Testing Our Profession

Michael Beck

“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Titus 1:16)

In Jeremiah’s day, so many believed they were “good with God,” when they were on the cusp of His judgment. The false prophets proclaimed “Peace, peace,” to those who had departed from the Lord in their hearts. They “strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life.” (Ezek. 13:22)

In this environment, Jeremiah wrote:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 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.” (Jeremiah 17:9,10)

There is no greater deception than to believe you have a relationship with God when you don’t. Jesus foretold that many who spurned His words would discover in the day of judgment that they were not His.

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22,23)

The lukewarm are those who think they have something in God when they don’t.

There is a grave danger in lukewarmness. The lukewarm are those who think they have something in God when they don’t. Jesus said: “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:16) A person who is cold feels it. They uncomfortably shiver, their teeth chatter, they look for more clothing or warmer shelter. But the lukewarm say: “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” (Rev. 3:17) But they are not as they know themselves; they are as the Lord knows them to be: “… Thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Rev. 3:17)

Our subjective judgment of where we stand with the Lord can be erroneous. But there is an objective standard that is a good measure of our fellowship with the Lord:

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

Birds of a feather flock together. The Psalmist said: “I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.” (Psalm 119:63) When a person gets truly saved they find new company. They no longer can walk with those they previously walked with. There is just too much disharmony. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)

It is one thing to be around those who walk in darkness in order to be a light to them. It is quite another when we share their darkness. The world loves their own, but hates true disciples of Christ. When you have a “support group” who is cheering you on in a life of disobedience to the commands of Christ you have built your house on a foundation of sand. Where will all your enablers be when the “house of cards” comes tumbling down?

In the Day of judgment we will not tell God that we knew Him; He will inform us whether He knew us.

There is no safety in numbers. Though ten thousand people surround and support you, if you walk in darkness, you lack the support of the One Person upon whom your life and eternity depend. “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” (1 John 1:6). The Day fast approaches when each of us will stand before Him who knew us better than any other, and better than we knew ourselves. We will not tell Him that we knew Him; He will inform us whether He knew us. No self-assessment will suffice. No affirmation of others will matter. There will only be one objective foundation upon which our profession of faith will be measured:

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:19)

The crowd that surrounds us in life will be the crowd which surrounds us in eternity. Flee the “congregation of the dead.”

“The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.” (Proverbs 21:16)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.