How long should you expect to leave them there, or should you expect at all, how long before you finally realize that they are not going to initialize any conversations about Christ or anything remotely related to the Scriptures, much less enjoin into one about the Word of God before you stop expecting.
There are many people in my life since Christ that I have met that fit quite well into this envelope, I still desire each time, but I rarely if ever expect anymore. “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jer. 17:10) And it is impossible and sometimes sinful for us to attempt to judge in these areas, and in the world we live in today, many will say it should never be done, they will compare you to the Pharisee at the wall. We instead have relegated the name of “weaker brother” to them, and made it a permanent, and continuing title for them to bear, and one by their own free will that they do bear.
Here is where spiritual wisdom and discernment must come into focus, where we must remember that there are many parts to the body of Christ, (1 Cor. 12:12) each part of the body is to be a functional and viable part of it, we have a task to perform, one duty to obey, to glorify God, it is the sole purpose of man.
We have given the title of “Carnal Christian” to some of those who profess Christ, as if it was necessary to come up with a subcategorization for those who seemingly profess Him only with their lips, but still live in and for the world, and still attempt to keep them in the fold, as it were. What moniker then shall we invent for those who claim Christ as Lord, but rarely, and I do not use that word lightly, if ever speak His name to others, can we find a classification for those who say they are a part of the body, but have no visible fruits to show to a lost world of that salvation they claim to themselves that they have. I will not attempt to come up with a new name for them, I have difficulty enough just remembering names the way it is, so I will leave it to the Word of God.
They are called goats, they resemble the sheep, but there are subtle differences, and here is where your responsibility, your expecting, is to come into play. These goats, these individuals believe themselves to be part of the flock of Christ, but they are not, no matter how much they may attempt to convince you of that. Their faith is based on emotions, such as the Pentecostals and Charismatics in part, they profess Christ, but see the traditions and obligations of the “church,” as they call it, as far more important than obedience to the Word, sacrifice above that obedience in fact, such as the Roman Catholic Institution, the majority of the Lutheran faith and a host of others. Some have determined that materialistic blessings are the proof of salvation and a correct walk with Christ, Joel Olsteen, Creflo Dollar to name just two.
These organizations have a name for their congregants, but it is not the name of “Christian” as we know it, it is a title that is inferred by man, not the Lord. How long then, how long before we make a determining, fact-based decision that the individual that stands before us is truly not our brother or sister in Christ. Prosperity Theologist will say it is when they have attained a certain balance of financial security, those that follow the traditions of man will say it occurs when the priest says so, or the pope grants special favors, the Charismatic clan will profess it is when you feel good about your relationship to God. The Word of God says it is when you are justified, when you have come to Christ with the knowledge that there is no other way to salvation, the truth that Almighty God is Sovereign, and whatever He determines the course of your life is to be is the course you will follow, unquestioning and in total and complete faith, that He alone is trustworthy to follow.
Those that abide in the vine (John 15:4) seek for nothing outside of the vine, they cannot help but speak of Christ to others, this world holds no value in any form to them, save how the items that He places in their lives can be used for His glory, they bear the name Christian, born-again believer, servant, and slave of the Most High God, their lives were crucified with Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary, His blood is the only atonement that they need, and the only thing that will bring them into the presence of God.
I have no name for those who will not speak of Him, yet they call themselves saved, it is God that judges the heart, (Eccl. 3:17) but my heart breaks a little more each time I meet one of them, not only for them, but for the Lord, for if they are servants then they should be ashamed of themselves, and if they are not, then His soul takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, (Eze. 33:11) and anything that grieves Him, grieves me.