“Whoever says ‘I know Him’ but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4). Millions of people are Christians in name only. They profess to be so but make no attempt to live an obedient life to God and even less to study His word. Some even call themselves “non-practicing Christians,” a wholly delusional statement akin to calling myself a non-practicing neurosurgeon. Of course, they do this simply because they have little or no knowledge of the Bible and think that somehow using the term “Christian” on themselves reserves a seat in heaven.
They make a mockery of God and the Bible when they do that, but they would do well to remember the words of Gal, 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked.” If we see someone calling themselves a Military hero who did not earn the title, we say they are guilty of “stealing honor” and consider them disgraceful – without honor or integrity. The same goes for an individual who pretends to be a doctor without the proper training. In fact, the latter probably would be arrested and tried under the law as a fraud with jail time almost a certainty. What is the difference between them and non-practicing Christians? Let me tell you. The difference is that those who call themselves something they are not on earth would at the most be disgraced and see jail time, but those who call themselves a Christian and are not face a much, much steeper punishment.
1 John 5:2, “By this we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey His commandments.” Some may even say that obedience is not entirely necessary for salvation, but how do we call ourselves Christians and say we love “children of God” if we do not obey His commandments? John continues in v. 3 with the following words, “1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” Not only does obedience prove our love of His children, but much, much more importantly, it proves we love God. When someone makes himself a liar by saying, “I know Him” but not keeping God’s commandments, try and reason with them by quoting pertinent scriptures.
If that does not work, and a word warning, it often will not because they arrive to the debate with an immovable agenda…just walk away in love. They will throw other “relevant” scriptures at the argument and then expect you to defend those instead of answering yours. I see far too many Christians fall into the trap of fierce, emotional arguments with people like that. Certainly, try to reason with them, but concentrate on your salvation first. Make sure that you are not mocking God by pretending to obey His commandments but not doing so. And remember what John said, “His commandments are not burdensome.” Mocking God does not result in jail time here on earth, but a forever where you do not want to be.