You can listen to the archived message here: www.scfministry.com/podcast
How rushing the Gospel causes people to trip before the finish line.
This message is all about people who have made a profession of faith in Christ, but also claim to have “backslidden” for whatever reason. This is a great continuation from our previous podcast since it was about sharing the Gospel with people who clearly don’t want it and allowing it to be trampled underfoot. Well, this is the other consequence of sharing the Gospel with someone who doesn’t want it.
In today’s message we’ll be discussing:
What is a false convert?
How do we identify one?
What causes such a thing?
False motives within the sinner for salvation.
False motives behind the preaching.
Sincere, but poorly delivered Gospel message.
How to handle the situation of sharing the Gospel with them.
What sort of damage is caused by false converts?
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Here are the show notes for your reading enjoyment and future reference:
The story goes that Charles Spurgeon, the great pastor in nineteenth-century London, was walking down the street one day when a man who was drunk and leaning on a lamppost yelled out to him: “Hey, Mr. Spurgeon, do you remember me?” “No, why should I?” “Because I’m one of your converts!” Spurgeon’s response? “Well, you must be one of mine; you’re certainly not one of the Lord’s.”
What is a false convert? (John 1:11-12) A false convert is someone who has assurance of salvation, but their name is not written in the Lamb's Book of Life. (Mat 7:23-25) Whereas a born again Christian is one who has their name written in the Lamb’s Book of life, who has the right to be called “Son’s of God.”
How do we identify one?
Has a story of how they “invited Jesus into their heart”
95% fall away rate. Does not show fruits worthy of repentance
Refers to God in ways such as, “The Man Upstairs.”
Just look at their Facebook timeline, that will show you enough about them.
Has a million and one objections to taking their faith seriously.
Will gossip about Christians.
Criticize the church leaders.
Define their spiritual condition by what they do and not who they know. They really don’t know God.
See how they respond to their sin, who do they justify?
What causes them?
False motives of the sinner
False motives of the preacher
They don’t want to scare people off
They’re afraid of losing people’s offering
They want a bigger offering
Sincere, but incomplete Gospel delivery
Imagine there’s a lifeguard who carries with him an improperly inflated life preserver and sees a child drowning. He throws him the life preserver, the child takes it with sheer desperation and immediately begins to sink, the first thing this kid will do is grab onto that lifeguard and shove him under just to get above water.
This is what happens when we carry with us an incomplete Gospel message. Our listeners receive it with joy, but will stab us in the back at the first sign of trouble. Nothing in history has created more Judas’s than an improperly prepared Gospel.
What damage is done? 80% of conservative Evangelical youth deny the faith by college. Book, ALREADY GONE by Answers in Genesis. In general, people are more inoculated against the truth because they’re so familiar to the sounds of basic religious things that everyone has developed a selective hearing per se. Of course this makes for a much more challenging time presenting the Gospel because the listener will act like a total non-believer while examining their sin and suddenly become extra spiritual when you mention the Cross.
What do we do about it when we encounter one?
Basically, when you encounter a false convert, don’t panic. There not a believer in the first place, so just plug away as though they were never saved. Personally, I give the Gospel and call it a “demonstration” of how I present it. Most of the time it causes at least some conviction in the listener as I speak hypothetically to them when in fact I’m just sharing with them as though nothing were different.