What is an unbelieving, professed believer?
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
To be a friend of the world means to unite with the world, to enjoy what the world enjoys and to love what the world loves. It further means to follow my own inclinations and to seek my own gratification and pleasure, to love and serve myself.
I may go to church each Sabbath and give my tithes and offerings. I may say that I believe the doctrines and tenets of my church. I may read the Bible, but if I do not allow its precepts to affect my life and instead devote my attention and desires to worldly things, then I am not a true believer. I only profess to be a believer and if I choose to do the things of the world while claiming to be a believer, then I show myself to be, in fact, an unbelieving, professed believer.
The Bible teaches that we are to be separate from the world (2 Corinthians 6:17). Our tastes, habits, fashions, customs, and attitudes are to be completely contrary to those of the world, when they conflict with God’s way.
It is not only the outward acts and habits that tell what type of believer we are, but the state of the heart, for from out of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). If our heart loves the world, then the way we look, talk, and act will be like the world.
If my attention is on Christ, if I love Him with all my heart, mind, soul, and spirit (Mark 12:30), then I will have no love for the world or the things of the world. When people see me, they will see Christ; when I speak, it will be His words; when I act it will be in His service.
“Would you grasp the things of the world? The world knoweth not God. Give yourselves to the world, and you will not know God; you cannot know Him. We need to behold Him. We need to purify our souls by obeying the truth.” The Review and Herald, April 30, 1901.