Pastor Jim Stultz
Kids love playing make believe. Pretending to be someone else is a lot of fun. Whether it is their favorite super-hero, sports star, or even a nurse or fireman kids will often put themselves into these make-believe roles.
In the Bible there were many who played the role of being a follower of God. However they were revealed to be only make-believers not real believers. Judas Iscariot was one of the disciples of Jesus. He walked with Him for 3 years, listened to His teaching and was trusted enough to be the treasurer of the disciple band. However when Jesus was about to be crucified his make believe status was revealed when he betrayed the Lord for 30 pieces of silver. Another character in the book of Acts by the name of Simon was attracted to the Christian way and even became baptized. However when he saw the power of the Holy Spirit displayed by Peter and John, it is recorded: “And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, "Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit." (Acts 8:18-19). He was a former sorcerer and his apparent belief was only make-belief. The Bible lists another group who believe. James 2:19 says: “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble!”
Jesus reveals the fact that it is possible to have a profession without a possession: “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!” (Matthew 7:21-23)
It is very possible to go to church, become a member, be active in serving, and even follow all the rules and still not be a saved. Are you a genuine believer or only a make-believer?