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I often feel that I have only become a Christian because everyone else around me is. Is this normal?
Thank you for your honest spiritual enquiry about being a Christian. It is important to note that Christianity is both a personal individual relationship with God but at the same time it is a corporate relationship with God's people.
We cannot be a Christian unless we personally accept the death of Jesus on the cross for our sins and turn from them to follow him. Jesus' death is spoken of in the New Testament as a 'ransom' for us (1 Timothy 2:6). A slave could be set free if someone paid their owner a 'ransom' price. Jesus paid this ransom price by dying on the cross to set us free from slavery to sin and death. We will never get out of this slavery by ourselves and if we die unsaved we will face the judgement of God without excuse or hope. However, we can claim the ransom price paid for us by putting our trust in Jesus and his death on our behalf. It is vitally important that you examine your own relationship with God in this light.
If you have never sincerely asked God to forgive your sin through Jesus then it is unlikely that you are genuinely a Christian at all. People are either Christians because they put their trust in Jesus, or they are not Christians because they do not believe in him. You can see this in passages like John 3:16-18:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes on Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God." [emphasis added]
To believe is not simply to accept the death and resurrection of Jesus as fact, but to commit your life to them by taking a stand for him. Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. (Romans 10:9)
Often people can enjoy being around God's people because they are relatively good people and behave in some ways like Jesus, but the danger is that even such people may not actually know Jesus for themselves.
When I first went to Church I enjoyed being around Christian people and called them my friends. But I soon realised that they had something different to me. We sang the same songs but they sang it with passion and joy being filled with the Holy Spirit while I did not. This led me to examine myself and realise that I was not right with God. Then I put my trust in Jesus as my personal Saviour who died for me on the cross and rose again to be my Lord. I felt assured of having peace with God and my sins forgiven, and I began to experience the Holy Spirit at work in me.
There is nothing wrong with being influenced towards faith by other Christians. The way we come to know about Jesus is because other people introduce us to him.
"Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord will be saved." How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without preaching? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:13-15)
This passage reminds us that we only know anything about Jesus because our friends have told us about him. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a Christian because someone whom we admire is a Christian. The main thing to check is if you actually have committed your life personally to follow Christ.
Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith, prove your own selves. Do you not know your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are reprobates? (2 Corinthians 13:5)
If you have not committed your life to Christ, then we encourage you to do so. Also can we encourage you to discuss these delicate issues with the people you know to be Christians. They should want to support and encourage you through this dilemma.
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church
Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question
*All Scripture references are taken From The New King James Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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