Christian In Name Only
“Having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” 2 Timothy 3:5 NIV.
Do you know this fact? The Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ is littered with professing people who are Christians in name only. To coin a new acronym, these false believers are CINO, Christians in name only. Many people who are genuine believers do not understand this truth. We have a hard time believing there are CINO people around us. You may be wondering, where are these people? I don’t see anyone like this. Well, CINO people can be found sitting in the pew next to you, preaching from the pulpit, in the presbyteries, and bishops.
Do you know this fact? The Lord Jesus warns; CINO people will come into the church to destroy it. You can read the whole discourse of His in Matthew 13 starting on verse 24. He said this.
“Another parable He put forth to them, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.’” Mathew 13:24-26 NKJV
In the history of the church, there have been various cycles of CINO people entering the church and rendering it useless. According to the Lord, the enemy, the devil, sends them in. Jesus calls these CINO people a specific name.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15 NKJV
These wolves act like prophets of God but are ravenous enemies seeking destruction of the kingdom. The Apostle Paul was very worried about Jesus’ warning. He spoke these words to the Ephesus Church upon his coming departure.
“For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.” Acts 20:29 NKJV
In fact, if you read Revelation chapters two to three, you can see this problem taking place. We notice this in the Asia Minor church in Thyatira. A tare was planted. A female ravenous wolf came and took over the church. The Lord is extremely upset the congregation allowed her to come in and take over. He rebukes them saying,
“Nevertheless, I have this against you: ‘You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.’” Revelation 2:20 NIV.
Unfortunately, in our time of Christianity, we have the same problem. Many ravenous wolves are prowling around devouring the church through subversion of the Holy Scriptures. The sheep take this and let it all happen, under the false teaching of tolerance through being non-judgmental. If Jesus sends His Angels to weed these CINO people out before the end time, the church will be lost with everyone in it, see Matthew 13:29. Jesus wants His people to do the weeding and stop being tolerant of ravenous wolves.
The task of uprooting these tares today may be an impossible mission. The only other choice might be found in the words of Paul.
“That is why the Lord has said, ‘Leave them; separate yourselves from them; don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you and be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters.’” 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 TLB.
Christianity without walls may be our last way to bring the Good News to the world of today. CINO people are trouble making people. Let’s not get caught up with them. Here is the fruit by which you can know them according to 2 Timothy 3:1-9 CINO people will be,
- Lovers of self,
- Lovers of money,
- Very boastful,
- Exceeding proud,
- No self-control,
- Despisers of good,
- Pleasure seekers,
- Not people who seek God,
- Church goers, which seem godly but deny God and His power.
The Lord Jesus is serious about this subject. The Apostle’s Doctrine is replete with the warning given by Christ concerning CINO people. We seem to be asleep about this problem. May God awaken us out of our lethargy concerning the loss of the church to Christian in name only people!
Guy Calandra, Author, The Inside Word.