The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. (1 John 2:4-6 NASB)
Men, there are many in this great land of ours who claim to be Christians. As a matter of fact if you were to take a poll, we (Christians) would indeed be in the majority. So given the statement in scripture that the gate will be narrow for those that will make it to eternal life (Matt. 7:14), how is this possible? If the gate is narrow, and without Jesus we can't make it, how could Christians be in the majority as the polls indicate?
Well, why not go back to the Word of God to find out our answer? If a person claims to know Christ but does not live by His principles (Commandments), then according to God he is a liar, meaning the truth is not in him. We can't claim to know the truth, and say we believe it, by being contrary to it. I remember as a child being instructed by my father about the right way to conduct myself. Yet his example did not hold up; the words that came out of his mouth were contrary to his actions.
Now don't get me wrong, this isn't beat up on Dad's day. This is simply an example of the way it was, “Do as I say not as I do!” This poor example is not limited to family. The lost, and at times the Body of Christ fall into the same category. We all sin and fall short of God's glory. As for the believer, when we fall short we are prompted by God's Holy Spirit to correct what has been done wrong, confess it and move on.
For the lost, they are either still searching or have completely rejected Jesus and will live in the flesh, condemned to an eternity of darkness by their own choosing. As for family they can be in either group depending upon their personal decision or choice.
I want to tackle the very first scenario, those of us who claim to be Christians (Christ-followers). It is very clear in 1 John that if we are not following the Lords Commandments, we are liars and the truth is not in us. Now does that mean we are expected to be perfect? Absolutely not; if we could be perfect why would we need Jesus as our intercessor?
It does mean however, the same behavior must not continue! With the help of the Holy Spirit we can get better at applying and maintaining His principles. We will be a work in progress until the day we die. Jesus tells us in the same passage of scripture that the one who abides in His ways and applies His principles (truly) is in Him (Christ Jesus). This is evidence of the fruit Jesus talks about in John 15: 4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”
To claim to be one thing and have our actions, or words dictate the opposite does not compute. As has been said many times, in previous devotionals, compare everything you hear, and see, to the Word of God. Don't seek wisdom from men who are not displaying Christ-like characteristics in their daily walk, and check out the ones that claim to be in His Word. Because there are men with seemingly high standards, status, power and position according to the world, this does not mean they are men of God… “Lean on His understanding, He wants the very best for you!”