Why would you flirt with sin when you can fall in love with God?
Why would you see how close you can get to sin rather than how close you can get to God? How crazy does that sound?
4. A counterfeit Christian believes it’s OK to hold a grudge against someone if he or she hurts you bad enough.
I’m not sure where the line is drawn, but at some point, counterfeit Christians believe it’s acceptable to refuse forgiveness. Maybe that line is murder, rape or your best friend sleeping with your spouse. I’m not real sure, but there are certain unforgivable sins.
I’m not trying to minimize the pain you experienced. I’m trying to elevate the example Christ provided. On the cross, after mere men nailed the son of God to wooden beams and mocked him, Jesus looked up and said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
If God can forgive men for mocking him, you can forgive anyone for the pain they caused you. Is this easy? No. But you can’t claim to follow Jesus and refuse to forgive.
5. A counterfeit Christian believes real Christians would never engage real sinners.
Several years ago, I was talking with a minister about a church in Nashville that was meeting in a bar. This church was baptizing former alcoholics and drug addicts. God was really working.
But not according to this church leader. His response? “Frank, do you really think God is OK with people worshipping him in a bar with alcohol and drunks? Surely you don’t think that?!”
You see, a counterfeit Christian doesn’t think it’s acceptable to associate with real sinners and remain a real Christian.
Jesus, however, would have a thing or two to say about this. Repeatedly, Jesus associated with tax collectors, talked to prostitutes and touched sick people. In Jewish culture, touching sick people made you ceremonially unclean. That was bad. But Jesus didn’t seem to care.
Why is this? Jesus was more concerned with healing people, both physically and spiritually, than maintaining a solid reputation with church folks. Call me crazy, but I think if Jesus were here today, he would spend more time in bars with the homeless and drunks than in church buildings.
This whole point centers around your understanding of holiness. In the Old Testament, holiness equated to separation. The Israelites couldn’t marry people from other nations. They couldn’t form alliances with them. They were called to be separate.
When Jesus came, he changed the idea of holiness. It no longer meant separation from, but engage with.
The holiest, most godly Christians are the ones who engage others with the goal of healing and restoring them.
6. A counterfeit Christian believes God rests in a building, not in a group of people.
Until the death of Jesus, the temple was the place where the Israelites encountered God.