It is exceedingly solemn to discover that there is a “believing” in Christ by the natural man, which is NOT a believing unto salvation. Just as the Buddists believe in Budda—so in Christendom there are multitudes who believe in Christ. And this “believing” is something more than an intellectual one. Often there is much feeling connected with it—the emotions may be deeply stirred. Christ taught in the Parable of the Sower that there is a class of people who hear the Word and with joy receive it—yet have they no root in themselves (Matt 13:20, 21). This is fearfully solemn, for it is still occurring daily!
Scriptures also tell us that Herod heard John “gladly.” Thus, the mere fact that the reader of these pages enjoys listening to some sound gospel preacher is no proof at all that he is a regenerated soul. The Lord Jesus said to the Pharisees concerning John the Baptist, “You were willing for a season to rejoice in his light,” yet the sequel shows clearly that no real work of grace had been wrought in them. And these things are recorded in Scripture as solemn warnings!
A. W. Pink (1886–1952)