Have you ever noticed that there are many people that claim they are Christians yet do not have the fruit to back it up? This seems to be even more evident for those that lay hold to the common cliche of being a "Born Again" Christian yet, outside of their assertion as such, they seldom show any traits that would be different than those that simply go through life ambivalent that there is even a God or Creator and many times they are people of relative or even low morals that hinder the redeeming message of the true gospel of Christ. Why is this?
The main reason is that Christian theology today is rife with variations of the false doctrine of what is called Once Saved Always Saved. This theology first and foremost promotes a belief system that minimizes or even neglects the need for true conviction and repentance of ones sins. It allows people to emotionally embrace the need for a savior, a problem solver per se, to deal with ones inner acknowledgement that they have failed in some way in their lives and realize that with only moderate cost this belief system easily atones them for their sins and then separates then from the masses that will spend eternity in Hell. Their fear of the punishment of eternal damnation is linked to their own feelings of inferiority brought on usually by some crisis in their life.
Now I am not saying, or even implying, that crisis in one's life cannot be an avenue or tool for someone to realize they are truly a sinner and eternally separated from their Maker without accepting the atonement of Christ's death and resurrection, but simply acknowledging this doesn't convert one to being a child of the King. One of the greatest lies of Satan to be perpetrated on mankind is that simply acknowledging Christ's death coupled with the admission of one's own failings is the same as true repentance as seen and experienced in the New Testament. It is not. It appears to be similar on the surface but at it's root it is not the same.
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (Jas 2:18-20)
The nobility of religious men look to manipulate the emotional and spiritual needs of mankind, whether they realize it or not, to accept and embrace the solution and/or solutions they are presenting. Even though their intentions may be to sincerely convert someone to their belief system the reality is that this approach always bears the fruit of human endeavors and nothing more. The Church is no exception. Sometimes the results are commendable, sometimes not, but it never produces the fruits of righteousness.
The reason so few people have the results that true repentance brings is because they simply turn to God when they have fully run out of any other options. They choose God for all the wrong reasons hoping that their inner spiritual needs and fears will be satisfied and eliminated, never understanding that there is a cost of becoming a citizen of the Kingdom of God. One must not only love the benefits of the new kingdom and all it brings, but one must repent of their allegiance to the previous Kingdom of Sin. The Kingdom of Sin will deceive you into thinking that you can be citizen's of both. It will blur the path to the cross giving you false hopes that you can now use God's help to clean up your life never understanding that God is not in the business of helping you. He does not want to be your last choice and he really isn't interested in your troubles and problems associated with your citizenry to the Kingdom of Sin. The only thing he is interested in is you becoming, and remaining, a child of the King.
How do we do this? By falling prostrate before the cross realizing that we are now a child through obedience to our Lord and Savior bearing his cross daily, which involves us actively rejecting the desires of the flesh that the Kingdom of Sin allowed and encouraged us to partake of in the past.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. (Php 2:13-16)
Understanding that we live in a perverse world is not enough. Choosing Christ to get us through living in this perverse world is also not enough. Choosing Christ once, in a moment of deep regret, is also not enough, even if the despondency was spiritual in nature. We must realize that it is by His creative hand from the moment he breathed life into the nostrils of Adam that we have the ability to choose and it originates in his deep love and desire to have a relationship with us. When we are brought face to face with the reality of our sins and the chasm that it places between us and our creator we are faced with a choice. The question is, did we choose him after there were no other choices left in order to correct the wrongs we have done or have we allowed the power of his Spirit to convict us of His Righteousness and that the only way we could remain in his presence was to repent of the dirt and filth of sin that had robbed Him of the joy of us being a child of the King?
Noticed my emphasis on "robbed Him". So where is your emphasis today?