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"I'm Supposed To Be a Christian"
By Pastor Roy Beaman, Paducah, Ky, 1938
      In my work of finding needy souls and leading them to the Savior, I most often ask them such questions as "Are you a Christian? Are you saved? Have you been borrn again?" A common answer is, "I'm supposed to be."

      Some are "yes" Christians. They are sure they are saved and rejoice in His promises. Some are "hope-so" Christians. They stand in doubt. My heart yearns for them, if they are saved, to rejoice in their security in Christ. There is not one regenerate soul, though he may doubt, who cannot be sure the Lord will not turn him down. Some are "supposed-to-be" Christians. Their name is Legion. Of them and to them, I speak today.

      I want to tell you "right off the bat" that God goes deeper than mere suppositions. "I'm supposed to be" will not answer God's search for reality. He puts no premium on veneer piety, on surface religion, on white wash holiness, on outward form. David cried out in the deep sense of God looking within for reality. "Behold Thou desirest truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden parts shalt Thou make me to know wisdom" (Psalm 51:5). David found out that "I'm supposed to be" would not satisfy God.

      Jesus sees deeper into your heart than a mere passing "supposed-to-be." He rebuked those who drew near with the lips but whose hearts were afar off.

      Do you say, "I'm supposed to be Christian?" My friend, you do not deal with business affairs that way. If I ask, "Is your title to this property good?" you would not answer "It's supposed to be." If you had any doubt about it, you would be getting that deed fixed. Why is not the title to your home in the skies just as important? You may know about it. His promise makes us sure. Paul cried out, "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens" (2 Corinthians 5:1). He did not say, "It's supposed to be," but "we know."

      If I asked, "Are you married?" and you answered, "I'm supposed to be," I would know there was something wrong. You want to be certain about the relation of marriage. Is it not infinitely more important to know that your soul is joined to Christ in that holy and mystical union of our hearts with His?

      If I asked, "Are you on the right road to New York?" would you answer, "I'm supposed to be"? Would you waste your energy for long on that road until you found out the right road? Surely not. I ask you, "Are you on your way to heaven?" You answer doubtfully and dodgingly, "I'm supposed to be." Make sure, my friend, that you are not in the broad way that leads to destruction but the narrow that leads to life. Jesus said, "I am the way" (John 14:6). He who comes that way does not have to suppose about it. There is certain assurance for him, resting on Jesus.

      "Supposed-to-be" Christians never overflow with joy because they have no ground for it. "Supposed-to-be" Christians never live really consecrated lives; the voices of the world and pleasure call as strongly as the Savior and His task for them. "Supposed-to-be" Christians never make soul-winners. You would not ride with the engineer or taxi-driver that says of his route, "I'm supposed to be on the right road." You demand certainty in these things; why less in spiritual things that concern the eternal destiny of your soul? "If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch" (Matthew 15:14). Do not follow him who merely supposes about salvation. Follow that man who knows his sins have been washed away in Jesus' blood. Follow him to the cross for pardon and cleansing and new life in Christ.

      Friends, let me talk to you right down there where you live. Why do you say you are supposed to be a Christian?

      One answered me, "I made a profession many years ago." Fine, but did you really get saved? Was profession all? Did it last? Christ's salvation lasts; it rests on a firmer foundation than mere "supposed-to-be." Did your profession bring you possession of Christ as your own Savior? Hell is going to be full of mere professors.

      "Many will say unto Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out demons? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:22, 23). Better not count on that profession back there some years ago unless you have the blessed presence of Christ in your heart this minute.

      Another answered me, "Well, I felt saved for a while; I don't feel it much now. That is why I said, 'I'm supposed to be'." O my friend, let me get up closer to you and talk heart to heart with you. I think I see your mistake. You are basing too much on feeling. There is a vast difference between feeling and faith. Wrought-up motions may make one feel saved, but mere emotions and good feelings are not sure evidences of salvation. Unless that good feeling grows from the assurance of God's promise that your sins are forgiven through the precious blood of Christ, do not trust it. Feeling in religion comes after salvation, not before. True heartfelt religion results from resting on the unchanging promise of God. Remember, your feelings, the best of them, can easily change, but God's promise never changes. "Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37). The truest Christians often feel that they ought to be cast out, but still they praise Jesus Christ that they have the assurance that they never will be cast out.

      Again, another answered me, "Well, I joined the church years ago." But friend, many have joined various churches and never found satisfaction in Jesus Christ. Church membership is right, and every born again person ought to be a member of the church that Jesus built that has endured the onslaughts of Satan through the centuries. Baptist churches stand the doctrinal and historical test where others fall down. But church membership alone will give you no more salvation than a "supposed-to-be." That will not suffice. Recently a man answered just as I have indicated. I told him that was not enough, that that would not save his soul and transform his life. Sad to say, his business partner told me the next day that our friend was in jail for drunken driving. Friend, do not trust any church to save you. Salvation is not in any church; it is in the Savior alone. Throw away that old "supposed-to-be" idea and come to Jesus Christ just now. He will save you. Thank God, He will secure you beneath His blood of redemption and assure you by His word of promise.

      Still others have answered me, "Why, I never did anything specially wrong; I'm not a bad person." O friend, my heart aches for you if that is the slim chance you have! Hear this word: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way" (Isaiah 53:6). "If a man keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10), "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). The penalty of the tiniest sin is death; yea, death in hell, which is eternal separation from God. No wonder you say, "I'm supposed to be," if you have no more than a supposed moral life. What morality does God require? 100 per cent perfection. Do you have it? Your own heart tells you that you have sinned and come short of the glory or approval of God (Romans 3:23). There is no salvation for you but to come like any lost and guilty sinner and receive Jesus Christ as your only chance of glory.

      I have received this answer often: "My parents brought me up in their church: I have been taught that way all my life; I am supposed to be a Christian." O friend, my heart longs to make the word of Jesus pierce your heart; "Marvel not that I said unto thee. Ye must be born again," Being brought up in the church of one's parents does not save any soul from a devil's hell. I speak plainly because your soul is at stake. The necessary question is: Have you repented of your sins and believed on God's Son? "With the heart man believeth unto rightousness" (Romans 10:10). You must face God for yourself; your parents, however sincere and loving, could not believe for you. "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." "He that believeth not shall be damned." "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed when Jesus comes." I beseech you: Do not go on supposing about this matter; make sure now by taking Jesus Christ as your only hope.

      I could go on quoting the answers of "supposed-to-be" Christians I have met through the years, but they all lack one thing: they lack a certain knowledge of sins forgiven, their hopes secure, their burdens lifted, their dark past blotted out through the soul-cleansed blood of the Lamb. My soul yearns for you to leave the swamps of "supposed-to-be" religion and come by the humble route of repentance to the heights of an assured deliverance in Jesus Christ. I long to lead you out of the dark room of supposing you are saved to the Sun of Righteousness, the Light of the World, whose beams of sins forgiven and hopes assured are just as easily known and blessedly felt as the light and heat of the noonday sun. Trust this blessed Savior without a moment's delay. The "supposed-to-be" route leads to hell. Christ both secures and assures: the Blood secures; the Word assures. Trust in His Blood, rest on His Word. Then heaven is secure and your hope made sure.


[From The Biblical Echo, August, 1938, pp. 9, 10 & 22. Document provided by Ben Stratton, Farmington, KY.

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