How many people do you know that you would consider friends, that will honk at you as they are driving by, perhaps a wave from across the street, a card on Christmas, but have not knocked on your door just to visit or say hello. This analogy in the inverse is how I believe a lot of individuals who call Christ Lord see their relationship with Him, lots of talk, very little walk, church and its related functions, perhaps an occasional glance at their Bible, but for the most part, they treat their thoughts of Him as nonchalant, casual, as if this friendship, this personal relationship with the Creator of all that is, is expected.
These people, my friends, do not do well in that dry and thirsty land that the Psalmist speaks of, they detest and avoid whenever possible not only the valleys, but the path leading to it. Trials and tribulations are not counted as joy, (James 1:2, Romans 5:3) but as an unwelcomed burden and are always questioned as to the reason behind them. Temptations are nearly always seen as from Satan, rarely from the normal paths that these same temptations come upon all men, (1 Cor. 10:13) and death? Death is feared, it is to be avoided at all cost, it is the great enemy, the great unknown to them, and yet, they have the audacity to call themselves Christians.
This does not really bother me that much, save for one thing, they, by their actions and inactions, give the heathen an opportunity to blaspheme the name of the Most High. Who is it that the lost speak of when they speak of the highest forms of hypocrisy, the politicians, their bosses, no, they speak of Christians, the ones who are in just as much financial debt, if not more, than they themselves are, of those who use the same curse words, listen to the same dirty jokes, have the same opinions as they do about all manner of things. They speak of those who call themselves Christians but live in the same world they themselves do. “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots.” (Jude 1:12)
These are they who speak of their concerns of the way the world is going before and after the church service, and who attend only for the sake of self, to be seen, to feel better about themselves, to worship in a way that they hope will get them something or keep the “bad” things at bay. There is little of Christ in their lives unless they need something from Him, unless there is a negative aspect to the circumstances they find themselves in, and unless there is a storm brewing on the horizon, they will do no more than what is required of them to keep themselves in His “good graces.”
It can be difficult to tell the religious from the saved, for they play the part so well, so well in fact that even they themselves are deceived. This is the same group that over the last few decades has determined to push the point upon all that all judging is judgmental, for if they are ever accosted by the Word of God, all they are falls to pieces. They are the ones that have determined that Jesus is love and nothing but love, for if they were ever to be rebuked and reproved, they would be found wanting. Most Evangelical churches have fallen into this trap across the planet, few if any will point out these truths to their congregations, for then they would have no one to fill what few pews are being filled.
These individuals do not take kindly to being questioned about their faith, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Prov. 27:6) These wounds are not seen as such, but are interpreted as an attack on their character, their personal integrity is more important to them than obedience to the will and Word of God.
Are they the goats or the sheep, are they the chaff or the wheat? This is not an “only the Lord knows” situation, you can find out quite easily with just a few well prayed about and thought-out questions, the only question you need to ask yourself is why would you, and then you must ask yourself, why won’t I.