The Christian Trademark
By Grant Phillips
What is the identifying trademark of a true Christian? From the back of the room I hear someone say, “They go to church all the time.” Over in the corner someone else says, “They got baptized.” From up toward the front seats I hear, “They don’t cuss, drink, smoke, chew, cheat, or do anything else offensive.” Another comes up with, “They look and talk like a Christian.” Well obviously, this is going nowhere.
I think Jesus nailed the answer to this question when He said, “…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27 ESV)
Most any of us can put on some kind of outward camouflage that can usually mask our feelings and make others think we are what we are not. Only Jesus really knows what is in our hearts. Nothing is hidden from Him.
Let us not be so concerned about what others think, but make sure this verse is alive within us. If we love Him with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and mind, and love our neighbor as our self, we are where our Lord God wants us to be.
First Corinthians chapter thirteen expounds on this trademark that should come from all of us who are Christians. We all fall short to one degree or another, but this should be the Godly attitude that matures within our Christian souls.
Does Luke 10:27 shown above live within us? Do others see Jesus in us? I must admit that I have plenty of room to grow in this area. What about you?
When you really think about this verse, it covers everything. Try it. Think of anything you like, and hold this verse up alongside it. When we do that, we get a different picture of our self than we had before. We look in the mirror, and really see our self as we truly are. It isn’t pretty is it? God has a way of peeling away the fake stuff, and revealing the Truth.
Perhaps this is why many people just don’t like Jesus and all that He says, because Jesus’ words go past the veneer and reach down in the soul. They convict, but even though they convict those who will listen, they also offer comfort to those who seek Him. He knows we need a Savior and He has provided the only way that can be accomplished. The most well-known verse from His word says this:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Now that is real love. That is the love he wants to provide us and to help us nourish in our Christian life. This love always wants to please our Lord God. This love always wants to put others first before our own desires.
Our greatest concern should be, “Am I pleasing my Lord.” Our second greatest concern should be for others. When we put God first and others second, He takes care of us.
It is my belief that all Christians will have this trademark of love for God and man living within them.
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (1 John 4:20-21)
With that thought in mind, consider how society reacts today toward Christians, especially those who dogmatically cling to the veracity of God’s Word. Christians who accept the Bible for what it says, and not what we want it to say, are being hated and persecuted by a country that once called itself a Christian nation.
These same Christians are being labeled as “hate-mongers.” How can this be, when a true Christian possesses the trademark of love, a love that comes from Jesus Christ our Savior?
Is it hatred for a Christian to warn others of the effects of sin? Is it hatred for a Christian to warn others of the judgment to come upon those without Jesus Christ as their Savior? Is it hatred for a Christian to warn a fallen world of the judgment to come? Is it hatred for a Christian to simply relay the Truth to others? The answer is obvious.
Is it not true that to not warn others would be closer to the attitude of having no love for others? Would an attitude of not sharing the good news (Gospel) of Jesus be showing love? Christians warn of spiritual consequences and share the good news of God’s grace because they do love. So why are these Christians accused of being “hate-mongers?” The answer is found in many places in Scriptures, but the following verse makes it quite clear.
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19)
Satan is the father of those who are of the world, and there is nothing he loves more than to discredit Jesus. Since humanity is a fallen people and loves the things of the world, many, or should I say “most,” will listen to Satan’s prophets.
The Apostle John warned his generation of false prophets and the spirit of the Antichrist.
“But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.” (1 John 4:3 NLT)
The spirit of opposing Christ and all He stands for has always been here. Today it is red hot. Time is running out for Satan, and he knows it. He is blinding millions of people to believe that those who just want them to hear the Truth are actually full of hate. Most will listen to him, but thankfully some will not. Some will hear the Truth and act upon it.
It is up to us to relay God’s message to any who will listen. Do understand that we can’t save anyone. God does the saving. He just wants us to share the Truth with others. When we love Him with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and mind, and love our neighbor as our self, can we do any less?