The Make-Believer

Plenty of people know religious lingo and practice helpful service, but not all have an actual relationship with Jesus. Make sure that your faith isn’t make-believe.

Matthew 7:15–23

The Three Options

  • When it comes to Jesus, everyone is either a believer, an unbeliever, or a make-believer.
  • A believer is willing for the gospel to transform every aspect of his or her life.
  • An unbeliever has rejected the gospel and prefers to live as if Jesus did not.
  • A make-believer has evidence of religious activity without experiencing a genuine life-change.

The Reality Check

  • Some religious teaching sounds pleasant but is actually deceptive and dangerous (7:15).
  • Some spiritual systems appear life-giving, but they are unable to produce anything worthwhile (7:16-18).
  • A true disciple of Jesus should be able to provide evidence of willing obedience (7:19-20).
  • There’s a difference in calling Jesus your Lord and actually meaning it (7:21).
  • You can teach truth, oppose evil, accomplish good, and still go to hell (7:22).
  • Salvation is not contingent upon what you know about Jesus but what Jesus knows about you (7:23).

The Personal Evaluation

  • Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you fail to meet the test! -2 Corinthians 13:5
  • You may never have actually met Jesus if you aren’t still following Him afterward.
  • Has there ever been a moment when I personally desired to follow Christ?
  • Did I ever make my association with Jesus public?
  • Does my life provide any ongoing evidence that Jesus changed me?

Which better describes me: believer, unbeliever, or make-believer?