There is more to Christianity than just words. There is more to it than just attending Church. There is more to it than being born to parents who are Christians. There is more to it than traditions and ceremonies. Anyone can claim to be whatever they want to be. I can claim to be a doctor. I can buy a white lab coat and carry around a stethoscope. I can read all the latest medical news on the internet. I can speak the right words and sound like a doctor. I can even carry some Tylenol in my pocket. But these things do not make me a doctor any more than claiming to be a Christian, doing the right things, saying the right words and going to church makes me a Christian.
This was Paul's concern with the Ephesians and the Spirit's concern with us. To be a Christian means to die and be raised to new life in Jesus. That means the old us is gone and replaced by the transformed and transforming us. Christianity means a totally transforming re-birth. Some people may try to fake it and may even fool a lot of people but they can't fool God. Understand this clearly: You may fool parents, friends and even your spouse but you cannot and will not fool God. Perhaps you get away with it right now but when it is time to enter eternity the truth will be known.
Let me ask you, what is more important, eighty or ninety years in this dying world or eternity with the one who loves us?
This is what Paul wrote to the Christians of Ephesus, not the people of the world:
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (Ephesians 5:5)
We read this as if it is a message for the world but is a truth for the Church, the Body of Christ. There will be no pretenders in the Kingdom of God.
We are not talking about those who are sincere in their faith and love for Jesus but instead of those who secretly live behind closed doors with sin. Sin can be hidden from man's eyes but not from God. Those who are sincere in their love gladly confess when they fall and trust God's love to provide the grace to cover those sins. We should not fall but if we do we don't hide it, we deal with it. Consider the great king David. God loved him because of his heart for him.
David was far from perfect and wasn't even the greatest king of Israel, The Word says the king Hezekiah was greater than any king before him and after. But David was sincere in his love and when he sinned he repented. Even if God had to draw it out of him through the words of a prophet, David responded from his love for God. This is what our Father wants from us; honesty, sincerity, faith, trust and love.
Our Father has no interest in punishing people. Did he not send his Son to save the world? But just because he does not want to judge the sins of the world does not mean he won't. He is a just God who had delayed justice for the age of grace to save as many as would desire to be saved by love. But justice is coming, even for those who worship him with their lips but their hearts remain hard and closed to him.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. (Ephesians 5:11)
Again, not about the world but about us. He is not talking about exposing the evil in this world but the evil we have tucked away in our heart. Confess it to God, bring it into the light so you can see it clearly for what it is, and allow the holiness of our God to destroy the power that thing has over you. Be free from the secret things that dominant you and allow the love of Jesus to reign freely. It is time for some honesty with our God who knows all things. It is time for our hearts to be fully devoted to our King. It is time to stop pretending and deal with it. Deal with it today.