Summary: An analysis of characteristics that may mark those who are not true believers.


Matt. 11:15-19 "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children."

John the Baptist sends his disciples to Jesus seeking reassurance that Jesus is truly the Messiah of Israel and the very Son of God. He gently tells them to return to their teacher and give witness of the miracles, signs and wonders He has performed to authenticate and validate His mission, message and Messiahship to unbelieving Jews and the watching world. Jesus then addresses the inconsistent and irrational reasoning of His critics. They had rejected John's ministry because he appeared to be too much of an eccentric and ascetic who wandered around in the desert, out of contact with ordinary people, focusing upon other-worldly matters. They were rejecting Jesus ministry because they accused Him of being too down to earth and too intimately involved with the those He had come to seek and to save.

Jesus then begins to comment upon the religious attitude of these who will not hear Him or follow Him. He compares them to children who play pretend games in the streets and market places of the towns and villages of that day. They pretend to be something they are not and then like spoiled children, they pout and complain because others will not play their game as well. They would become committed disciples of neither John or Jesus. They had a make belief religion.

I am sure we all played pretend and make belief when we were children. I can so vividly remember the cry that seemed to be universal among all the playmates of my childhood, "Come on, let's play like . . ." As well as being a lot of fun, such childhood experiences seem essential to normal growth and development. But there comes a time when we do grow up and move on into the real world where pretend and make belief can be very dangerous and destructive. It is sad when the game of pretense is carried over into adulthood.

/2 It is even sadder when the game of spiritual pretense or make belief is played by those who call themselves Christians. When those who say they are saved and followers of the Lord, act like children playing in the market place of Christianity. Those engaged in such make belief sadly sometimes seem to act like spoiled and pouting children as well. They complain when others will not play their game to suit them. They expect spiritual leaders to play nursemaid to their sensitive, tender and easily injured egos. That walk around with their self pity and feelings protruding on a stick about a metre long. They swagger through life with a delicate chip balanced upon each shoulder, daring someone to bump into them and knock it off. They have their toes stuck out of their shoes in a manner that invites others to stumble and step all over them. For them, the Christian life is but a selfish little game of pretense and make

belief. Why is this so?


It seems some subscribe to an easy believism sort of salvation. The apparently feel that they can accept Christ as their Saviour without a true conversion that involves real repentance and a whole-hearted faith. They would just mentally believe and gladly receive by giving assent to an easy proposition of making a mere decision about the identity of Jesus Christ.

Someone may have convinced them that God is proposing and presenting a fire escape type salvation. Perhaps they have been wrongly led to believe that since salvation is by grace through faith, it has no vital connection with committal and good works. " For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Eph. 2:8-10) They may have thought that Jesus came to be our Saviour, but not necessarily our Lord as well. "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:36) Maybe they are unaware of Jesus' statements about true salvation and the life style that accompanies it. "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matt. 7:20)

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