The late evangelist Billy Sunday was right: Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a car! While church membership and attending church weekly are vital for spiritual growth, these do not make us Christian. According to the Bible, a true Christian is one who has repented of sin and been born again through faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:3). For Armand Loumbangoye, shop manager of God’s Army in Bree Street, Cape Town, it was this reality that brought him to salvation.
Raised in a religious home, Armand lived a good life and attended church regularly. But right up until adulthood he had no relationship with God. “I grew up going to church week in and week out, but it had no impact on my life. I was disinterested in the things of God.”
But this changed when Armand came to Cape Town. He met some born-again Christian students who invited him to church.
“Hearing the gospel, I became convicted of my sinful heart. If the Bible was true and hell was real, then I was in great trouble!” Plagued by his guilt before God, Armand visited a Christian friend. “I told her that I was concerned about where I would spend eternity. She explained the gospel to me and told me that I needed to place my faith in Jesus.” They knelt down together in prayer before God, and Armand asked Christ to save him and wash away his sin. It was a glorious moment! “I felt as if the angels in heaven were rejoicing over me, and I was assured that God had forgiven me of all of my sin. I was now a child of God!”
That was five years ago, and today Armand’s life is an example to everyone of what it means to be a real Christian. His salvation is not based on his religious upbringing, church atten-dance, good works, or any past spiritual experience. It is based on God’s promise of forgiveness through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. This forgiveness is avail-able to you and to me and to anyone who will hear the word of God, repent of sin, and believe in Christ. In the Bible, Jesus says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24). If you are unsaved, or uncertain of your salvation, place your faith in Jesus and receive Him into your life today.