Christ is the Messiah or anointed one whose appearance is prophesied in the Old Testament. Jesus of Nazareth, the “Son of man” and the only begotten of the Father, the Son of God is the realization of the Messianic prophecy. Jesus the Christ is Jesus Christ.
A Christian is a person elected for salvation by the foreknowledge of God who professes belief in Jesus as the Christ, or in the religion based on the teachings of Jesus. A Christian is a person who has developed a personal relationship with Christ and regards Him as Master, Lord, and Savior. Jesus Christ defines a Christian as a person who is ready to obey God’s commandments and bears his own cross daily.
A Christian is a person having the qualities demonstrated and taught by Jesus Christ such as love, kindness, humility, fear of God, being humane, being decent etc.
For this discussion, I will classify Christians into two groups:
- The faithful Christians is one that is loyal; keeping faith; maintaining strong allegiance to the Lord; constant; having or showing a strong sense of duty or responsibility; faithful in attendance (conscientious); reliable; full of faith; steadfast adherence to the Lord; constant; staunch; and resolute or unwavering determination.
- The unfaithful Christian is a Christian that fail to observe the terms of a vow, promise, understanding, etc. or is false to allegiance or duty; faithless, lazy, disloyal, unreliable, unfaithful, untrustworthy; and commits religious adultery.
Our Lord has no problem with the faithful Christians. He is pleased with them, they are saved and will enjoy at the Bema judgement of the Believers. Where they shall receive various crowns for their diligent and faithful services rendered to Him. These crowns are as follows:
- Crowns for runners which is the incorruptible crowns (I Cor. 9:24, 25; Heb. 12:1)
- Crowns for soul winners which is the crown of rejoicing (I Thess. 2:19)
- Crowns for anticipators which is the crown of righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8)
- Crowns for faithful ones which is the crown of life (James 1:12). To win this crown, you must endure temptation, overcome evil; love Christ and be faithful unto death, enduring to the end (Rev. 2:10)
- Crowns for true pastors which is the crown of glory that fades not away (I Pet. 5:4). This is the crown for elders, under shepherds, pastors, missionaries, evangelists, teachers, etc.
- Crowns for all of the redeemed which is the crown of gold (Rev. 4:4)
Even though the unfaithful Christians are saved (Eph.2:8,9) but the Lord is not very pleased with them because they are lazy; Selfish; not diligent in carrying out His commands.
The Bible says II Cor.5:14,15 “For the love of Christ compel us …”. All believers are, or ought to be, compelled by the love of Jesus Christ to serve Him from conversion to death or rapture. Unfortunately, many Christians especially the unfaithful ones have vague ideas as to why they should serve Christ, but no definite, concrete thinking on this very important matter.
Christianity is besieged today with many problems which includes:
- Reduction in church attendance and teachings
- Adulteration of doctrines left by Christ and the Apostles.
- Unfaithful servants or ministers of God who divert the church attention from Christ.
- Non observance of quiet time with the Lord
- Prayerlessness of believers which weakens the church
- Faithlessness of believers which empowers their enemies
- Lack of attention to the words of God.
- Worldliness which is drawing the church away from God.
- Selfishness of believers which is destroying the unity of the church as a body.
- Carelessness to the Great commission (Matt. 28: 19, 20; Mark 16:15,16)
- Backsliding which is turning away from God. (I Kings 11:9; Rev. 2:4; Gal. 5:4; Isaiah 59:2); etc.
The faithful Christians need not change but should continue to work diligently and try to take up the slacks left by the unfaithful Christians.
The unfaithful Christians need to have a change of heart and attitude because they are constrained or compelled by the love of Christ to work hard and diligently to:
- Fill the empty mansions that Christ is building in heaven for His saved loved ones (Luke 14:23; 2 Cor. 5:1-4; John 14:2,3)
- Make known the simplicity of faith in Jesus which leads unto salvation and how the convert should then on walk in faith. People should be told that the only thing people are judged for is their belief in Christ. Those who believe are saved but those who do not believe are condemned to hell. Let them know that God is not collecting any money for salvation. All can meet the requirement and all can believe. But someone must tell them the wonderful story of Jesus and the cross before they can believe it. (Eph. 2:8,9; Jn. 3:18; 2 Cor. 5:7)
- Have the desire to please the Savior, Jesus Christ. “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Christ. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad”. (2 Cor. 5:9,10). We must all endeavor to please our Master Jesus Christ. How we do this is to obey His commands especially the “Go ye” command. (Jn. 14:2,3).
- Call peoples attention to the coming Bema judgement. This judgement is for the elected believers alone. We will not be judged on our acceptance of Christ but on the superstructure that we build on the foundation which is Christ (I Cor. 1:31). Lord Jesus has died to pay the penalty for our sins so that we should be free of death and hell. He has risen from the dead (resurrected) to guarantee our resurrection, He has brought the word of God for our edification, He sent the Holy Spirit of God for our guidance and assurance of our place in heaven. What have you as an elected saved one contributed as your part? How many teachings, pastoring, evangelism, missionary work, contributions to God’s work have you done?
All of our works will be tested by fire. If we have served Jesus faithfully He will reward us. Some will win many crowns and stars as shown earlier in this write-up.
The unfaithful will not only lose rewards, but they will suffer loss and the “terror of the Lord” may abide on them (2 Cor. 5:11).
The fact that someday you will be judged should make you to work circumspectly and serve diligently. We strive to work hard and diligently so that we can have rewards and crowns to lay at the feet of Our Savior (Rev. 4:10,11).
- To make all know that Christ Died For All “Christ died for all” (2 Cor. 5:14b). the story of the Gospel is “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not sent His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (Jn 3:16,17).
If Jesus Christ died for all, then each has a right to know about it. We serve the Lord and please Him by informing them of this great fact. To us it is a well known fact, but many have not heard or realized it as yet.
Many still believe in idols, evolution, humanity, self, etc. All need a Savior, all need Jesus Christ. Jesus died for ALL, lets tell them so.
- Show the moral obligation to live for others “Christ died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Christ who died for them and rose again.” (I Cor. 5:15).
The life of service is an unselfish life, not serving self but serving others. What sacrifice have you made lately to better the life of another or others. We must move from being selfish to being selfless. We must be ready to give up everything to serve Jesus. Christ has done so much for us. He died for us to save us, purchased us, redeemed us, and reconciled us to God. We belong to Him and He must own all we possess. The life we now live we live in the Son of God who died for us. We are saved to serve Jesus and our neighbours. As we do that we have joy in all the successes and pleasures that come to the lives of others.
- Reconcile the world to God through the Gospels “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation” (I Cor. 5:18-21). Reconciliation infers that two people were enemies. This is true. The world is in enmity with God. The two parties that need reconciliation are God and sinners of the world. As believers we have been reconciled with God and have been given the responsibility or task of bringing the good news of the reconciliation won at Calvary to the sinners hiding from God. We are ambassadors (I Cor. 5:20), official representatives of the government of heaven to the sinners whose backs are turned against God. For this we should be proud and faithful. Even angels have shown eagerness to be involved but God has reserved this for us.
For these reasons we as saved ones are compelled to serve the Lord Jesus Christ today.
The sphere of service or type of service is not important at this moment. The important thing is that we should faithfully and diligently serve Him where He wants us to serve. We should realize that His coming is delayed because of our delay and lack-luster performance in the assignment He has given us to preach the gospel to the rest of the world. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”. Amen (Matt. 28:19,20).
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. The love of Christ which we all share be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.