Recently as I was recording one of my radio episodes, I found myself making quite a bold statement: “Don’t call yourself a Christian if you’re not living a godly life. I’m not judging you, and it may be true that you’re indeed a Christian. But if you’re not living for the Lord, don’t embarrass Him or His church by presenting yourself to others as a Christian!” We are living in dark times, and the world is looking for someone to shine the light. If you are claiming to be that light, then let it shine! But the world scoffs at those who make a noise about their faith and yet live no differently than anybody else. And Jesus spoke His harshest words to the religious hypocrites.
The reason our society and culture is in so much trouble is because we have strayed off of God’s path. It’s not that God is judging America, it’s that we are simply reaping what we have sown. It’s understandable that the world goes astray, because they don’t know God. The tragedy is that the church has gone astray. It has become almost powerless as the people of God have adapted a “church is what we do on Sunday” mindset. Ultimately, church is not about the worship service. It should be a mission station. It’s not about getting people in the door, it’s about getting the gospel out to the world.
There’s still hope for our nation, and you can be instrumental in its recovery! But the world needs to see your ID, not as a churchgoer, but as one who knows the Lord.
Can I see your I.D.? How do you identify yourself? The Christian’s identity is in the name of Jesus. It’s not important whether you are Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, or Methodist. The important thing is that you are CHRISTIAN. You pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior of all mankind. You have been brought into the family of God- a family united under one name only: JESUS! His name is the name above all names, and it is the highest honor we can have to identify ourselves with it.
When you commit your life to Christ and trust in Him, your identity changes. Your life purpose changes. In the Bible, actual names changed. “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona… And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:17-18).
Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel, and Saul went by his other name, Paul. One reason names changed was because missions and purposes changed. The Lord changed Abram, which meant “exalted father” to Abraham, which meant “father of a multitude.” Jacob the deceiver became Israel the Prince of God. The new names signified new identities.
Proverbs 22:1 says: “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches…” Be joyful over the name of Jesus, and your identity as belonging to Christ. His name will never go bad. People may misuse and try to discredit it, but it will always remain powerful, “not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:21). Be bold and turn from the ways of the world. It’s sinking fast. Go in the name of Jesus and receive eternal life. Then go in the name of Jesus and share it with others.