Examples of still born Christians can be easily observed. These are the people who come forward at a church service or evangelistic campaign. They repeat a prayer and are declared as saved. But their spiritual lives never go beyond that point. No actual change takes place and they bear no fruit. If someone “comes to Jesus” but there is absolutely no change afterward, that person’s conversion must be questioned. It is impossible for the Holy Spirit to enter into the life of an individual and no change occur. There are far too many people who claim to know Jesus but their lives do not reflect such knowledge.
According to the Lord, there will be people who falsely claim to belong to Christ (Matthew 13:24-30). I know this is true…but I do not have to like it.
My heart’s desire is that these still born Christians become true believers. I want them to know the joy of knowing and walking with Christ. Furthermore, I know the Lord desires the same even more than I do. God’s people must handle these deceived individuals carefully and lovingly.
Firstly, those who know Christ must always be on guard to live in submission to Christ. Real believers must be students of Scripture; always asking the Lord what needs to be changed in their own lives. When the Lord reveals sin in our lives, we need to repent quickly. Those who truly have received eternal life can differentiate themselves from false believers by walking closely with the Lord.
Second, the Church must be willing to evaluate people who say they know Jesus by both their testimony and their lives. If a person in our church claims to have received eternal life through anyone else but Jesus Christ, we would lovingly tell that person that they are not saved. Similarly, if no fruit is born in the life of someone claiming to be a believer, the Church should be just as loving and challenge that person to check as whether or not he or she is in the faith. It is especially vital to evaluate those who desire to take on positions of leadership within the Church.
Lastly, the Church should respond to false believers by continuing to teach truth. I personally desire that unbelievers attend my church body. Should such a one attend regularly, the best thing for them is a steady diet of truth from God’s word. Prayer goes hand-in hand with teaching truth. Someone who mistakenly thinks they are a believer in Jesus suffers from deception. The best antidote for deception is God’s word given patiently and lovingly.
- Pastor Randy