Have you ever asked yourself the question,"That doesn't seem very Christian like, does it?" When has this occurred? Was it at church or on a Christian TV show? How about a friend or neighbor that you know personally, and they claim to be a Christian. Are there any rules for us as regular everyday humans to know or discern whether or not someone is who they say they are? The answer is an unequivocal yes! God has plainly said in His word that only He has the right to judge some ones salvation. After all that is what Christianity is really all about, who is a follower of Jesus Christ! You see God is the only one that has the ability to see inside of a man or woman to their very core, their heart. Only He can know the thoughts and intents of the heart according to the book of Hebrews. He has however told us that every man, woman or child will exhibit fruit. This fruit will show itself in the form of our character. Then God said that we would know them by their fruit. In other words, we are to be fruit inspectors. To be a God ordained fruit inspector, you must first know what the fruit is and what a good fruit is supposed to look like. This takes training by someone who is an accomplished inspector and a desire on your part to become a good inspector. As the government hires and trains people to inspect our meat, vegetables and fruit, for our health, so God takes you and I, trains us to be fruit inspectors for our spiritual health.
This brings us to a critical point. Is it possible to be deceived? Many Christians out there will tell you that it is not possible. Some believe that once you are saved, you cannot fall away. If you do, you were never saved in the first place. The problem with that theology is this. When Jesus comes into our lives, by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, we are not perfect. To negate free will is against everything that God has done from the beginning. It was a choice to come to God, and you can make the choice to leave God, however ill-advised that decision may be. Yes, our spirits have been re-created in the image of God, and are perfect. That spirit lives, however, in an imperfect body, with an imperfect mind. Romans 12:1-3 tells us that our minds, our human minds, must be renewed as well as our spirits. This is done by prayer, and especially the reading and studying of God's word, with the help of the enlightening power of the Holy Spirit. As we delve deeper into the possibility of being deceived, we should understand exactly what it means. In the Greek, the word deceived is Planao, which means to cause to roam from safety, truth, or virtue – to go astray. I believe that we have all been in that state in our lives, whether Christian or not. As a matter of fact, some more than others. Here is a truthful statement – it is not impossible to deceive the saints, but close to it. Those filled with the Holy Spirit are the hardest. Second Corinthians 11:13-14 (NIV) says, "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." The devil can appear as something good to try to throw us off track. The only thing that can protect us and keep our minds safe is the indwelling Holy Spirit. .................................... Finally, remember this old saying, "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it has to be a duck." That, however, is not entirely true. Many things go into the making of a duck. How they flap their wings when they fly, the size of their feet and the webbing, and how they swim are just a few characteristics that go into the recognition of ducks. In other words, traits that are normal to a duck must be present before it can be called a duck. In the same way, Christians must be judged on the totality of the species. We must look at what is normal for a Christian. Are the normality's present? This is how we may judge someone who claims to be a follower of Christ as a Christian or not.
Steven grew up in a dysfunctional family with no spiritual background. As a result, he ended up in a lot of trouble and finally ended up in prison. His search for real meaning led him through a myriad of alcohol and drugs. It was only when he found Christ as his Savior that he found any relief and true freedom. Sue, on the other hand, had been in church all her life, and yet she never really knew Jesus. She found Him at the same time as Steven. God has taken them on a journey together to many different states and even foreign countries. God has shown them many wondrous signs and miracles, the greatest of which is understanding of the deep spiritual areas of life. Steven's study has taken him many years, resulting in a PhD in theology from International Bible College & Seminary in Missouri. God has made them a strong and unified ministry team to set the captives free, heal the brokenhearted, and encourage the body of Christ.