1 John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
Careful discernment is needed to expose fake Christians, especially on online social media communities. Some may befriend you but are vipers in waiting, ready to strike or abandon you in front of the enemy. They might jump in a conversation and support you one day or weeks, and then in an instant turn on you. So trusting the enemy is often done without your knowledge, especially when we cannot get the whole picture of someone online. The enemy can by sheer deception string you along online, whispering sweet nothings in your ear, showing a vain support of you, always ready to betray you and strike you when you are the most vulnerable.
Judas would of had a hay-day online if he had this platform!
So how can we discern fake Christians online? It is difficult but never impossible. First, try to discern what is the Gospel they adhere to. Sometimes this is bypassed if all are witnessing to Roman Catholics for example. Do they believe in the triune God, one God in three distinct persons for example. What is their idea on God’s sovereignty in salvation, His holiness, and sin are more subjects to inquire about. What is their view of Scripture as their authority or is man their end point. How is one saved and what are they saved from is another key question online. Over time you should be able to discern the genuine nature of the Christian’s Gospel. If it is part of their life, you should be seeing this online just as you would offline!
So time does expose the Christian play-actors!
Titus 1:16 – They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
Time and circumstances usually exposes the play actors. Over time you might never see them, or they are come and going. Or they erratic in their online presence, seemingly willing to be committed to sharing the Gospel, but then unwilling. Circumstances may expose them as when they are needed by other Christians in some form, they expose themselves as not capable or lazy or a combination of the two. Circumstances may expose the false gospel they might be adhering to. Over time they might of been on your team, witnessing to Roman Catholics, and then one day they bite you in the back with their own false gospel or they abandon you in front of the enemy.
Abandonment is a key to exposing a fake Christian!
Are they hiding their faith in private closed groups? Or is it seamless across the board is another question in this discernment.
John 3:21, “But whoever practices the truth comes into the Light, so that it may be seen clearly that what he has done has been accomplished in God.”
Another way to discern those online, is by their witness and testimony in Jesus Christ. This should always be freely given and worn on the sleeve. Christian faith is a PUBLIC faith. We cannot know online who is who without this. It is sad, but there are many who use Christianity for popularity. They are play-actors. They have learned all the taglines, even Scripture, but their lives have never been regenerated. They use Christianity to build their self-esteem and popularity through virtue signaling, but when the rubber meets the road, they are gone and there really is no teeth behind their shallow substance. This sometimes can be discerned in what they are posting privately and publicly. Are they genuinely INTERESTED in other Christians and fellowship, or are they coming across as arrogant and selfish. Again, Christianity is a public faith! So whenever I see the “don’t judge me” deal online, it usually is a red flag to what the person is hiding, discernment can be made this way.
Matthew 7:15 – Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
2 Timothy 3:5 – Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Discernment can be made also by online behavior. Is the Christian growing and maturing, or are they hit and run play actors. Only throwing out a verse here and there when their worldly lives are in shambles or distress. This could be transposed their offline lives because there really should be NO difference. Are they humble or prideful is another key to this. Christians will confess their faults, a play-actor never really does.
When someone needs help, are they showing up or are they nowhere to be found. Again online or offline, God sees all. You will be held accountable for all your actions and words. Hypocrisy is a sin of which if you read the Bible enough, will show that God really despises this sin. Time exposes the hypocritical play actors in this discernment. As John says:
Again, the fake Christian will show their sinful deception in abandonment. When things need to be done, or the serious of the occasion presents itself, they will abandon you in front of the enemy for self-preservation and esteem. They can be seen as the ecumenists and fence sitters and the Oprah “all roads lead to Heaven” false gospel. They can also be seen in your friends list if you look carefully.