Jude 20-21 – But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
If you become a Christian later in life and don’t have much experience with Christian churches, trying to pick a good church can be very complicated. As a new Christian in college, for example, I was wary of joining any church because I did not know the differences between the various Christian denominations, or the differing theological ways of interpreting parts of the Bible.
Even more concerning was the thought of accidentally joining a cult that pretended to be Christian and getting sucked into a nightmare situation. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit led me to a wonderful Bible-teaching, Jesus-loving, joyful church family to begin my journey with Jesus as a new Christian.
How do we know if we are a real Christian and who the real Christians are versus the fake Christians? In every age, from the days of Jesus and Jude to our own, this has been a heated question with warring opinions.
The word “Christian” first appeared in the Bible in Acts 11:26. A Bible dictionary says, “The word ‘Christian’ (Χριστιανός, Christianos) is a Latinized adjectival derivation of ‘Christ’ (Χριστός, Christos), denoting intimate relation to Jesus. The earliest usage of the term ‘Christian’ to denote a follower of Jesus…” (1)
The reason that there are false Christians is two-fold.
One, the real God is Creator, and Satan is counterfeiter.
Two, just as the real God is Jesus Christ, Satan also has numerous counterfeits of Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 11:3–4, Paul says, “I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”
Have you found a Bible-believing, godly church in your area? If not, send us an email to [email protected] and we’d love to help recommend one if we know of one in your area.
- Charles Meeks, “Christian,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).
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