THE FOUR TYPES OF CHRISTIANS IN A CONGREGATION: THE PRODUCTION PRINCIPAL

(Matt. 13:18-23) The parable of the sower states (V.19) the word of God is sown in these individual’s hearts and all these individuals (V.19, 20, 22, & 23) received the word, so the parable illustrates FOUR TYPES of Christians, one at a time, which are found in every congregation. It is obvious Jesus gave this parable as a warning to Christians so we can understand the things that cause Christians to backslide and (V.23) that the people who remain faithful Christians are of different capabilities.

When you add together the articles THE FOUR TYPES OF CHRISTIANS IN ANY CONGREGATION and THE FOUR STAGES OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN ANY CONGREGATION it is obvious there is going to be SIN IN CHURCH. I've heard hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people criticize the sins of Christians in Church and many of them say when, and if, they get saved they will not sin. (Matt. 13:18-23) will be addressed below in the highlighted sub-title.

BUT CHRISTIANS WILL SIN

Please read the following scriptures taken from (1John 1:7 thru 2:2). (1:7) "and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth US (Christians) from all sin."(1:8) "If WE say that WE have no sin, WE deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in US." (Prov. 5:21-23 & 15:3 keywords: The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good) It is astonishing that a person would be ignorant enough to try to lie to God.

John, the writer of five books of the Bible, included himself in the five capitalized words in the two preceding verses. So if a Christian tells you he/she doesn't sin he/she is a liar. (1John 1:7 thru 2:2) continued:

(1:9) "If we confess OUR sins, he is faithful and just to forgive US OUR sins, and to cleanse US from all unrighteousness." No, this is not a permit, passport, or a hunting license to go jump into sin, it is God's mercy and grace way out when Christians get the stupid's or even the super-stupid's and sin; Christians like me and Christians like you.

(1:10) "If WE say that WE have not sinned, WE make him (God) a liar, and his (God's) word is not in US." This is self-explanatory: If God's word is not in a person they have not studied God's word as they should have because (2Tim. 2:15 keyword: approved- which is defined: accepted, tried) we must "Study to shew thyself approved"! The Holy Bible is the only way to know God. You are accountable for refusing to study and know what you should have known. (Prov. 6:16 & 19) The Lord hates a lying tongue and a false witness that speaketh lies. To call God a liar is to call Him what He hates.

(Prov. 6:16 & 19) Is there a greater sin than calling God a liar? Read this-->(Matt. 12:31-32 keyword: blasphemy) The definition of blasphemy is defame, rail on, revile, impious railing against God. Blasphemy against God shall not be forgiven UNLESS (1Tim. 1:13) you are like the apostle Paul and have blasphemed in ignorance. You will have to sort that awful sin out with God. And don't ever do it again!

(1John 1:4: 8 & 16) God is love. Love hurts when it is rejected, insulted, abused or been unfaithful to. DO YOU MEAN A CHRISTIAN CAN HURT GOD? (2Pet. 3:8-9 esp. V.9) "The Lord is longsuffering (suffer, patiently endure) to us-ward (V.8 keyword: beloved- the church), not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (Eph. 4:30) ""And grieve (cause grief, sorrowful, sadness, heaviness) not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." We hurt God when we sin!

(2:1 and the first eight words of 2:2) "My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate (intercessor, consoler, comforter) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation (acknowledge>>> a conciliatory offering) for our sins:" Christians are not supposed to sin because it is humiliating and against what God wants for His people.

(Heb. 4:15-16) Jesus lived with a human nature just like us and He understands our infirmities because He was tempted just like us but He did not sin. That's why and how a Christian can come to the throne of grace and obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need. Jesus understands just how hard it is to resist sin (Psa. 103:1-17 esp. V.13 & 17) and that is why He is filled with tender mercy toward His Christians. (John 1:7 thru 2:2) That is what God gives you and me, us.

(Psa. 103:10-13) God gives me mercy because He did not give me what I deserve; HELL! AND: God gives me grace because He did give me what I did not deserve; SALVATION! Christians are a work in progress (Christian spiritual growth) until we die. SO: I may not yet be where I can be and I may not be what I could be. But, PRAISE GOD, I'M NOT WHERE AND WHAT I USED TO BE EITHER because I'm a better Christian than I used to be! Does that apply to you?

(2:2 the last nine words) "but not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (2Pet. 3:9) Jesus died for every person who will ever live and God wants every one of them to come to repentance (reformation, reversal>>>turn and go the other direction than the one you are going) and get saved, (Matt. 7:13-14) but the vast majority won't.

READ THESE AND REMEMBER THEM BECAUSE YOUR ETERNAL DESTINATION DEPENDS UPON THEM: (Rev. 2:2, 9, 13, 19, 3:2, 8, & 15 keyword in all: works and esp. 2:23 keywords: Jesus said; I will give unto every one of you according to your works), (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13 & 22 keywords in all: He that hath an ear (physical or mental), let him hear what the Spirit (Holy Spirit) saith unto the churches (plural= all) AND (John 15:1-6 Jesus said; esp. V. 5 keywords: abideth in me and I in him bringeth forth much fruit and V.6 abideth not in me, cast forth, withered, and they are burned).

AND THESE: (John 1:1-4 and 1John 1-4) Jesus is the living Word of God, (1Tim. 3:16) Jesus was God manifest (render apparent, show self) in the flesh and (John 12:48) Jesus said; "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (2Tim. 3:16) "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine (learning, teaching, instruction), for reproof (conviction, evidence), for correction (straightening up again, restoration), for instruction (education, training, by implication disciplinary correction, chastening) in righteousness (justification, in a broad sense the condition acceptable to God).

If you do not completely understand God's identity please read the article Who is the Holy Spirit on the commentary The Holy Spirit & You. If you do not completely understand what God expects from you as a Christian please click on the commentary God, Satan and Man: The Relationship and read the twenty articles titled Part 28 thru Part 36

(MATT. 13:19, 20-21, 22 & 23) HERE'S THE ORIGIN OF HOW AND WHY CHRISTIANS SIN

TYPE ONE: (Matt. 13:19): “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.”

This type Christian is just not interested enough in Jesus and living the Christian life to learn how to be a Christian. They never catch on that Christianity is a life of service, honesty, humility and unselfishness. This person’s values are revealed in his conversation because his words, which are his thoughts, are on everything but Jesus and the church.

He refuses to understand that the salvation experience is only the beginning of his new life as a Christian and he refuses to accept the responsibilities of living his new life as a Christian. He doesn’t have much of a prayer life, doesn’t study the Bible, doesn’t attend Bible study or Sunday school and usually starts missing church more and more and he sins accordingly.

Satan, the devil, (wicked one) steals the word and their salvation right out of their heart because they don’t care enough to try. Every congregation has any number of this type Christian. He may quit or he may attend church intermittently for years or until the end of his life and claim to be a Christian but his life brings a reproach on Jesus and the church. Yawn. "Ho hum, I've got more exciting things to do than all that church stuff."

Sometimes a Christian of this type starts sinning small sins and goes on sinning more and more, then more and more publicly, then larger and larger sins until they descend back to where salvation brought them from (Luke 11:24-26 & Heb. 6:4-6) and they are worse off than before they got saved because they can’t get saved again. It takes time to backslide out of church and sin is the escort. Sin, in church, by Christians, is real.

TYPE TWO: (Matt: 13:20-21): “But he that received the seed into stony, (hard) places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon, (for a short time) with joy receiveth it (TYPE ONE); Yet hath he not root, (never becomes stable) in himself, but dureth, (endures) for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.”

This type Christian gets saved and is on fire for the Lord Jesus but when problems come to his life because he is a Christian he is not stable enough in God’s word to endure the trouble and he eventually quits. Read the scriptures closely and dig into church history. Christians love to feel they have tribulation and suffer persecution but where is it in America?

Our biggest tribulation appears to be keeping up with the Joneses. Our biggest persecution is our cornucopia (the classical horn of plenty) that has spilled out so many things to want that we have lost the ability to distinguish our wants from our needs.

Sometimes these Christians cause tribulation for other Christians by starting rumors, backbiting and carrying tales. The type two Christian never really takes a firm stand for anything or against anything. There are many of this type Christians that spend their whole life in church but sometimes their backsliding takes the same slow, painful, sinful road out of church as type one. Sin, in Church, by Christians, is real.

TYPE THREE: (Matt. 13:22) “He that receiveth seed among the thorns, (sharp points) is he that heareth the word; and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness (delusion) of riches, choke (strangle completely) the word, and he becometh unfruitful (barren).”

This type Christian gets saved but they have problems with their values. Their desire for money, excessive concern about worldly pursuits, coveting possessions and desire for power or prestige keep gouging them and in reality, it means more to them than their relationship with God. “I will be known as a good old boy if I, or a success if I----.” OR:

“I can make more money on this job if I cut a corner a little bit here and there and it’ll be just as good. OR: I’ll just extend my time sheet a little; they owe it to me anyway because of the way they treat me here. OR: this big old company won’t miss this little old thing and I really need it myself.”

“Why should I pay taxes on this part of my income, it was a cash deal?” (1Cor. 6:10 & Rev. 21:8) Theft is theft no matter what name one hangs on it and (Prov. 6:16-17 & Rev. 22:15) there are no "little white lies" there are only liars. These thieves usually steal time from God too: “I’m too tired to go to church; I need to go hunting so I can rest”; or it is fishing, or golfing, or the races, or the ballgame, or bowling or whatever is your idol. “After all, the Sabbath is a day of rest.” And etc. Have you ever seen a Christian with their church sign on their car park in a handicapped parking space, get lithely out of their car and walk briskly into a store? See what I mean?

Lost people know this type Christian is in church and they know this type Christian will cheat you out of your shirt on Saturday and rejoice in church on Sunday. OR: They will be away from church worshipping their idolatrous god. Type three Christians shoot down their own puny testimony. The type three, get it while the getting’s good, Christian may stagger along in church for years and years, maybe all their lives, bringing a reproach on themselves, the church, and the Lord Jesus. Sin, in church, by Christians, is real.

Every Christian sets their own values as to what is important to them. (Matt. 22:37) "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (body), and with all thy soul (self, you the person), and with all thy mind (reason, thought process)." #1) God is not some second class family member who takes second best. #2) God is not some beggar on the street who takes left overs. #3) God is not some hitch hiker who takes back seat. #4) And God is not some ragged, wore thin spare tire you put on when your life goes flat.

NOTE: (Rev. 3:16) Do you think the above three types of Christians will be allowed into heaven or will Jesus spue (vomit with force) them out? Has anything ever made you so physically sick that you had that awful, hot, sour, projectile vomiting? (Rev. 3:5) Do you think Jesus has ever blotted a name out of the Book of life? (Acts 1:16-20 esp. V.18 keywords: reward of iniquity- which is defined as sin, wickedness, evil) What about Judas? What about you?

Has anyone ever neglected you enough that you took them off your Christmas card list or your e-mail address book? It's the same thing! Do you really believe God meant what He said in (Rom. 6:12-16) that you can serve sin and die or obey God's word unto righteousness? Your eternal destiny depends on YOUR answers.

TYPE FOUR: (Matt. 13:23) “But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

God knows Christians are of different abilities (greater or lesser) and by this scripture it is obvious God does not expect the same amount from all of us but He expects 100% from each of us.

Example: (James 5:20) Two Christians are testifying to sinners: one has the ability, anointing and God arranged situation (unknown divine appointments) to convert ten sinners but only converts nine so he did 90% of what he was capable of doing. The other has the ability to convert five sinners and does convert five sinners so he has done 100% of what he was capable of doing.

Even though the second Christian converted less people he did more than the first Christian because he worked for God in his total capacity. (Gal. 5:22-23, Eph. 5:9 & Heb. 12:11) This same principal applies to growing in grace, understanding, knowledge, love, goodness, joy, faith, truth, righteousness and etc.

(Mark 12:41-44) The widow gave less than anybody but it was all she had and Jesus said she had given more than anybody! READ THIS: (Mal. 3:16-18 keywords: book of remembrance) Jesus has a record of who does what. IF YOU ARE REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD PLEASE USE YOUR CONCORDANCE AND READ EVERY SCRIPTURE CONCERNING REMEMBRANCE, there are 54 of them and you will be shocked!

(Gal. 5:22-23) The fruit of the spirit, which is Christian character, is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. It takes time and work for these Christian characteristics to be developed (Jas. 4:1-6 & 1Pet 2:11-12) and it is simply a spiritual growth process.

Do you know anyone who at the moment of salvation God jerked out all their bad traits and characteristics and crammed them full of all the good characteristics a Christian character is supposed to contain and they were perfect from then on and never sinned again? Of course not; how ridiculous the thought! (Matt. 11:29) Jesus said; "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me;"

(Matt. 26:41) The flesh (human nature with its frailties and passions, carnality) is pitifully weak. Type four Christians work to make their heart more and more soft and pliable toward God. They are eager to serve God and when they pray, study and learn what pleases God then they do what they have learned! THEY MAY FAIL (SIN) AT TIMES BUT THEY DON'T QUIT!

(Phil. 2:3-8 esp. V.5) "Let the mind (to exercise the mind, to be mentally disposed in a certain direction, set affection on, be like) of Christ be in you." As Christian character develops through the Holy Spirit and God’s Word Christians should eventually become the kindest, least rude, most patient, most understanding, most helpful, happiest, most gentle and well-mannered people in society. Each Christian is a work in progress.

As productive Christians develop into workers for God it is imperative for them to understand the spiritual growth process because they also sometimes sin. Of course spiritual growth depends on learning from prayer, preaching, Bible study and meditation (read some scripture, pray, then close your eyes and take time to listen with your soul to what the Holy Spirit tells you); you'll get better at as you practice it. (John 14:23-27, Luke 11:9-13 esp. V.13 & 1Cor. 12:31) Covet earnestly for more Holy Spirit given understanding. To be a productive Christian one must understand the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in his life.

People can say they are anything in the world but the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is the gauge of God in a person’s life. (Rom. 8:9) “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” So, if there is no evidence of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s life are they a Christian? Read “The Holy Spirit and You” when you have the time.

We as Christians sometimes ask: "How can my life have meaning?" OR: "How can I have a certainty about anything?" The only three states of spiritual movement possible for a Christian are going backward, standing still, or going forward. The salvation experience is not an ending for a person; it is the beginning of his Christian life in which he or she is expected to worship God, keep learning how to be a better Christian which results in being a better and better person and each Christian is expected to work to further the kingdom of God.

(John 15:10-11) Pleasing God is the only time a Christian, in this lifetime, will ever know and feel he is in exactly the right place, at exactly the right time, doing exactly the right thing. And it is alright to feel that way when God places His hand of blessing upon your soul.

At any time, in any congregation, you will find every Christian in that congregation existing as one of the four types of Christians given above and they will act like it too, sin and all, because it takes time for the results of the Holy Spirit’s work in a Christian’s life to be revealed. It does not mean you, as a Christian, are a hypocrite if you sin.

(Matt. 18:21-22) Peter asked Jesus; “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” Jesus answered; “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” Would Jesus give a commandment or establish a rule He would not keep? No, He would not! Of course Jesus knew Christians would sin and He made provision as IS WRITTEN in Read these->(Heb. 4:12-16 esp. V.16 & 1John 1:1 through 2:2); perhaps turning to that scripture and reading it with understanding is a little "test" God has arranged for you.

THINK ABOUT THIS: (1John 1:1 through 2:2) John the apostle, the Bible writer, the man who had actually touched Jesus included himself in this scripture! "If WE say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in US. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. If we confess OUR sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

SEE! CHRISTIANS DO SIN. A hypocrite is a play actor. He pretends he doesn’t sin. He plays a self-conceived role. Don’t get a hypocrite confused with a Christian that sins. Don’t let the devil use either one to run you right out of church. Please read the three-article series Satan: A Study Guide and Teaching Manual in the commentary The Holy Spirit & You. It is an eye-opener! I've never heard a complete Bible Study or a preaching service devoted to exposing Satan the devil! HAS THE CHURCH FORGOTTEN (Eph. 5:10-18 esp. V.11-12 and 1Pet. 5:8) OUR GREATEST ENEMY?

If you quit on God, you quit; not somebody else. God knows you didn’t need to; it was because you wanted to and those people were simply your excuse. You must be honest with God and yourself about yourself because any problem YOU HAVE is really between God and you! Sin, in Church, by Christians, is Real.

In this commentary Sin in Church: in the article Backsliding: The Failure Principal is a complete discussion of HYPOCRITES IN CHURCH.

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