How Christian Are You?

ChristiannametageThe Washington Times released a quiz for all who might wonder, “How Christian Are You?”  A test follows with trivia-type Bible questions. The outcome is probably not as relevant as its reflection to the larger issue: There are now levels of Christianity.  The Barna Group conducted a similar study called: “How Christian are Christians?”  It measures attitude/actions of Jesus vs. modern, self-proclaimed Believers.

These are but a few coinciding studies as the definitions of Christianity morphs from the 2000 yr. old base standard into a convoluted mix of 21st century subjectivism.  This is where absolutes are non-existent and truth is relative.  “How Christian Are You?” fits the narrative of the End Time, as if there could be levels of holiness or godliness.  The disconcerting thing is that people are comfortable with their perceived level of devotion.  They believe the lie that a little bit of Jesus makes them a Christian and will garnish them access to eternal life.

The Apostles and prophets would have told us that there are no levels of Christianity.  They believed and preached that there is just One Way.  Paul wrote:  Eph. 4:5 “One Lord, one faith, one baptism,”  Paul was an exclusivist.  By today’s standards, Paul the Apostle, who wrote 13 books of the New Testament and who converted Asia Minor, would have been called narrow-minded and legalistic.  He proclaimed that anyone who taught any other doctrine than that of Jesus’ name baptism and the essentiality of the Holy Ghost was accursed.  Paul preached against sin and he called it out by name.  There were no “levels” in his message.  There were no partial participants.  It was total commitment or lost. It was light or darkness. His message was the inspired Word of God which taught absolutism not relativism.

The conclusion of the matter is for us to be who we claim to be without wavering or contradiction.  We are Jesus Followers and Bible Believers.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole


Age, that undefeated foe, has reared its head more often than any other enemy known to our bodies.  Its inescapable grasp has taken down the brightest of minds; crippled the most amenable feet; halted the progress of a million ambitions.  The conclusion of all science, research, and medical advancements has failed to conquer it.  The collective doctors of the world have produced only a handful of coping mechanisms to deal with the issue they cannot reverse.

There is no pause button to Time.  Prayer won’t remove the blot that it leaves upon our days.  Even the holy scriptures give no way out as it regards generations of men and women, coming and going; their birth and inevitable death.  In fact, the Bible says that there is an appointment coming to everyone who lives:  It is appointed unto man once to die. Heb. 9:27

The young stare Age in the face without regard of its power, but in time, Age will brand itself upon their face.  Youth decry Time’s slow movement while the old revile its speedy pace.  The young think that the aged cannot understand them and all their dilemmas, not knowing that Time has offered Wisdom and Understanding beyond the telling.  The cumulative years say, “How much trouble we could have avoided had we known then what time has taught us now.”  Yet the young cannot hear it because though Age diminishes hearing, some things cannot be heard with youthful ears.

The fact remains that we all have a designated amount of time to live and what we do with that time is perhaps the most important decision we will ever make.

Time is the greatest commodity.

Time is worth more than all the world’s treasures.

It is the currency of a man’s life spent at his will, often with regardless abandon.

It cannot be harnessed or corralled. It cannot be sped up or slowed down.  It is just that amount that must be managed.

Whatever we do with such a thing cannot be undone or redone.  Our days will come and go whether we offer our input or not.   Hours, days, and weeks tick by irrespective of our intentions.  Only our actions; our doing will matter.  For this reason we must be found busy doing the Father’s business.  We must keep teaching, praying, and witnessing.  Our lives are racing by therefore we must redeem the time because the days are evil.

David understood this great truth when he wrote:  Psalm 39:4 “LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.”  Psalm 39:5 “Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity.” Acts 13:36  “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:”  He served and then passed away.  He worked and spent his time “doing” and then the end came.  It was fast and certain.  It was irreversible and predictable.  Thus he said, Psalm 102:11 “My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass.”

We are racing the clock both of this world and in our individual lives.  We cannot afford to spend our days flippantly or without purpose.  Our moments cannot be recaptured and for that we must seek to live prudent and wise.  Upon seeing the condition of this world, with prophecies unfolding before us, I am pressed to declare these words:  Rev. 1:3 “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”


Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

“Come as you are”


A recent church sign read, “Come as you are.”  Without being antagonistic, something struck me as inconsistent with the scripture.  When God called out to Moses in a burning bush, Moses could not come as he was, for God told him to take off his shoes, “for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” God would not allow the priests to enter the holy place in their normal apparel, nor did He condone the children of Israel acting as the heathen nations.  David wrote, Psalm 4:3  “But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself” which meant that God desired a change of mind and actions of those whom He had called.

To be fair, “Come as you are” can be taken as an invitation to simply come to worship without the pressure of being perfect.  Of this I am in favor.  There are no prerequisites to come to God. People need to know that they can come to the service and seek God regardless of their appearance or background.

Yet in these later times “Come as you are” actually means, “you don’t have to change anything about yourself to serve God.”  This is not congruent with the holy writ as Paul said that we would become a new creature; that old things would pass away and a new life would begin.  That was the whole point of conversion.  Even Jesus said, “When thou art converted, strengthen the brethren.”

Changing from an old nature into the image of Jesus Christ was the purpose of the New Birth experience. Christianity was never meant to imply “come as you are” without the idea that God would require steps of transformation.  He wants us to come, but His desire is for us to change into the image of His Son, Romans 8:29.  So when we come to Him, we must know that the place where we stand is Holy Ground and it might require us to “take off our shoes.”

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Benefit of the Day

In his 7 minute address that now graces the halls of history, Abraham Lincoln said, “the world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it will never forget what they did here.”  Two centuries have come and gone and few can remember what was said, but we do know that God blessed our country and gave us this liberty.  We remember the actions of men and women who fought to free themselves from the tyrant of taxation and a burdensome monarchy.  They came for religious freedom, so that a government or some ruling class would not be able to control their pursuit of worship and offerings unto the Lord. While we are watching the erosion of these long held victories, we must remember that this land is still the greatest country in the world. We still have the freedom to worship and lift our voice to speak His name:  Jesus.


It was the Lord Who called out the benefit of the Day.  He said, “work while it is day, the night cometh when no man can work.”  So though there is a spiritual battle for the soul of this nation, and though there are principalities that are waging war against both God and the family, the fact remains that it is yet Day and we can still work.  Our city is filled with hungry souls; lost in the mire of sin.  Our neighborhoods are groping in darkness searching for something that will satisfy. The Day yet remains!


I pray that we will not sink into a silent state; mourning the loss of purity and decency.  I pray that we will find the scripture to be true:  “As sin abounds, grace will much more abound.”

The climate of our culture only gives us a clearer voice to speak the praises of Him Who hath called us out of darkness into this marvelous Light.  We are still America and we still have a right to witness of the goodness of the Lord.


Pastor Jeffrey Harpole