The greatest deception that most zealous Christians who are on fire for Jesus fall victim to is to mistakenly assume that Godly people do not sin, and that those who commit just one sin (willful or not) are agents of Satan, without divine revelation. The other group of zealous Christians assume that even those who lie their way to avoid the penalty of their sin are actually genuine, whether they are clothing themselves with a clean garment to deceive you and themselves.
23, For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;
24, Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;
This has been a common stigma held among devout Christians who are sincerely zealous for people to come to Jesus. However, let us be careful not to deceive ourselves and think that because we are holy, we do not sin. If anyone says he does not sin, or claims to have “stopped sinning upon conversion”, he is lying ghSee John 1:8). Perfection can’t be achieved on this Earth. The only way we can be “perfect” is when we all get to Heaven with resurrected bodies that are flawless and without sin.
Now, compare a justified sinner to a willful sinner who IS indeed working for Satan to deceive God’s people. A guide to help us differentiate between these two groups is the acronym WHAM: Will, Heart, Attitude, Mindset. The following set of questions should give you a basic guideline based on Biblical evidence.
Sinner Saint or Satan’s Agent? WHAM
1. Is he WILLING to change the behavior, or do he sincerely enjoy his sin? Does he realize that he has sinned?
2. Is he willing to accept the painful process of discipline and accountability for the harm he caused? This is also a question of maturity, since a key element in breaking sinful habits or even striving for holiness is to get over being “offensive” with sincere rebuke and critique.
3. Does he (passively or actively) show signs he wants to make amends for his sin?
HA: Heart + Attitude
1. Are there hidden emotions that could possibly be a motive for his behavior?
2. How does he respond when his sins are addressed and pointed out? Does he turn the blame on you, sprinkling in juicy Scripture with the intent to deceive or accuse the other party?
3. Do his expressions seem to indicate that he has no intention of repenting, yet offers gimmicks to get you on his side? “But, thank God that X happened, because I am SOOOO sanctified!” “If you do not tell X I did this, I will do X.”
4. Does he laugh at or mock sin (classified as a fool or “idiot”)?
5. Is he comfortable playing hymns while hiding his true intentions, masking it with churchy excuses “But, God forgives!” “The devil made me do it!” “You are lying!”
6. Are there other hidden attitude patterns you notcce? Is he truly remorseful for his sin, or does he lash out at you and bring up YOUR sins with the intent to shame the person who may be a gazillion times more Godly than him?
After substantial time and sufficient reflection, is it reasonable to conclude that his sin and his lack of genuine repentance poses a serious spiritual hazard for those around you, including yourself? If so, you might want to call “Code Red!” It is likely that you must separate yourself from the sinner until he repents. However, even after he repents, caution is still recommended, that you may not be an accomplice to sin or be lured into temptation. In short: Do not go back inside an already burning building.
The key to remember when discerning true repentant sinners from a demonic agent is the attitude and the heart behind their deeds. It is also worth noting that Satan comes in various forms: Disguising himself as a minister of righteousness, or an angel of light. (See 2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the hidden clues that will possibly unmask such people, and, in some cases, show that it may be time to either reconcile or separate for a period of time.
Prayer: Discerning The True Light
Father in Heaven, I come before the throne to thank you for placing this mestsage in my heart as I write to you and your children today. May you convict us of the sins that enslave us, and come to you with a true repentant heart that is committed to maintain an example of holiness that is borne out of love for You. Lord, let us not deceive ourselves by wearing the mask of perfection. Lord, open our eyes and our ears so that we may carefully discern the sheep from the goat: Not baring a spirit of judgement and division, but a spirit of love and hunger for the truth. Finally, let us not be fooled by the many ways and forms Satan cloaks himself as Christ-sent agents: Not falling prey to their gimmicks or vain promises, while praying for their eventual repentance. In Jchsus name, amen!