It's so easy to call ourselves believers. Especially in a place like South Africa where a large majority are Christians & there's no laws preventing / making it hard for us to serve whom we choose.
Sadly, in my opinion, it actually counts against us.
It's easy to say we are believers, because we don't face prosecution for our beliefs. It's not frowned upon when you say you love Jesus.
But at the same time - we are not held to any standards. You can proclaim to be a Christian, yet your life can look like Sodom & Gemora and no one would blink an eye! Probably because we live in a Christian society that adopted the "Jesus knows my heart" mentality as if it was engraved into our souls.
Fact of the matter is. Jesus (Yeshua) DOES know your heart! He knows how fleshly and carnal minded we are. He knows how easily we get deceived. And He warns us to stay alert!
“Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away [from the Lord] and serve other gods and worship them,”
Deuteronomy 11:16 AMP
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.”
Proverbs 4:23 AMP
We are born with a sinful nature. And unless we repent, aka make a 180 degree turn, we will NOT see the Kingdom of God!
We will be known and judged by our fruits! If we claim to be Christians - we should carry the fruit that reflects our repentance!
“By their fruit you will recognize them [that is, by their contrived doctrine and self-focus]. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the unhealthy tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit."
Matthew 7:16-18 AMP
What fruit do you carry? Fruits to satisfy the soul or fruit that carries a Kingdom flavour!
"Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
Matthew 7:19 AMP
That's hell! I didn't say it! Yeshua Himself said that to His disciples!
"Therefore, by their fruit you will recognize them [as false prophets]. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the WILL of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’”
Matthew 7:20-23 AMP
If we want to call ourselves believers / Christians - we better carry the fruit that suit our repentance!
I don't know about you. But it's fine with me if the world thinks I am strange. I'd much rather have that, than having to stand before the throne of God one day and hear the words "depart from Me, I never knew you."