Christians In Name Only

Q. Who are the people you refer to as “Christians in name only”? Do they think they are saved? And if they are not saved but are just putting on an act (so to speak) why would anyone do that?

A. “Christians in name only” is a term I use for people who belong to a church but aren’t born again and don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. They think they’re saved just because they’ve joined a particular congregation or denomination. They’ve never checked to see for themselves what it takes to be saved, but have blindly followed what their leaders have told them.

In Acts 17:11 Paul warned us not to accept what anyone tells us at face value, but to search the Scriptures to see if it’s the truth. And in Colossians 2:8 he said,

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

These are the people to whom the Lord is saying, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20).

As for those who are just putting on an act, there are some people who attend a church just to fit in, or because they think it’s the right thing to do, or to make social or business contacts. I imagine some of them have no idea of what it means to be saved and may not even care, while others are confirmed non-believers who are only there to further their own interests.

Paul called this second group lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. He said we should have nothing to do with them (2 Tim 3:4-5).

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