Three Types of Christians
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:5-7
My friends, as we begin a brand new year we should ask ourselves what our goals will be for this time. The most important goal for a Christian is to serve the Lord with all of our hearts, and use every opportunity to witness to the unsaved about the different type of life available to all who call upon His name.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13
Today we are going to briefly discuss three groups of people who profess to be Christians, and who truly believe they are saved. These folks are likely to be found in every Christian denomination. This has caused much misunderstanding among many Christian people, as well as the unsaved.
This misunderstanding is based upon what some professing Christians are either doing, or not doing. As a result of different lifestyles and beliefs, many question whether or not these people really are true believers. When we look into the scriptures we can clearly see these three different types of Christians.
The Religious Christian
The modern twenty first century church has many members who fit into this category. They are a religious lot who love the ceremonies and rituals that are carried out in their churches. Participating in these kinds of services have them feeling that they are part of the group who will go to heaven one day. I heard a prominent man say he belonged to a major denomination and he was a Christian, but he had never asked God to forgive him of any sin. This is an example of a “religious” person who is the member of a church.
Jesus told us about these kinds of Christians;
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:21-23
Many church members are part of this religious group. They are so called “members” because they have joined a particular church. But the problem is they never go. They do not support the church, or do anything to promote the work of the Lord. Instead, they are often involved in pleasure, and outward, sinful activities, leaving no time for God or anything having to do with Christianity.
I met a man recently who told me he used to go to church, but he did not like what the people there were doing so he stopped going. Now to hear him using profanity as he did, and stating he felt he could stay home because church was in his heart is just not a proper way to believe, or act. I think the Devil has him a little mixed up. I explained to him that the Lord said we need go to church. But he insisted he felt he could stay home, and leave church to the other crowd. This is another example of people leaving out what God says in His Word, thinking that their reasoning would be accepted by God. Sorry, but God is going to judge all of us by His Word, the Holy Bible.
Even though the scriptures do teach us to go to church, there are some churches that are just not the proper type of church one should attend. In fact, if the truth be known out of all the many churches available today only a few of them are actually Bible churches. Many of them are led by men preaching a “social gospel” completely inadequate when it comes to biblical doctrine. The programs preached are only to please people in order to have a large crowd. These same tactics are what the politicians use to get votes. Give the people some program or some goody so they will remember to vote for them. You will find many churches and pastors, especially in today’s society that are just as corrupt as the politicians.
Now, there is a problem with the “religious” Christian. They are unsaved. They have never honestly repented of their sins and trusted Jesus as their Savior. Oh, they believe in the Bible. They have a head belief of Jesus as the Savior, but they have never by faith received Him as their personal Savior. Although you may find some that live very moral lives this doesn’t make them a saved person on their way to heaven. The Apostle Paul gave us a list of some of these in his letter to Timothy, a young pastor.
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:5-7
The Worldly Christian
To see this group of Christians in the scriptures turn to first and second Corinthians. Read both of these books in order to see what the Apostle Paul wrote to Corinth. Keep in mind now he is writing to saved believers. Christians that are saved, and going to church yet committing all kinds of sins. Some of these sins were shameful.
Let me give you some of the scriptures dealing with part of the problems in the church at Corinth.
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 1 Corinthians 3:1-5
It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 1 Corinthians 5:1-2
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. 1 Corinthians 11:27-32
Yes, these were all saved people living as “babes” in the Lord. They were not growing spiritually and the Apostle Paul is writing to these believers to inform them of their sins and their need to repent.
Today, we have many members in our churches that are saved, but they are living defeated lives as believers. They are bringing reproach to the Lord. They are keeping the unsaved from getting saved. They have the blood of the unsaved on them because of their refusal to obey the Lord as they should. Because they are saved they will go to heaven, but in heaven they will have no rewards because they did not live their lives to please the Lord.
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 1 Corinthians 3:12-15
I am so thankful that these believers will be saved. This shows us, and as the scriptures teach we are not saved by what we do or how we live. We are saved by faith alone in Jesus Christ!
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephs. 2:4-9
The Spiritual Christian
These are the followers of Jesus Christ who win souls, they tithe, and they work to serve the Lord faithfully. Without these dear souls the work of Christ’s church would cease to be. Spiritual believers are those who pray, read their Bibles, and witness for the Lord. They are the ones tithing and supporting the Lord’s work. Polls have been taken showing that around twenty percent of Christians are bearing the responsibility of the financial, and work load, in the local churches.
Do you remember the passage where Jesus said;
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:24-25
These are the spiritual believers who live for Christ and who love the Lord. Without these Christians there would be very little publishing of the gospel on the radio or television, in the papers, on the internet or Facebook, or many other places. Disciples are those who continue to learn about the Lord, and are obeying Him. There are many Christians who are believers, but there are also other believers who know the Lord. It is those who know the Lord we need more of in these troublesome days. The gospel light is growing dimmer in our pagan society as Christianity declines among people who want no religion, or those who have a belief system that suits their own deceived preference.
Spiritual believers are living by the Bible. Spiritual believers are looking for the return of the Lord. Spiritual believers are concerned about the quagmire of sin that our nation has descended into. The murdering of babies, gambling, drunkenness, adultery, homosexuality, permissiveness, Gay marriages, and religions without God, just to name a few.
The Apostle John wrote to the Bible church at Philadelphia;
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Revelation 3:8
The spiritual Christians are not out tooting their horn so to speak, but faithful going about their responsibility of daily living out the faith once delivered unto the saints. Let’s be clear, it is one thing to say I am a Christian, but it is another to be one in practice.
So briefly, we have looked at the three kinds of Christians around us today. The professing Religious Christians who are unsaved, the born again Worldly Christians who are worldly in the way they live, and the Spiritual Christians, who are born again believers carrying on the work of the Lord.
My question to my readers then is this - Which kind of Christian are you? Frankly, there is no other kind that I am aware of. Either we are saved or we are not. If we are saved then we should be living out our faith as the Bible clearly teaches. Failing to live as the scriptures teach makes our faith dead and a dead faith has no results.
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. James 2:17-18
Heavenly Father, thank you so much for the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. I pray for all of our readers, that together we may rejoice in our great Savior, and live out our lives in a manner that pleases us and causes others to come to the knowledge of our Savior. Amen.
"Loving the Savior" Preacher