Are you a
long time christian?
2. who are false christians?
Note: It is recommended that you read topic 1
In the previous topic we discussed the true meaning of Christianity. Here we will focus, according to the word of God, on those who call themselves Christians but are not (they do not show fruit worthy of repentance).
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will[a]know them by their fruits. [b]Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?
Differences among false Christians
The Bible tells us of two different types of false Christians. First are those we will call the hypocrites. They are the religious type (like Pharisees and scribes) that in their hypocrisy give to the public a good image, they preach well and know the Bible, but their inside is bad, they are disobedient and do not practice what they preach (Matthew 23). We will refer to the other group as the nominal Christians. These are the kind of Christians who live a lifestyle that does not reflect (in their inside or outside) the will of God. These are not like the Pharisees and the scribes that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 23, the nominal Christians do not bother to hide their sin (1Corinthians 5:11)
1. The hypocrites (moralist)
The Bible states very clearly the difference between real Christians and hypocrites. In Matthew 23 Jesus makes a strong reflection on this topic. His message is addressed to the scribes and Pharisees, who then represented the spiritual elite (authority, holiness and wisdom) of the people of Israel. No one questioned their heart or their intentions. Their teachings were wise and their appearance immaculate, but their heart was not.
Jesus Christ rebuked them sharply and was angered against them for their falseness. He scolded their hypocritical actions (verses 3-4), their love of being seen by mankind (verse 5), their desire for fame (verses 6-7) and their arrogance in wanting to be called rabbi (verses 8-9) . He was strongly opposed to them calling them hypocrites (v13), leaders of the blind (v16), foolish (v17), fools (v19), serpents and generation of vipers (v33).
This attitude of Jesus Christ shows the attitude of God in Him. We see it repeatedly in the Bible. In Jeremiah, God rebuked the priests and false prophets of Israel for their hypocrisy and forgetfulness to do good (Jeremiah 2:8, Jeremiah 6:13, Jeremiah 5:31, Jeremiah 8:10-12, Jeremiah 23:11 Jeremiah 14:18.... etc) Their hypocrisy, false spirituality, religiosity, false prophecies and lack of fear of God, were unpleasant and abominable to God. They were the spiritual leaders of Israel, respected by all, obeyed by all, but inside were bad and full of iniquity. Jesus called them whitewashed tombs and even told them that when they caused a foreigner to convert to judiasm, they made the foreigner twice as much sons of hell than them (v15). Unfortunately, the same is true today because of some leaders as those described above.
Paul also speaks of these type of Christians in chapter 2 of Romans. He calls them inexcusable because of judging others while doing the same as them (Romans 2:1). He exposes the dangers of a hard and unrepentant heart (Romans 2:5) and the consequence of disobedience compared with obedience (Romans 2:6-10). This type of hypocrisy in Christians continues to be revealed in verses 17 to 29
Note: Although these verses refer to Jews, they fully apply to those Christians who have a life of hypocrisy and insincerity.
2.The nominal Christians
This group of Christians is represented by those who to some degree have some type of religiosity (go to church, pray from time to time, offerings etc ....). They unknowingly have a very strong legalistic base, because many of them think their works (offerings, going to church .... etc.) will be rewarded and they will be saved by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). They honor their morality, their own ideologies and their own opinion rather than the commands and teachings of the Bible. They deliberately misinterpret verses (example: Galatians 5:1) to follow the path of their own lust (Romans 6:12) and do not hide the practice of their sin, their empathy with the world and the things in it.
The word of God is clear on this kind of Christian. We should turn away from them and show them an example of a true Christian. As children of God, we must expose to them the true gospel so that they do not get lost in their sinful practices:
1 Corinthians 5:11
But [a]actually, I wrote to you not to associate [b]with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
When Jesus Christ was found in the of Mount of Olives in John 8, He was preaching to Jews, scribes and Pharisees. At one point, some believed in Him. Jesus explained, that if they believed in Him that they should persevere in His word (verse 30). Apparently, these jews simply believed nominally, for their deeds were contrary to the will of God. Jesus answered straightforwardly:
You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but [a]He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand [b]what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks [c]a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of [d]lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.
How should we interact with false Christians?
Our job is not to condemn those who are this way, but to help them see their error and retract it. We must live a holy life to be examples, as Jesus also did. We can not fall into hypocrisy and judge the acts of what others do while doing the same(Romans 2:1).
This is why when we exhort others, we should do it without living a life of continual sin. Servants of God like James, Peter, Paul and the Old Testament prophets (Jeremiah, Isaiah, etc. ..) and many others, represented an example of a life in holiness and without hypocrisy. This is why they could exhort others. They did not judge as as the world did, but with righteous judgment (John 7:24) and with wisdom.
Paul went to rebuke the attitude of Peter (Galatians 2: 11-20), Peter acting as a servant of God, acknowledged his sin, repented and followed God's way. Only when we are examples and live a holy life, can we go and confront those who call themselves Christians but are not. If we do not do this, then we fall into the same state of hypocrisy as those who Jesus rebuked (scribes and Pharisees).
We must examine our lives and see what position we are in as Christians. If we find that we are hypocritical Christians or Nominals Christians, then we need to ask the Lord for forgiveness, repent of our sins and our way of life. We must follow the ways of God and live a godly life. Let us continue with courage in the Lord's way and not condemn ourselves for our present attitude. God will never reject a contrite and repentant heart (Psalm 51:17).
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