Many people play at being a Christian, but it’s not genuine.
I. How Would You Identify Yourself?
A. Asked “who are you?” how would you respond?
1. Ask someone else who you are, how would they respond?
B. Everyone gets a choice
1. Jos 24:15 “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
C. Some people struggle to decide
1. 1 Ki 18:21 Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word.
D. Christians are supposed to be obvious
1. Mt 5:13–16 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
E. Quit playing and be authentic disciples of Jesus
II. Don’t Deceive Yourselves
A. It’s easy to pretend to be a Christian
1. Especially if raised up going to church
B. Sometimes equate attendance with faithfulness.
1. Sometimes equate activity with spirituality.
2. Careful not to deceive self w/ pretense.
C. A disciple is one who loves God with all his heart
1. Mt 22:34–40 But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. 35One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38“This is the great and foremost commandment. 39“The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40“On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
2. Don’t confuse walking in the same direction as Christ with following Him.
III. Being Authentic Is Liberating
A. Being two different people is difficult to manage.
1. Being a disciple frees you of worrying about how you act around certain circles of people
B. Some want to be Christians w/ no one knowing
1. Jn 12:42 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue;
2. Mt 10:32–33 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33“But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
C. God knows the difference
1. 2 Ch 25:2 He did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart.
2. 1 Ch 28:9 “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.
Adapted from Steve Higginbotham