In one of the churches I pastored, a teenager seemed to be the center of every problem in the youth group. He was a gifted musician and a member of the church, but nevertheless a problem. One summer when he went to our church youth camp, the youth leaders and church officers and I agreed to pray for him daily.
At one of the meetings, he got up and announced that he had been saved that week! His Christian profession up to that time had been counterfeit. He experienced a dramatic change in his life, and today he is serving the Lord faithfully.
No doubt many of the problems in our churches are caused by people who profess salvation, but who have never truly repented and trusted Jesus Christ. Paul called such people reprobate (2 Corinthians 13:5), which means “counterfeit, discredited after a test.”
He later emphasized the fact that it is important for a person to know for sure that he is saved and going to heaven.
Verse for today: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Consider: Psalm 19:12-13; 2 Corinthians 13:6-7; 1 Timothy 3:1-9; Titus 1:15-16; James 2:14-26; 1 John 5:11-13, 18.
Action assignment: Do you know someone who claims he or she is a Christian, yet whose actions consistently disprove the claim? Pray for that individual today and at least three times a week from now on.
Ask God to give you a heart of love for that person. Go out of your way, if possible, to extend Christian concern and love to that person “for whom Christ died.”
If you cannot think of someone who fits the criterion, then pray for yourself, your loved ones, and your church. Ask God to help you to live genuinely Christian lives in thought, word, and deed.
WARREN W. WIERSBE