Who is a Christian?   2 comments

Lukewarm Christian

Lukewarm Christian

The church is sick because of pseudo-Christians. I felt very concerned and always wanted to know why many Christians wander away from the truth and follow myths.

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” 2 Tim 4:3

If you don’t know that we are living in the time Paul is talking about, just look at TBN and God Tv channel. There’re many false teachers and many who follow what they say. Big churches or big congregation does not necessarily mean that God’s blessing is pouring out on them. It can just be a deception brought by the deceiver, the father of lies.

I read a good book by Alfred Kuen regarding the Church history. I read several articles written by pious Christians demonstrating their sad hearts for the lack of maturity in Christ amidst God’s people. The heart of many pastors, teachers and evangelists weep with the lack of God’s knowledge amongst God’s people. Many talk about the need for revival, many books have been written to try to encourage Christians and God speaks through sermons at least 50 times a year to His church.

I found out that there are 4 categories of people in churches:

1. Those who are not Christians.

These are those who are not born again and know they are not Christians. They are these people whom Christians should bring the gospel to.

Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents.They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.” Romans 1:28

2. Those who think or profess to be Christians.

Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.” Tit 1:16

They are pseudo-Christians. Fake conversions like Simon the magician (Acts 8:20). They can be believers of the bible but are not Christians. Sadly, that means that our churches need to be evangelised from the inside. It’s not because they came to the altar and said a “sinners prayer” that they became a Christian. Evidence of being a Christian is seen by the fruits. You do not really see the difference between them and non-Christians. They can be in the church for years and still be fruitless. They have a fictitious Christ in mind and are not yet Christians. A non-christian usually demonstrates quicker genuine repentance than those who profess to be Christians. It is always more difficult to wake up someone who is pretending to sleep than one who actually does.

These are their characteristics:

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Gal 5:19

It is abnormal to have a hot-cold Christian – lukewarm the bible calls it. They are spitted out for ice and fire cannot coexist in harmony.

Who is to be blamed for the state of the church?

Let us first exclude God. Many pray and ask God to send revival. In my opinion, revival in the church is simply when Christians do what the bible says. Born again Christians have life and don’t need to be revived unless they never had Life.

One reason could be that the devil has his agents called false teachers and false prophets. There have been many at Paul’s time and there are many around us. They do bring confusions and lies. But God’s sheep won’t follow a stranger’s voice. It’s those who don’t really know Jesus who will be trapped.

I have been thinking repeatedly about the church’s state. My conclusion is that many church goers don’t really know Jesus. If they knew Jesus their life would not be their own and the same. Like Moses their faces would have changed when contemplating the beauty and radiance of the Son of God. The Epistle to the Hebrews talks about hearts which have been hardened, lack of perseverance, lack of faith, negligence and about passivity. It does not happen in a twinkling of an eye for a heart to become passive and hardened. With time the heart hardens itself by sin’s deceitfulness. It’s when you allow the statu quo and refuse changes.

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. As has just been said: ‘Today, if you hear his voice,do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.’ Hebrews 3:13

What does it mean to have a hardened heart? It’s when a pseudo-Christian read all the verses I mentioned above and is inert to them. He does not feel this urge to repent now! The bible says TODAY is the day to repent. This pseudo-Christian listened to the gospel many times but is still the same. For years he has been sitting in the church listening to sermons and has not grown. This is tragic. One cannot meet with the Jesus of the bible and still be the same.

When someone is cold he knows he is far from God and it is often easier to bring the gospel to that person. This person is like a dry land which will absorb water and be receptive to the gospel. This is why many hindus or muslims converts have a faith stronger than those who grew up in the church. They met with the real Jesus and not a Jesus deformed by false teachers or mercenaries. When you have always been eating in the green pastures, you think it’s greener elsewhere. But those who starved know how better fed they are now with the Good Shepherd. Like the Israelites these fake Christians murmur when eating manna. God will also give meat and still the pseudo-Christians will find everything wrong. They argue about stupid things and don’t have a Christ-like character.

When someone is lukewarm, he knows he is not cold but think he is hot and knows everything about Christianity. He is arrogant and rebellious.

3. Those who were Christians

These people knew God and received the Holy Spirit. But they wandered away, denied Christ by their life and abandoned the faith. This is called apostasy. For them there is no way to be granted repentance again because they denied and trampled on the Son of God underfoot. Yeah they were once sanctified by the blood, they received the Holy Spirit but they turned away and spit on the grace of God. They can only await judgement for they were in the truth but turned away. No one or anything can remove us from God’s hand but if we want to abandon Christ, He won’t force us to remain with Him. Branches which no longer remain in Him wither, no longer bear fruits, are cut off from the Vine and are thrown away (John 15).

How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

If we endure hardship,we will reign with him.If we deny him, he will deny us.” 2 Tim 2:12

For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.” Hebrews 6:4

Some of those who knew Christ left the church to return to a worse life. But there’re still some of these branches cut off from the Vine (John 15, Hebrews 6:8) in the church. Their decomposing  body is infectious and makes the church sick.

These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity – for ‘people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.’ If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: ‘A dog returns to its vomit,’and, ‘A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.’” 2 Pet 2:17

They are wolves in sheep clothing. It’s subtle. They are often these false teachers and false prophets which arise among us. They are like pharisees and seem  to be very spiritual. The can have degree in theology, be televangelists and even perform miracles.  Be careful about this category who want to lead Christians astray with them. They are already lost and want to drag the maximum down with them.

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather round them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Tim 4:3

Those who follow them are usually those who never really met with the Jesus of the bible. They want to hear things pleasing to their ears. Talk about grace, money and a loving God but don’t talk about Judgement, God’s wrath, surrender, hell, sin and holiness – you’ll only get their disapproval. They will call you legalistic and judgmental. God is patient with sinners because He wants them to repent but that does not mean He tolerates sin. God can get angry even if He is slow to anger. When He did, think about the wrath He poured out on Sodom and Gomorrah.

4. Those who are actually Christians.

We know who they are and there’s too much to say about them. They are the good soil. It’s those who love Him and keep his teachings.

Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” John 14:23

It’s those who pass by you and leave you impregnated by their life.

It’s those who bear the fruit of the Spirit and have this fragrance of Christ.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control.” Gal 5:22

They are those who remain in the Vine(John 15) and want to live up to the standard Christ has set. They run towards perfection and don’t aim any less. They want to become like their Master (2 Cor 3:18) in love, purity and attitude(Mat 5:48, 1 Pet 1:15). They have surrendered their life to Christ and they really know Jesus. For them Christ is their life and nothing on earth has more value than Him.

  • Our responsibility

The #2 and #3 categories are those handicapping the church. The second category urgently needs to repent and the third corrupts the church members with its sins.

The bible talks about grace and God’s love. We cannot fully grasp that God’s grace is “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son” if we don’t understand this part “so that whosoever believes in Him shall not PERISH?“. How can you understand the richness of God’s grace if you never acknowledged you were a sinner? It’s because of sin and hell that grace and love manifested. A Christian needs to understand the gravity of his sins to understand the necessity of grace.

Many church leaders are too tolerant and lower the standards Christ has set. Jesus is God and He could not set a low standard for His disciples. His standard is perfection and it’s not going to be lowered. How can fornication, adultery, homosexuality, greed for money and false teachings be tolerated in our churches? It’s better to be in a small church which has genuine Christians than in a mega-church which resembles a den of robbers. Do you think Jesus finds pleasure to be in a church packed with immoral people who profess to be His disciples? My house will be called a house of prayer He said and don’t find it weird if you see the Lord overturning tables.

Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘“My house will be called a house of prayer,”but you are making it “a den of robbers.” Mat 21:12

If you have in mind the inoffensive baby Jesus of Bethlehem you’ve not yet met with the Lion of Judah.

These leaders who don’t uphold God’s standards or remain silent when sin is not being dealt with, will also have to give an account to God.

Christians leaders should be the first to promote biblical values and uphold them. Woe to those who preach a diluted Gospel to avoid offending sinners. The gospel of salvation is free but not a cheap one. Many of Jesus disciples abandoned Him because they were offended (John 6:66) so don’t be surprised if people reject you also.  But remember there are still some who confess like Peter ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Preach the Gospel of Jesus as it is, nothing more, nothing less. The Gospel is complete and is all powerful to change one’s life as it is.

How many preachers exalt Jesus as God in their sermons? When you know Jesus is God, the way you pray and adore Him is different from those who know Him just as a sacrifice for sins. Do you really know Jesus? Repent now if you have a doubt that you’re saved. If you believe in Jesus and know Him you don’t fear to die. I honestly don’t fear to die today because I know I have eternal life and know in whom I have believed.

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:12

Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day“. 2 Tim 1:12

One day Jesus asked his disciples:  ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’

They replied “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’

Jesus replied:‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?

If Jesus asked you today: But what about you, __yourname__’ . ‘Who do you say I am?’

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.” 2 Cor 13:5

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Posted January 6, 2013 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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2 responses to “Who is a Christian?

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  1. YES! This is wonderful and so true. Thank you.

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