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You may think you are, but you may not be. After all, Jesus himself said that some people will do seemingly "Christian" things in his name but will not truly know him. Or maybe you know you are not a Christian and you wonder what it really means to be one.
To be sure, however, there is clarity from God's perspective. He is not confused about who does and does not know him. And though our self-awareness is certainly limited, we have been given biblical criteria to help us evaluate whether we are indeed followers of Christ.
Mike McKinley shows us the importance of examining our standing with God and helps us to fearlessly ask the hard questions, ultimately allowing us to see whether we are in the faith and what exactly that entails.
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 Am I Really a Christian? and Church Planting Is for Wimps.
Table of Contents
Foreword Kirk Cameron 11
Introduction: Is This Book Mean Spirited? 13
1 You Are Not a Christian 17
Just Because You Say That You Are
2 You Are Not a Christian 29
If You Haven't Been Born Again
3 You Are Not a Christian 43
Just Because You Like Jesus
4 You Are Not a Christian 59
If You Enjoy Sin
5 You Are Not a Christian 75
If You Do Not Endure to the End
6 You Are Not a Christian 91
If You Don't Love Other People
7 You Are Not a Christian 105
If You Love Your Stuff
8 Can I Ever Really Know If I Am a Christian? 121
9 A Little Help from Your Friends 135
General Index 152
Scripture Index 154
What People are Saying About This
“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.”
—R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“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.”
—Tim Chester, Pastor, Grace Church Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire; Faculty Member, Crosslands Training
“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.”
—Donald S. Whitney, Associate Dean and Professor of Biblical Spirituality, School of Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life and Praying the Bible
“Simple, piercing, winsome, practical, honest, direct and pastoral. If you know anyone questioning their conversion (or who should be questioning!), get this book!”
—Dave Harvey, Teaching Pastor, Summit Church, Naples, Florida; author, When Sinners Say I Do and Am I Called?
“Really, is there anything more important to know about ourselves than whether or not we are actually Christians? People have come up with a lot of different ways of thinking about that question—ranging from your ability to remember ‘praying the prayer,’ to possessing a signed card in your Bible from a revival meeting, to ensuring your ‘letter’ is safely tucked away in some church's filing cabinet. Examining ourselves to make sure we are in the faith is about a whole lot more than that, and McKinley offers good help for that kind of heart evaluation. This is good devotional material, good small group material; And I expect that for some, it will probably even turn out to be the first time they’ve truly understood the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
—Greg Gilbert, Senior Pastor, Third Avenue Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky; author, What Is the Gospel?
“Mike has always had the ability to talk about the mundane and serious aspects of life with both passion and depth in an endearing way. That is such a great and rare combination. Using those skills in his newest book, he references everyday experiences to explain much deeper and more important spiritual truths around the question of how do I know I am a Christian or not?”
—Jackson Crum, Lead Pastor, Park Community Church, Chicago, Illinois
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
One thing I want to emphasize is this book is not aimed at non-Christians. It’s not meant to convert the non-believer or convince the non-believer that Christianity is the only way. Instead, it focuses on individuals who claim to be Christian and helps those individuals examine their lives, so they don’t miss the boat. Much of what Mr. McKinley said, I knew to be true. It’s clearly laid out in the bible. I don’t know who has a ticket and who doesn’t, but I do know the bible says something to the effect of the gate is small and the road is narrow and few will find it. So logically, it makes sense to me that not everyone who boasts to be a Christian is going to find the path. Especially when considering upwards of 60,70, 80% of Americans believe they’re Christians. Who knows the figures in other countries. Few doesn’t equal the majority. So the question is: if one truly believes the information in the bible, wouldn’t he/she want to be sure to be on the right track rather than one of the many who think they’re walking down the right path, only to find too late they’re on the broad road? Am I Really a Christian? is like stopping and asking for directions. In the end, some might receive a wake up call, but also might find hope and an opportunity to step on the road they’d meant to travel. I loved that this book doesn’t focus on hells fire and damnation. It doesn’t try to scare folks into becoming a Christian or scare people who claim to be a Christian into behaving right. Instead, it identifies markers which might suggest one is or isn’t a Christian. Not by way of finger pointing, which can be so easy (That person’s not a Christian. That person isn’t. That person is.) No. None of that. It isn’t about whether others want to classify a person as a goat or a sheep. Rather it helps a person examine his/her walk with the help of those in the Christian community. Even though this is a work tailored toward those who believe they’re Christian, I still think it’s a great read for non-Christians. Why? Because I believe the worldview on Christianity is tainted by those who profess to be Christian but act in non-Christian ways in the name of Christianity. Am I Really a Christian? is truly insightful. I received this work from the publisher in exchange for a review.
God knows his own. Just saying we're a Christian doesn't make it so. God sees "us clearly, we don't see ourselves clearly." I loved to Willy Wonka and how God makes it clear what we have to do to be a Christian. There are no "hidden clauses." He uses many analogies. "Our life is destroyed by sin, not damaged by it. He used a rotted closet to represent our sinful lives. We can't patch it up. Christ must replace every bit of the rot with his love and grace,( see page 35). Just "liking" Jesus doesn't make us a Christian. Being a Christian means "changing teams and having new allegiances", (page 60). I loved the analogy that many people think of forgiveness like a vaccination you get once that protects you against hell's fires, while you continue to do what you want to do!" (page 79)
The introduction to this book says alot. Mike has a way of putting things in simple understandable terms. He uses humor and down to earth situations to help. This book is for those who believe they are Christians. It is backed up with scripture. Not just a verse here or there to fit what he says but paragraphs to show what God is saying to us. It is not a comfortable book. He makes you think about where you are, if you are a true believer or just going through the motions. It is a book of conviction. Christian has become a common word in some ways without the powerful meaning behind it. It is popular to say your a Christian but that is not the same as living as one. I recommend this book to all who may be wondering where they stand in their faith, those who are floundering and even those who think they are in perfect condition.