Did you know 89% of American adults profess belief in God?  That number is down from the past 93% back in 2007, but it still shows how many adults in our country believe there is a higher power.

There’s an issue with this, though.  How does 89% of American adults claim to be believers in God and our country be in the moral condition it’s in?

Look at the things our current culture celebrates as acceptable – the murder of innocent babies, premarital sex, drug use, drunkenness, sexual immorality, lying, stealing, laziness, etc.

If the majority of our adults are believers in Almighty God, how does our country get to where it is right now morally?

The answer really isn’t as complicated as it may seem.  In reality there is a major difference between belief and saving faith.  See believing in God doesn’t make you a saved Christian, regardless of what other pastors or teachers may have told you.  How can I say that?  I don’t just state that as an opinion of mine, but state it as fact and truth from the Word of God..

James 2:19 (AMP) says, “You believe that God is one; you do well [to believe that]. The demons also believe [that], and shudder and bristle [in awe-filled terror—they have seen His wrath]!”

Look at what James is saying to us here.  Believing in God is great, but look who else also believes – the demons and Satan..  They believe and they shudder in fear.

So, does just believing in God make you a Christian? No, because neither Satan nor any of his demons will be in Heaven.

Believing there’s a higher power doesn’t make you a Christian.  That’s how our country can be as morally bankrupt as it is right now while 89% of adults claim to “believe in God.”

So what makes a person’s belief true, saving faith?  Well, the book of 1 John is a great place for a person to examine themselves.  There are questions we can ask ourselves from the words of John to examine our faith. Remember, though, nobody’s life will display all of these all the time, but they should show consistent trend that defines a believer’s lives as they grow.

  1. Do you enjoy having fellowship with Christ and His redeemed people? (1 John 1:3)
  2. Would people say you walk in the light, or walk in the darkness? (1 John 1:6-7)
  3. Do you admit and confess your sin? (1 John 1:8)
  4. Are you obedient to God’s Word? (1 John 2:3-5)
  5. Does your life indicate you love God rather than the world? (1 John 2:15)
  6. Is your life characterized by “doing what is right”? (1 John 2:29)
  7. Do you seek to maintain a pure life? (1 John 3:3)
  8. Do you see a decreasing pattern of sin in your life? (1 John 3:5-6) [Note: this refers to not continuing in sin as a way of life, not a total absence of sin.]
  9. Do you demonstrate love for other Christians? (1 John 3:14)
  10. Do you “walk the walk,” versus just “talking the talk”? (1 John 3:18-19)
  11. Do you maintain a clear conscience? (1 John 3:21)
  12. Do you experience victory in your Christian walk? (1 John 5:4)

If you can truthfully answer “Yes” to these questions (or a majority of them, and are working on the others), then your life is bearing fruit of true salvation.  Jesus said that it’s by our fruit that we’re known as His disciples.

Matthew 7:20 (ESV)  “Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”

Fruitless branches—professing believers who do not display the fruit of the Spirit are cut off and thrown into the fire.  That should be a humbling and horrifying truth to believers everywhere.  Especially those who make up that 89% of American believers who happen to be ok with the moral condition of our country.  Those who claim to believe in God, but support some of the things I listed above.

Listen to me, genuine faith doesn’t just only believe in God (remember, the demons themselves do that), but genuine faith leads to open confession of sin and obedience to Jesus’ commands.  Remember, we are saved by grace through faith, not by our works, but it’s our works that display the reality of our salvation.

If 89% of American adults were truly converted and repentant, there’s no way our country would be in the moral condition it’s in currently.  So, when a person tells you they “believe in God” don’t leave it at that.  Press in and share the Gospel..

Do you really believe?