There may be a time in your Christian walk, especially after your initial conversion, when you begin to question if you are really in right relationship with Christ.
The Bible speaks of this self-deception in Matthew 7:21-23; when “Christians” that claim to have a relationship with Christ will be turned away. They will say, “‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” And He will tell them, “‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
So, how can we be sure that we are truly saved, secure in Christ, and haven’t experienced a false conversion?
Let’s look at 1 John 1:5-10, it reads:
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
If we take a deeper look and break this scripture down we can find a litmus test of sorts on 3 ways to check our hearts to ensure we are truly walking with the Lord.
HEART CHECK #1: Are you living a lifestyle of unrepentant sin?
As Christians, we know that we all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23-24). Even after we have accepted the gift of salvation we will still struggle with and be tempted by sin until God calls us home.
Paul speaks of this pulling of the flesh in Romans 7:20-25. Christians who have truly been converted will continue to struggle with sin but will feel a conviction towards it and a desire to turn away from it.
A “Christian” who finds themselves walking in constant, habitual sin, but claims to have fellowship with God has deceived themselves.
God is light and there is no darkness in Him (1 john 1:5). Because of this light (ie. His holiness) you can not live a life of unrepentant sin, walking in darkness, and be in right fellowship with Christ.
HEART CHECK: Do you believe that you are a “good person” and have no sin in your life?
By the standard of God’s moral law, the 10 commandments, we can all be in agreement that we have broken at least one of His laws.
Have you ever lied?
even a little white lie?
Have you ever stolen something? Have you ever said the Lord’s name in vain? Have you always honored your father or mother?
Have you ever looked upon a man or woman with lust? Then, you’ve committed adultery with them in your heart (Matthew 5:27-28).
Ever said you hated someone? The Lord says in His word that hate is the same as murder! (1 John 3:15)
Being a “good person” by society’s standards is not really good by God’s. He has called us to complete and total holiness, a standard that we are incapable to reach on our own, outside of the blood of Christ.
So, if you really believe in your heart that you have no sin in your life, you have deceived yourself and your heart is not aligned with the heart of Jesus.
HEART CHECK: Do you have a desire to fellowship with other believers?
If we walk in the truth of Christ that will lead us to fellowship with other believers. Are your friends pushing you towards a relationship with Christ or pushing you toward temptation and sin?
Do your friends feel comfortable openly practicing sin and doing things in direct opposition to God’s law around you? Or, do they feel a conviction when doing sinful acts?
Light attracts light and darkness attracts darkness.
What kind of relationships are you attracting?
The Good News!
Here is the good news – we all can have true salvation in Christ! God loves us so much that He gave His only son to be sacrificed, and whoever believes in Christ will not perish but will have everlasting life (John 3:16). God does not desire any of us to perish (2 Peter 3:9)!
Come before God with a humble spirit and contrite heart, confess your sins; and He will forgive you and cleanse you of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).