What or Who is a Christian? Churches Don’t Seem to Know

1Jn 2:3-4 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. (4) Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,

1Jn 2:9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.

1Jn 2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

1Jn 3:6-9 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. (7) Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. (8) Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (9) No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.

I grew up in Bible and Baptist churches. As a kid, I didn’t really know much of what went on in the churches we attended, but one thing happened with a fair degree of regularity- suddenly one Sunday we went to a different church.

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Lord, The Wicked are Laughing

Psa 91:14-16 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. (15) When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. (16) With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Anyone who follows Christ, who walks in faith and confesses Him in this fallen world, is going to become the target of the wicked. I concluded long ago that the fundamental reason so many abuse victims are abuse victims is because they are Christians and their abuser, in spite of his charade of “godliness,” is a child of the devil. He hates the truth, hates the light, hates the Lord whom his victim follows.

I have seen it and experienced it as well in local churches. The Psalmist’s question, “why do the nations rage?” (Psalm 2) is a question I have often over the years asked in this form, “why do the church members rage against the Lord and His truth?” EVERY local church that I have been called to pastor, EVERY single one, required intense battle. Not with enemies outside, but with those inside the visible church.

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Many Years Ago….A Story of Evil Hiding in the Church

1Ti 1:18-20 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, (19) holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, (20) among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Who were Hymenaeus and Alexander? I suppose that you, like myself, have often read these verses and moved on rather quickly. Here were two fellows, you see, who were enemies of the cross. Unbelievers outside the church who persecuted Paul. Gotta watch out for those pagans, you know.

Wrong.

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