I hope that I have explained the basics of the Christian faith clearly in my sections on justification and sanctification. In effect the Gospel is simple. For a believer, it involves both repentance and faith.
However, as I mentioned on my home page, sometimes people might benefit from calling themselves a Christian, when in fact they have never repented of their sin. These people are false converts. The Bible has a great deal to say about them. For example Jesus says:
“watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” (Matthew 7:15-23).
So many people will think of themselves as followers of Christ, when in fact they are not. This is a terrible situation. This is one of the reasons I have produced this website. Again and again throughout the scriptures there are warnings about false conversions. People who look like Christians, but have never been born again. For example the parables of the sower, and the weeds as shown in Matthew 13 and the parable of the ten virgins all speak of true and false conversions.
By their fruit you will recognize them
A true Christian will believe the right things and do the right things. A Christian should believe that he is a sinner and that he is saved only by the grace of God. See the page on justification. If someone who claims to be a Christian believes that in any way he deserves to go to heaven, this is a pretty good sign that they are not truly converted.
A Christian should also avoid sinful activities – see the page on sanctification. Now I’m not saying that a Christian won’t sin, but if he does there should be genuine contrition. If he’s not particularly bothered when he sins it shows a lack of love for his God – Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15).
We have been forewarned
It seems a terrible shame that the “Church” has many members who aren’t even Christians, but this is exactly what Jesus said would happen. The fact that there are many false converts only adds credibility to the Bible.