We live in a time where a majority of people who know anything about Christianity seem to think you can do just about anything yet still be a Christian if you say you believe in Jesus. When we really take time to consider comparisons between most of the people the Lord Jesus interacted with during his time on Earth and people of today who have been exposed to the Bible and don’t take it seriously, there isn’t much spiritual difference. Back then people were quick to say they followed God, loved the law, and believed in the coming Messiah, but Jesus often pointed out to them that they weren’t really into God at all, given their dismissal of God’s word in their lives and their failure to recognize that he was the Messiah.
Today we have people going through the religious motions and using religious phrases, but they are quick to deny the meaning of God’s words or redefine his words altogether or just ignore them–all in an effort to justify sin. They swear up and down they’re Christian, but will justify murdering babies in the womb. They’ll give you a “hallelujah” or a “praise God” at the appropriate time, but will defend using profanity, getting drunk, or abusing drugs, or tell you why it’s okay to commit fornication of all kinds (premarital sex, adultery, homosexuality, etc.). However, like the fake Jews of Jesus’s day made genuine Jews and God look bad, fake Christians of today make the Bible, Christianity, and the Trinity all look bad.
Despite their hypocrisy, the Lord Jesus made it crystal clear on several occasions about who was really genuine about their faith in him. They were the ones who had enough love and reverent fear for him that they didn’t tamper with his words, they admitted regret for their sins and faults, and made it their goal to put his words into practice with the type of “hearing” and “following” him that was backed up with obedience. Jesus stated several times this type of attitude denoted who was really with him and who wasn’t, as shown in the following scriptures:
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. … For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Matthew 13:13, 15
Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. …He that is of God heareth [follows, obeys] God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. John 8:43, 47
And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. John 10:4-5
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: John 10:27
If ye love me, keep my commandments. …He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. John 14:15, 21
If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. John 14:23-24
…Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. John 18:37