A woman in this town named her daughter Pepsi because that's her favorite drink. Back in our family tree there are some with the last name of Head and one of the men was named Bigger, thus Bigger Head. When we named our children we actually sat down and discussed how potential names could, or couldn't, be construed to something and even what their initials might represent, so we didn't even by accident give them a potential problem name. Why some purposefully give their children very odd, embarrassing or troubling names I don't understand.
That depends upon who you listen to! I've heard preachers say only those in verse 8 are saved while I've heard other preachers say some of the others were saved but then backslid, which they say verse 7 is referring to. There are various other variations too. Even if only the verse 8 folks were saved, they can still backslide at some point in their life, ever after bearing some fruit, and then bear much more fruit after they are restored.
By the reckoning of some it sounds as if upon salvation a person becomes perfectly knowing of Scripture, free from all sin, and forever living a life near to that of Jesus. Perhaps some experience such in their lives but for most it's a far different matter. For most, they spend time as babes in Christ, hopefully growing but yet immature in the faith. Folks mature at different rates. Some may be reaching a level of maturity in the faith in a few years, others may take several or even many more years. Some are saved with a sound church to attend while others are not. This, of course, will effect their growth. Some can read the Word and comprehend much on their own, others can't. This, of course, will effect their growth. Some reach a point where they believe they are on a high spiritual plain, attending a church they believer superior to most or even all others, and they avoid Christians not in their circle as much as possible. In their isolated world they miss much of the reality of everyday Christian life for thousands of their brothers/sisters in Christ; some of which they often won't even accept as such. Some would look at the Christians today like those at Corinth as being unsaved regardless of Scripture telling us otherwise. Some would look at churches like those warned in Revelation as being unsaved regardless of the clear example of Scripture showing the patience of Christ in dealing with such and His efforts to restore such. The fact babes and others immature in Christ can be led astray should come as no surprise. We see in Scripture, throughout history and today that such is the case. Some even backslide and may appear for a time to have turned from the faith. While some may cast such away, the Holy Ghost remains faithful, working within them to free them from their blindness and open their eyes to truth. There is no sinless perfection in this life. A saved person is capable of committing sins just as are unsaved. A backslidden Christian is no less saved than one walking a more perfect walk. All of this has nothing to do with those who make false professions, repeat a simplistic "sinners prayer" with a TV preacher, door knocker or off the back of a tract, then walk on as before, as if nothing has changed, because nothing has changed (other than they now may have a false sense of hope for heaven). Contrariwise, the saved babe or immature in Christ will have shown signs of salvation before they were sidetracked, misled or backslid. The Holy Ghost works to restore such and we should work to do the same rather than to condemn.
Exodus 12:22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.
It's not just evangelicals, I know of at least two IFB churches which speak well of the pope and the pastor quotes Mother Teresa in some of his sermons (in a positive way). While there are some we should have a very good idea of whether they are saved or not, it's not our job to look at every professing Christian and declare our view as to whether we think they are saved or not. Too often we spend time on declaring those in this or that church are or aren't saved; that public figure must be or must not be saved; most in that church in the other country are ______________..... All the while we spend far too little time tending to our own walk, our families, and those within our own church. If our churches were actual families, as Scripture calls us to be, we would know, for the most part, what's what and who's who. Then we would know who we may be able to help, who may be able to help us; and this in spiritual as well as other matters. I've seen churches where the pastor and congregation spend most of their time condemning the other Baptist church in town all the while they themselves are falling away and falling apart due to lack of attention. There are indeed exceedingly more secular Christians in American than born again Christians. The percentage of born again Christians is probably fairly low. Even using the best methods they could come up with to try and separate born again Christians from others, polling and survey groups have a very difficult time getting to the truth. Some still suggest as high as 35% of the population is born again. Unfortunately, many pastors and Christian authors prefer to accept that since about three-fourths of the population identifies as Christian that must mean somewhere near that percentage actually are. It's more likely around the 10% area. So, if Christ calls His people home today America won't suddenly experience massive population loss, there won't be dozens of planes falling from the skies, scores of trains and vehicles crashing. businesses and utilities failing due to massive numbers of workers suddenly missing. We need to build up ourselves, our families, our churches. We need to take the Gospel to the lost and when someone is born again we need to take them under our wings and disciple them or get them to someone who can do so, we need to get them into our churches or another sound church.
A person can turn to many things without denying God. People can be led astray while thinking their actions are not contrary to God. I've known of saved folks getting taken in by some aspect of the "all religions are the same/all gods are the same" stuff that goes around. Even some preachers say these things! No wonder an immature Christian can become confused and think 'the Great Spirit" was just the American Indians term for God, and get caught up in some aspect of that (which most often it's some modern concoction invented to make money rather than actual aspects of pagan American Indian religion). As I mentioned previously, the one (huge!) advantage saved people have who get drawn into such is the Holy Spirit within them. The Holy Spirit will work on them until they eventually "awake" and see the error and they turn from that and are restored. I still remember the confusion among many immature Christians when President Bush (yes, another "conservative" Republican who was supposed to 'save America') began declaring Christianity and Islam worship the same God and are just different paths to the same heaven. Bush, followed by Obama, went on to declare virtually all religions worship the same God, just in different ways, with all leading to the same heaven. Sad to say, even some preachers accepted this to one extent or another and further confused people. All of this added weight to the idea each person must seek out their own best way to connect with God, whether that be through adopting some aspect of what we call nature worship or calling God by another name. All wrong, of course, but it's easy to see how some get caught up in this and led astray. Even more easy for them to go astray when many churches today have adopted the "social gospel" and similar unbiblical practices which can seem good to an immature Christian and seem to offer them a way to "make a difference for God". In such situations they often find themselves surrounded by secular Christians (not realizing the difference) but feeling a part of good, active Christians. Sad, but thankfully everyone I know who has ever got caught up in such were brought out by the Holy Ghost working on them. Thanks be to God He never leaves us or forsakes us even if we wonder off.