Imagine you just get home from a long day at work and before you can even hang your coat up there is a knock at the front door.
Rap, Rap, Rap.
You reluctantly open the door to find two police officers. They quickly ask your name and upon responding they immediately grab you, place your hands behind your back in handcuffs and take you directly to jail.
The charge- being a Christian.
Now you must stand trial and face your accusers!
How well would you stand up?
Do you checkmark “Christian” in the religion box, yet do not live a life that actually demonstrates your faith?
Would there even be enough evidence to prove that you are a Christian?
During the trial, the prosecution examines the following ten questions for determining your “guilt or innocence.”
Burden of Proof:
1. Abstains from Sin?
Does this person have remorse or feels an overwhelming sense that something is wrong when they commit a sin? Do they habitually commit the same sin over and over again with no recognition, accountability or repentance?
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
2. Loving to Others?
Does this person carry hate in their heart towards others? Do they dislike, despise or condemn their neighbor? Or do they abundantly show love, patience and kindness to others with no consideration for it to be returned?
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35
3. Prays Regularly?
Does this person prioritize and carve out time daily to spend in communication with God giving Him thanks and praise or do they just cry out to God when they are in trouble or need? Do they treat God like a 911 service or a true companion/friend?
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
4. Hungers for Spiritual Knowledge?
Does this person have a passion for reading the Bible and learning more about God? Do they have a hunger and thirst for the things of God or do they prioritize reading books and magazines over the Bible?
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” – Matthew 5:6
5. Shares the Gospel?
Does this person have a desire or interest in sharing the gospel with others? Do they step out in faith to inquire into a person’s belief in Christ and ultimate salvation? Do they openly proclaim their belief in Christ or try to stay hidden?
“I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God.” –Luke 12:8-9
6. Glorifies Christ or Self?
Does this person seek out the spotlight and their own recognition? Are they arrogant, proud, or boastful of their own accomplishments? Do they take credit for the successes and victories in their lives or do they give all praise and glory to God?
“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.””-James 4:6
7. Quick to Forgive?
Does this person hold a grudge or are they quick to forgive hurts and transgressions? Do they overlook minor offensives and extend grace? Do they forgive others even when forgiveness isn't sought?
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” –Colossians 3:13
Does this person give generously to others and tithes at least 10% to their church? What does their credit card statements and checkbook ledgers reveal?
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Luke 12:34
“Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” – Proverbs 3:9-10
9. Worldly or Godly?
Does this person concern themselves more with fitting into the norms of this world and culture, prioritizing and pursuing money, fashion, interests, luxuries and entertainment that the world has to offer over focusing on God? Are they afraid to stand apart and not conform to what the world says is right? Do they care more about what others say over what God says? How much time do they spend with God, reading the Bible and in prayer over surfing the internet, watching TV or posting on Facebook? What are their priorities in life?
“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” – James 4:4
10. Concern for Orphans & Widows?
Does this person have a heart for the lonely? Do they seek out ways to help or even visit those that are alone or without assistance? Do they visit nursing homes, care for the widow or widower down the street, mentors a youth that has no father? God has a special heart for those that are lonely!
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” – James 1:27
How does the evidence stack up against you? Do the scales of justice weigh heavier on one side or the other?
Would you be convicted and found guilty of being a Christian or was there so little evidence that your claim to Christianity has no credible weight at all?
Honestly, I’m afraid that my trial would end in a hung jury but oh, how I sincerely want to be found guilty!
What is your verdict?
Father, forgive us for all the ways that we fall short of your example. Help us Lord to recognize areas that we are weak and need to improve. Give us the courage to love others the way you do and to stand up for what is pleasing and right in your sight! May we all be found guilty of being a devoted Christ follower!
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." - Galatians 5:22-23