The title for this post came from something that I recently read about the tragedy at Umpqua Community College, near Roseburg, Oregon, in October 2015 where nine people were killed, and several others wounded
Most of us will never experience our lives being on the line, like those who were shot and killed for answering that they were Christian. If they answered yes, they were shot in the head; if they answered no or refused to give an answer, and they were shot in the legs.
We will probably never have to experience what the Syrian father did at the hands of members of ISIS:
“In front of the team leader and relatives in the crowd, the Islamic extremists cut off the fingertips of the boy and severely beat him, telling his father they would stop the torture only if he, the father, returned to Islam,” revealed Christian Aid Mission. “When the team leader refused, relatives said, the ISIS militants also tortured and beat him and the two other ministry workers. The three men and the boy then met their deaths in crucifixion.”
James asked the same question that I ask us to consider
James 2:14-17 (NLT)14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing,16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
This post is not about my position in the debate about salvation by faith only or faith plus works. If you want to know my position in that debate read my page Faith or Works?. Suffice it to say, we are not saved by our works, but when we are saved, our lives should show the evidence of that salvation.
Does Your Life Show the Evidence?
Evidence is the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.
John 8:31 (HCSB)31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples.
The evidence should be confirmed by the Word of God.
Present Your Evidence
When things are going great it’s easy to do what God requires in the scripture. When we are financially secure, we’re healthy, we have a great marriage and relationships, we have a great job, We are not having any conflicts with anyone, we are, as we often say, “blessed and highly favored”. However when things start to fall apart..... we have a financial catastrophe, we or a loved one becomes seriously ill, the great company we work for downsizes us out, our marriage starts to unravel; now that we have problems our church buddies start to put distance between us and them; we are now in, as we often say, “the storm”.
Do You Trust God for Provision?
Matthew 6:31-34 (NLT)31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Philippians 4:19 (NLT)19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 34:10 (NLT)10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing.
When things get tight and tough do you cheat on your taxes, are you honest when applying for loans or other financial assistance, are you open and honest with friends and family?
Where’s your evidence?
Do You Trust God with Your Health
Deuteronomy 7:12 (NLT)12 “If you listen to these regulations and faithfully obey them, the LORD your God will keep his covenant of unfailing love with you, as he promised with an oath to your ancestors. 15 And the LORD will protect you from all sickness. He will not let you suffer from the terrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all your enemies!
Psalm 34:19 (NKJV)19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
2 Peter 1:3 (NKJV)3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
Do you show the evidence, that accompanies these promises, of faithfully obeying the Word of God, and coming boldly in prayer with your request for healing and health? Do you show the evidence of believing that God has already provided those things we need for life and godliness, including in addition to divine healing, physicians and medicine?
Where’s your evidence?
Do You Trust God In Your Intimate Relationships?
Genesis 2:24 (NKJV) Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (HCSB)3 A husband should fulfill his marital responsibility to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband.4 A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does.5 Do not deprive one another sexually—except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Ephesians 5:22-23, 25-26 (HCSB)22 Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord,23 for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her26 to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word.
Hebrews 13:4 (HCSB) Marriage must be respected by all, and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge immoral people and adulterers.
Matthew 19:3-6 (HCSB)3 Some Pharisees approached Him to test Him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife on any grounds?”4 “Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female,”5 and He also said: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”
1 Corinthians 7:10-16 (HCSB)10 I command the married—not I, but the Lord—a wife is not to leave her husband.11 But if she does leave, she must remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband—and a husband is not to leave his wife.12 But I (not the Lord) say to the rest: If any brother has an unbelieving wife and she is willing to live with him, he must not leave her.13 Also, if any woman has an unbelieving husband and he is willing to live with her, she must not leave her husband.14 For the unbelieving husband is set apart for God by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart for God by the husband. Otherwise your children would be corrupt, but now they are set apart for God.15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you to ⌊live in⌋ peace.16 For you, wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Or you, husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?
What if you’re single?
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (HCSB)18 Run from sexual immorality! “Every sin a person can commit is outside the body.” On the contrary, the person who is sexually immoral sins against his own body.19 Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,20 for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 7:8-9 (HCSB)8 I say to the unmarried and to widows: It is good for them if they remain as I am.9 But if they do not have self-control, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with desire.
Hebrews 4:15 (NLT) This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
When things are going smoothly in our marriages or relationships it’s easy to show the evidence. What about those times when you have a major disagreement with your husband or wife? If you’re single, what about that time you get that offer that you can’t refuse? What about that gorgeous woman or man at your job who becomes very friendly?
Men have you ever stopped, while channel surfing or on the Internet stopped or slowed down when you “happened to see” some hot woman? What about you women and a “hot” man with no shirts, big muscles and abs?
God has given sex to us as a means of glorifying Him as we fulfill its design for procreation, intimacy, comfort, and physical pleasure. It is a fulfillment of God's created order in marriage between a husband and wife.
Where’s your evidence?
Do You Trust God at Party Time?
1 Corinthians 5:11 (NLT)11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NLT)9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Galatians 5:19-21 (NLT)19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Ephesians 5:17-19 (NLT)17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.
No where does scripture say Christians must be teetotalers; in fact abstaining from something just for the sake of abstaining is legalism. It’s not wrong, according to scripture, to drink alcohol. What scripture says is that it is wrong to drink in excess. When used in moderation alcohol is a pleasure that Christians can enjoy.
Where’s your evidence?
Do You Have Compassion for Those in Need?
James 1:27 (HCSB)27 Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Zechariah 7:9-10 (HCSB)9 “The LORD of Hosts says this: Make fair decisions. Show faithful love and compassion to one another.10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor, and do not plot evil in your hearts against one another.
Hebrews 13:16 (NLT)16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.
But about when you are called to share or give your last, it’s not that easy anymore is it?
Matthew 19:20-22 (NLT)20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”22 But when the young man heard this, he went away very sad, for he had many possessions.
Now where’s your evidence?
How Do You Plead?
If it was a crime in the United States to be a Christian I pray that the evidence against you would be overwhelming. If convicted remember that you have an Advocate who has already taken the penalty due you.
Isaiah 53:4-6 (NLT)4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NLT)21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
1 Peter 2:24 (NLT)24 He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.
On the charge of being a Christian I pray that the verdict for you is GUILTY AS CHARGED!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in October 2015 and updated October 11, 2017 to reflect the date of republication and posting on Social Media
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.