If you regularly attend Church services, are in the Church membership, busy yourself with Church activities, are involved in one or more of the Church ministries, give to the poor and engage yourself in other charitable ventures, wear modest attire, ensure that you take time each day to read your Bible and to pray to God and you have a good reputation and are respected in the Church and in the community, this is all wonderful and quite commendable. However, none of these things can save you. Also, your doing any or all of these things is no sure indication that you are saved.

This may seem shocking to you or even make you feel saddened but it is true. None of these seemingly wonderful things that you have been ,doing means that you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ and are a part of his heavenly family.

You may ask, well how then can a person know if he or she is saved? Well, the Bible is quite clear on this issue and Romans 8:9-11, has the answer. It states:

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, HE IS NONE OF HIS.”

If you have the Spirit of Christ in you therefore, you are saved and belong to Jesus. On the converse, the Word of God makes it clear, that despite all that you do and have done, if you don’t have the Spirit of Christ in you, you are not a Christian. Despite your reputation and what everyone thinks of you and how well you have played the part, even if you thought you were sincerely pleasing God and are genuinely a really nice, loving, giving and caring person, even if your spouse is a Christian and your parents as well, you are still in the coverts of the lost. You are still outside of Christ, your not having even been genuinely saved.

For, those who belong to Christ, have:

  1. HEARD the Gospel;
  2. BELIEVED IN THEIR HEART that God’s testimony of Jesus Christ is true, which is, that he, the Son of God, the Creator of everything and King of Kings and Lord of Lords, came to earth in the form of a baby, died at the hands of wicked men but rose from the dead on the third day;
  3. CONFESSED WITH THEIR MOUTH the truth which they have first believed in their heart, that Jesus Christ is Lord;
  4. Put their FAITH, TRUST AND CONFIDENCE in Him, willingly SURRENDERED and SUBMITTED their whole life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ because they genuinely believe that he is Lord, understand and accept that his rightful place is to rule over their lives, them therefore now desiring and aiming to please him and no longer themselves;
  5. As a result of the preceding steps, they have been INDWELLED BY THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST. That is, the Spirit of Christ comes and takes up residence in their heart.

The Bible declares:

  • “That if thou shalt CONFESS with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not HEARD? and how shall they hear without a preacher?..So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God..” (Romans 10:9-14,17)

Notice that none of the things listed as commendable above are involved in the process of salvation. A person does not need to do any of those things to be saved. All they need to do is believe on Jesus Christ and confess the truth of his Lordship with their mouth, understanding and embracing the fact that they must now live their lives submitted and surrendered to his Lordship. Without these, the Spirit of Christ will not indwell a person. The Lord Jesus Christ, knowing the heart, will not save a person simply because he utters words whereby he claims that Jesus is Lord, if that person does not genuinely believe it. He will not save him because he is found in the company of his people and therefore goes where they go and mimics what they do.

The Spirit of Christ, otherwise known as the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit is a seal on those who genuinely belong to the Lord and are saved. In Ephesians 1:13, Paul, in his letter to those who were Christians at Ephesus, he made reference to Jesus Christ, telling them, “In whom ye also TRUST, after that ye HEARD the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye BELIEVED, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise”.

In John 14:16-17, Jesus told his disciples:

  • “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

The importance of having the Holy Spirit indwelling a person who claims to believe in Jesus Christ, as an indication and seal that that person is saved, was demonstrated in the account given in the Bible of the wise and foolish virgins.

In Matthew 25:1-13, Jesus stated:

  • “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 
  • And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

Amazingly, the five wise virgins and the five foolish were similar in many regards. Yet, when the bridegroom, who is symobolic of Jesus Christ, came, the foolish virgins were not allowed to enter the marriage, which is indicative of the Kingdom of heaven. They were shut out with the rest of the ungodly.

Why was this? After all, they were all virgins and were therefore all living morally upright lives. The five foolish virgins had never committed fornication or sexual sin but were chaste, just like the five wise virgins. They were also obviously spending the same amount of time as the five wise virgins, in the places where the five wise virgins were. In short, they kept company with them. They were not strangers. They knew each other and moved together. They also most likely looked like each other, not in terms of physical resemblance but in terms of them seemingly having lived a similar life. To an onlooker, they probably all looked the same: all women, all dressing in similar attire, all living chaste lives, all keeping the same company and doing the same thing. However, there was one major difference that may not have been apparent to the naked eye. Whereas they were similar in different respects, when it came to the oil in their lamps, only five of those women had them.

It is clear from the scriptures, that a reference to oil is a reference to the Holy Spirit. Oil in the lamp therefore referred to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, meaning, that the Spirit of Christ was resident in a person’s heart.

What characterized these women internally was where the major difference lay. Five were indwelled by the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Christ, whereas five were not.

This underscores the point that, as Jesus Christ indicated, there are tares among the wheat, meaning that in a Church, there are people sitting in the pews, preaching on the platform and in the Church membership, people who may be busy doing so-called ministry activities, who are not saved but lost. They look the part and play the part, by dressing as the Lord’s people, doing the things that they do seemingly and going where they go but they are still a part of the world. They still do not know the Lord Jesus as their Saviour and therefore, his Spirit has not indwelled them.

It is not possible in many of these cases, to detect those who are among us who are not saved. Sometimes, some of them give themselves and their true identity away, to the discerning but even the most discerning will not be able to tell one hundred percent of the time, all who in the membership are saved and who are not. Thankfully, while we are expected to be watchful and to exercise discernment and to judge righteous judgment, utiizing the Word of God and being prayerful, we are not expected as mere mortals with limited knowledge and understanding, to detect every imposter among us. God knows those who are his and those who are not genuinely saved, including those who are self-deceived. Although some of these people will get up and leave the Church, never to return, therefore highlighting that they were never true believers, based on what Jesus told his disciples, some imposters, who are still unsaved and therefore belong to satan the enemy, will be content to remain (and make mischief) right up until the end, when the Lord comes and separates them.

In Matthew 13:24-30, Jesus explained this quite while, usung the parable of tares and wheat. He said:

  • “…The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which 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 blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Jesus also mentioned the same thing through his use of goats and sheep, in Matthew 25:31-34, 41 and 46. He stated:

  • “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels...And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

It should be noted of tares/goats (the unsaved who sit among Christians (the wheat/sheep) in the Church), that even if it seems on the surface that they are doing good things while in the Church, because they are of their father the devil and he hates the Lord Jesus, they will be hurting, not advancing the Lord’s cause. This may be done subtly or surreptitiously, so that their undermining is not openly apparent to everyone or they may target just one or a few persons, trying their very best to steal their faith or provoke them behind the scenes or fill them with discouragement.

While the scriptures do not say, I would not be surprised if the five foolish virgins contributed to the five wise virgins being in a state of slumbering and sleeping when the bridegroom came. They ought to have been alert and watchful but they were not and this possibly could have been through the influence of the unwise virgins.

Thankfully because they had oil in their lamps, meaning that they were indwelled by the Holy Spirit, the wise virgins belonged to the Lord and he granted them access. Of the unwise virgins though, who, although they had looked and played the part well were never truly of him and therefore never got sealed with his Holy Spirit, they were denied access. The bridegroom told them, even as Jesus will to all imposters one day, who die outside of his saving grace, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”

Those that are sheep, meaning genuine Christians, hear the voice of the Lord when he speaks to them, although not audibly. They also subject themselves to his leading. They have relationship with him and they therefore know him and he knows them.

In John 10: 27-28, Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

Those who do not have relationship with the Lord Jesus though and therefore do not have his Spirit indwelling them because they have not yet surrendered to his Lordship by faith in him are not known by the Lord, meaning, he does not claim them as his own.

Imagine, the foolish virgins, although they had spent so much time around the wise virgins were none the wiser. They remained foolish. Similarly, unsaved people who are in the Church membership pretending to be one of the Lord’s or deluding themselves into thinking that they are His, think that they can gain spiritual points with the Lord by associating with God’s people or mimicking what they do. They cannot however, be made wise or be spiritually enlightened by the Christians they are among. The Word of God clearly states that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 9:10). Wisdom therefore begins with salvation and there is no other way outside of Jesus, whereby a person can be saved.

Acts 4:12 states, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Of the kingdom of heaven and how one may gain access, Jesus himself stated, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Although the foolish virgins had spent time around the wise virgins who belonged to the bridegroom, when he came, they foolishly thought that the oil in the lamps of the wise could be shared with them, so as to enable them to enter the marriage. Similarly today, many people believe that somehow, in fraternizing with godly people, going to services with them, doing kind things for them or having them pray for them, will result in their gaining access to heaven. They foolishly believe that the spirituality of Christians, their fellowship with the Lord, their anointing and the power that comes with it, is something they can get if someone by association of a religious person lays hands on them or they do some sort of ritual and that whatever is required to get to heaven, a Christian can simply will them in to it or give them of what they have, so that they too will get there. However, no Christian can share of the Holy Spirit that indwells him with another person. Jesus Christ is the way to salvation and outside of him, there can be no indwelling.

As I wrote of the parable with the five foolish and five wise virgins, in an earlier Article close to two years ago, entitled “Imposters Among Us“:

  • This reminds us that there is no such thing as Christianity by association. There are some people who think that they are okay and will be accepted by the Lord or that they must be Christian and spiritual because they associate with Christian people or a particular Christian person that is very spiritual. They somehow think that what these people have, will somehow brush off on them. However, it does not work that way. You can hang out with one hundred deeply spiritual Christians, if you are not blood-washed and don’t know Jesus personally, for yourself, nothing that they have and are can help you. You cannot rely on the oil of others to be accepted. You must have oil in in your own vessel, for yourself.

The only way the foolish virgins could have gotten oil was to go and purchase it for themselves. They could not benefit from what was spiritually inside of those who were saved. Today, Jesus Christ having purchased redemption for us with his blood, we don’t need to go out and buy anything. Whosoever will, may come to Jesus and now is the accepted time. Today is the day of salvation. None of us know when Jesus Christ will return but he has made provision for all, so that those who believe on him, can be saved and having been saved, will be indwelled by his Spirit. It is choice that each person must make for himself or herself.

If people disregard this invitation and refuse to come and partake of what is being offered, when Jesus Christ returns, as the foolish virgins learned, it will be too late to try to purchase oil so as to enter the kingdom of heaven and no Christian will be able to help then. All persons found without the Spirit of the Lord in them, will be denied access because they are not saved.

If you claim to be a Christian and therefore regularly attend Church services and are in the membership and busy yourself with Church activities and so-called “ministry”, my question to you is this: Do you have the Spirit of Christ indwelling you? Do you know this for sure?

Those who have the Spirit of Christ in them, know it. It is not a secret thing. For, the Spirit of Christ in a person does not lie dormant and try to go unnoticed. He takes the helm of control of that person’s life and leads that person. He also gives that person ongoing confirmation that he is in that person.

The Word of God makes it clear in Romans 8:14 and 16“, For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God… The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God”.

Jesus told his disciples in John 14:16-17: that, while those in the world (the unsaved) could not receive the Spirit of truth and did not know him, “ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

Those who have the Spirit of Christ in them, also known as the Spirit of truth, also love truth, even when it convicts them of sin and makes them ashamed of their behaviour.

In John 16:13-14, Jesus stated:

  • “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

1 Corinthians 2:9-16 reads:

  • “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
  • But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.”

1 John 2:27 states of those who have been anointed with the Spirit of Christ, which is all genuine Christians:

  • “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”

Can you say honestly therefore, that you are being led and guided by the Spirit of God in your life or have you remained in control and at the helm of your decisions and behaviour? Have you experienced and continue to experience the Holy Spirit confirming to your spirit, that He is present in you and that you are therefore a child of God? Do you love truth and do you get shown things that the natural man, who is still unsaved and therefore in his sins, cannot discern? As you read the Word of God, the Bible, are you taught of the Spirit, so that no man have need to teach you? Have you had experiences in your life, where, you were enabled to do great exploits, which, after you had done them, you yourself were in shock, knowing yourself to be a weakling, causing you to realize that it was not by your own might or by your own power but by the Spirit of the Lord that was in you, that you did what you did?

If in honesty, your answers to these questions are no or you have not a clue of what I’m talking about, if what I have mentioned is not the reality in your life, then I urge you to examine yourself whether you are in the faith. For, despite all of your accomplishments and the Christian people that you associate with and all that you think you have done for God so far, even if you are well-intentioned and think yourself to be sincere, if you don’t have the Spirit of Christ, then you are not his.

(Written on 30th March, 2024)

Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be intersting, beneficial, informative or edifying, you may be interested in also reading the following:

  • Note 17 – ‘In Relationship With God Or Just Religious?’
  • Note 42 – ‘Ten (10) Red Flags That That Speaker Or Teacher Is A Wolf Disguised In Sheep’s Clothing Or Operating Under The Devil’s Deception’
  • Note 73 – ‘Are You Really Saved? Here Are Some Indicators’
  • Note 100 – ‘Do You Have Imitation Faith Or Enduring Faith?’
  • Note 110 – ‘Are You Truly Saved? Eight (8) Biblical Indicators To Examine Whether You Are In The Faith’
  • Note 112 – ‘The Unbelief Of Judas Iscariot’
  • Note 162 – ‘The Spirit Of Prophecy’
  • Note 203 – ‘How Important Is Truth To Christianity?’
  • Note 246 – ‘Imposters Among Us’

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