confronted by someone who says they are a Christian but not a practicing
Christian it really makes me cringe. I don’t know where that phrase first came
after studying the Bible for years my first thoughts go to what Jesus taught
about those who think their saved.
“Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he
answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”
Matthew 25:11. And also
“Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and
drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I
tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of
iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see
Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and
you yourselves thrust out.” Luke
I recently received
an email from a lady,who
is a fairly new believer,who
had a complaint against a friend of hers. She’s known this friend for 30 years.
When this lady told her friend that she had become a born again believer in
Christ, the friend told her that she, too, was a Christian. For 30 years they
had known each other and had enjoyed a close relationship, butthe
friend had never brought up Jesus Christ in conversation.
If we are truly born
again, Jesus is our best friend and we love Him more than anything. Is there any
chance we would live thirty years as a follower of Jesus Christ and never
mention Him to others? If we are truly living the Christian’s experience, the
lost will take notice of that fact. That’s our opportunity to discuss the Gospel
of Jesus Christ with them, unless we are no longer a practicing Christian.
If someone who at one
time considered themselves a Christian but no longer has a desire to practice
Christianity (live a Christ centered life) then they will have no desire to
promote the truth of God’s word, and so the question arises are they really born
again? Are they following Jesus’ commands?
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is
wise.” Proverbs 11:30.
Certainly if anyone makes the claim “I’m not a practicing Christian” they aren’t
standing up for Jesus Christ by winning souls.
When someone admits
to no longer being “a practicing Christian” it tells me they are much more
concerned with the world and with all of its tentacles than with Christ. This
concern for the worldly pleasureswill
result in a thorough neglect of the truth of God’s word. They will quickly
revert back to their old way of life. They want little or nothing to do with
other believers. This, in itself, is quite telling. Think about it, just where
is Jesus in their heart? And,of
their Bibles becomes non-existent.
When Christians stop
associating with likeminded brethren and become embroiled in worldly affairs and
with worldly folks who have no use for God and certainly no regard for His
word, they will begin to renounce Christianity, and the following mantra will
become their phrase of choice “I’m not a practicing Christian”. It’s offensive
and discouraging to be confronted by someone making that statement. You’re
either a Christian or you’re not. “They
profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and
disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”
Recently I came
across an old friend from high school and began an email correspondence with
this person. I knew my friend had attended a Christian elementary school until
entering high school. We talked about our families and the old days in school.
Before long, my emails began to include Jesus and what He has done in my life.
As I broached the subject of Christ with my friend, I also began sending this
person my commentaries. Almost immediately I was asked to discontinue our email
exchange. Why? Because the views I now hold arequite
different than those I held as a senior in high school, some forty years ago. I
had changed and this old friend had become worldlier. The last email I received
from this person held almost exclusively these words, “I’m no longer a
practicing Christian, and I do not agree with your conservative stance on
was then asked not to email again. “He shall
die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.”
I may get a lot of
email on this subject and that’s fine, but personally I see a huge gulf between
a Christian, that is a true believer and follower of Jesus Christ,and
a person who claims “I’m no longer a practicing Christian”. That gulf may very
well span the same distance as Heaven and Hell. The chasm between these two
concepts of being someone who is devoted to Jesus Christ and someone who
declines to have an association with Jesus may very well span eternity.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
John 14:15. Can anyone
honestly love Jesus without keeping His commandments?
“They went out from us, but they were not of
us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but
they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
1 John 2:19.
To me the life of a
Christian is not just something we practice but it’s a new way of life we’ve
chosen to embark on. We live our new life in Christ daily; there are 24 hours in
a day and 7 days in a week,and
we are to be an active follower of Jesus Christ in every waking moment.
Believers don’t turn on and off their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as the
hour dictates. We belong to Him. He owns us. He gives us our marching orders and
we follow His commands. Believers can’t walk away from everything Jesus teaches
and still claim to be a born again Christian; it’s an obvious contradiction
which has lead to open apostasy. (Here come
the emails). Again, the question must be broached, was that person
really ever born again?
I’m not trying to be
judgmental with these observations. I am not God and I can’t see into a person’s
heart, that’s God’s domain and His alone. Yet He tells us to look to a person
for the fruit that they produce to determine their relationship with Him.
“Either make the tree good, and his fruit good;
or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by
his fruit.” Matthew 12:33.
Jesus made this statement while speaking to the Pharisees about blasphemy of the
Holy Spirit. In God’s view there is no in between. Rejecting the message given
us by the Holy Spirit is the only sin that will not be forgiven, either in this
life or the one to come. Aren’t those who are no longer practicing Christians
rejecting the message?
True born again
followers of Christ no longer want to have anything to do with that old sinful
life. We are filled with remorse each time we stumble and take a step back. Our
lives as Christians are focused on our first love, our most precious love, Jesus
is second to our Lord and Savior. Jesus wants to be where we know He should be
in our lives – at the highest rung on the ladder of our lives. The reason the
Bible warns us so vividly against apostasy and false prophets is because true
conversion can only be measured by visible fruit.
“Ye shall know them by their fruits...”
Matthew 7:16a. Non-practicing
Christians will find it virtually impossible to bear
fruit for the Kingdom of God because they aren’t interested in doing so.
They want their cake and to eat it too (they want to live like the world but
inherit Christ’s promises).
Those who make the
claim “I’m no longer a practicing Christian” wish to remain neutral. They are
fence setters. From afarthey
see the path of least resistance and are able to change their colors like a
as to not be detected as a rival bywhomever
they see approaching. To be truly born again is not an easy road. Persecution
can and will come into the lives of all believers, even from one’s own family
and friends, and this, my brethren, can be daunting. But there is no neutral
ground when it comes to following Jesus. “He
that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth
abroad.” Matthew 12:30.
Jesus Himself tells all those who would make such a statement as “I’m no
longer a practicing Christian” they are in big trouble.
Therefore one must weigh the cost to see whether or not following
Jesus is worth the final prize.
Folks such as those
who claim this status of “I’m a Christian but I don’t really want to live my
life like you other Christians” can be easily manipulated by God’s adversary.
They grow in their acceptance of the worldly influence and before long they can
no longer see truth. They become adverse and blinded to the truth. What was once
preached to them at church is foolishness, and now they put their faith and
trust in what is preached to them from their
television sets. Blindness to God’s truth turns the
world upside down. Black is white, up is down, right is wrong, good is evil,
love is hate, and on it goes.
I am a firm believer
that once a person is born again, born from above, born from God, that that
person is forever in God’s hands. It’s God’s responsibility to keep us that way.
I can almost hear the computers being fired up and readied to bombard me with an
onslaught of emails refuting my claim. Guess what? God’s declares it so. Of
course I must agree with God. “And grieve
not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
Ephesians 4:30. Paul
tells us that those who are born from above, born from God, have the Holy Spirit
of God sealed within them unto the day of redemption. That’s God claim, His
promise. Who am I do argue the point?
There’s an old movie
that includes the following line “It’s not my fault, I only read it”. Those who
were listening to him read from that particular news story tried to blame this
guy for the bad news he continually read to them. In my case, though, it’s only
good news; you can’t lose your salvation if you are truly born again, period.
Here’s the rub, those who were once professing Christians but who now recite the
statement “I’m no longer a practicing Christian” may not have the Holy Spirit
sealed within them, thus they may be in for quite the surprise as they reach
their eternal destination.
There are many
people, especially here in America, who claim the title of “Christian”, yet
haven’t a clue asto
what that title encompasses, which in turn makes it easy to claim a position of
non-practicing Christian. They haveno
comprehension of what it means to live a life devoted to Christ therefore they
have no idea the consequences of that statement and how it puts them at odds
with the Savior of the world. “But the fruit
of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
Galatians 5:22, 23. These nine
characteristics will become evident in the life of a true believer in Christ.
How can anyone take
the position “I’m no longer a practicing Christian” when they know the truth?
Perhaps they never really believed and what they heard about Jesus was robbed
from them at some point by Satan. Take a look at the explanation Jesus gives His
disciples when askedabout
the parable of the sower. “Now the parable
is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear;
then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they
should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear,
receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe,
and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they,
which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and
pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.”
Luke 8:5-14. In this parable Jesus is
speaking about those who would make the following statement “I’m no longer a
practicing Christian”. They no longer hold on to the hope and joy of knowing who
Jesus really is.
“These things have I spoken
unto you, that ye should not be offended.”
John 16:1. Offended in the Greek is “skandalizō”.
The complete meaning behind the rendering of this word is: To put a stumbling
block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall,
metaphorically to offend, to entice to sin, to cause a person to begin to
distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey, to cause to fall away.
Jesus taught all things to His disciples and to us so that we “should
not be offended”,fall
I’m continually being
bashed about by my brethren for my biblical stance on abortion, homosexuality,
same sex marriage and the fact that I believe Obama is the worst and most
offensive Muslim to invade the U.S. in
the last 233 years. Those who make the statement “I’m no longer a practicing
Christian” will never feel the heat of persecution and maybe that’s why they
continue to recite that statement. Perhaps it just got too
hot in the kitchen. Those who make that offensive statement are most certainly
at odds with the Creator of the universe.
God bless you all,
All scripture is from the KJV