Being a Christian is a choice yet not an easy one as many may have declared. Before I give reasons for taking the trouble to become a Christian, I will first outline why I believe being a Christian is not easy.
Christianity has some standards and failing to meet them by the slightest of error disqualifies the believer. This calls for the believer to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and correct the error, failing which face the very serious consequences. I will start by listing some of the requirements that are really not easy to meet and then given the justification of keeping on even when it is not easy.
If you take time to study the Bible, which is one other critical requirement, you will realize that if God had not given the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ, it would have been impossible to get saved. God provided Jesus as a way of salvation yet there is still a lot that one should do to be saved. Thank God that there is a way.
Requirements of being a Christian
Deciding to be a Christian is the very first step into this demanding journey. The Bible says that to become one you simply have to confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9) and then you will be saved. Going on, recognize that a true friend to Christ keeps His commands (John 14:15). The ultimate is getting saved and making it to Heaven at last.
Constant study of the Bible is what reveals to us the demanding commandments of being a true Christian. Christians that do not study the Bible do not grown in the knowledge of the God that they serve. The Bible is God’s inspired word (2 Timothy 3:16), living and sharper than any two edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) and the light in the way of a believer (Psalm 119:105) just as David of old said. If you do not study the Bible, you run the risk of being taken advantage of by the so-called preachers, apostles and bishops that twist the Word of God to suit their needs. This includes false prophets that shall be living amongst us (Matthew 7:15).
Since the word of God is alive, it can be quoted to any situation and it will make the right impact. Therefore, fear of any kind of a curse or punishment from not doing what any person says should not supersede that which the Bible says. As a matter of fact, a Bible believing Christian can rebuke improper practice of anyone by quoting the scriptures.
Below are a selected few standards that a Christian should meet in order to make it to Heaven.
- Salvation. There is no salvation except through Jesus Christ. Salvation is the gateway into the grace God has freely given to mankind. Salvation is to be maintained to remain valid. I have written an article to that effect ‘Attainment of Salvation is a Must’.
- Holiness. This require a very intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit as a guide. Just as the theme of this blog sates, no man shall see God without holiness (Hebrews 12:14). I also have covered this subject in the post ‘The Required Standard of Holiness, Righteousness and Truth is too high but should be met’.
- Restitution. Ignoring restitution is a common oversight by Christians yet the Bible does not ignore it at all. I’m reminded of the time Judah did not make full effort to restitute his way with her disguised daughter-in-law in the book of genesis 38:23, fearing that people may make him a laughingstock. It caught up with him when he wanted to enforce justice on her for falling pregnant while she was a widow.
The Lord expects you to serve Him with a conscience void of offence toward God and toward man (Acts 24:16). Hence you will need to take some corrective actions over your past life, according to the teaching of the Scripture. This may involve settling your differences with those you offended, paying back your just debts, returning stolen property, apologizing for lies told, false claims, fraudulent acts; dissolving your unscriptural marriage union, given up false certificates. This is clears your life from your past sins.
- Forgiveness. You have to be a forgiving believer as instructed by God. People that do not show up to restitute their ways with you, no matter the magnitude, must be forgiven. This should include even those that make promises and fail to meet them, those that fornicated with your marriage partner and those that stole from you.
- Love. Jesus has commanded us to love one another just as He loved us. If we don’t love like He does, then we are not of Him.
- Vain words. The Bible is clear that each word that comes out of our mouth is recorded for a later day when we will have to account for them (Matthew 12:36). This is one portion among many that is simple to overlook. Therefore, before you say something, be prayerful in your heart that it does not sum to vain words. I have written an article addressing this subject in the post ‘It is shocking what God will do to people of vain words’.
- Soul winning. Selfish Christians are comfortable when other people are blind to the fact that no one will enter God’s eternal life without taking the step of accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. Once a person comes to the knowledge of the truth, s/he must share the same news to the next person.
- Accountability. Whatever you do and think is recorded and at God’s judgment you will have to account for each. For example, if you take interest and listen to someone that tells lies and you enjoy it, you will be rejected for it.
- Separation from the world. The way Christians should speak, dress, trade, praise, worship, dance, etc. should differ from that of worldly people. The Holy Spirit stands as a guide in this regard and total obedience to Him is the only way to meet this requirement.
- Self-sacrifice. It came as a command to believers that they should seek first the kingdom of heaven before all else is given (Matthew 6:33). This therefore means that if it calls for you to lose part or all of your possession just so you do not lose the kingdom, so be it. For example, if the business you are doing is not in line with what the Bible teaches, then you have to close it down and lose all your wished for profits.
Why take the trouble
You will know that these are just a few of the things that we Christians should observe. This is indeed a troublesome venture yet one must still take it. Below are reasons one must still take the trouble:
- The reward is incomparably more than the trouble. The nature of a reward is based on the effort made towards earning it. It is true that salvation can never be earned by works but there are targets set before us as Christians, which we must meet. Having done so to the best of your ability, of course being assisted by the Holy Spirit, you will be rewarded beyond what you ever thought.
One preacher defines the beauty of just the gate that leads into Heaven as appealing to the soul such that you can never tire staring at it for a million years. It is said that everything in Heaven is alive and can communicate and worship God.
- Hell is not worth it. Nothing in this world, not even the highest level of possession is worth separating you from God. No matter how wealthy you are, you may have to whole of the world belonging to you, but it is not worth losing your soul in hell (Mark 8:36). Hell is just not worth it, no matter the cost you have to pay to avoid it. If you have to lose your children, wife, citizenship, popularity, so be it but not go to hell.
Allow me to highlight the qualities of hell:
- Unquenchable fire. Mark 9:45
- Eternal Damnation Mark 3:29
- Everlasting punishment Matt. 25:46
- A place of everlasting burnings. Isaiah 33:14
- Torment with fire and brimstone. Revelation 14:10
- A lake (ocean) of fire. Rev. 20:15
- No 2nd chance to escape (utter hopelessness). Luke 16:26
- Weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 8:12
- A place of eternal remorse (regret). Luke 16:25
- A place of complete consciousness. Luke 16:25
- A furnace of fire with wailing. Matthew 13:42
- No rest day or night forever (eternal misery). Revelation 14:11
- Outer darkness. Matthew 22:13
- A place of sorrows (seething remorse and despair). Psalms 18:5
- A place of everlasting destruction. 2 Thessalonians 1:9
- A place of torments. Luke 16:23
This article came with urgency in my heart such that I had to post it with just the basic fact and I may have to review it again and again. Please give urgency in checking if what I have covered is in line with what the Bible teaches just so your soul is not found wanting in the day of judgment.