When God is at work planting saving faith (a genuine response to the Gospel), you can guarantee that the devil is hard at work planting false faith (counterfeit Christianity). Satan uses his cunning and power to convincing people that they have saving faith when they do not. The parables of Jesus show that we are continually warned against self-deception. For example In Matthew 13.24-30 Jesus tells the parable of the wheat and tares, In Matthew 13.36-43 he explains the meaning to His disciples. There will be tares in the church until the rapture.
How can we tell the counterfeits from the true Christians? This is not always an easy task. I have known church members for years, believing that they were dedicated Christians, only to find out later that they were counterfeits. Just because someone goes to church and carries a bible with them does not mean they are Christians. Remember a counterfeit looks like the real thing, but it’s not.
There are many false teachers today that are counterfeits. The counterfeits do not know or understand the gospel of grace that saves so their teaching is usually man centered. 90% of the teaching in the churches today is about the Christian life and how to live it. This is Satanic because it turns people’s eyes into themselves, and away from God. They want to make you feel good but in reality they're taking you away from God.
As Christians we need to read the Bible for all its worth, otherwise we are going to be misled. Study Scripture in Context, (out of context is using verses to say what you want them to say).Don’t rip single verses or even portions of verses out of their context. We can make the Bible say almost anything by combining different verses; even verses that sound similar may in context address quite different topics.
There are those willing to have Christ as their Savior, yet who are most reluctant to submit to Him as their Lord, to be at His command, and to be governed by His laws. There are unregenerate Christians who profess Christ as Lord, and do not have a genuine response to the Gospel.
Matthew 7:22-23 ( NKJV )
Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
2 Corinthian 13:5 (NKJV)
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
Paul here reminds the Corinthians—and us—that it is quite possible for a man or woman to profess Christ and salvation, yet still be unsaved. They may even deceive themselves into thinking that such a profession has saved them. Therefore, we need to examine ourselves, to prove ourselves. The sure proof is the realization that Christ is indwelling us, by the Holy Spirit, resulting in godly lives and glad acceptance of all the revealed Word of God, as inspired by the same Holy Spirit.
Without regeneration it is spiritually impossible to believe in Christ. Except a man be born again, he cannot see, he cannot understand, he cannot come to Christ (John 3:3; 6:37, 44; 1 Cor. 2:14). Regeneration is the renewing of the heart and mind; and the renewed heart and mind must act according to their nature.
Regeneration is the act of God alone. But faith is not the act of God. It is not God who believes in Christ for salvation; it is the sinner. Although it is by God's grace alone that a person is able to believe, faith is an activity of us alone. In saving faith we receive and rest upon Christ alone for salvation. True, this is a strange, and to some extent, undefinable mixture. But this is precisely what the Bible teaches. This is God's way of salvation, expressing His supreme wisdom, power, and grace.
Many Christians come to receiving the blessing of God through following the steps to salvation, and once they get to the point of "FAITH" they slack off. The reason is because of unbelief. UNBELIEF is the major reason Christians have “little" faith....
Matthew 6:30 ( NKJV )
Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Unbelief is the opposite of faith, and Unbelief is doubt. Unbelief is believing the wrong thing...usually a miss-understanding of the word of God....Today it is even worse because of the many different bible translations. The old trick from the Devil is to play on words, just like he pulled on Eve in the Garden.
Some translations are paraphrase, which makes them more misleading at times. Difference Translations (Bible) are good at times to get a better understanding of what we are studing, but we need to check back to the original King James to get the fullness of the gospel.
The gospel is about Jesus Christ, his life, his death, his resurrection, his position at the right hand of God. The gospel calls into question all that we think and as Christians; It is the deciding factor as to who is a real Christian and who is a counterfeit. There is only one gospel and there is only one way to believe and have faith.
The apostle Paul said, “That if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9. There is no room for any kind of false gospel. We must know beyond a shadow of a doubt how and what the Lord wants us to believe and have faith in, for our very souls depend upon this.
The gospel is a very simple message. Christ has saved us by doing for us that which we are not capable of doing for ourselves because we were dead in trespasses and sins. By his righteous life he has offered everything to the Godhead that the law requires. He did this in our name and on our behalf just like we did it ourselves. When Christ lived, we lived in him
The Christian life is a life of repentance. We are called to turn away from a life of sin and embrace the truth--------Jesus is the truth.
As Christians we need to be aware that there is a lot of deception these days for we are getting close to the return of Christ. The devil is working overtime in preventing Christians from going to heaven.