This is the reason we need to make sure that we are disciples. Merely calling one's self a "Christian" does not cause a person to be one. Scripture warns us that many people will be deceived into thinking they are saved. Others may simply pretend (knowing they aren't disciples), for whatever reasons.
For a greater focus on the need to make sure, see the separate group of articles: "Making Sure I Am One."
This poem was written by a someone who, at a later date, found herself in a situation in which she had to choose either to follow God, or to abandon him. She chose the second option.
We are not to put our trust in experiences and feelings, but in God and his Word.
Many people who claim to be "Christian" remain that way for a while, and then they "fall away." Why is this? Does this mean they were saved and then lost their salvation? Or is the problem our definition of "saved"? This article is an in-depth look at many of the Scripture passages which define the difference between a genuine follower of Jesus and someone who merely claims to be one (and who may be thoroughly convinced that he is one). [A group of pages.]
Both Peter and Judas failed. One denied Jesus; the other betrayed him. The biggest difference, however, was the way they reacted to their failures: Peter repented and turned back to Jesus; Judas was filled with remorse but did not repent. (He hanged himself, instead.) This article explores some of the differences between a genuine disciple and a counterfeit disciple. We need to remember that Judas had previously appeared to have a trustworthy and loyal character... and all the other disciples were convinced that he was a genuine disciple. This is no different from today, when people who we think are Christians suddenly turn against Christ.
Originally, Mark looked like a failure and Demas looked like a success. In the end, the opposite proved true. This article reminds us that sometimes things don't appear the way they really are. Eventually things may become obvious, but we shouldn't immediately give-up on those who seem to be failing... or be surprised when people we expect to succeed don't.
An in-depth look at an example of compromise. A quick glance at Numbers 22 - 24 could leave a person with the impression that Balaam was a godly prophet, who provided an exemplary model of devotion and loyalty to the God of the Bible. However, a closer look at these chapters, as well as at references about Balaam found elsewhere in the Bible, reveals that his superficial piety covered up a deceitful and corrupt heart.
What the Bible says about people who abandon the faith ...
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)