"Still, accepting God's existence is one thing; honoring His command is another matter entirely. . . "
-Liz Curtis Higgs
from Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible
Is it a vote? Not a vote? If yes, is it for Bush? Gore? Wait, let's attempt to interpret who the voter meant to vote for . . . Oh, wait! You can't make that call, you have political bias! Do you remember this? What a circus!
Same thing happens in Christian circles:
Do you think he's really a Christian? I just don't see any fruit in her life. I wonder if she's even saved. Wait, you can't make that call, you're no better than she is. How can you judge? . . . "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7)
Is it wrong to look around and wonder if people who claim to be Christian really are what they profess? Is it wrong to presume that they are simply acknowledging His existence without honoring His commandments? How about questioning and evaluating our own lives? . . .
Here's an example from Christ's own ministry:
"Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men." (John 2:23-24)
Jesus knew the difference between the small-minded, shallow faith of the religious people and the saving faith of a true believer. And in the following verses of John Chapter Three we read about Nicodumus, who was almost certainly the most religiously qualified person in the crowd. Yet, he was lost. Is there a correlation here?
According to Christian pollster, George Barna, there's little difference between today's Christian and non-Christian. You don't have do much research to see the startling similarities between today's lost and "saved." Except for the fact that the "saved" people attend church, there appears to be very little difference at all. The churchgoers think the same, talk the same, look the same, act the same and go the same places to do the same things non-churchgoers do – except that they go to church on Sunday and act religious. And, many churchgoers attend church just to give God (or the pastor) another chance to stir up their emotions. This is the same shallow faith that Jesus did not trust. Correlation? Yeah.
Accepting God's existence and actually reading and embracing His Word are two entirely different matters. Without a love for -- and a living out of His commands -- we are like the hanging chad: We're questionable, undefined, scrutinized, and -- probably and ultimately -- not counted.
Even Hollywood embraces Christ. It is unquestionably a politically correct, new age, designer Christ. What you won't see or hear from Tinsel Town is an endorsement of God's Word. You won't see any Hollywood celebrity honoring His commands. And that is the proverbial line in the sand that separates God's enemy from God's own: His Word – you either believe it, or you don't. Merely calling oneself a Christian does not make it so.
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." – Matthew 7:21
"You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder." James 2:19
The world has no problem with silent and submissive churchgoers who merely acknowledge God's existence. And this is comforting to the silent and submissive churchgoers.
But, let the Word of God pour out of their lips and challenge anyone based on Scripture. . .
Let the Word of God pour out of them to confront a the secular worldview or a political theory (oh, lets just say. . . pro-choice, e.g.) . . .
. . .and you'll see a hatred come out of people's hearts like nothing you've ever witnessed. This is what marked a true believer in the new Testament Church. And it is what still marks a true believer in the church today.
Acknowledging God's existence is pointless. If you don't believe in God -- know God -- and study His Word, your passion is pointless and it will inevitably do more harm than good. Remember, Satan prizes a lukewarm religious person far more than a cold hearted sinner. He can do far more damage to God's Church with these kind of "Christians." You're no more recognizable in God's Kingdom than countless other hanging Christians.
"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him." – 1 John 2:3-5