I see plenty of people claiming to be Christians these days. Young people who went to summer Bible camp and got saved around the campfire, teens who went on a mission trip and asked Jesus into their heart, young adults who attended a conference by an eloquent speaker who really spoke to their heart, and adults who sat in a church meeting and went forward to receive Christ. That is nice, but once the experience is over, then what?
Raising our family in the church I saw this happen over and over again to people in every group I mentioned above. What each of them has in common is that they had some sort of experience that prodded them to “get saved.”
In my counseling ministry I have sat across from countless parents who were steadfast in their belief that Susie had been saved at camp or on a mission trip or in youth group. The problem was that now several years later Susie had become a drug using, immoral young woman who wanted nothing to do with church or the Bible.
More wives than I can remember cried in their hands as they told me of their husbands who were supposed to be godly men and leaders in their churches and families and were really charlatans. They too maintain their husbands had accepted Christ.
The favorite claim of those who love people like these is that they are backslidden and “not walking with Christ right now.”
What I have to say is that what happens during a worship service or a revival is not as important as what happens when you go home. That’s when you will know if anything of significance has taken place in the heart of a man or woman.
You should know that a person can pray a prayer, raise hands, walk an aisle, babble in another language, or demonstrate any other manifestation of being Spirit filled. But if when you get home you return to the bottle, or the pornography, or the lying or cheating – then what happened in church or that revival is of no account.
Not what a person says or doesn’t say or how loud they sing or how high they lift their hands. If a person no more resembles Christ after their salvation experience than they did prior to it then I would have to say God was not in it.
How can I say such a thing? Because a changed life is the proof of a changed heart.
A person cannot be affected by the Spirit of God and continue to live a life of unrepentant sin. When this is the case the salvation of the individual must be called into question! To do otherwise is cruel, for this same person will labor under the false notion that they have truly been regenerated.
This is one of the most difficult and hated messages I ever have to deliver, and the one that gains me the greatest hate mail. I am accused of judging and all sorts of things however the truth is that Scripture tells us we will know a true believer by their fruit.
No changed life- no changed heart.