False Converts? Depart from me I never knew you.

Religion vs. Jesus

Do vs Done

Difficult Passages

(Matthew 7)

This is an excerpt from my friend Preston Greene’s book, “Religion vs. Jesus, Do vs. Done” (found at the link in red on Amazon).  Preston also offers a FREE PDF BOOK to any who would like it.

This particular chapter is for those who are constantly using Matthew 7 to accuse believers of being ‘false converts’ and suggest they are not ‘really saved.  I have gone over this a couple of times in different posts, but believe this is an important stand alone post, as many of those who are judging ‘fruits’ are missing the irony of the ‘wonderful works’ these false prophets do.

I never knew you

Religion loves Matthew 7:15-23. Religion uses this to strike fear into the hearts of its followers. To be honest, it scared me for the longest time. I would think, “What if Jesus is talking about me? What if he told me, ‘I never knew you’?” I remember the pain and borderline suffering this passage caused me. However, when we compare scripture with other scripture, it really is not that scary at all—unless, of course, you are a false prophet.

False prophets are what this passage is about (see verse 15).

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 I profess unto them, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)

Let’s start with verse 21:

“but he that doeth the will of my Father.

We must ask, “WHAT is the will of the Father?” The answer is in John 6:40, which reads,

“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Continuing on in verse 22 we read, “and in thy name done many wonderful WORKS?” Notice what these people were relying on to go to heaven. They were relying on (trusting in) their WORKS to save them. The Bible states over and over: “NOT by works” (Eph 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; Rom 4:5,6; Rom 3:25-28 and my all-time favorite Rom 11:6 which reads,

 “and if by grace, then is it NO MORE OF WORKS; otherwise grace is no more grace”.

Also notice what they DIDN’T say. They didn’t say, “Lord, I believed you paid my sin debt at the cross.” Their faith was NOT in Jesus. Rather, their faith was in their works. Let’s move on to verse 23 and the phrase, I NEVER knew you”. Jesus DIDN’T say, “I once knew you and now I don’t.” He said, “I NEVER knew you.”

Jesus ate with sinners and told the Pharisees that harlots were getting into the kingdom before them (Matt 21:31). Remember the woman washing His feet with tears? The Pharisees called her a sinner. Jesus said to her, “…thy sins are forgiven… thy faith hath saved thee” (Luke 7:48-50). The point of these passages is this: Jesus KNOWS sinners! This is especially true in light of the fact that the Bible says we are ALL sinners (Rom 3: 9-12).

The second part of verse 23 says “ye that work iniquity”. Were they sinners? YES. Wait, do I work iniquity (sin)? YES. Do you still work iniquity (sin)? YES, you do. In fact, the great evangelical Paul could not stop sinning (Rom 7:15-28). We know that every person is a sinner and works iniquity. Some people commit sin more than others, but the Bible concludes ALL under sin (Rom 3:9-12). Saved people sin all the time in the Bible. The Bible also reads that all sins are forgiven to the believer.

Comment from Holly: What is the difference between believers and a worker of iniquity? We are seen as righteous the moment we believe upon Him as our Savior. Our boast is in Him alone, Jesus is the only way to the Father. In Ps 94:4, it says that the workers of iniquity boast in themselves. This is exactly what we see these false prophets doing in Matt 7, when they try to justify themselves by their many wonderful works.

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you ALL trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to HIS cross” (Col 2:13-14).

“And by him all that believe are justified from ALL things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39).

“Wherefore I say unto you, ALL manner of sin and blasphemy shall be FORGIVEN unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come” (Matt 12:31,32).


Many say the problem is that these professing Christians were relying on their works and not going to heaven. I believe this is a true statement. How many professing Christians do you know who are relying on works to help them get into heaven? However, I also see something else here. Those who (also) fit this “mantra” are Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons.

1.  Both groups were started by a supposed prophet (Joseph Smith and William Russell Taze)

2.  Both groups do many wonderful works in the name of Jesus (and declare that works are needed)

3.  Both groups DENY the deity of Jesus. They think he is the archangel Michael.

 Jesus will say I NEVER knew you!

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:3,4: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

NOTE: many versions read something completely different in 2 Cor 11:3. This is the KJV.

Jesus said in the book of John, “…unless ye believe that I am He, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24).

Whether the problem here is proclaiming works for salvation OR these folks trusting “another Jesus”, they were being judged by the law and were not under grace.  The born again believer is “dead to the law” (Rom 7:2-4), is “not under the law” (Gal 3:23-25), but “under grace”. The law can’t touch the born again believer. IF you have trusted Jesus and His glorious gospel as your only hope to go to heaven, I can tell you with 100% certainty: Jesus KNOWS you!

Thank you Preston for allowing me to share this portion, those who would like a free copy of the free pdf. file, vs. the Paperback Book or Kindle version, both available on Amazon, please leave a comment with an email (I will not publish) and I will put you in contact.

See this sermon by Thomas Cucuzza of Northland Bible, in respect to Matthew 7 rightly explained.

See article on “Repent from your sins” by Preston HERE

MORE TO COME FROM PRESTON IN THE FUTURE:  You can read a portion of his take on Fruit inspection at Expreacherman.com, Stemming Fruit Inspection.

As Preston says; “There is ZERO intent to profit by the sale of this book. It was written with the purposes previously listed and money was NOT one of those purposes. All profits, if any, will be donated unless a catastrophic event occurs within my family.  I am not here to “make merchandise” of the saints.”

48 Responses to “False Converts? Depart from me I never knew you.

  • good article, how do i get this pdf sent to me Holly.

  • Preston
    9 years ago


    Alice had a great comment on expreacherman that relates to this passage of scripture. below is the copy and paste.

    I was lying in bed thinking what the Lordship Salvationist would say to the Lord Jesus at the Great White Throne Judgement.

    Here is a possible scenario:

    Lord Jesus: Depart from Me, you worker of iniquity.

    LSer: But Lord, I don’t understand, I have evidence of my salvation, here are some: I went to church every Sunday and served as an elder, I ran a Bible study, I gave money to the Missions, I did many ‘wonderful works’ to prove that I am really saved.

    Lord Jesus: In that case, I guess you really didn’t need Me to die on the cross for your sins. You seem to have a lot of ‘self-righteousness’ so you don’t need to have My righteousness imputed to you.

    LSer: Lord, I was always taught by my pastor that simply trusting in YOUR finished work on the cross was NOT enough, that is just ‘easy believism’ or cheap-grace and mental assent. I was taught that I had to produce good works and fruit in order to establish that I am truly saved. I was constantly told to ‘examine yourself’ and ‘faith without works is dead’ and ‘you shall know them by their fruit’ etc. So I was looking at my performance and fruit to prove that I am saved.

    Lord Jesus: Why didn’t you understand that in the Bible, I have repeatedly told you in Ephesians and Romans that salvation/eternal life is a GIFT of GRACE, given to you freely and all you had to do is to BELIEVE. I did ALL the hard work of redemption, getting punished in your place for your sins, and took the death penalty for you, and I have offered you the FREE GIFT.

    LSer: Lord, surely YOU are not going to cast me into the Lake of Fire, just because I didn’t understand the GRACE Gospel properly.

    Lord Jesus: I have given you the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit to help you rightly divide the Truth, but you chose to listen to false teachers. Away from Me into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

    • Preston, yes that was a sad truth I am afraid, and like Phil mentioned on expreacherman.com also, look at the Billy Grahams of the world (no judgment on whether he ever believed the gospel of grace), but it is frightening that he still does not know if God will ‘let him in’…

    • Charmika Brown
      9 years ago

      I just wanna know something: why would some read certain passages & say, “that’s not for me?” The Holy Bible applies to EVERYBODY! & If any of us (believer, unbeliever, saint, pastor, etc.) is in a place where we’re not living H-O-L-Y to the best of our abilities, we’ll be cast in the lake of fire. Some of us could A LOT better than what we do but, some are lazy & make excuses to justify a wrong. it’s easier to do wrong for some than it is to do right. So instead of putting forth more effort to live like Christ, we say things like, “well only God is perfect” & “I’m covered by grace”, “only God can judge me.”
      Christ is the PERFECT example of how we are to live. We may not reach that particular perfection but, he says “mark the perfect man (Psalm 37:37)”. Somebody said earlier that EVERYBODY IN THE BIBLE SINNED & ALL WERE SINNERS…but Job was a perfect & upright man. He feared the Lord & refrain from doing evil. & look at how Job was attacked but, look how he stood that test! After all that was taken from him & all that he endured, his mindset & faith was “THOUGH HE SLAY ME YET WILL I TRUST HIM!” SMH 🙂 AMAZING!
      If he stood what he went thru with that kind of mentality, surely we all can go thru our test & fear the Lord & shun evil. We haven’t been through half of what Job endured for the love of God. AND JOB WAS BLESSED ABUNDANTLY…JUST BCUZ YET TRUSTED IN GOD. Even in his lowest moment.
      So we as people can stand for Christ. We can live holy. WE CAN DO RIGHT. IF WE WANT TO. WE CAN DO ANYTHING WE WANT TO DO IF WE PUT OUR MINDS TO IT (that goes for doing right & doing wrong). When u wanna do something bad enough, you’ll do it & you won’t let NOBODY tell you otherwise

      • Charmika, appreciate you visiting. The Bible is written to us, and is for us, to equip us thoroughly unto every good work. However, the standard is not ‘living Holy to the best of our abilities’. The standard is perfection, not even one lie.

          And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Rev 21:27

        If you lie, are you unsaved again?

        It is Christ who makes us perfect and it is Christ who makes us righteous. I fear you have not understood grace if you feel you must do all those things in order to be given the free gift of eternal life.

        It is by His sacrifice, once for all that we are made perfect positionally. We are sanctified immediately by His offering, perfected forever.

          By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
          For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Heb 10:10,14
          Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (Christ) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Christ) shall many be made righteous. Rom 5:18-19

        We can and should do right, but as Paul said: “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” (Rom 7:15)

        You cannot DO anything to be saved from hell except believe upon Jesus. Who He is, and what He has done.

        Have you always loved God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and others as yourself? No one has, so do you just not want to do it badly enough?

        Please go here to understand how one receives the free gift of eternal life. Otherwise, could it be possible you will be justifying yourself by what you did? Your ‘wonderful works’ that you have done in His name? (Matt 7:22).

        In Christ’s love to you.


      • Charmicka, you said: If any of us (believer, unbeliever, saint, pastor, etc.) is in a place where we’re not living H-O-L-Y to the best of our abilities, we’ll be cast in the lake of fire.

        My comment: There are no believers who will be cast into the lake of fire. And, anyone who dies without having ever believed in Christ alone as Savior will end up in the lake of fire, whether they are “living holy” to the best of their abilities, or not.

        Living holy, to the best of our abilities, has nothing to do with whether or not one goes to heaven or hell. Whether or not one believes in Christ alone as Savior is what determines his eternal destiny.

        John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

        Anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited, no matter what.

        Ephesians 2:4-7:
        [4] But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
        [5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
        [6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
        [7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

        • Amen John –

          For our conversation (or citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. Phil 3:19-20

  • Jackie Garcia
    9 years ago

    Hi Holly! I’d love a copy of Preston’s book. Thanks so much and God bless you!

    • All done Jackie Garcia, happy you enjoyed, there will be more posted here Lord willing and with Preston’s help.

  • Preston and Holly, also Johninnc from Expreacherman,
    Thank you all so much for your wonderful teaching articles you have written and posted, and your regular comments to respond individually to encourage us. I have learnt so much from you and give thanks to the Lord for directing me to your websites so that I can learn about His Grace-Gospel and how to defend it. You are all so precious to me and a source of true-fellowship. You have clarified the Gospel to me, and have helped me to separate ‘salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone’ (true) from ‘salvation by grace+works’ (false). Thank you for directing me to pastors like Tom Cucuzza, Ralph Arnold, Dennis Rokser and others to listen to their online sermons. One day I will meet you all in heaven and give each of you great big hug!! Please continue to write and teach us, your ministry is so important to me.

    • Alice, we are so happy you have come to read. I give all the thanks to Him too, for fellowship with like-minded believers, for the good news they have proclaimed in clarity.

      God has helped us all, and He has given us His Word that we can search to know if these things are really so.

      We are thankful too for you, I understand the feeling, and can hardly wait myself. You can also always find me on facebook. Love in Christ <3

  • Hi Holly, someone was asking me about 1 John 2: 19.
    They went out from us but they were not of us, for it they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us, but they went out that might be made manifest that they were not all of us’.
    Were they false converts or how do you interpret that passage?
    Thanks Alice

    • Hi Alice, thanks for asking. Often they will use individual verses, and when you bring context, just ignore you.

      I interpret it by the verse before 🙂

      18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They (antichrists) went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

  • Holly, does that mean (antichrists) false converts that were in there midst, how would the works salvation people interpret this as opposed to the grace camp.

    • Mary, ‘they went out from us’, I take to me doctrinally, but many works salvationists would take it to mean that if you left their church over doctrine, you would prove yourself to be a ‘false convert’. Antichrists aren’t false converts (a term never used in the Word), Antichrists never believed but are there to deceive and come in with false doctrine.

      I believe many of them have proven to be against Christ with their doctrine of works <3

      In His love to you!

  • Thanks Holly. I will pass on the information to the person asking that question.
    Much appreciated.

    • Alice- might have been good for me to be more complete, but because one stops fellowshipping or leaves a particular church doesn’t make them so (an antichrist as they often proclaim). Many had gone out from among them at that time, proclaiming a works salvation, showing a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.

      Here’s my thoughts for what they are worth.

      I believe the Bible shows us clearly there is one way to ‘godliness’ and that is through belief upon Jesus the Christ (Messiah). That is the power they deny. And so that is the gospel and our being able to believe that they are denying.

      I think we see a strong attack on two things.

      On the gospel and also belief. The gospel is no longer the power of God unto salvation, but by being ‘pre-regenerated’ (Calvinism) or cleaning up first, during and after, through repenting from sin. To them, this is the power of God unto salvation (lordship-loadship & Arminianism).
      Faith or belief being the gift vs. salvation in Eph 2:8-9. That now becomes the power of God unto salvation, instead of the hearing and the believing of the gospel as the Word tells us. This attack on the power is that WE are TOLD to believe, We are not MADE to believe. We are told it is by believing the gospel we are saved. However, THEY teach it is being gifted faith, and being pre-regenerated by the Spirit. Or THEY teach it is cleaning ones act up, and keeping ones act clean that is the power of God unto salvation. These are the antichrists who deny the power. Some may also be people like Peter and Barnabas who are not walking uprightly about the truth of the gospel.

        For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16

        For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 1:18

      In Christ’s love to you Alice.

  • Thanks Holly.

  • Hi Holly- I was wondering if you would be so kind as to send me the text or pdf of Preston’s book? I really like what I hear so far and would love to read the rest! Thank you and God bless

  • Holly sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. Your explanation seems to make sense that these are false teachers who teach ‘works’ salvation. The verse above mentions ‘antichrists’ so I presumed that they never believed so were never saved.
    Thank you for your response, I appreciate it.

    • Alice, I hope my explanation lined up with God’s Word, but as always, we all need to be Bereans (Acts 17:11) and prove all things (1 Thess 5:21). I’m always wanting to reason with God’s Word alone. In Christ, Holly

  • Hi Holly. Here is the link I promised… Sad to see what Lordship is doing now. Sadder still for those whose assurance is ripped from their hearts and minds because of garbage like this. http://www.proclaimingthegospel.org/site/cpage.asp?sec_id=180014816&cpage_id=180064909#!/True-Faith-or-False-Hope/p/36248183/category=636671

    Just click on the tract and you will see what I mean… God bless and keep up your good work for the kingdom. He’s coming soon. Hold on!

  • I like this article, and I like Pastor Tom, but I have always had a problem with Pastors (even Grace Pastors like Tom) saying you must put “All” your faith in Christ. He says this at marker 39:49 – 39:51 How much is “All?” I thought it was just a mustard seed? You either believe in Christ alone and His finished work on the cross or you don’t. There is no “All.” How does somebody know if they have put “All” their faith in Christ vs. just a part? What he’s saying is you can’t split your faith between grace and works, but I still have trouble when they say “All” your faith, because you can put a mustard seed of your faith on the true Gospel and you will be saved and then get deceived later and start placing more of your faith on the L/S false Gospel. That doesn’t mean you weren’t saved when you put a mustard seen of faith on the true Gospel.

    • You don’t want them to say ‘all your faith’ but Brad, here you are saying a ‘mustard seed of faith’, both are qualifications and I’m sure Tom made it clear that he means ‘believe’ only on Him vs. other things. Again, this is where people veer from the Word and things get muddy. I don’t want to be unkind, but let’s stick with the Word and not speculation. In Christ, Holly

  • The website above “proclaimingthegospel.org” just made me sad too. The simple gospel message again just convoluted by extra words and explanations that do not exist in the Word.

    A quote by A. W. Tozer came through on my Facebook news feed.
    It went like this;
    “The Holy Spirit never enters a man and then lets him live like the world. You can be sure of that.”

    I am not too familiar with Tozer, but I am thinking this is not true, as discussed before that lifestyle is not necessarily indicative of salvation.
    Was Tozer also a Lordship salvationist?


    • Angela, yes, A.W. Tozer was a Lordship “salvationist.”

      Following is a telling quote from “The Root of the Righteous,” by A.W. Tozer:

      In the Bible the offer of pardon on the part of God is conditioned upon intention to reform on the part of man. There can be no spiritual regeneration till there has been a moral reformation. That this statement requires defense only proves how far from the truth we’ve strayed.

      My comment: Eternal life is a gift, not a trade for our agreement to moral reform.

      • Excellent John. I agree, it is a gift. We should present our bodies (as believers) as a sacrifice as our ‘reasonable service’.

    • That quote from proclaimingthegospel.org is really ridiculous. Some pastors are so self righteous that they themselves think they aren’t “Living like the world” when they are the worst. Does he realize that King David committed adultery and murder when he was saved? If that isn’t “Living like the world,” I don’t know what is. God punished David with the death of his son, but hell wasn’t the punishment. Psalm 51

  • Thank you John and Holly!

    Wow that quote above is just heretical. The sad thing is these men have had and continue to have much influence.

    How much more imperative it is to me now to continually correct false teaching.

    Peace and grace,
    Angela D.

  • You seem to be confusing fruits with gifts. Fruits of the Spirit are described in Gal 5:22-23. Gifts of the Spirit are described in 1 Cor 12. The people in Matt 7:22-23 were not displaying fruit – they were displaying gifts / signs / works.

    Nowhere in Scripture are we to told to assess people’s readiness for leadership based on gifts, but we are told to assess them based on fruit along with other criteria.

    We can tell a tree by its fruit. We cannot tell a tree by its gifts.

    While there are many questions I have about the phrase “I never knew you”, it is abundantly clear to me that this passage should not be used to minimize or dismiss the ability of the believer to discern fruit and to assess the legitimacy of someone’s conversion to Christ. If they bear no fruit, but have many gifts, we can say like Christ that they are not followers of His. Fruit is the hallmark of a Christian – not gifts. See Matt 7:15-20. It is entirely consistent that Jesus would teach people to be fruit inspectors and then say words to the effect of “…now, let me tell you why you should look at fruit, and not at gifts, and not confuse the two” by giving the example in Matt 7:22-23.

    • Mr. Teebs, thank you for your comment, but I am afraid it is you who are confused.

      I think you are confusing the clear fact that Jesus says we can know the false prophets by their >>fruits, and then describes what their ‘fruits’ are. In short, it is self justification of one’s own work vs. the work of Christ on our behalf.

      Non believers, people Jesus never knew, do not have gifts. I don’t know where you get ‘bear no fruit but have many gifts’?

      2 Pet 1:5-9 is abundantly clear, if a believer does not add to his/her faith, they can be barren and un-fruitful.

      And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 2 Pet 1:5-9

      Matt 7 is very clear to me. This passage is written so we can know by the fruits of false prophets whether they are a true prophet or not who has the understanding of the ‘way’ correct (13-23). We do not know if one is a true prophets by their ‘wonderful works’ done in His name, but by the profession of their mouth – their doctrine.

      I did not write this article, but I know the author isn’t confused regarding fruits or gifts. Someone who was never a believer is not going to have true gifts of the Spirit. And Jesus never knew them, therefore their works were not done in Him ever.

  • I think the author here has confused “gifts” with “fruit”. Fruit (Gal 5:22-23) is the criteria Christ Himself gave us for assessing authenticity. Matthew 7:22-23 shows us how wrong we can be when we assess gifts – not fruit – and how even the individual possessing the gifts (not just those observing the gifts) can be deceived when they base their assurance on gifts (1 Cor 12:7-11).

    When you read Matt 7:22-23 in the context of the preceding verses (15-21), this is essentially what is being conveyed:

    – Fruit is the hallmark of a true believer versus a wolf in sheep’s clothing
    – When you begin assessing authenticity based on gifts you can quickly be deceived – both personally a corporately
    – As the ultimate example, at the final judgement some will plead their case base on gifts. Christ will say “you were never even a believer !” In other words, He is underscoring how important it is to not confuse gifts with fruit.

    Fruit (not gifts) is also the major criteria for assessing leadership qualifications. When you look at the requirements for elders and deacons, they are primarily about fruit, not gifts, and the importance of not laying hands suddenly on people that are new believers and have not yet demonstrated sufficient maturity or fruit. They will often allow the mantle of leadership to puff them up and they go astray (1 Tim 3:6).

  • False convert has been an ear worm, or rather a parasite, since I have begun to study the Word more in depth. I’ve messaged here many times and I know you’re familiar with me a little. I can’t say for sure when I was saved though if I had to pick a time it was probably 11 years ago after God answered prayer and gave me such peace around it. I remember saying “I always knew there was God before this but now I am sure of it. He revealed Himself to me and I could do nothing but believe” But I could have easily been saved earlier than that. Even as a 7 year old I prayed once for protection with no adult in sight. Just me and God. So I dont know.

    That being said I spent most of my life living for myself. I prayed but my prayers were mostly selfish and worldly. I grieved often of my sins. Hated myself for what I did or was ok with. I was aware that I was double minded and it made me very unstable. Being autistic/ADHD on top of that made it worse. When I finally made the choice to turn from my sin and pursue God in the fullest sense I could I felt free. But then, I came across passages in the bible I never knew of (james 2 being a big one). So of course in my infancy I googled for help and was lead to GotQuestions. I remember always saying when I spoke to my mom “In my current understanding it seems biblical” I tried to not take whomever I was listening to as full gospel. Instead was just measuring it to what I understood at the time. I also started watching a lot of christian content on youtube. Since I’d removed alot of things I use to watch and was feeling very sin sensitive (like everything I use to like is suddenly wrong) I thought it best I watch Christian content, not realizing the absolute nightmare I was walking into. The content I watched was Charles Stanley, Billy Graham, Ray Comfort, Todd Friel (off and on with him cause I could not handle his energy all the time), Allen Parr, to name a few. I still like to a small degree Billy Graham and Charles Stanley. I would be lying if I said I did not. I get edification from some of their messages but as I grew in the word I stopped listening to them. Even my mom who likes both encouraged me to just go Bible alone. She has not watched either for some time now and relies simply on the holy spirit and Sunday worship. I am blessed for a mom like her.

    It was through Ray Comfort that I first heard the word False Convert and thus began my spiral. I could feel my doubt creeping in. I vaguely remember watching a Paul Washer sermon, then a Voddie Bauchum, John MacArthur etc. I was desperate for good teaching but I kept feeling condemned. So again I stopped watching pastors and went just to the Bible. Funny how I felt more peace in reading the bible alone than listening to the teachers. It was then, during digging I learned about Calvinism. And Arminianism, and free grace. The hole just got deeper and deeper. I fear for new Christians whom don’t have the Christian background I did. I had enough to know something was up, but for someone say coming from an atheist back ground I can see how someone can be sucked in so quickly. I remember idolizing Ray at one point even. But I started to doubt him when I found his evidence bible at my local book store. I was excited to find it then I opened it and it was absolutely full of quotes from Spurgeon and his own quotes and comments to the point where the bible itself felt squished in there and hard to read. His words took more importance (based on layout and my knowledge of graphic design) and My eyes always went to the quotes and anecdotes and the main bible text felt squished. It didn’t sit right with me. So through trial and error and searching I came across free grace. Since then I’ve found myself bobbing like a cork between full assurance and belief in free grace and a fearful what if they’re wrong? Of course my medicine I am on right now is not helping. Before taking it I was far more confident in my standing.

    But to get to the point I was trying to make, and I apologize for my absolutely massive post. False convert never made sense to me. At least, not in the context that Comfort or the others use. The example you gave of the mormons and jw is who I would think of as false. Or Hebrew roots movement folks. There is blatant disregard of scripture in those movements. But to say someone can believe in God but not be saved is a terrible thing. I struggle with alot of things. I need validation alot because i don’t trust my own head sometimes. With God I need validation often that I am saved because of my object permanence is terrible. I know what I believe and sometimes I wonder is it really that easy? God has revealed Himself to me many times. He has given me peace and guidance even when I was in error. Compared to when I started back in September I am at more peace than I use to be. I know much more than I did then as well.

    I want to thank you again for all you share here. I still struggle with certain aspects of Free Grace now and then. I still am confused by alot of scripture as well. But I know as I abide in Christ He will continue to give me wisdom. I know I am saved and I know that He does not hold my limited understanding against me. If I were to die today I believe i’d be with Him. Even if by fire. My pastor’s wife told me I’ve more works than I realize. And as she explained which I thought was a beautiful way to put it is works is not so much religious dos and don’ts but action out of love. If there is no love then even a good work is meaningless. Love is the center of it all.

    I realize I probably diverged a few times but I realized I think I needed to vent and your blog has been a very edifying space for me to let out my spiritual frustrations and concerns. Again thank you.
    Also thank you for your prayers. While I am still emotionally struggling right now I am doing alot better.

    • Hi Jenny, things have been going on here to keep me away for a couple of days, so I apologize if your message waited.

      False convert is nowhere found or suggested in Scripture, but Satan loves to twist Scripture and cause people to doubt. People like Ray Comfort like to put fear in others and gaining followers for Himself.

      Like a young child, our asks of our parents are generally selfish, worldly, wanting our own desires and change over time as we grow in knowledge of Him. He loves to give us good gifts. We have to remember how great His mercy is towards us, and that He has taken away our sins, never to be remembered. He also is a Father to us, and has compassionate on our weaknesses, knowing we are just dust.

      For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
      As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
      Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
      For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. Psalm 103:11-14

      I am glad you have a mom encouraging you to get into His Word and stay away from those who seem good at times, inconsistent at others, and most definitely lordship (likable or not) other times. Remember, they look like sheep outwardly.

      Our friends over at expreacherman, especially the admin John makes a great point. Something like this. When you approach Scripture in prayer, you always look at Scripture understanding grace, knowing eternal life cannot be lost, and is only received through simple belief in Christ (who He is) and His cross (what He did including of course His resurrection from the dead). And if something doesn’t seem to agree, make sure you are asking the contextual questions. What kind of salvation is spoken of? Deliverance from what? Who is being spoken to?

      I am thankful anything helps, it comes from a place of similar struggles and these writings came from out of being delivered by His truth.

      You pastor’s wife is correct, it’s the work we do in Him, or ‘as unto the Lord’. Not to be seen, but because He’s loved us, we begin to want to love others.

      I’m happy and praising God with you for each success. Make continuing in His Word your daily bread 😊

      In Christ, Holly

      • No worries no worries! I understand life can get hectic. Its nice to have a place to comment. I’m not sure how much I can talk about some things with others in my life (some are true believers I know they are but have those extra beliefs like losing salvation or works thrown in somewhere, but I can feel the spirit in their life). My mom believes in free grace without realizing it has a name, but at the same time she is unsure about some things (like if someone who says they believe but still are in homosexual sin will go to heaven) I did explain to her though that homosexual is no better or worse than lying or cheating on your spouse. Adultery is probably one of the most rampant sins even more than homosexuality from my understanding. I told her that Christians seem to make excuses for some sins while condemning others when all are equal in God’s eyes and all will send us to Hell. I think it clicked. Its honestly a part that if asked I’d just tell someone “I dont honestly know all of God’s plan but let me tell you what I DO know 🙂 “

        I absolutely LOVE that Psalm you shared. I need to remember that one. Its a beautiful reminder of God’s character and how much He loves and understands us.
        God bless you for your ministry and never lose heart <3 I look forward to meeting you sister in eternity if we never meet here!

        • Jenny, Yes, we all have been raised to think of some sins as worse than others. In respect to God, He does see sexual immorality as very serious we know, He does differentiate. But all sin causes death/separation from Him. If a believer is committing these sins, there are some instructions for the body of believers. If they aren’t sorry, mourning for that sin, we’re not to even eat dinner with them (that’s a hard one for me). They need to understand it is serious as our body is the Temple of the Lord. So they should flee sexual immorality for that reason, but when believers do not, He will chasten them and they won’t be blessed while living those lifestyles. He does it for our own good and the good of others we can affect with the sin. Adultery obviously hurts a lot of people. And they also need to realize it’s against God as well. But for non-believers, you’re right, not even one lie can make it to heaven.

          But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Cor 1:17-20

          Looking forward to meeting you too. For we have this treasure in earthen vessels…(2 Cor 4:7-18), take heart!

          • Your reply here was very edifying for me. Its always so hard when I try to think how I’d answer someone if they asked me about these same things. This gives me alot to think on for the future.

          • We’ve been forgiven our sins positionally, but of course practically speaking, our sins also affect His name, and our demonstration of faith before others is terrible. Paul said they were committing sins that weren’t even named among the heathen (1 Cor 5:1). So, I try to point people to His Word if they aren’t growing in maturity or obedience, it’s what I needed, and I don’t think of myself more highly than them, I just don’t want to grieve the Spirit. I hope it helped some. I think it’s most helpful for people to keep their mind on Christ and His Word so they can be practically washed by His Word. I’m glad it was edifying somehow, God bless you.

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