The Truth Concerning People Who Claim To Be Former Christians

First Principle: There is no such thing as a “former Christian.”

There is an often stated assertion made by modern atheists and critics of God and the Bible, where many say they were once a Christian. Jesus had a lot to say about people who make these claims, and Paul confirmed Jesus’ statements in many of his letters, detailed in the New Testament.

According to Jesus, when a person states that they were once a sincere and diligent Christian, these persons might believe this was true, but from God’s perspective, these people never were His.

Jesus said: “On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” ~Matthew 7:22-23

When Jesus returns to earth and conducts a judgement for each one of us, many people will claim they knew Jesus and call Him, “Lord.” Jesus will tell these people that He “never knew them.” The Koine-Greek here for “knew, here,” is ginosko; to have a close and personal relationship with someone. To know them by experience—not a general knowledge.

The disqualifying factor in the lives of people who claim that Jesus was their, “Lord,” is their continued breaking God’s Law. In other words, they thought they were a true believers, but Jesus said that because they continued in their sins after their profession of faith, their professions is false, and He never knew these people.

Jesus makes it clear in His statement that He doesn’t save anyone who refuses to turn from their sins. Jesus left heaven and died a horrible death—taking upon Himself—all of the filthy, vile, and disgusting sins we have done. He will not save anyone who thinks so little of His sacrifice that they would continue in their sins, and not be willing to end them immediately,

Jesus Didn’t Say: Become A Christian, He Said: “Follow Me”

You will find no place in the New Testament where Jesus commanded or instructed anyone to become a Christian. Jesus told people to, “follow me.” He called people to repent of their sins, give up their old life, and begin a new life directed by the Spirit of God. The idea behind, “follow me,” is to imitate Jesus in all of our life. In order to follow Jesus a person must continue with Him for all of their life.

Everyone that Jesus saved in the New Testament, answered His call to, “follow me.” They left their former lives, repented of all their sins, and followed Jesus for the rest of their life.

Jesus never called His followers, “Christians,” this term was originated by men in the book of Acts, chapter 11:

“Then Barnabas went on to Tarsus to look for Saul. 26 When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians.)” ~Acts 11:25-26

A Christian is a human designation from this world, that people in the world use to describe believers in Jesus. This term is inaccurate. We don’t find Jesus calling anyone who believed in Him and was saved, a Christian. We do find Jesus beginning with the premise that everyone who will be saved must, repent, and continue to believe in Him.

 “From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” ~Matthew 4:17

Jesus said: “I tell you again that unless you all repent, you will all be lost,.” ~Luke 13:5

The entire basis for a faith that saves, comes to us from the prophet, Habakkuk. This texts is a mirror of the statements by God in Genesis 15:6, where Abraham, “believed God and his faith was accounted as righteousness.” Paul cites the words of Habakkuk in Hebrews 10:38, highlighting that God, “takes no pleasure in anyone who turns away.”

“And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” ~Hebrews 10:38

Paul also wrote that everyone who is truly saved, must turn from their former sins and not continue in them, because they are now dead to those sins and their Old life:

“Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” ~Romans 6:1-4

Today there is a different Gospel of Christ that is being taught that has eliminated the need for repentance from our sins. This new progressive view of the Bible states that God doesn’t care about our sins because Jesus has already died for them, therefore, they are no longer an issue for God.

In this new progressive movement, many people claim to be genuine Christians, but according to Jesus, they are disqualified from salvation because they will not repent and end their sins. Jesus said that this is the reason people are not saved today: They love their sins more than they love Jesus, and they will not turn from their sins so that He can save them.

Jesus said: “The judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.” ~John 3:19-20

People often state they they are a Christian, when in reality, they were never brought into a true relationship with Jesus, as He defined through repentance.

The Church Jesus Birthed By His Death And Resurrection, Is Not A Human Religion

It should be understood that we humans cannot determine who really belongs to Jesus, and who does not. The church that Jesus founded by His death and resurrection, is not an earthly, human, institution; it consists only of those who are, “born again,” by the Spirit of God.

The process of being born again, cannot occur through human effort or by joining a church, or by any means other than sincere repentance, and a full commitment to Jesus for all of our life.

Jesus described what it means to be born again, in John chapter 3:

 “Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” ~John 3:3-8

  1. Jesus did not call anyone to join a religion, He said, “unless you are born again, you cannot see (opaw-understand) the kingdom of God.”
  2. The event of being born again is strictly a sovereign act of God whereby the Holy Spirit makes a person a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), by causing the spirit within a person to experience a new, second birth.
  3. All humans are born through the natural process of physical birth by coming out of our mother’s womb in water. Those born of the Spirit experience a second birth of the Spirit, where God makes us into a new person on the inside—within our spirit—by His Spirit.
  4. Jesus said that just as the wind is unseen by us in this world, yet we see what it does—so also is the work accomplished by the Spirit of God. We cannot see the new birth happen, externally, because it takes place internally. In the process of time we later see, the external results of a life born again; people become a new creation.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” ~2 Corinthians 5:17

“Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ~John 3:3

Jesus’ statement that we, “must be born again,” is the only process He recognizes, that makes a person a true Christian (You Must Be Born Again)

There is only one kind of Christian: those who are sorry for their sins, come to God in that sorrow, turn from their sins and trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It is the reality of genuine sorrow that the Spirit of God recognizes as causing the event of a second birth, to happen.

God does not cause anyone to be born again, who is not sincerely sorry for their sins. It was because of our sins that Jesus had to leave heaven, take the body of a man, live a perfect and sinless life, and die on the cross to pay our penalty for our sins. God will not save anyone—cause them to be born again—who is not sorry for their sins, and willing to turn from all sin.

God does not recognize the confession of anyone who says: “I am a Christian,” without first, their confession of sin

No one can simply will to be a Christian, anymore that a person can will to be a different gender. We are born human; either male or female. These are facts of our human birth. The event of being born again is solely a work of God’s Spirit that takes place inside us. We are not born again by our efforts, public confession, or by joining a church or religion. Only Jesus can cause us to become a new creation; only through our sincere sorrow over our sins, and a desire to turn from those sins, will Jesus hear us and cause us to be born again.

A mistake that is made in the world today is that people think that they can choose to be something, and they are that thing they chose to become. From God’s perspective our status as a fallen being, because of our sins, is unchangeable by our efforts. Only God can transform us from a sinner to a saint; from a lost person to a saved person.

This event of salvation is offered and available to anyone who is genuinely sorry for their sins and willing to turn from them (repentance), and then follow Jesus for the rest of their life.

SIDEBAR: Only when we see ourselves in the same way that God saw us before He sent Jesus to die for us, will we arrive at the place where genuine repentance takes place. God saw us as, “wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17), without any hope of redemption. It was impossible for any human being to be saved by their good works, or religious activities. God said the soul that sins will die, and no soul who has sinned can redeem themselves by good works. God requires perfection in order to be designated as good, perfect, and ready for heaven. Only if God acts Himself to come and take away our sins, by dying in our place, paying the penalty for our sins, can we be saved.

Anyone who quits or ceases to believe in Jesus, was never saved in the first place. These persons were never a part of Jesus—regardless what they claim about themselves.

“These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.” ~1 John 2:19

Everyone who claims they were once a Christian, but now an atheist or unbeliever—never was, “born again by the Spirit”

When a person has been born again by the Spirit, this is an event that cannot be reversed. The evidence this is true is found in the statements of Jesus concerning those who have been born again by the Spirit and belong to God. Jesus,in His prayer to the Father in John chapter 17, states in verse 6:

“I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours.

The truly saved were, “always His.” therefore, there was never a time when they were not His.

How can this be? We humans understand all things from our perspective as transient beings born on earth. Our knowledge is limited to things that humans can discover. The knowledge that God has is transcendent time, space, and matter, it is eternal and unchanging.

Before God created the universe, He had determined to create human beings who were made like Himself, “made in His image.”

God does not have to learn or discover anything. He has always known all things, and He knew everything about all of us, before He created us. God knew who would genuinely feel sincere sorrow for the sins they have committed, and want to be forgiven by God. He knew who would hear about Jesus and His offer to forgive all sins, and come to Him willing to repent and turn from their sins.

God knew who would be born again by the Spirit of God, and these people He saved for eternity. These persons were already known by God before Jesus came to earth to die for us. This is why Jesus said in John 17, “I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours.”

Before Jesus came to earth, He knew the persons who would sincerely repent and believe, and be born again. These person were given to Jesus by the Father, before anything existed. They were, “always His.”

This is why a person who claims they were once a believer, but now are not, is either self-deceived, or lying. According to Jesus and the words He said, once a person turns from their sins and is born again, they will never fall away; they will never leave Jesus and become a non-believer.

When we see the texts in the New Testament where Judas Iscariot became an Apostle of Jesus, and he was later found to betray Jesus, Judas was never born again by the Spirit. He merely pretended to belong to Jesus. As with all pretend believers, God will eventually manifest the true heart of the false believer, and allow the world to see that they never belonged to Jesus.

We see this reality in people who say they were once a pastor, missionary, long time believer in Jesus, but are later seen as great adversaries against Jesus. The true nature of the heart for these persons, eventually comes out and we see that their profession of Christ was a fraud.

A Second Proof Text That Demonstrates The False Believer: The Holy Spirit

In John chapter 14, Jesus tells His disciples that He will soon be departing earth and return to Heaven. He tells these men that this is good, because when He leaves earth, He will send the Holy Spirit who will come to live inside every believer, and the Holy Spirit will, “never leave you.

Jesus said:  “If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.” ~John 14:15-17

Only people who sincerely turn from their sins and fully trust in Jesus, are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. The pretend or false believer, is not given the Holy Spirit. Once the Spirit is given to a true believer, He never leaves them. Those who claim they were once a true believer in Jesus, but fall away, did not have the Holy Spirit living inside them.

God knew these false believers before they were born, and He did not give them the gift of the Spirit. It is the Spirit living inside the true believer, that is the power within that enables us to continue with Jesus and keep trusting in Him, for all of our life. The false believer gives up and stops believing because they were trying to continue with Jesus from their own human strength, power, and wisdom. This can never work.

Paul wrote that in the Last Days, just prior to Jesus’ return for His church, that a great apostasy will take place. God also said that. everything that can be shaken, will be shaken, and judgment begins with the house of God.

“Don’t be shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away (Apostasy) comes first.” ~2 Thessalonians 2:2-3

“When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.” ~Hebrews 12:26-27

For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” ~1 Peter 4:17

Because we are now living in the days just before Jesus returns to remove His church from earth before the Tribulation begins, a sifting and shaking has begun. God is manifesting all the fake and pretentious people who claimed they were true believers, and these person are falling away in great numbers.

Everyday I read about a new person who claims they were once a Christian; a pastor, evangelist, or other longtime servant in Jesus’ church, who now claim they no longer believe. The fact is, they never were a part of Jesus, and He is now manifesting these people to the world.

Atheists claim that all these persons who once claimed to be Christians, and are now atheists, is the evidence the Bible is not true. In fact, just the opposite is true. Apostasy is exactly what the Bible said would happen. The Christian church is not in decline; the false and pretend believers are leaving the church, because God is removing them.

It Is The Holy Spirit Who Leads Us Into All Truth

In addition to Jesus stating that the Holy Spirit, once given to the true believer, never leaves; Jesus also said that it is the Holy Spirit who enables the true believe to understand the things of God. The false and pretend believer does not have this ability to understand the deep things of God, because they were not given the Holy Spirit who lives in them:

Jesus said:  “If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.” ~John 14:15-17

This is why it is impossible for any atheist or person who has not been born again by the Spirit of God, to understand the deep things of the Bible, as a genuine biblical scholar. Only persons born of the Spirit, who are taught the Bible in its completeness, are qualified to be a genuine biblical scholar.

The Unbeliever, Scoffer, Atheist, And Progressive Christian, Can Never Understand The Bible

Jesus often said that scoffers, unbelievers, and cowards who fall away from Jesus, are prohibited from understanding the most important principles of the Bible:

Jesus said: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.” ~Luke 10:21

“Jesus replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.” ~Matthew 13:11-16

Paul Confirms What Jesus Said:

So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.” ~1 Corinthians 1:20-21

“Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.” ~1 Corinthians 1:27-28

“But people who aren’t born again by the Spirit can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are born of the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means.” ~1 Corinthians 2:14

The Primary Deficits Of The Progressive Christian

In the world people think that if a person says they are a Christian, they are a Christian. According to Jesus and the Bible (as we have already seen), claiming to be a believer, does not mean a person is a believer.

The Progressive Christian Church began because many people loved the Bible and the things that Jesus taught (with limitation), but they don’t like the words of the Bible that teach repentance from sin, and to believe all of the Bible is the Word of God.

Ask The Following Of The Progressive Christian:

  1. Do you believe the Bible is the word of God?
  2. Do you believe in the Jesus described by the entire New Testament?
  3. Do you believe all the narratives of the New Testament about Jesus are true?
  4. Do you believe fornication, adultery, and same-sex relationships are sin?
  5. Do you believe a person must repent from all sin, before salvation?
  6. Do you believe a person must be born again, to obtain salvation?
  7. Do you believe the Holy Spirit is given only to those born again?

The preceding are seven of the important points every person born again by the Spirit of God, believes, but, they are also the primary points that Progressive Christians do not believe.

This defines Progressive Christianity as nothing more than another false religion based upon the doctrines of men.

The true believers in Jesus never leave Him, because, they were, “always his.”

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Categories: Robert Clifton Robinson

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2 replies

  1. “This is why a person who claims they were once a believer, but now are not, is either self-deceived, or lying.”

    But this sounds just like you. We can easily imagine that this person was, as a “Christian,” as fervent and educated as you. But they changed their mind. How do you know you won’t?

    How do you distinguish the proper Christian from the one who looks the same but will, years from now, change their mind?


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