Those Who Want To Be “Christians” While Being Ashamed Of The Lord
By: Brian A. Yeager
I have known of a few people who fit the title of this lesson. These are people who want to be “baptized” (obviously they do not want converted), but they don’t want others to know about it. There are many reasons that people have had this desire. Some fear persecution (John 9:1-22 and John 12:42). Others fear damage to relationships with people who would not approve of their being a “Christian” (Matthew 10:34-37). There are other reasons too, but we can all get the point. There are people who want the eternal benefit of being a child of God, but they do not want to face any consequences on earth for being a believer.
Can you be a Christian and be ashamed of who you are in Christ? How could a Christian keep his or her mouth shut if they really have been converted? How could a Christian not want others to obey the Gospel and be just like them? These are some of the questions we’ll examine in this study. As we all should already know, anyone who wants to be in Christ has to be willing to confess Him before others. In fact, one is required to do so both before and after conversion. It is here wherein we will begin our study.
You Cannot Be A Christian Without Telling Others About Christ
We should all know that there are things one has to do to become a Christian. We know that one has to first hear (Mark 16:15-16, Romans 10:17, Colossians 1:5-6, and II Thessalonians 2:14) and understand the Gospel of Christ (Matthew 13:19 and Ephesians 5:17). Of course hearing the truth includes receiving it and being willing to obey it (Luke 11:28 and I Thessalonians 2:13). We know that one cannot stop at hearing, understanding, and accepting the truth. To be saved we have to have faith (John 3:18, John 8:23-24, and Hebrews 11:6). On top of these things, one has to repent of their sins (Acts 3:19), be baptized (Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:38, and Romans 6:3-6), etc.
All of those things we just looked at in the paragraph above are things one has to do prior to salvation. Confessing Christ before men is something that one has to do prior to salvation as well. Notice the following Scriptures: “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing… For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Acts 8:35-39 and Romans 10:10).
Once one is truly converted, confessing Christ is not over. In fact, one has just begun a life-long journey wherein they will need to confess Christ before others regularly. Notice these Scriptures: “I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed… Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven… Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God… Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, where unto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses… Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God” (Psalms 119:46, Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 12:8-9, I Timothy 6:12, and I John 4:15).
The Scriptures above prove that one cannot be a Christian if he or she is unwilling to confess Christ before men. On top of that, we find that the Scriptures label those unwilling to confess Christ as an “antichrist” (II John 7). For those that are for Christ and have obeyed the Gospel, we know we cannot keep our mouths shut even if we wanted to.
True Christians Cannot Help But Confess Christ To Others
Jeremiah was a prophet of God (Jeremiah 47:1). Jeremiah was facing severe persecution (Jeremiah 18:18 and Jeremiah 32:2). Though Jeremiah was being persecuted, he could not help but speak forth the will of the Lord even when he wanted to be quiet. Here are the Scriptures which I am referring to: “For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay” (Jeremiah 20:8-9). Like Jeremiah, a true child of God cannot keep quiet (Proverbs 4:18 and Matthew 5:13-16). This is especially true because real Christians want others to be saved.
True Christians Cannot Be Quiet While Others Are Lost
Christians understand that we are to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 19:19, Galatians 5:14, and James 2:8). We also realize that we are supposed to speak truth with our neighbors (Ephesians 4:25). We know that God expects us to do good unto all (Galatians 6:10). There is nothing more “good” than sharing the Gospel with the lost (cf. Psalms 25:8). Thus, regardless of what harm may come to us, we cannot help but teach others so that they will not suffer the vengeance of the Lord (II Corinthians 5:10-11). We know that people cannot be saved if we keep our mouths shut (Romans 10:14).
The very idea that one would even attempt to be “baptized” without being willing to confess Christ is absolutely absurd. A Christian is in a relationship with the Lord that is likened unto a marriage (Isaiah 54:5, II Corinthians 11:2, and Ephesians 5:22-33). Being a bride to the Savior and being ashamed of naming Him as our Lord is offensive. Imagine for a moment that two people have decided to be married. Then, the woman looks at the man and tells him that she will marry him, but she does not want anyone to know it. She further explains that her husband will not be welcome at family functions or business luncheons. Brethren, this is exactly what someone is saying when they proclaim that they want to be a Christian, but they want to be quiet about it amongst certain people. Someone who truly loves the Lord and truly obeys Him will not be ashamed to tell others about Him (Romans 1:16).
Volume 11 – Issue 37 - June 5th, 2011