I recently discovered that two people I thought were genuine Christians were not. I said two days before everything was revealed that one of them was one of the most Godly women I’d ever met. Then everything turned for the worse.
I was experiencing cognitive dissonance because I couldn’t understand how they could pretend to be Christian so convincingly. What remained of my skepticism was removed by their reaction to the situation.
The most convincing evidence that Jesus was sent from God, and that we are His disciples, is the unity and mutual love exhibited in the relations of the King’s colonies here on earth. Many people have been damaged by trusting professed believers, and others, who did not prove worthy of such conﬁdence. They have drawn into their shells, as the only imaginable safe haven from suffering the injuries of further betrayal. Even the “Christians” they have known have often proven themselves notto be “safe people.” When one has surrendered to Jesus as Lord and truly entered the Kingdom of God he or she should ﬁnd in that society people committed to serving Christ through self-sacriﬁce for each other. Jesus said, “inasmuch as you did it unto one of these my brethren, you did it unto me.” Perhaps not everyone will be drawn to such a loving, selfsacriﬁcing community, but without that visible witness there are few things that can equally commend the Kingdom and make the gospel attractive to outsiders.Gregg, Steve. Empire of the Risen Son (Two Volumes Combined): A Treatise on the Kingdom of God.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.John 13:35
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.John 17:21
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.Matthew 25:40
Here is a Bible study on how we figure out if people are genuine and how to respond.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.Matthew 5:27-30
(He is not only talking about physical adultery, but He’s also talking about Spiritual.)
In verse 30 the word in the KJV is Offend. What does this mean?
Strongs Number: G4624
Orig: from 4625; to entrap, i.e. trip up (figuratively, stumble (transitively) or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure):–(make to) offend. G4625
Use: TDNT-7:339,1036 Verb
Heb Strong: H3782
1)!!!!!! to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, metaph. to offend!!!!!!!
1a) to entice to sin
1b) to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey
1b1) to cause to fall away
1b2) to be offended in one, i.e. to see in another what I disapprove of and what hinders me from acknowledging his authority
1b3) to cause one to judge unfavorably or unjustly of another
1c) since one who stumbles or whose foot gets entangled feels annoyed
1c1) to cause one displeasure at a thing
1c2) to make indignant
1c3) to be displeased, indignant
We are the BODY of Christ. We are to be careful to remain humble, gentle, display fruits of the Spirit, and most importantly show LOVE to our brethren. For those who consistently display pride, cause division, are arrogant, refuse scriptural correction, etc….they are proof by the fruit of their own trees, that they are not part of our Body. We are to cast OFF of our Body what is hindering us in the same way we would remove AN INGROWN TOENAIL.
2) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.1 John 4:1-21
The word used here as Love is: Word: agapaw
Strongs Number: G25
Orig: perhaps from agan (much) (or compare 5689); to love (in a social or moral sense):–(be-)love(-ed). Compare 5368. G5689
Use: TDNT-1:21,5 Verb
Heb Strong: H157 H157 H935 H2142 H2398 H2654 H3039 H3040 H3173 H4191 H4885 H6213 H6601 H7069 H7355 H7521 H8104 H8173 H8191
1) of persons
1a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
2) of things
2a) to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing
Now, a word of caution…
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.Matthew 7:15-23
Now, if Jesus needed to address this^^, was it possible for others to go around proclaiming Jesus but really not belonging to Him? YES.
3)Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.1 Corinthians 13:1-13
The word used for charity in these passages is: Word: agaph
Strongs Number: G26 Orig: from 25; love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast:–(feast of) charity(-ably), dear, love. G25
Use: TDNT-1:21,5 Noun Feminine
Heb Strong: H160 1) brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence 2) love feasts
4a) Marks of the True Christian Romans 12
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.Romans 12:9-21
4b) Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, [knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.1 Timothy 6:1-16
4c) The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.1 Peter 5:1-5
5) And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.1 Corinthians 3:1-23
The highway of the upright leads away from evil; he who guards his way protects his life. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be lowly in spirit among the humble than to divide the spoil with the proud.Proverbs 16:17
By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom.Proverbs 13:10
Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”James 4:5-6
So what do we do with all of this, and how is it handled? What happens to those who refuse correction from multiple believers with Scripture? We already know the Matthew 18 principle. But what next? What if they refuse?
For whoever has [a teachable heart], to him more [understanding] will be given; and whoever does not have [a yearning for truth], even what he has will be taken away from him.”Mark 4:25
And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.Matthew 10:14
Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies, for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but >>>his heart is not with you.<<<Proverbs 23:6-7
And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.Acts 18:6