The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. - Acts 11:26
Simply put, a Christian is a disciple of Jesus Christ. To further define this: A Christian is a person who has placed their trust in Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross of Calvary. Having believed on the finished work of Jesus in paying the just penalty for our sins, they desired to turn from wickedness (repentance) and have sought forgiveness of sins. Having believed in the resurrected Lord they have been indwelt by God and made a new creation in Him.
It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed... Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." -- Acts 4:10, 12
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. -- John 3:16-17
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret... -- 2 Corinthians 7:9-10
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. -- Romans 6:22-23
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God... -- 2 Corinthians 5:17-18a
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. -- John 14:23
For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers... They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. -- Titus 1:10, 16
A counterfeit Christian is one who may have externally appeared (or claimed) to have placed their trust in Jesus (and may for a time believe that they have) BUT...
For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. -- 2 Corinthians 11:4
A) Their Jesus is not fully God and man
... from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. -- Romans 9:5
But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy." -- Hebrews 1:8-9
I) Their Jesus was not born of a Virgin
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" - which means, "God with us." -- Matthew 1:20-23
II) Their Jesus was not raised bodily from the grave.
And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead... And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. -- 1 Corinthians 15:14-17
B) Their Jesus is not the eternal second person of the Trinity
"Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. -- John 17:1-5
I [Jesus] and the Father are one. -- John 10:30
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" -- John 8:58
C) Their Jesus is not Creator
He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. -- Colossians 1:15-17
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. -- John 1:1-3, 14
To worship a Jesus who is other than the Jesus revealed in Scriptures is to worship a false God. While some would say that what you believe about Jesus, or God, doesn't really matter in regards to salvation, this must be emphasized: Salvation can never be found in a false god! If anyone has redefined God to their own liking they are worshipping a counterfeit God -- regardless of what they call him/her/it.
You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god. -- Psalms 81:9
I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed-- I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God. -- Isaiah 43:11-12
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we [the apostles] preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! -- Galatians 1:8
A) Their gospel did not believe in the sufficiency and completeness of Jesus' death, resurrection, and work.
Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. -- Hebrews 7:27
... He [Jesus] entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. -- Hebrews 9:12b
... by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. -- Hebrews 10:13-14
I) They believe that their own works are necessary in their salvation, either to effect, keep, or complete it.
What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. -- Romans 9:30-32
II) They believe that other's works, prayers, or intervening acts are necessary in the completion of their salvation.
For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus -- 1 Timothy 2:4-5
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance-now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. -- Hebrews 9:15
III) They do not believe that salvation is by God's grace through faith alone.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. -- Ephesians 2:8-9
B) Their gospel did not require repentance
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out... -- Acts 3:19
From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." -- Matthew 4:17
A) To acquire wealth or possessions.
If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. -- 1 Timothy 6:3-5
B) To acquire fame, power, or social standing in the church -- or worse still, any of these with the world.
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." -- Mark 9:35
Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. -- 1 Peter 5:2-3
Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." -- Matthew 20:25-28
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. -- James 4:4
C) A profession solely as a 'fire escape' without wanting to follow Jesus.
In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. -- Titus 1:15b-16
A) They are unwilling to lose their old life for God's sake.
"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. --Matthew 10:37-39
B) They are not truly believers as shown by their falling away due to worldly pleasures, ridicule, or the like.
"Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." -- Matthew 13:18-23
C) Their belief was merely intellectual assent to the facts of history and the Bible.
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-and shudder. -- James 2:19
Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. "The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' "'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' "'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'" -- Matthew 13:24-30
Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. -- 2 John 7
I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! -- Acts 20:29-31
Due to man's sin in the garden of Eden and our inherited sin nature, all mankind is incapable of making good choices. No one seeks after God...
God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. -- Psalms 53:2-3
"There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." -- Romans 3:10-12
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned... -- Romans 5:12
Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. -- Genesis 8:21
1) God had to choose us
For he [God] chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves... In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will... -- Ephesians 1:4-6, 11
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. -- John 15:16
... God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. -- 1 Corinthians 1:21
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? -- Romans 10:14-15a
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. -- Hebrews 11:5-6
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. -- John 6:44-45
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. -- Romans 10:17
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. -- Romans 12:3b
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. -- Colossians 2:13
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. -- Ephesians 2:4-5
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! -- 2 Corinthians 5:17
In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." -- John 3:3
Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy." -- Revelation 22:11
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous... No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. -- 1 John 3:7, 9
And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right. -- 2 Thessalonians 3:12-13
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." -- Matthew 11:29-30
6) These spiritual events led the individual to the point where they could, in faith, turn from sin and seek God. Since it is completely God's grace -- an undeserved gift -- there is nothing a person can do (or say) to earn (in full, or in part) their salvation. The moment they believed they were saved.
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved... for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." -- Romans 10:9, 13
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. -- Ephesians 2:8-10
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. -- Romans 8:16
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. -- 1 Peter 2:2-3
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." -- Matthew 11:29-30
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity... -- Hebrews 6:1
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. -- Galatians 5:22-23
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. -- 2 Peter 1:5-8
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. -- John 14:23-24
I hate double-minded men, but I love your law. -- Psalms 119:113
I hate and abhor falsehood but I love your law. -- Psalms 119:163
And because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path -- Psalms 119:128
To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. -- Proverbs 8:13
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. -- Romans 12:9
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. -- 2 Timothy 3:12-13
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. -- John 15:18-19
Ultimately the second question, "Who keeps you one," becomes the foundation on which all other related questions rest. With only two possible answers, "man" or "God," today's man centered gospel tends to quickly choose, "man." To do so, is to ignore the clear teachings of Scriptures regarding "Him who is able to keep you from falling" (Jude 24)...
1) Since God did the saving, and comes to dwell within the believer, His Holy Spirit is given as a seal and deposit that God will complete what He has begun. It is God that enables us to persevere and to overcome the world. No one that comes to Jesus will be lost.
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him... -- Hebrews 7:25
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. -- 2 Corinthians 1:20-22
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. -- John 6:37-39
To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ. -- Jude 1
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us... -- Ephesians 3:20-21
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. -- Romans 8:37-39
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. -- Romans 8:1
For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. -- 1 John 5:4-5
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. -- Revelation 2:7b
He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death. -- Revelation 2:11b
To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations- -- Revelation 2:26
He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. -- Revelation 21:7
For this reason, when a Christian messes up and falls into sin (large or small), they don't stay down -- God Himself picks them up and keeps them on the narrow road (see Matthew 7:13-14). But note: The amount of time that a Christian may stay down cannot be a determination of whether or not they are truly a Christian. Since it is God who enables us to get up again, He for His purposes will take the time necessary to teach us the lesson(s) we need to learn.
For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again... -- Proverbs 24:16
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. -- Romans 8:28-30
All those who have professed to be a Christian and then subsequently and permanently turn away from Christ (whom they have superficially embraced) have shown that they were not really Christians to begin with (i.e. did not have saving faith). Persevering to the end is proof of God's power in the believer's life. God alone keeps us. The Bible clearly says that all who don't remain in Christ never truly belonged...
They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. -- 1 John 2:19
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. -- Colossians 1:21-23
... I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. -- John 10:10
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit -- Romans 14:17
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -- Romans 15:13
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control... -- Galatians 5:22-23
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing... This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples... You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. -- John 15:5, 8, 16a
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. -- 2 Peter 3:18
I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. -- Ephesians 3:17-19
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. -- Jude 24-25
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do... As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. -- James 2:18, 26
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. -- Luke 12:34
Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word. I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. -- Psalms 119:97-105
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly... -- Colossians 3:16a
Sanctify them [make them holy] by the truth; your word is truth. -- John 17:17
I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. -- John 6:46-48
When the Bible speaks of good fruit and bad (see Luke 6:43-44), it is not speaking of how many converts or disciples a person gains (-- even the Pharisees had lots of disciples, see Matthew 23:15), it's taking about spiritual fruit in a person's life. A counterfeit Christian does not have the Holy Spirit and can never produce true spiritual fruit. Counterfeit fruit (bad fruit) creates subsequent effects on that person's life and even the church.
... Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. -- Galatians 1:7
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. -- Ephesians 4:14
2) False assurance. When their assurance of salvation rests in false belief the individual gains a personal complacency. The strength of this false assurance and complacency is show by the fact that many will even come before God, claiming Him as Lord, and try to justify themselves...
For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin. -- Psalms 36:2
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' -- Matthew 7:21-23
For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. -- Romans 10:2-3
False assurance allows churches to be full of religious people who have persuaded themselves (or worse still, have been persuaded by their leaders, see 2 Timothy 4:3) that they're okay and have no need to change.
3) Guilt and regrets. The counterfeit Christian, as with all the unsaved, have no means to ease their guilty conscience. In contrast, while a Christian may struggle (as with any sin) with feelings of guilt and regrets, the Christian has assurance by the Holy Spirit that our guilty conscience was cleansed and our failings and past sins are forgiven and forgotten (see Psalms 103:12, Jeremiah 50:20 and Micah 7:19). The counterfeit Christian often looks to a counterfeit solution for the guilty conscience, training themselves to ignore it, and ending up with a conscience that is seared.
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.-- 2 Corinthians 7:10
Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains. -- John 9:41
... let us [Christians] draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience... -- Hebrews 10:22
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. -- 1 Timothy 4:1-2
4) No fruit of the Spirit, rather continued evidence of being a slave to sin. While a Christian may fall into sin for which they will repent, the counterfeit Christian lives in sin. There is a big difference between the saint who struggles to not sin and the sinner who sins.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. -- Galatians 5:19-23
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. -- John 8:34-36
They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity-for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. -- 2 Peter 2:19
5) A contempt for the Word of God, and the Name of God, as shown by its disuse or misuse. This is rampant in today's church: preachers and teachers who casually invoke God's name to justify wrong ideas and ignore, water down, or misuse Scriptures to make the message conform to their own ideas and desires. Beyond church leaders, casual misuse of God's name (even as an exclamatory phrase) has become an epidemic -- not to mention houses full of Bibles that rarely see a page turned.
They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. -- Psalms 139:20
Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. -- 2 Corinthians 4:2
For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. -- Philippians 3:18-19
6) Christians are torn down, misled and enticed into compromise. Compromise, which will be characteristic of the individuals own life, leads them to entice others into the same compromises -- lest they be shown for what they are.
For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. -- 2 Peter 2:18
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. -- Galatians 1:6-7
Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you [from us], so that you may be zealous for them. It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always... -- Galatians 4:17-18
7) Eternal damnation and greater condemnation. The Bible is clear that there are degrees of punishment for sins, with misleading the church as having the severest penalties. This is the reason the Bible warns that there should be few who presume to teach "because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly" (James 3:1). Likewise, in the principle of Luke 12:48, everyone who has been given much will have greater responsibility. Everyone who has tasted of God's goodness, in learning of salvation, but turns their back on it will have the greater guilt (see also Hebrews 6:4-6).
... Blackest darkness is reserved for them... If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. -- 2 Peter 2:17b, 20-21
These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm-shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted-twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. -- Jude 12-13