You Didn't “Used to be a Christian”
By David J. Stewart
I received a letter once from a professed witch. In her e-mail she claimed that she “used to be a Christian,” and was upset with me for speaking out against Wicca as a form of satanism.
FIRST, I would like to say that there is NO such thing as a person who “used to be a Christian.” Just as a person cannot reverse the physical birth, neither can the spiritual birth be reversed. John 3:3-7 clearly teaches... YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN! Salvation is a second birth, a new birth. Salvation is not a philosophy, nor a way of life, nor an organization. Salvation is not an experience, nor a religion. Salvation is the second birth, a miracle of God in Heaven.
Many people today have churchianity, but they don't have Christianity. They have religion without truth. America's churches are filled with people who claim to be Christians, but they've never been born anew in Christ Jesus. They've never been Biblically born-again. 1st Peter 1:23 states, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” The Word of God is the Seed by which the Holy Spirit brings forth new life in response to our faith in the Savior. Salvation is a supernatural act of God in response to an a sinner's faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God (John 20:31).
Salvation is not a prayer, although someone may call upon the Lord in prayer for salvation. A sinner's prayer is certainly appropriate. Salvation is not a commitment, although a person may desire to commit their life to God at the time of salvation. Salvation is not an experience, although one may remember an emotional experience when they were saved. Others may not remember much of anything, like I don't; but I remember knowing that I was a sinner in need of Jesus Christ, and I remember calling out to God from my church pew as a young teenager to save me.
Salvation is a miracle of God, brought about by our faith in the shed blood of Jesus. Someone asked me the question... “Isn't placing our faith in Jesus a work?” Yes, but it is not an act of self-righteousness. Jesus said in John 6:29, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” That is the only “work” that a person can do to be saved, that is, BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED (Acts 16:30-31).
It is IMPOSSIBLE to reverse the second birth, just as it is equally impossible to reverse the physical birth. Once a child of God, always a child of God! If saved, always saved! This is a fundamental doctrine of the Bible. To say that a person can lose their salvation is to call Jesus a liar, because in John 6:37 He promised, “...him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” You don't get saved by doing good works, and you don't get unsaved by doing bad works.
Eternal life is the free gift of God (Romans 5:15, 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9). In eternity, God is going to judge the saved (2nd Corinthians 5:9-11) and the unsaved (Revelation 20:13-15) for their sins; but getting saved has nothing to do with giving up one's sinful lifestyle. You come as a SINNER and trust upon the SAVIOR to be saved. Calvinists and Lordship Salvationists are liars, requiring people to stop living in sin to be saved. It is a false gospel. God does not require men to give up anything to be saved; but rather, God gave up His only begotten Son at Calvary to pay for our sins. It is not what we are doing that gets us into Heaven; but rather, it's where we are looking. LOOK TO JESUS!
The reason why many people today claim to be former Christians is simply because they were never BORN AGAIN to begin with. To unsaved people, Christianity is nothing more than a philosophy. So when they decide to change their philosophy, they are sincere when they say... “I used to be a Christian.” Now, they may have once been in a Christian church, and had learned Christian teachings; but they certainly never found Christ as their personal Savior. Many people join a church, listen to the Gospel message, but they have NO faith in God. This is exactly what happened to the Jews in the Wilderness in Moses' time... “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” Many people hear the saving Gospel message of Christ crucified, but they have no faith in what they are hearing. Our churches are packed full with such Christ-rejecters. What a sad paradox!
SECOND, regarding the letter that I received from a witch, Wicca is demonic. All Wiccans worship the pagan god, Pan, from whom the modern image of a horned Devil originates. In fact, Pan is extremely popular in Wicca and Satanism. Who's kidding who? We've seen Pan quite a bit lately in movies such as Narnia, Pan's Labyrinth, and on several of Ozzy Osbourne's OzzFest album covers. Pan is the pagan god of sexual perversion and rape, and is often portrayed fondling and seducing women. If you want to learn just how sick all this stuff is, please read NARNIA and Satanism. Also, Pan's Labyrinth.
Wicca denies the concept of sin, teaching karma instead, as does religious humanism and New Age. The teaching of karma was intended to substitute and replace the Biblical reality of sin. Of course, karma is not true. The Bible warns that all men will give account to God in eternity for every work, whether good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Jesus said that men will be held accountable even for the idle words they speak (Matthew 12:36). Sin implies rebellion against God. Sin is a Biblical term, which is why witches and new agers avoid it.
Satan is also a Biblical term. Although Wiccan witches deny the existence of Satan, that in no way makes it true. Satan has been trying to convince the world that he doesn't really exist for thousands of years. Any fool can look at the evils of war and the oppression of the poor by the wealthy elite and know that there's a Devil. The Bible calls Satan the god of this world (2nd Corinthians 4:4). Don't ever forget that when you see all the crimes, corruption and chaos in the world. The earth is the Lord's (1st Corinthians 10:26); but Satan is the god of the evil systems of this world. This is why Ephesians 6:12 says that our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this world.
CONCLUSION. Either you are saved now, and always will be; or else you aren't saved now, and never were to begin with. If saved, always saved! Whatever experiences you may have had in the past, or Christian teachings you held for a time, cannot qualify as having BEEN A CHRISTIAN. Ye must be born again! Christianity began as a new birth in Jesus Christ. When it went to Greece it became a philosophy. When it went to Rome it became an organization. When it spread throughout Europe it became a culture. And when it came to America it became a business.
Most of what is considered “Christian” today is nothing of the such. Without a doubt, the term “Christian” is the most abused, misused and misunderstood word today. Any attempt to improve humanity that ignores the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is religious humanism, not Christianity. Much of the teachings that we hear these days is religious humanism, which denies the sinful nature of mankind and abandons the cross of Calvary. So the next time you hear someone claim... “I used to be a Christian,” you know that they've never been born-again to begin with, because the second birth is as irreversible as the physical birth. Salvation is NOT reformation, nor rehabilitation, nor education, nor legislation; but rather, regeneration by the Spirit of God. Ye Must Be Born Again!