In 2011, news outlets reported that a number of fake Apple Stores had been discovered in Kunming, China. The stores apparently looked exactly like Apple Stores, right down to the shirts the employees wore.
But the stores weren’t real. They were impressive imitations.
In the same way, we have people in the church today just like that. They look like Christians. They talk like Christians. We assume they’re Christians. But in reality, they’re sophisticated imitations of the real thing.
The Bible tells us that in the last days, we’ll see more and more people like this.
The apostle Paul wrote, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:1–5 NKJV).
We need to realize that church can be a dangerous place. Now, if you go to church for the right reasons, it’s a safe place. If you come to worship God, hear the Word of God, and have a desire to walk with the Lord, then church is like an oasis where you can be refreshed, replenished, and rebuilt.
But if you go to church to play a religious game and just go through the motions, then church is a dangerous place. That’s because every time you hear the gospel and don’t respond, your heart can become hard.
The writer of Hebrews warned, “Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God” (3:12 NLT).
The best inoculation against the gospel is the gospel, heard but not heeded.
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