There will be false Christians in our churches and in our society. And it’s very likely we won’t even be able to recognize them. But as much as we would like to be able to call them out and let the world know who they are, we can’t. Because we simply do not know.
It also serves as a greater tool for division among the Church if we assume the role of drawing the line between who’s actually a believer and who isn’t. Journeying down this road will lead to the opposite of redemption and resolution. Even if you have the purest of hearts and righteous anger for the faith determining a person’s salvation is not a call you get to make. Leave these matters in the hands of the Lord.
This isn’t a passive or ambivalent way to respond to the current situations we face. It takes great faith and trust in our Savior to know he is just and that he will deal with those who falsely testify to his name.
2. Sanctification Is an Ongoing Process.
The process of salvation is far richer than a hand stamp into heaven or your ticket out of hell.
A deeper understanding of salvation involves your instant justification, your ongoing sanctification, and your soon-to-be glorification. We would all love for our sanctification to be as immediate as our justification. But that’s not how it works.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we’re continuing to be transformed into the image of Jesus. This doesn’t happen overnight. This is an ongoing process being worked out in our hearts and lives and it is a process that others should be able to witness over the course of time.
People should notice our old ways are being cast aside and our new ways, the ways of Jesus, are taking shape in our lives. This is a process for each and every believer, regardless of how long they have been saved.
But here’s the difficult thing. The sanctification process doesn’t happen at the same rate for every believer. So we shouldn’t be surprised when we meet someone who has been saved for 40 years and yet seem spiritually immature.
We’re all still growing and maturing in our faith. So when you see a Christian acting out of step with the character of Jesus, remember that they’re in-process the same way you are.
A person’s spiritual immaturity doesn’t provide an excuse for their actions. But it does give you a sliver of understanding into their behavior. Unfortunately, we’re witnessing a massive display of spiritually immature believers acting out of their fallenness rather than their faith in Jesus.
3. You Mustn’t Mistake Kindness for Condoning.
Jesus offers the same measure of grace to the victim as he does the perpetrator. This often doesn’t sit well with us because we want the perpetrator to be punished and we want the victim to be saved. But Jesus wants redemption and salvation for both.
This is the beauty of the gospel. It truly is good news that’s not limited by your actions.