Fallacies that Hinder Holiness – Part One
I have been a Christian for nearly 32 years and I am still amazed at how many Christians there are in our churches that are just stagnant. You see them in the workplace and you are almost embarrassed to say you are a Christian because of the ungodly example these Christians are presenting to co-workers. So, the question I am intrigued to have answered is “Why are so many Christians just content to remain powerless and be no different from non-Christians?” I am concerned because stagnant Christians, or maybe a better terminology is passive or unfruitful Christians, give an incorrect image of God and Christianity to the world. They make it harder for active or fruitful Christians to witness. The Scripture says, “Therefore by their fruits you shall know them” (Matt. 7:20). Jesus was actually speaking about false prophets coming in sheep’s clothing but inside they are ravenous wolves and how we can discern that they are counterfeits. Sometimes, I wonder if some of the ‘Christians’ I see talking the talk but not walking the walk are in fact Christians. Jesus was rather extreme in his remedy for such persons, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matt. 7:19). So as to prevent this outcome, I believe that those of us who know better need to take these fellow ‘Christians’ under our wings, if they are willing of course, to see if we can help them to “be transformed by the renewing of their minds.” Whereas, some persons who fall into this unfruitful or passive Christian category are really not saved and are in denial, there are some who have not been taught or just don’t understand: who they are in God, the devices of the enemy, and how to grow into the image of Jesus Christ.
“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” (2 Tim. 2:24-26)
Be careful of the ‘holier than thou’ attitude in your approach (1 Cor. 10:12; Matt. 7:1-2; 2 Pet. 3:17). Rather, a spirit of humility and love must abound. Ask the Lord for His wisdom. Build a relationship first so that there is a bond of trust before dealing with the issues that need to be addressed in that believer’s life.
It is my belief that many Christians are going to churches where they are just not taught the Word of God. Or worse still, they are being taught the wrong things. There are many false teachings that are pervading our churches because many of the church leaders are either counterfeit or need to be discipled themselves.
“Therefore my people have gone into captivity, Because they have no knowledge; Their honourable men are famished, And their multitude dried up with thirst.” (Isa. 5:13)
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” (Hos. 4:6)
Many Christians are fair game for the enemy because of their lack of knowledge. Others have received knowledge and have rejected it. But those of us who have received knowledge and accepted it, God holds us accountable to pass on our knowledge to others so they can grow (Lk. 12:48). But what are some of the false teachings or beliefs that are contributing to the ungodliness and unfruitful works we see being manifested in the lives of so many Christians? I want to share some of the common fallacies, which I have discovered from my own research and questioning. It’s important that we become aware of these so we ourselves rightly divide the word of truth and do not succumb to these mind binding beliefs. We won’t be able to cover all of the fallacies in this blog, because you know I try not to make the blogs too long. Which is hard for me because I am not a woman of few words, at least when writing 🙂
Fallacy #1: Being born again is sufficient
Many Christians are taught that getting into heaven is the reason for giving their life to the Lord. Or to put it more correctly, avoidance of hell is the reason for being born again. If God’s goal or purpose for us being born again was to simply get us into heaven why don’t we just get transported to heaven when we are born again? There must be a greater purpose for us remaining here on earth after our born again experience.
“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” (John 17:15)
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:20-23)
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” (Matt. 28:19-20)
If disciples have to be made, then we did not become disciples the moment we were born again. There is a process requiring discipline to which we must each submit ourselves for us to become like Christ. Then we in turn must teach others to observe to do what God has commanded.
“……..work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12b, NKJV).
This verse is also an indication that when you confessed with your mouth the Lord Jesus and repented of your sin and asked Jesus to become Lord of your life that was just the beginning of salvation. If being saved were the end all and be all of our Christian lives we would not have to be working out our salvation. Therefore, being saved is certainly not sufficient.
Fallacy #2: Once saved always saved
I will simply share three scriptures and you can reach your own conclusion on this one.
“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:26-31)
“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:” (Heb. 10:35-36)
“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ‘A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and, ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire’.” (2 Pet. 20-22)