Growing up for the first twenty-five years of my life I was raised Quaker, also referred to as “The Society of Friends”. A little later I got married and for the sake of my wife and her family, I became, and practiced as a Roman Catholic, (Latin Rite), for over thirty years. There is one major problem between the two. They both claimed to be Christian but their beliefs were diametrically opposed. Trying to figure out the truth was too confusing so I decided to research the Bible myself. In researching the Bible I had not originally intended to get into any real depth. I had heard a lot of conflicting information on the Bible from other churches I had attended. So I can completely identify with anyone who is confused or unsure about the Christian faith.
The one thing that all of my research taught me is that the Bible is very clear on what is required to be a true Christian. The basic guidelines are so simple that even a child could understand them. This includes those who have not accepted Christ as their Savior because they feel that they can be saved through works.
What is meant by the term Almost Christian? This term is been used as far back as the 18th century by George Whitefield. It refers to those who consider themselves Christian without accepting the principle that we are saved by grace and grace alone. (Galatians 2:16) states;
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8) “… knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ … for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”
God’s grace is so amazing we may have trouble believing it’s true. That’s where faith comes in. It’s so amazing it takes faith to receive it.
The salvation God offers us is freely ours if we’ll dare to believe in it and accept it. He’s that good.
In my research and biblical training, I have discovered that the only real truth must be based on the Bible. The only complete and accurate references would be from those who established Christianity. They would be Christ, the disciples, and the apostle Paul and Peter. They were the ones that were responsible for establishing the groundwork of Christianity that became known as Christianity after around 200 A.D. Also as an aid to interpretation and understanding of the Bible, the writings of the rabbis and historians, and other writers of the time would be very helpful. In my opinion, anything after that is subject to human interpretation and possible errors either intentional or not. So with this understanding how could any church base its doctrine on anything else.
In my opinion “The Almost Christian” is kind of like “being almost pregnant”, both are impossible situations. Christianity is very clear cut there are no gray areas and no plan B. In my ministry I work with a lot of veterans and using the military is a good example. Growing up you can play all kinds of military games and cops and robbers where it doesn’t matter if you change the rules but once you become fully enlisted in the military and take the oath (like accepting Christ for your Savior) is a whole different ballgame. You no longer have liberties are changing the rules or trying to be half military half civilian. Once you take the oath of service you have to remain 100% dedicated to and obedient to the rules. To be a true Christian is exactly the same. Constantly we are provided in Scripture about being “lukewarm” and keeping one foot in the world all trying to remain a Christian. It doesn’t work. If we do not bear fruit as a Christian Scripture is very clear that will be “cut off”.
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