We have many false converts sitting in our churches week after week. They are the tares among the wheat that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 13 (see yesterday’s blog).
How can you tell if a person is a true convert or a false convert? Look at the fruit in their lives – or the lack of it. If a person is truly born again and thus has had an encounter with the living God there will be change. Can’t be helped.
The Bible states that Jesus is the “same yesterday, today, and forever” and that God does not change. So, in this new relationship a person has with the Lord someone will be changing and it is us. Some changes may be immediate and dramatic – some slow and progressive. Be change is inevitable.
If you don’t see change / fruit then it is valid to ask if that person truly is born again.
But what are we specifically looking for? Well, 1 John talks about what it means to be born again and the signs of fruit that we can expect if a person is truly saved and walking in a relationship with the Lord.
I have grouped the many comments into 6 signs. I will list them … and maybe in the next few days I will unpack them. There is a book in the works on just this topic.
1> Obedience to His commands – 1 John 2:3, 1 John 3:24 and 1 John 5:2
This would include everything from assemblying as believers on Sunday, Bible reading and prayer, tithing and includes obeying the Great Commission (soul winning) and the Greatest Commandment (Matthew 28 and Matthew 23).
2> By the words we speak and the life we live – our neighbiurs and friends, people at work and play, should be able to notice a difference in us. Our life-style should confess that Jesus is Lord of our lives. 1 John 2:23 and 1 John 4:15
3> We should be confessing sin when it is found in our lives and practicing righteousness in our daily walk. 1 John 1:6-7, 1 John 1:8-10, 1 John 2:29, 1 John 3:6, 9, 1 John 5:18.
4> We will have a visible and practical love for other believers. 1 John 3:14, 1 John 4:12, 1 John 3:16-18, 1 John 4:19-21 just to mention a few.
5> Believes that Jesus is the Christ. 1 John 5:1, 1 John 3:23-25.
6> Overcomes the world by faith. 1 John 5:4, 1 John 2:15
That is why John writes in 1 John 5:13 “I’ve written this to those who believe in the Son of God so that they will know that they have eternal life.”
The Born Again Church has many who attend who hold to a born again religion but have not had a life-changing encounter with the living God and thus are false converts.