True Believers And Make Believers :: By Grant Phillips

True Believers And Make Believers

The title of this article is a phrase I borrowed from Dr. J. Vernon McGee. With this phrase in mind, true believers and make believers, I would like to ask a few questions.

Is it possible for a true Christian to:

  • Not believe in the virgin birth of Jesus? (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27)
  • Not believe in Jesus’ physical death on the cross? (Philippians 2:8)
  • Not believe in Jesus’ physical resurrection from the grave? (John 20:27-29)
  • Not believe that Jesus is God? (John 1:1; 14:9)
  • Not believe that salvation is by grace through faith plus nothing? (Ephesians 2:8-9)
  • Not believe that Jesus is the only way to be saved? (John 14:6)

The response to every question is an emphatic “No, it is not possible.” Yet, the church pews and even the pulpits are filled with those who claim to be true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, but do not believe in the virgin birth, Christ’s physical death on the cross, Christ’s physical resurrection, that Jesus is God, salvation by grace alone, and that Jesus is the only way to the Father.

Those who are guilty of this false belief are “make believers,” and not “true believers.” If I may be even clearer, they do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. They are not saved. They are no better than the Gnostics that plagued the churches in the first century and even today.

I would like to quote the following from Dr. McGee’s book, 1 John (page 19).

“After the death of Paul, about A.D. 67, a heresy arose in the church called Gnosticism. Gnosticism is the opposite of agnosticism. Agnosticism holds that the reality of God is unknown and probably unknowable. There are many agnostics in our colleges and universities, as you know. Charles Spurgeon used to say that agnostic is but the Greek word for the Latin ignoramus. The agnostic says, “I do not know.” The Gnostic says, “I do know.” The Gnostics were a group which came into the church claiming to have a superior knowledge which simple Christians did not have. They considered themselves super-duper saints, knowing more than anyone else knew.

The Gnostics came up with quite a few novel ideas, which I have dealt with in more detail in the Introduction. One of their heretical teachings was that Jesus was merely a man when He was born. He was just like any other human being at the time of His birth, but at His baptism, the Christ came upon him, and when He was hanging on the Cross, the Christ left Him. John refutes this teaching in no uncertain terms when he said in his gospel record, “The Word was born flesh.” And here in his first epistle, he emphatically declares that after Jesus came back from the dead, He was still a human being. In essence John says, “We handled Him – He was still flesh and bones.” You see, John is not talking about a theory. He is talking about Someone he heard, he saw, and he handled.”

Gnosticism, a basic philosophy of the Roman Empire, believes that the flesh is basically evil and the spirit is good. Therefore, whatever is done in the flesh does not matter. The separation of the flesh and the spirit is such that the flesh can be indulged and the spirit is still okay.

Sadly, this false teaching is alive and well within the churches today. In other words, the world has come into the church, instead of the church going out into the world with the true Gospel.

I have often wondered if the Rapture of the true Church will happen on the first day of the week, Sunday. If it does, I honestly believe that there will be many churches with very few true believers missing. All of the make believers will still be entertaining themselves. The first ones to notice that something happened will be those working in the nurseries, since all the young children will be gone.

Concerning the non-exhaustive list of six questions I have asked, to fail any one of them is a clear indication that one is not saved. Anyone who claims to be a true believer cannot agree with any of these questions if they are a true believer.

How can people sit in the cushioned pews of the local churches and not know these things? Even more frightening, how can those standing behind the pulpits discredit every truth of God? Our Lord’s half-brother, Jude, answers that question.

“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:4)

I urge anyone reading this article to examine their heart. Are you getting the Truth, or are you listening to agnostics and Gnostics?

Satan knows his time is quickly running out and he is flooding the minds of people with false gospel. The Truth can only be found in the Word of God, the Bible. I strongly urge you to read the Bible for yourself and listen to what God has to say. If you really want to be saved and know Him, He will make it possible for you to get the Truth.

It is easy to go along with the crowd. Why? We like to be accepted, but more often than not, the crowd is wrong. Jesus said, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:14)

If you come to Jesus on His terms, you will never be condemned.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6 emphasis mine)

False teaching can be seen in the colleges, seminaries and churches of today. This is nothing new. Satan is no less active today than he was in the Garden of Eden.  However, his whisperings in the ears of man has created “make believers” or merely “professing” Christians who are empty of the Holy Spirit in their being.

The Lord Jesus tells us all through the apostle Paul, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Grant Phillips


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