They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. -1 John 2:19 (NIV)
In a previous post, I talked about the unquenchable fire that true believers have in their hearts…a fire that no one can take from you.
But you might ask: what about the warnings of apostasy in the bible? Apostates are those who allegedly accepted Christ, but then later renounce Him.
This begs the question of what a true believer is versus a false one. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, two of Jesus’ parables help us understand it:
- the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43) talks about nonbelievers who very convincingly masquerade as true believers in our midst; and
- the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23) talks about the depth of belief among us, from nil to deep.
True believers are forever changed, and new creations. False believers are those who may intelligently understand about Christ, but never truly accepted Him, and the Holy Spirit never took place in their hearts. As a result, they also did not receive the accompanying blessings bestowed at the moment of faith, not to mention not receiving the promise of eternal life.
In short, apostates are those who never were true believers to begin with. If you are not a true believer, I invite you now to become an agent of Jesus’ light! If you are a true believer, pray for any apostates you may know, that God may use them in conversion to bring yet more to Him.
Pray for all of us…for your fellow believers, and for those who have yet to come to Christ!