Who is a Christian

Hebrews 5

Note verse 11 which says " We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand." I spent a great deal of time recently chatting with a dear friend who is an atheist and fervently believes that all she needs to do is to be good. I told her she should read the gospels when she can, as that would give her a true understanding of Christianity (instead of the horrific scandals that are played out on television everyday courtesy many of the so called leaders of Christianity). I am certain that she was not in the least bit convinced by my short lecture on what it means to be a true Christian. Her main question to me was "What does the Bible say about going to heaven? Can non-Christians get there? " So, I went on to explain how Christian is anyone who believes in Christ and follows his example, not someone who is named after a Biblical character and attends church but doesn't have Christ in their heart. 

And that brings me back to this verse that I read this morning. Paul and Timothy were addressing a specific set of people, all believers, but today it seemed to me like this verse was directed to my friend and everyone else who chooses not to believe (whether they have Christian sounding names or not). The belief that we can be good and do good to get to heaven is based on the ability of humans. God is missing from this picture. 

 "Why do you want to go to heaven if you want to get their on your own merit?" Heaven is God's kingdom, it is all about giving him the glory and praise and honour, not about singing individuals' glory because of the good deeds that were done by them. You would be sad in heaven if you made it on the basis of your good deeds because sorry, nobody would be applauding you for them (pause and think too of the zillion bad things you have done alongside the million good ones). 

Salvation consists of crucifying ourselves on the cross and receiving Christ's grace and forgiveness. If we persist in thinking "but I am an inherently good person anyway ", then we are totally and utterly wrong! Let us get this message deeply ingrained in our hearts today, so we may be good evangelists who go out there to preach Christ and His salvation.

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