As the terrible events of the world unfold, God’s people are ever watching for the coming of the last great crisis and long for the coming of Jesus. They long for the days when Bible prophecy is fulfilled and when they will be safe the in courts of heaven with Jesus forever…or are they?
For countless years, many Christians professed to have put their sins behind them. They convinced the world that they cannot wait for Jesus to come and save them from the wickedness of this world. They profess holiness and uncompromising obedience to the Word of God. They act as if they regard the coming of Christ to be their greatest hope and many people have believed their “sincerity” concerning this. But in this, to themselves and to the world, they pretend.
They imitate. They simulate. They feign. They pretend.
There is no other way to describe this current state among many Christians right now. We build churches, donate to charities, do volunteer work, and preach abundantly. Music genres, movies, and many forms of entertainment within a “Christian subculture”stand side by side with the world. Many have been healed and demons have been cast out in Jesus’ name. But there are many today to whom Jesus will soon say, “I never knew you.” Despite their pretended zeal for the Lord’s coming, their Savior sees right through their pretenses as He saw through the facade of Ananias and Sapphira.
Barnabas, among many of his fellow believers, sold their properties and donated their funds to the work of spreading the gospel. Their genuine faith mattered more to them than anything they owned. Their land and their monies were but a small price to pay for the reward of being with their Savior forever. But Ananias and Sapphira, coveting the praise of the faithful, sold a possession of land but “kept back part of the price…and laid it at the apostles’ feet” (Acts 5:2).
Let’s lay this out in more modern terms. Take this land for sale in Dooly County, Georgia, for example. 138 acres of land for $375,000.
This land has the following amenities and more.
- A 2 Bed/1 Bath pine log cabin
- 56 acres of farmland and mature timber
- 28 acres of mature planted pine
- 39 acres of natural pine and hardwood
- 13 acres of ponds/wetlands
- 2-acre home site
Now imagine that the owner successfully sold this land for asking price. The owner (for argument’s sake) is a Christian who professedly believes in the soon coming of Jesus. Many of his fellow believers, convicted by the messages of God’s last-day prophets, sell their land and give the funds to those determined to add to the church those who should be saved.
The owner of this land, seeing how these genuine believers are honored for their sincere gifts to God’s service, wants to receive the same honor while keeping a portion of the funds for himself. So he brings a check to these last-day prophets for $300,000. He says that he wants to help them in the work of faithfully warning the world of Jesus’ Second Coming. He tells them that he sold 138 acres of land for this much, while secretly keeping the remaining $75,000 for himself. To the world, this landowner is a Christian zealous for the coming of his Savior.
But to Jesus, this owner is a pretender. He is a man who allowed Satan to fill his heart to lie to the Holy Ghost. He didn’t have to give up any of the money he gained from selling his land. He could have kept it. Giving to the cause was not wrong; it was his lying about the true price of the land that was. Ultimately, the landowner is rebuked by the last-day prophets for this and instantly dies. At the final judgment, this landowner is cast in the lake of fire, where he is destroyed. Pretending in the last days to be someone he should have been but wasn’t (a faithful believer) ultimately ruined his hope of salvation.
Unfortunately, there are many Christians today who are in the same danger as this landowner. They want the world to believe that they take the signs of the times seriously. They pretend that they take the Bible and its prophecies critically: that they study them diligently. But they won’t let go of their sins and their unbelief. They take pleasure in that which they shouldn’t. They live a Christian life without preparing for the coming of Christ. The earthly things of our faith are all that they want, especially the praise of our fellow believers. This pretend faith is a fatal faith, not a saving one.
They place themselves in the same position as Ananias in the last days. But what was Ananias’ reward for this imitation of piety? Did he not fall down dead before Peter, a last-day prophet of God?
Sapphira also was guilty before the Lord, having been her husband’s co-conspirator. Despite having time to repent her of the evil she committed, she chose to indulge her sin, even in the presence of God’s prophet. Was not such sin worthy of its wages?
Precious time is being given to God’s people before the coming of Jesus, time in which we should repent and return to Him. We cannot pretend to take these things serious anymore. We cannot pretend to regard Bible prophecy while living contrary to its message, repentance and preparation for the coming of Jesus.
If you would save the lives of your loved ones, cast off your fictitious faith now. With genuine faith, take up the cross of Jesus and follow Him. Repent of your sins, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Your genuine faith could be the very means of saving your friends and family, even those who may hate you.
The kingdom of heaven will not be populated by pretenders, “believers” among us who say one thing and do another. They will not be rewarded for their duplicitous allegiance. Only those who cast off their iniquities and prepare for the coming of the Lord will be ready to meet Him at His coming. Will you be among those faithful ones, the genuine believers and the pretenders who repented before that day? If you desire to be there, then stop pretending. Believe, repent, and prepare for the coming of Him whom you call your Lord today.