All the following traits and activities may characterize a real Christian, but they don't make a person a Christian.
Being born into a Christian family---You can't inherit Christianity like a genetic trait. Every individual has to make a personal choice to believe in and obey Jesus Christ.
Going to Church---It's a good place to start, but you can go to church every week for your entire life without really knowing God.
Believing in God---Followers of any number of world religions believe in God. But that doesn't make them Christians.
Praying to God---Adherents to countless religions all over the world pray. Christians don't have a monopoly on prayer.
Doing Good Things---Or at least, not doing bad things. Many atheists live decent lives and even do laudable things for humanity. They would be the first to say they're not Christians. So just being a good person is not enough.
Reading the Bible---You can read the Bible without applying it to your life. Jesus said,"Blessed ....are those who hear the word of God and obey it (Luke 11:28, emphasis added)
Excerpted from "What is a Real Christian?", copyrighted © 2002 by Luis Palau.
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