In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus shares one of the most frightening episodes that will occur at the final judgment: people who thought they were ‘saved’ will discover that they were not. In fact, the Lord states that this will be true of ‘many’ people on that day. In light of this terrible situation, it is incumbent on every professing Christian to do what Paul encouraged the Corinthians to do, namely, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves…” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
I recently had the opportunity to share this important message with a youth group. This was especially relevant to me considering how many youth I have encountered over the years that are compliant with church attendance but are apathetic to knowing God. Perhaps the same could be said of you. Are you one of those people who are willing to attend public church services but never participate in private spiritual disciplines (i.e. prayer, Bible reading, sharing the gospel with others, etc.)? If so, it is likely that your commitment to Christ is either severely underdeveloped at best or non-existent at worst.
The Bible gives us several ‘tests’ we can apply to our lives to see if we have truly been converted to Christ; or whether we are among the ‘many’ as recorded in Matthew 7:21-23. Below are several indicators that you have not been born again. As you read these, ‘examine yourself.’
-There is no significant change in your life whereby old sinful ways are being replaced by new spiritual pursuits and interests (2 Corinthians 5:17).
-There is no grief or repentance over willful, blatant sinfulness in your life (1 John 3:9-10).
-You have turned away from Christ and His church and have returned to the ways of the world (1 John 2:19; John 5:27).
My friend, do not find yourself numbered among the ‘many’ who are comforting themselves with false assurance of salvation. Compare your life to Scripture, and consider whether there is evidence that an irrevocable change has taken place in your life as the result of turning to Christ in faith. If there is, praise God; if not, you know what you need to do (Romans 10:9-13).