Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Deception series #2: Self-Deception

In Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus warned of the dangers of the deception of false prophets.  In  verses 21-23  He warns of the danger of self-deception. James also warns of the same thing in James 1:22-27. Many people call themselves Christians because they are Americans or because they go to church occasionally or because they believe facts about the historical Jesus. But based on what Jesus said,  we must conclude that many people who claim to be Christians are not.  They are deceived, either by false prophets or they are deceiving themselves.  In Matthew 7:13-14  Jesus said that few are on the narrow road to Heaven and many are on the broad way to hell.  In verse 22 Jesus warned that many are self-deceived about their relationship with God. 

Nominal Christians?

Many people are nominal Christians. That is, they are baptized, confirmed, members of a church; but they are Christians in name only. There is no peace, joy or reality in knowing Jesus.  Church attendance is just a habit and a duty.  For many it is drudgery.  They are happy for good excuses to stay away from church.

One may study and know church doctrine.  One may even go to seminary and  be ordained as a minister or priest,   but that does not make him a Christian.  He may sacrifice time and money to help his church, but that does not save him from hell.  The nominal Christian, though faithful in his church; has never been born again. He lacks a hunger for God’s Word, nor does he thirst to know God and to live a righteous life.

Hypocritical Christians?

Hypocritical professors of Christianity know they are not saved.  They go to great pains to play the role of a Christian.  They deceive others, but they do not deceive God.  They are as lost as the hypocritical Pharisees who hated Jesus.  Matthew 15:7-9  God’s judgment awaits them. Matthew 24:51

Hypocritical Christians know the language.  Often they are fervent and zealous in their Christian service. Often there are tears of emotion in their worship. They depend upon their works of righteousness to attain Heaven.

Genuine Christians!!!

In contrast, a genuine Christian loves the Word of God.  He can’t get enough of it.  He enjoys the fellowship of God’s people. He hates sin, especially the sin that he sees in his own life.  He longs to be pure and holy. He loves the Lord Jesus with all his heart and longs for an intimate relationship with Christ.

A genuine Christian is one who has come to the end of himself.  He knows he cannot attain salvation through good works. He knows he is a sinner deserving of hell. He knows that Jesus is God come down to this earth in human flesh to die on the cross to pay the penalty for sin. He knows that Jesus rose from the dead three days later. His trust is in Christ alone who died for him.  He has confessed Christ publicly as his Saviour  Though not perfect, he has turned from his life of sin and desires with all his heart to live a clean, pure life.  His heart has been radically transformed.   Old things have passed away and everything is new. II Corinthians 5:17.

Matthew 7:21 warns that the true Christian is not someone who simply talks piously, but the true Christian is the one who does the will of God.   What is it that we must do?  John 6:28-29 asks and answers that question.

“Then  said they unto Jesus, What shall we do that we might work the works of God?  He answers,  “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.”  

Are you a Nominal, Hypocritical or Genuine Christian?

If you are not sure about your salvation, settle it now.  Admit you are a lost sinner.  Admit you cannot save yourself.  Cast yourself on God’s mercy and trust the gift of His Son, Jesus, who died for your sins.  God will make the transformation in your life.  No,  you will not attain perfection; but you will have a heart that longs to know and glorify God, and you will join those on the narrow road headed for Heaven. Don’t delay.  Don’t wait until it is too late.   Read the warning in Luke 13:24-25 “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.  When once the master of the house is risen up and hath shut the door, and ye begin to stand without and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us!  He shall answer and say unto you,  I know you not whence you are!” 

Don’t Wait for God to Shut the Door

As Noah built the ark, preparing for a universal flood,  he warned people to flee from the coming judgment.  People ignored him.  When it came time to enter the ark only Noah and his immediate family entered.  Then God shut the door.  When the rains came and people tried to enter, it was too late.   One day God will shut the door of salvation.  Will you be in the Ark of Christ or will it be too late for you? 

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May 28, 2006 - Posted by | Deception Series

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