I had an invite to church this morning, thanks to a Facebook post from a contemporary megachurch with several large campuses. As is my custom, I went in search of their “About” link to find out their doctrinal statement. I finally found it, after I scrolled down the home page and finally reached the bottom of the page, where a lot of “What We Believe” statements are found these days. This particular church had a lot of good statements, as do a lot of churches. They all talk a good game. One particular statement caught my attention:
JESUS CHRIST DWELLS IN ALL BELIEVERS
Christians are people who have invited the Lord Jesus Christ to come and live inside of them by His Holy Spirit. They relinquish the authority of their lives over to Him thus making Jesus the Lord of their lives accomplished for them when He died, was buried, and rose again from the dead.
(John 1:12, 14:17, 15:4; Romans 8:11; Revelation 3:20)
We are provided the definition of a Christian: “Christians are people who have invited the Lord Jesus Christ to come and live inside of them..”
The scripture passages cited to support that definition are:
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” John 1:12
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)
Neither of the above passages supports becoming a Christian by inviting Jesus to live inside you. John 1:12 clearly says that a Christian is one who “receives Christ and believes in His name.” I’ll admit that anyone who invites Jesus onto their hear receives Christ (for something) and believes in Him (for something), but WHAT? There are a lot of contemporary churches these days that offer Jesus Christ for a LOT of things, but not the perfect sacrifice for our sins. One of the largest of those churches is Lakewood Church in Houston. I’ll leave that right there.
Revelation 3:20 comes a bit closer to supporting the notion that ‘inviting Jesus into your heart’ makes you a Christian, but no matter how popular it is, it also fails. You see, Jesus not speaking to individual lost sinners, he is speaking to His own church, asking to come back in! Don’t take my word for it, read it for yourself.
So, who IS a Christian? Let’s let Jesus answer that question:
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15
Simply put, a Christian is someone who has repented of their sin and believed the gospel (Jesus died for our sins).
Much more can be said, but nothing more needs to be said.