The high calling to follow Christ is only open during this time period. It is a very special invitation from God to become a part of Jesus’ bride or church class. “Many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) If faithful to their call, God will resurrect them with the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). They will live and rule with Jesus in heaven. God will not reward people (Revelation 2:10) with this high position unless they are qualified. Qualification comes through obedience. (Hebrews 5:8)
How does Jesus instruct Christians to live? Our Lord said, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23 (CSB) Do we see people denying their own wills and bearing hardship to follow Jesus?
Romans 12:2 (NLT), “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you…” True Christians behave and think very differently from the world. By studying, praying, and applying these truths to our lives, the holy spirit transforms Christians into Christ-like characters. We are not simply “good” people. The whole focus of our lives is doing God’s will and serving Him.
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified (made holy),” 1 Thessalonians 4:3. A Christian is not part of this world, we are set apart or sanctified to serve God.
How does Jesus feel about those who say they are His followers but who are not obeying His will? He does not recognize them as Christians; they part of the world. They may be trying to live righteously, and that is a good first step. It is always better to be loving, just, and wise. Please note: they are not lost.
God provides salvation for the world, too! All mankind will be resurrected in Christ’s kingdom. “…this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel (and the whole world through Israel) on that day,” says the LORD. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the LORD.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the LORD. “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” Jeremiah 31:33,34 (NLT).
For a more detailed study about how to be a Christian, please download the free PDF: "Why Are You a Christian?"