“They say they know God, but by the way they act, they show that they do not. They are sinful people. They will not obey and are of no use for any good work.” Titus 1:16 NLV
Who are these, who "profess that they know God; but in works they deny him?"
These are the priests of "the leaven of malice and wickedness," the professors of compromise (I Cor. 5:8). They are the prophets and followers of falsehood, who "know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2Ths. 1:8).
They carry their Bibles to church. They say "Amen!" and shake hands with others, while "transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood" (Isa. 59:13).
It is hard to imagine that these are some of us. But they are, no doubt, if we are willing to believe what the Bible says. These are the unwise virgins, who find no time to buy oil for their lamps, until it is too late (Matt. 25).
Counterfeit Christians are simply unwilling to frame their lives with the Word of God. They desire the blessings, without making the sacrifice.
They covet the rewards, without denying the flesh. They want the end result without submitting to the means of getting there. They refuse to "put on Christ" (Gal. 3:27).
These counterfeit Christians are unprofitable servants, who are cast "into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. 25:30).
"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matt. 7:20).
Sadly, there is a class of "unwise virgins" within the Church today, who are counterfeit Christians. "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him." There is nothing you or I can say or do that will turn these people and move them off the path of their own self will and destruction.
Through their works, they "deny me before men." Of these, Jesus says, "him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 10:33).
These are not the same as genuine Christians, who sometimes backslide into sin, and whom God will restore through chastisement and further conversion.
Exposed and identified, how can we be certain we are not among these "workers of iniquity," who will be cast "into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41)?
The proof is in the fruits, which no counterfeit Christian is able to bear.
“It is true, every good tree has good fruit. Every bad tree has bad fruit.” Matt. 7:17 NLV
What are the fruits of a genuine Christian life, in contrast with counterfeit Christians?
“……the fruit (the effect, the product) of the Light or the Spirit [consists] in every form of kindly goodness, uprightness of heart, and trueness of life.” Eph. 5:9 AMP
“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,
Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.” Gal. 5:22-24 AMP