Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Time to Come Clean

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5 NLT)

The band Milli Vanilli was quite successful in its day, selling millions of albums. But then came the stunning revelation that they didn’t do the vocals on their own recordings. And they had to face the music.

One day we all will stand before God Himself. And though some people may have done a brilliant job of fooling others, they will have to face the music.

As Christians, we shouldn’t spend time worrying about who these people are. Rather, we need to make sure that we aren’t pretenders ourselves.

Writing to the church in Corinth, the apostle Paul said, “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5 NLT).

Jesus said to the church in Laodicea, “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” (Revelation 3:15-16 NLT).

This is a repulsive image. And that is exactly why Jesus chose to use it. He was trying to make a point. He was saying, “You know what? I can’t stand people who are lukewarm.”

What does it mean to be lukewarm? I don’t really believe there is any such thing as a lukewarm Christian. However, I do believe there are carnal Christians, which are those who believe but are compromising.

Notice in Revelation 3 that Jesus said, “You are . . . neither hot nor cold.” Then, a few verses later, He went on to say, “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” (verse 20 NLT).

To the lukewarm person, Jesus is saying, “I’m standing at the door and knocking. Let Me in.” Spiritually speaking, then, a lukewarm person is not a compromising Christian. Rather, a lukewarm person is a person who is pretending to be a Christian but isn’t. And to be lukewarm is to be a genuine imitation.

Jesus was speaking to nonbelievers in the church of Laodicea who were pretending to be Christians. It’s a reminder that going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. There must be a moment when you believe in Jesus, when you put your faith in Him.

Maybe you’re putting on a good show right now. You have just about everyone convinced. You have your family and your friends thinking that you’re a very committed believer. But you’re living a double life and fooling them all.

But one day that which is hidden will be revealed. There will be nowhere to hide. And you’ll realize the only person you were effectively fooling was yourself. God is giving you an opportunity today to come clean, to get right with Him. Don’t be a fake Christian.

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Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.