Q. Do you ever get the feeling that born again believers should try to focus more effort on so-called believers in name only instead of trying to reach “sinners”? Seems like an even more difficult task to me, but I ask because with the nearness of the rapture. I can’t imagine a more surprised, disappointed, and terrified group than they will be after the rapture.
A. Someone once said, “There is no greater obstacle to discovering the truth than the belief that you’ve already found it.” This is the biggest problem we face with believers in name only. They know who Jesus is and have some idea of what He has done, but they don’t know Him in the sense of having a relationship with Him.
They don’t realize that you can have a head full of knowledge about the Lord, but unless you have His Spirit in your heart, you’re in danger of standing at the door of the Kingdom and having Him turn you away, saying, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.”
I think this is why so many movements of the Holy Spirit have begun outside of organized religion. The Lord said you can’t put new wine into old skins or sew a patch of new cloth onto an old garment (Matt. 9:16-17).
He was speaking of the difficulty in teaching the New Covenant to people who prided themselves on their knowledge of the Old Covenant, but He could have said the same thing about trying to teach believers in name only from the Church Age on the need to be born again.
More than anything else, believers in name only need our prayers that the Lord will open their hearts. Remember, we can confront people with the truth of the gospel, but only the Holy Spirit can convert them.