Non-Christians observe us. They see how we conduct ourselves at work, in recreational activities, when buying food, and how we treat our family members. They hear our speech and notice our attitude. They also notice what we do not do or say.
People who are outside of the Christ need to see differences between themselves and true Christians. What are some of those basic differences?
A difference in attitude toward the Lord: One who is not a disciple of the Christ may admit that God exists, but to him that is not an important matter. Some in the world manifest the rebellious spirit of an ancient Pharaoh (Exodus 5:1,2). Some may worship a different “god,” and others trust in themselves.
In contrast to such outlooks, a true Christian knows that God is not an idol (Acts 17:29). He accepts God as the Creator of the universe, as well as the Giver of life and all things (Acts 17:24,25). A child of God strives to trust in Him, not himself (Proverbs 3:5).
A difference in attitude toward the Bible: In many cases, non-Christians deny that the Bible is the word of God. Others among them may profess a belief in the Bible, but they are not committed to following what it says.
On the other hand, a true Christian accepts the Bible as the inspired message of God and sees it as the teaching that gives true wisdom (2 Timothy 3:15,16). He recognizes the Bible as God’s guiding light (Psalm 119:105) and realizes it has the power to reform lives and save souls (James 1:22). A Christian sees God’s instructions as a blessing, not a burden (1 John 5:3).
A difference in attitude toward life itself: It is common for one who is not in the Lord’s body to think of life on earth as the only/last life, so they are interested only in earthly pleasures. They may look at themselves as some sort of animal at the top of an evolutionary tree, selfishly contemplating what life can give them and what other folks can do for them.
How is all of that different from a Christian? One who is a true follower of the Christ knows the origin of life, why we are here, and where we are headed (Ecclesiastes 12:1,7,13,14). A child of God realizes he was made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26,27) and has an awesome duty to serve Him. He also understands that in this world, he is merely a pilgrim/sojourner (1 Peter 2:11), one who temporarily spends time on the planet in preparation for an eternity. He recognizes that true meaning in life, coupled with joy and peace, come only through Jesus (John 10:10).
A difference in attitude toward sin: We often see non-Christians making a mockery of sin. Others make it plain that they are going to fulfill the lust of the flesh, and they do not care whom that displeases. In many cases, those outside of the Christ decide for themselves what is right and wrong/good and bad, using their own subjective standard. That, of course, is a formula for moral and eternal disaster.
When a Christian is thinking properly, he accepts the truth that sin is lawlessness/violation of God’s law (1 John 3:4). He is humbled by the fact that sin separates those who dwell in it from the God of heaven (Isaiah 59:1,2). Like his Lord, a Christian hates sin because he knows its fruit is evil and ultimately leads to eternal hell (Hebrews 1:9). He also has no desire to imitate the world or be good buddies with sinful activities (Romans 12:1,2).
A difference in attitude toward what is most important in life: People of the world openly pursue prosperity, power, pleasure, popularity, and physical health. A Christian knows that it is necessary to possess money and material things in order to survive in this world. However, he does not make such things his god, understanding that a person’s life is not determined by how much material stuff he can accumulate (Luke 12:15). Instead of focusing on “the here and now,” his heart is set on heavenly matters (Colossians 3:1,2). He is happy to put the Lord’s Cause above everything and everyone (Matthew 6:33).
A difference in the relationship between them and the Lord: This matter really grabs our attention. All non-Christians are in a dangerous spiritual condition, as none of them has God, has the Christ, or possesses real hope (Ephesians 2:12). Because such a person is not with Jesus, he is against the Lord (Matthew 12:30). Here is the sad reality: God counts one who does not serve Jesus as His enemy (Colossians 1:21,22). It is a horrible tragedy when people leave this world separated from the God of heaven because they are not in fellowship with Him
What about a true Christian’s relationship with God? A Christian is a child of God, having been born into His family through a spiritual birth (Galatians 3:26,27). In the Lord, a Christian has access to all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3). One privilege that Christians enjoy is the right to come before their heavenly Father in prayer, knowing that He hears the prayers of the righteous (1 Peter 3:12).
As a Christian continues to walk in the Lord’s light, Jesus’ blood continues to cleanse him of sins (1 John 1:7-9). What a great blessing! And, he lives each day with the hope of being in heaven forever. None of the matters we have discussed are trivial, would you not agree?
— Roger D. Campbell