<<fake, sham>>

Something false is a counterfeit; it is not genuine but a distortion of the truth, designed to give a wrong impression, and is thus a form of deception. What
is artificial gives the appearance of being real yet misleads people.

People who know the facts about Christ and claim to be Christians yet do not live as He instructs are in fact false disciples, and He said they will not enter heaven, neither will all who “love and practice falsehood” (Mt 7:21; Rev 2:15). Not everyone who claims to have been converted has, in fact been

   “Put off falsehood and speak truthfully…”    – Ephesians 4:25

converted. A 'false conversion' can be to oblige and satisfy the seeming demands of a persistent and overzealous Christian who is intent on meeting targets and embraces the cheap gospel approach. It may be a confessing with the lips but without any input from the heart it is futile (Mt 15:8; Rom 10:9,10). Another reason is these alleged new converts may have said 'Yes' to Jesus with little understanding of the implications of what is required from them, including to leave the old way of life – "Repent and believe the gospel...Produce fruit in keeping [consistent with] with repentance" (Mt 3:8). While false Christians may sometimes deceive us, they cannot deceive God.

True faith in Christ profoundly changes a person's life from the inside out, and the outworking of the new life will produce different fruit from pre-salvation days. As a result of being a new creation in Christ a real Christian will not repeatedly engage in sinful behaviour (Rom 6:1; 2 Cor 5:17; 1 Jn 3:9). Jesus said, "By their fruit you will know them...A healthy tree cannot produce bad fruit and a diseased tree cannot produce good fruit" (Mt 7:16,18). Although like in the natural realm fruit will take time to develop, so it is in the spirit realm, where holiness and Christian character are to increase (Rom 6:22; Gal 5:22,23).

See also: cheap gospel, counterfeit, deception, facade, false teachers..., false witness, honesty, imitate, truth.