They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
1 John 2.19
I have encountered two people now in my life that seemed to be true believers, humbled, broken and saved by God, yet somewhere along the lines, fell off the bandwagon and revealed their true selves.
It’s a sad thing to behold.
This post is written in love and with a heavy heart. I pray God uses it for His glory and to bring those who are living a double life to salvation–lasting and true.
I read a lot. I study, search the scriptures and am constantly examining myself to make sure that I am always on the right track. That being said, I am sensitive to those who are wavering. I see this a lot in “Christian” leaders, but as I said, have only encountered it twice in my personal life. What am I talking about?
When someone seems to be saved, who talks the talk, and walks the walk, but lives a double life. Behind closed doors, they are struggling to hold it all together. They are not saved, but live a public life as though they are. They sound good. They are always witnessing, and confronting sin, and yet, their private life is a complete hypocritical lie.
Then one day, somewhere down the line, their mask starts developing cracks. They panic and try to glue it back, but alas, the mask slows falls off in pieces to the ground, and their true self comes through.
25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’
29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ ”
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.
39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.
41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,
42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
So, we have those who have grown up among the saints, looking like them, talking like them and acting like them–but behold! When they are matured, the differences between the two is striking.
For the most part, this is what I see happening with these false-converts. You can talk to them about the things of God and enjoy a good, stimulating conversation and go away edified, but then the day comes when it seems a flood of sin and compromise bursts forth and you are left wondering what happened?
The wheat is God’s elect, and the tares are the devil’s elect, as it were. One is truly saved, and bears the hallmarks of Christ, and the other bears the hallmarks of a rebellious sinner…with a touch of Christianity thrown in for good measure.
You see, I am not saying that when a Christian falls and sins, he is obviously a tare in disguise. No…for we all fall and sin…BUT the difference is we repent! These people do not repent. They say, “If you don’t like it! TOUGH!! Live with it. This is me.” Or they will unleash a barrage of attacks against us and accuse us of OUR hypocrisy and judgmentalism. Either way, the biggest evidence of these types of people losing control of their disguise, is anger. They let someone have it and it usually means you have lost them as a friend.
I warrant you there were not many hypocrites in the catacombs of Rome, when to be a Christian involved almost certain death.
Too many times people come to a knowledge of Christ, and stop there. Their lives reflect some change, their knowledge of Christ and the ways of salvation have increased, but the Holy Spirit isn’t empowering them. They are doing it all on their own power.
This leads to way too many burn-outs. Too many times these poor, tired, weary souls run up against the brick wall of tribulations and get laid out.
This is the seed that was planted among the stony places:
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
Everything is peachy until trials and tribulation come, and that’s when the foundation shows its true strength. When man builds upon the sand, the waves will surely knock it down.
A true Christian has his foundation built on the Rock, which is Christ and His work on the cross. His salvation will last through thick and thin. Through good times and bad, through fatness and lack. He will continue even though his life falls apart around him. He will in fact get stronger. He will turn to Christ and depend on Him for his peace and strength and will find rest, even in the midst of the storm. Remember Christ, asleep on a pillow whilst the storm of storms barreled down on their tiny ship? Guess who was in charge of that storm? That’s right…Jesus Himself. Was any harm going to come to that ship and its occupants? No, of course not. When you are riding the storms of life, should you panic and scream and swear and throw in the towel? Only if you think God is just a spectator and you are in control and must manage the storm yourself.
But if you are truly saved, then you know God is in control and fully able to take care of you through the storm because He is in control of the storm as well. What peace and comfort!
What joy to know the very One who controls the trials, comforts you through them?
When we read in Psalm 23 where the Good Shepherd shall lead us THROUGH the Valley of Death, He is the very One who created the Valley of Death and controls the duration and extent of the valley. We are not just drifting on the currents of circumstance, but are firmly placed in His hands forever.
We cannot, however say this of the false-convert. He drifts down the river of life and grabs onto anything he can grab hold of in order to slow his decent. He struggles and fights the current but finds in the end, that the current is just too strong. He fills his life with sermon upon sermon, book after book, trying to keep his focus on the things of God, but his efforts are like keeping water in a basket. No matter how fast one runs, in the end his basket will be empty.
When someone relies on sermons, Christian friends, blogs, videos, books, etc., in order to keep them in the place where they feel saved, they have already lost the battle. Their false sense of security can only hold them afloat for so long before they start to sink. Kind of like a person trying to tread water and keep his floatation device inflated by constantly blowing into it at the same time. Eventually he will be defeated.
The Christian rests. That statement really captures the essence of the believer’s life. He rests. He rests in the good and the bad. He rests in trial and in triumph. He rests when he is diagnosed with cancer, and rests when God brings success and prosperity into his life.
The Christian rests.
The false convert surrounds himself with “Christian” images, music, books and stimuli that keeps his emotions at a certain level. But woe to him when the enemy strikes. Usually, late at night, in private, the enemy enters. He whispers something in your ear…soothingly, softly…it feels right…do it, do it…
It’s then and there, you realize you are living a lie. You give in. God won’t care. I’ll just repent afterward. Sigh…depression grabs hold of you. You go back to that music, those friends or that lifestyle that once brought you comfort or joy and you feel good again…for a while anyway.
Then you feel guilty and have do something. You go back to church, you start praying or get back into listening to sermons again…and the cycle continues. Nothing ever lasts for long. This is why so many false converts are always trying something new. This is why we have the ‘Prayer of Jabez’ or Listening Rooms…these gimmicks are for those who need something new. Something that will give them an emotional high and make them feel good for a while. It’s nothing more than a drug.
The church is full of these people. Some are closer to the cross than others. But you can be right next to the cross and still be lost.
The Centurions had the blood of Christ all over them and they weren’t saved.
Here we have two types of people. The false convert and the believer. One is lost the other is saved. One strives and struggles the other rests and lets God be God. One pushes the boulder of self up the hill of religion and when he gets to the top, his sin just kicks it right back down again. The believer submits and allows God to work.
Remember the story of Sisyphus? In Greek mythology Sisyphus was a king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth). He was punished for chronic deceitfulness by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever.
As Paul said, these false converts left us because they weren’t one of us. They weren’t saved and could only keep up for so long before they trailed off. They weren’t backsliders as there is no such thing as a backslider. There are only Christians and non-Christians. No one slips away from God. No one gets dropped by God. If God grabs you and saves you, He will never let you go. In fact, He has been holding onto you ever since He wrote your name in His book of Life before the very planet you live on was created. He’s not about to let you go. If you believe that God has the ability to drop you if you sin enough then you serve the wrong god. The God of the Bible is well able to save and we are told that nothing can separate us from His love. NOTHING! Not even if you sin dreadfully and fall. If you’re saved then you’re saved.
You see, a believer will sin and fall, but he will mourn. He will be broken over his sin. He will weep over his sin. He will be miserable. The false convert will enjoy his sin and will only feel a slight prick once in a while. He will only pray and read his Bible etc., when his conscience gets the better of him.
Take David. He sinned dreadfully and had an affair with Bathsheba. Not only did he take another man’s wife, but sent that man into battle to get purposefully killed.
Nathan was commanded by God to confront King David over his sin and when David realized that God had him dead to rights, what did he do? He repented and accepted his punishment. False converts try to rationalize and justify their sin. Or they turn defensive.
Real Christians hate their sin. They do not embrace it. Charles Spurgeon would cry and weep over his sin. Many of the greats down through the ages were known to be caught in depression, but it wasn’t depression, it was brokenness over their sin.
This post has gone on for long enough.
You know who you are. God has you dead to rights too.
The writing is on the wall and God knows.
What course of action will you take? Will you continue to walk the walk of the hypocrites? Or will you fall at the foot of the cross and beg for mercy?
Only time will tell. One thing is for sure though. Your sins are piling up. The bridge is straining and the fires of hell are licking its chops in delight.
What will you do…?
Reblogged from Fishing For Men