Signs of a false Christian…
- They depend on their own good works to get into heaven. Instead, they should trust in Christs finished work by faith, and depend on Christs righteousness.
- They twist scripture to suit their own agenda
- They don’t give Jesus EVERYTHING and don’t live their life for God
- They don’t persevere to the end
- They will typically fall away during a trial
- They are selfish
- They are not obedient
- They make a practice of sin
- They do not have a change of heart or a new nature
- They lack fruit
- They aren’t being sanctified
Characteristics of a True Convert
So what are the fruits of a new convert? Well, according Matthew 3:8, there is the fruit of repentance. If we are soundly saved, we will have evidence of repentance. Zacchaeus said, “Behold, Lord, I give half my goods to the poor; and if I have wronged anyone, I will pay back fourfold” (Luke 19:8).
Colossians 1:10: The fruit of good works. If you read the book of Titus, Titus continually says things like, “Let those who have believed in God be careful to maintain good works” (Titus 3:8). Jesus Himself said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Galatians 5:22: The fruit of the Spirit. If you are soundly saved, if you are a genuine convert, you will manifest the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
And then Matthew 3:10 warns that “every tree that brings not forth good fruit”—not ordinary fruit, but good fruit—“will be cut down and cast into the fire.” So as witnesses of Christ we should do everything we can, not just to get church members, not just to get decisions or youth group members; but with God’s help, we must make sure that those we bring to the Savior have the things that accompany salvation (Hebrews 6:9).
Characteristics of a False Convert
Mark 4:5: There are immediate results with a false convert. That is, he hears the modern message of everlasting life and says, “I want that.” There is no weighing of the issues. And yet Jesus said, “What man goes to war without checking out what the enemy’s got? What man builds a tower without seeing if he’s got enough materials?” (Luke 14:28–31).
Luke 8:6: There is a lack of moisture. There is no thirst for the living God.
Matthew 13:6: There is no root. There is no depth of godly character.
Mark 4:16: They received the word with gladness. And this is the key. You see, when the Law is not preached, sin is not seen as being exceedingly sinful. Paul said, “By the commandment, sin became exceedingly sinful” (Romans 7:13). And when sin is not seen in the light of what it is—being exceedingly sinful—there is no trembling before a holy God. There is no contrition, no sorrow for sin. So the false convert receives the word with gladness.
Luke 8:13: For a while they do believe. They have a genuine “false conversion” experience.