Although it was about ten years after the Church had come into existence before the name “Christians” was given to the followers of Christ, the name must have been in God’s divine plan, for the title has stood the test of time. What a tremendous honor to be named after the anointed Son of God! How much more important, however, is it to be a Christian rather than to just be called one!
The lives of some who are called Christians leave something to be desired from the standpoint of sound scriptural doctrine. Fair weather believers, or cotton candy Christians, are content only with mountaintop experiences and have problems with valley experiences, testing, and trials. The lazy professors—cholesterol Christians—are always taking in God’s Word but are not diligent in meeting its requirements. Fence-straddling worldlings are country-club Christians.
Genuine, diligent Christians are sold out completely to Christ and are willing to endure cross-bearing and self-denial to exemplify Him. These are consecrated Christians, the kind of saints who were in the church at Antioch where the title “Christians” was first applied to the followers of Christ.
The Christians of Antioch appropriately demonstrated Christlike qualities in their lifestyle: teaching, worship, direction by the Holy Spirit, benevolence, and organization. What wonderful balance! How fitting that those who were first named after Christ would bear the name with such dignity!
Hopefully, all who are called Christians will realize the importance of exemplifying these Christlike characteristics in their lives so the name above every name will be exalted to its rightful place. Living a Christlike lifestyle ensures that we will meet Christ at His return, which is the hope of every believer.