Real Christians

Q. On some websites and message boards, members claim that only real Christians will be raptured. I don’t understand what that’s supposed to mean. Are there degrees of Christianity? I thought you either are a Christian or you’re not. Maybe I’m missing something here. Please explain.

A. It’s true that from God’s viewpoint we are either Christians or we’re not. Jesus gave the standard for qualification in John 3:3. “I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless He’s born again.” This means only born again Christians will go in the rapture.

But there are many who call themselves Christian who are not born again. These people have never made an informed decision to accept the pardon Jesus provided for their sins. They think they’re saved because they were baptized as an infant or because they belong to a certain denomination, or because they “try to live a good life”. They don’t accept the deity of Jesus, the existence of Hell, or the doctrine of salvation by grace alone. Some call these people “Christians-in-name-only” to distinguish them from “real Christians” but the truth is they’re not Christians at all.

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