“The Deluded” Never Think That They Are One Of “The Deluded”

Due to our inner need for security, we naturally like to think that we are one of the “redeemed.” Those fairly familiar with their Bible know that it speaks of people who are fully confident that they are one of the saved but learn at the judgment they weren’t saved at all. Yet, even those of us who know this tend to think of ourselves as those who are not deceived about this. We say, surely there are people who are deceived into thinking they are saved, but I am not one of them.  After all, I go to church consistently and read my Bible. I hold to “sound doctrine” unlike so many other people who call themselves Christians. It is our tendency to think that eternally speaking, “We are all set.” Yet, we of all people, should realize that according to the Bible, “the deluded” never think that they are one of “the deluded.”

I have friends who are weary of me speaking and writing about this subject. I suspect they think I am obsessed with thinking about it. Some of them have rebuked me for it telling me that such thoughts can do no good. I would like to go on record now saying that if I was observing a Christianity like that which is described in the New Testament, I would not continue to harp on this. But frankly, I am convinced that based upon what I read in the Bible, the typical Christian living in twenty-first century American should not have strong assurance that they are saved at all. By this, I do not mean that they are not saved, only that they really have no biblical reason to be sure of their salvation based on the way they are living. And I am talking about evangelicals who consistently attend church and call themselves born again, Bible-believing Christians. At this point, something inside might be telling you to stop reading this nonsense. Surely the author of this paper is off the deep end. Will you let me at least try to prove my point from the Bible?

Before I go on, I want to make certain to point out that I am not trying to condemn anyone or suggest that I am not one of the deluded. Though it may be difficult for you to take this in, I am suggesting that there may be reason to at least wonder, “Are we all deceived into thinking we are Christians when in reality we are not?” Most people cannot even take this thought into their minds. It is too far out there. Let me say that I don’t really think we are ALL deceived this way. In fact, I think that we will be surprised in the end to discover many people in heaven that we never expected would be there. So why am I even raising this point? I do so because if a person honestly evaluates the type of Christianity on display these days in light of the New Testament, it is at least logical to entertain the possibility that a great falling away has taken place and we are simply ignorant and deceived. So please at least consider the following passage to see if my concern has any justification.


“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:5and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matthew 7:21-27).


The opening statement alone should be all that is necessary to prove that evaluation of this subject is something Jesus expects us to do otherwise He would not have said it in the first place. “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom.” If you are a Christian, then you think of yourself as someone who says to Jesus, “Lord, Lord.” Therefore, since not everyone who says this to Him will enter the kingdom, then evaluation on your part is expected by Jesus. Anyone who lacks concern about Jesus’ warning is displaying a characteristic of an unregenerate life. At the very least, it suggests a simpleminded approach of one who closes his ears to uncomfortable words even when they are coming from the very lips of Jesus.

Now consider the observable life of many evangelicals. Let us assume that they rightly enjoy hanging around with Christians rather than the people of the world. Let us assume that they go to church at least once a week or more. Let us assume that they have read the Bible cover to cover at least once and perhaps yearly. Let us assume that they are believing sound doctrine. According to the Bible, based upon this description, is such a person saved or is there a possibility that they are not?  According to the passage above, only those who DO the will of the Father will enter the kingdom. Now you might rightly say that it is the will of the Father that people attend church, read their Bible and hold to sound doctrine. How true! But the Bible contains stories of people who fit this description who turned out to be unregenerate. There is more to doing the will of the Father than having a habit of doing these things. Remember Jesus’ rebuke, “These people draw near me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me!” The condition of the heart must be considered in our evaluation.

Since it is sometimes difficult to assess the condition of the heart, let me suggest a more black and white method for evaluation. In the passage above, Jesus warned that it is not those who merely hear His Words that enter the kingdom. It is those who hear them and then DO THEM.

I now wish to examine one thing that Jesus has told us to do to see if you think you are doing what He asks. Before I do, I again have to state that even if a person is doing this outwardly, he still might be failing to fulfill Jesus’ desires and doing so in a manner that falls short of the glory of God. In other words, even if I am doing this personally, it does not guarantee that I am not one of “the deluded.” Some might think that my decision to consider the topic I now plan to bring up is judgmental since I happen to be involved in this activity. As best I can tell, I am not trying to be judgmental. The subject is the Great Commission. The reason I bring it up is because this is THE GREAT MISSION Jesus gave to us. Since it tops the divine things to do list, it is fair to bring it up in the context of the Matthew passage above. The Great Mission is not just something He wants us to do. It is THE main thing we are to do. It is the reason why the Church is still here. Until this mission is complete, Jesus will not come back. The Mission has its fulfillment at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Only as a result of the Mission will the Bride be made ready for Her Groom. Jesus died for this. So, it is no small matter. To neglect this call is to ignore Jesus’ command.


“Jesus spoke these words: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).


We have heard His words and we have heard them over and over and over. The big question is, “Are we doing them?”  If we are not doing them, then why should we expect to enter the kingdom? Jesus said that only the one who hears His Words and DOES THEM shall enter. Do you see that it does not matter that a person consistently attends church, reads his Bible, knows sound doctrine if that same person is not involved in fulfilling Jesus’ desire and command for us to fulfill the Greatest Mission He has assigned to us? Such a person is one who hears Jesus’ words but is NOT DOING THEM.

This is just the main thing Jesus has told us to do. We could talk about many other things that Jesus told us to do. If we did so, we might conclude that we are doing many of those other things. Or, we might grow even more concerned to learn that we are failing to do them. But even if we are doing them, we are not excused from doing the thing that is at the very top of His agenda for us to do. I suggest that our assurance of entrance to the Kingdom is very much related to the degree we are fulfilling Jesus’ desire and command to fulfill the Great Mission.

From my perspective, we are ALL in need of revival so that Jesus’ desires might be realized more fully in us. I frankly do not understand any Christian who fails to recognize that we all are far too attached to worldly comfort and far too unconcerned about the things Jesus is concerned about. This is why I raise this point in the first place. There seems to be an unjustified complacency that permeates the Church. Are you concerned about this?




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