You could scarcely ask a more important question. And the saddest thing is that – according to Jesus himself – there are many who think they are saved and yet are not. What more horrible than this could ever happen to us?
Thankfully, Scripture gives us clear definition and descriptions of what a genuine Christian is, and Mike McKinley writes to guide us through these considerations … for our soul’s sake. Another excellent, needed book from 9Marks.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Kirk Cameron
1 You are Not a Christian
Just Because You Say You Are.
2 You are Not a Christian
If You Haven’t Been Born Again
3 You are Not a Christian
Just Because You Like Jesus
4 You are Not a Christian
If You Enjoy Sin
5 You are Not a Christian
If You Do Not Endure to the End
6 You are Not a Christian
If You Don’t Love Other People
7 You are Not a Christian
If You Love Your Stuff
8 Can I Ever Really Know If I Am a Christian?
9 A Little Help from Your Friends
Foreword by Kirk Cameron
Most of us think it is wise to visit a doctor every now and then for an examination. It is reassuring to gain a clean bill of health, but it is also a relief when we identify a problem before it is too late to deal with it. However, many of us who live in the world of “modern Christian America” (and beyond) recoil at the thought of examining our lives to see if God’s Word gives our Christianity a clean bill of health. Yet this is precisely what Paul told the Corinthians when he said:
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! (2 Cor. 13:5)
The reality is that hell is heavily populated with people who professed Christianity but never examined themselves. It is too late if we venture into eternity only to hear these terrifying words from our Lord:
“I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” (Matt. 7:23)
During my twenty years of walking with the Lord, I have longed to know that I am a true Christian and labored to understand the right relationship between faith and the fruit of good works. The problem is when we think that producing the right fruit will make us into the right kind of tree. The owner of any orchard will tell you that fruit is what a tree naturally produces and merely reveals the nature of that tree. If the fruit is gnarled, rotten, or nonexistent, hanging plastic fruit on the branches is not the solution.
“Doctor” Mike McKinley is just the guy to take us through this examination. Be assured that he has great bedside manner and cares deeply about our spiritual health—so much so that he invites all of us to look in the mirror of God’s Word and ask the question: Am I really a Christian?
R. Albert Mohler
This is a truly important book in the most urgent sense—a book that serves the cause of Christ by raising the most important question human beings face, and helping to answer it, no less. I am thankful to McKinley for his faithfulness and for the pastoral concern that prompted him to write such an important work.
There can be no more important question than ‘Am I really a Christian?’ and Mike McKinley helps us answer it with great skill. He manages to challenge nominal Christians while comforting genuine believers. McKinley’s writing is accessible, engaging, and simple without ever being simplistic. I particularly appreciate the way he encourages us to explore this crucial question in the context of a Christian community. If you’re not sure where you stand before God, or you know someone who’s not sure, then this is the book for you.
Can any question in life be as important as knowing whether you are right with God, whether you are going to Heaven or Hell? I’m quite sure that every person now in eternity—with not a single exception among the billions there—would affirm the urgency and priority of pursuing the answer to such a question. That’s why, if you have any uncertainties about the answer for your own situation, you should read this book. Some day, on a day as real as the one in which you entered the world, as real as the one in which you are reading these words, you will enter another world. There you will remain forever. Are you ready? If not, this book will help you understand how the Bible says to prepare.”
About the Author
Mike McKinley (MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary) is senior pastor of Sterling Park Baptist Church in Sterling, Virginia. Formerly, he served on staff alongside Mark Dever at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. He is the author of a number of books, including Church Planting Is for Wimps.