The Dangers of Dabbling in Christianity

Matthew 7:13-23

 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

 

One of the things I have a strong disdain for are the cute little so-called “Christian” bumper stickers that I have seen. One that comes to mind is the one that says; “Try Jesus.” Now I know that those who promote this sticker mean well, but the consequences of this flippant suggestion can be fatal!

 

Jesus is not a fad to be tried, He is not a passing idea, He is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings; a better sticker might say . . . Have you considered Jesus? Let me explain . . .

 

Over the course of my life I have heard folks say things like; “Yes, I used to “dabble” in the stock market; or I “dabbled in the occult” or “I used to dabble in Buddhism” or some other religion.

 

Today I want to address a problem that exists in our culture that may be far more dangerous than anything we ever imagined. It is a mindset that can be fatal, if allowed to run its course.

 

I fear that many people, maybe even some reading this today, are “dabbling” in Christianity. Here is the definition of dabbling . . .

 

Dabbling – to work or involve oneself superficially or intermittently especially in a secondary activity or interest

 

Christianity is a very attractive way of living for those who have no real understanding of what being Christian entails. The hallmarks of a Christian from an earthly perspective might be things like:

  • Godly
  • Wholesome
  • Moral
  • Respected

 

What tends to happen, is that a person feels attracted to the “Christian lifestyle” and may even end up attending a church; checking things out to see if they can “fit in.”

 

After a season at the church, those folks who want this lifestyle learn all the Christian speak, they have the words down pat, and begin to look and act like a real Christian.

 

These folks have heard about Jesus, about the new birth, the need for baptism, and membership, they have taken communion and have done all the right things and are a bona fide member of the church community . . . yet there is a certain something lacking.

 

Could it be that this group is just “dabbling” in Christianity?

 

Could it be that the need to belong has superseded the need to be converted to Christ?

 

There are certain aspects of the Christian lifestyle that tend to be overlooked by the dabblers. Primarily those aspects are things that involve serving, money, and commitment.

 

It is hard to get a “dabbler” to consider the Biblical mandate to tithe on income they receive, or to give financially to any major project or missionary effort.

 

The giving is only done to the point where it is manageable and is rarely if ever, a true sacrifice. Money is far too important to the “dabbler” to squander it on Jesus and His efforts to reach the lost.

 

The “dabbler” often looks for ways around this mandate. Some will consider their acts of “service” to equate to a tithe. For instance, a “dabbler” may have some talent and will use that talent in the church, then consider that talent as a tithe, or benefit to the church and they placate themselves thinking that they gave something to God. The fact is, God gave them the talent in the first place and they are stealing from God.

 

The problem with that sort of thinking; trading service for tithe that is, is that the service given to God is then purchased, it is not service at all, there was no sacrifice, no true worship of God, but rather a deception and an ungodly attempt to steal from the Most High God! What a dangerous activity . . .

 

Along those lines, getting a “dabbler” to serve God is really hard. Just like those who try and trade tithe for service, the “dabbler” seldom serves unless there is a direct benefit to them.

 

If service means a few accolades from the church body; a pat on the shoulder, then they will go ahead and do it, after all, they need to stay in the lifestyle and service appears to be a part of that.

 

Yet, for the “dabbler” there are always excuses for not being able to serve, there are family issues, time constraints, and a host of other things that are far too important to allow service to Jesus to interfere . . . He will understand.

 

Even more difficult, is getting a “dabbler” to make a strong and abiding commitment to the church; it is almost impossible! The “dabbler” will find many reasons to avoid commitment to any lasting agreement.

 

Often a “dabbler” will make a commitment, then realize later on that the commitment was a mistake and will begin to find ways to get out of the commitment, often getting upset at the leadership for prodding or end up having problems with someone inside the church, which usually leads to that “dabbler” leaving the church and heading to another one.

 

The unfortunate end of those who “dabble” in Christianity, is that they end up lost and without Christ!

 

Most of these “dabblers” have convinced themselves that they are actually Christians and that they are saved, rescued from sin and Satan, but the sad reality is that they are not, and in the end, the stunning Words of Jesus will ring painfully in their ears . . .

 

Matthew 7:21-23

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

 

How terrible to hear these words of Christ after a lifetime of “dabbling.”

 

Self-deception is a powerful tool the enemy uses to keep people deluded right up to the end!

 

So what constitutes a real Christian anyway . . . let’s see . . .

 

First, back to the bumper sticker . . . “Try Jesus.” When we try and compel a lifestyle on someone, we could actually be leading them into a lifetime of self-deception that could be fatal to their soul!

 

You see, Jesus says in John 6:44

John 6:44

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them . . .

 

Unless you have been drawn by the Holy Spirit to come to Christ, you cannot be saved!

Too often we end up introducing people to a lifestyle rather than a Savior!

 

When this happens, the person begins “dabbling” in Christianity and they will suffer a terrible fate!

 

True Christians introduce people to Jesus, and He and them come to a decision about salvation! If the Holy Spirit has been drawing them to Himself, then there is a strong possibility that they will be redeemed and the new life of Christ will explode in them!

 

The person who has been drawn by the Holy Spirit to Christ, who then receives the Savior, who openly and honestly embraces the salvation granted through Jesus, will experience a new birth; Jesus called it “being born again.”

 

It is a spiritual birth, a new and amazing spiritual awakening that transforms everything.

 

The newly born Christian falls madly in love with the deliverer; they no longer live for themselves, but for Him!

 

The new spiritual babe is exceedingly hungry for God’s Word, and the first thing they ask for is a Bible; they will fly into it, devouring all they can!

 

You will find it hard to pull them away from God’s Word; often they will even give up meals so they can read it!

 

Unlike the “dabbler” when a person who has been born of the Spirit, comes across passages that speak about giving tithes and offerings, they rejoice, often giving way beyond the minimum of 10%. I have known those who have given everything they have and they did it with tremendous joy!

 

The true Christian will see the financial need within the Body of Christ and will sacrifice much to see those needs met, often going without so that others may not have to!

 

The true Christian does not think their needs outweigh the needs of others, but actually, see others as being infinitely more valuable than they are!

 

When it comes to service, to offering their talents to God, the true Christian will give it all. Like the prophet Isaiah who heard these words from God . . .

 

Isaiah 6:8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

 

The true Christian is not self-centered, but rather God-centered. When an opportunity arises to serve the living Christ, they will not miss it!

 

When the Body of believers finds an occasion to serve Jesus, they will do all they can to be there, supporting anyway they can . . . and they will do it with a cheerful and happy heart, not grudgingly and sad!

 

The truly converted person will not only step up and serve when the occasion arises, they will also find new and creative ways to serve God!

 

For the true Christian, commitment is part and parcel of their life now. They are more than willing to step up and serve Christ in the church, making lasting commitments to the Body of Christ through the church.

 

Membership in the church is not taken lightly and they step up, making a difference to the organization that God is using to advance His Kingdom.

 

May I continue to draw a contrast . . .

 

Dabblers tend to complain a great deal; always seeing the negative side of things. The reason being is that they have very little experience of God.

 

They know that God is strong, or at least part of the Christian lifestyle is to say that God is strong and able; but the sad reality is that God is not very strong to them personally, so they tend to live in an attitude of defeat.

 

The true Christian knows God is strong; He has been delivered from death, hell and the grave and he knows it!

 

Whether life on earth is hard or easy really does not matter to him, because he knows the Master in an intimate way and the true believer will exude an air of joy, even in the midst of pain.

 

Finally . . .

 

After a great deal of consideration, I believe that “dabblers” are of the utmost importance to the enemy of God and that would be satan. Now hear me out . . .

 

I think it is a strategic decision on the part of satan to foist upon as many as he can the desire to “do” Christianity.

 

To be sure, this is risky business on his part, to send to the church interested people who are attracted to a Christian lifestyle, but historically, this seems to have worked for him.

 

Let’s say we have a church that is growing and people are truly coming to Christ. The word will get out, and those who are interested in the Christian lifestyle, are very much attracted to those moves of God. The real deal is amazing to watch and participate in.

 

The devil is very interested in any move of God, so he will do all he can to attempt to shut that down, and one of the best ways is to send “dabblers.”

 

The work of God begins to grow and those who “dabble” gently infiltrate the Body of Christ. The “dabblers” have preferences you know.

 

After time goes by they will want the worship styles to look and sound a certain way, the focus is no longer on God, but on their favorite way of singing or worshiping, squabbles over Bible translations may arise, along with a host of other things to nit-pick over; things that draw attention away from Jesus and on to man. Some will be very vocal about this and divisions begin.

 

The “dabblers” will step into positions of leadership and try and move the church in directions other than where the Spirit had intended.

 

Too often when “dabblers” do not get their way, they try and create little groups convincing these little clusters that the church is going in the wrong direction and we need to change it.

 

The powerful move of God is now beginning to wane; the attention is being shifted from a powerful God who is converting the lost, to the needs of the “dabblers” who never knew God in the first place.

 

The church slows even more; the newly converted are disillusioned and begin to drop away; by now even the “dabblers” see the church falling away too and the “lifestyle” they wanted to keep appears to be diminishing.

 

Since many of the “dabblers” remain, and they are not free to give of their time and resources, the church suffers and slows even further.

 

A new work in the area shows promise and word of a revival begins to spread, the “dabblers” quickly run to see and join into the work, only to be used by the enemy again.

 

In the end, dabblers will hear the stinging words of the Mighty Savior as He declares . . . ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’                  Jesus also said . . .

 

John 17:3

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

 

I think when we see Jesus; we will all utter those words . . . Lord. Lord! Let me ask you; do you know what His response will be when you say those words to Him?

 

Will He welcome you in, or send you away? If you are not sure of the answer, then please . . . settle it once and for all!

 

Have you been dabbling?

 

Are you being used by the enemy to put down a revival?

 

Is the Spirit calling you, drawing you?

 

Would you like to meet Jesus?  

 

Why not now?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Feel free to comment on this

%d bloggers like this: