gods before me.—Exodus 20:3
God has many names and one is Yeshua, who the western world knows as Jesus. Yeshua has never changed and never will change. The words He spoke several thousand years ago are still in effect today and will be still be the same tomorrow.
- Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.—Hebrews 13:8
Many people who try to read the Bible with their own understanding find it a confusing and contradictory history book. But those who love God, who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, find that it’s life! God’s Spirit anoints those who read it with a hungry heart—and it’s the same anointing that came upon the men who wrote the words in the first place. God reveals His message to those who love Him and who read it to know His truth.
- But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.—1 Corinthians 2:10
- But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.—1 Corinthians 2:14
When Christians read and study the Bible continually, the truth opens up to them and they begin to understand the big picture. They learn who God is and what His full plan is, and they begin to see who they are and where they fit into God’s plan.
- Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.—2 Timothy 2:15
Christians know God’s laws, but they are no longer judged by the laws because they are saved from the curse of the law—(Galatians 3:13). And the laws of God are no longer something that Christians have to study and practice to obey; the laws are written in their hearts and they choose to obey them.
- But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.—Jeremiah 31:33
As Christians grow, their old habits fall away and they take on the character of Christ.
- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.—Galatians 5:22-23
Christians love the things that God loves and hate the things that God hates. They don’t make exceptions because then they would be judges of the law, and that isn’t within their authority. They don’t take the things that God abhors lightly. If He hates them, then they hate them because God lives in them and His Spirit guides their thoughts and minds and hearts.
- Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.—Psalm 97:10
When someone denies that they have sin in them or that they can’t sin, then they aren’t a Christian because they don’t know Christ. Romans 3:23 says we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and a Christian knows that even though he or she is saved, they can and will still do things at times that they shouldn’t, and they will always be ready to repent.
- If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.—1 John 1:8
God says that we are not to kill; therefore, Christians will hate abortion because they know that it’s murder.
- Thou shalt not kill.—Exodus 20:13
God says that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination to Him, and so Christians will also hate the sin of homosexuality and will not make exceptions for it.
- Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.—Leviticus 18:22
God says that we should come out of the world and not be part of it. So, when people get saved and become Christians, they will want to come out of the world, away from the places and acts of sin and leave their old habits and friends behind so they can seek God. There will be a definite difference in what they do and where they go.
- Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.—James 4:4
When the life and testimony of someone compromises what God says, or defies God’s laws so that God is not glorified through them, then we know that the Spirit of God does not live in this person. He or she is likely not a Christian. But when a person’s life and testimony lines up with God’s Word, then we can know that this person is a Christian.
Christians accept, believe and obey the Bible in its entirety, not in part. They don’t pick and choose what scriptures to believe and they don’t twist the scriptures to suit their own lusts and desires. Our commission is to share the gospel of Christ and no other gospel! And anyone who does not follow this instruction is not of Christ—and therefore, is not a Christian.
- But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.—Galatians 1:8
So when we know God and understand the Bible, we can know if someone who proclaims to be a Christian is real or fake. Both people and doctrines can be discerned by knowing God and studying the Holy Bible as our only source!