How do I lovingly confront someone who claims to be converted but who lives like a non-Christian?
- Pray for yourself and the other person. Pray that you would be faithful merely to speak truth, relying on God’s Spirit to do the work of true persuasion (1 Corinthians 3:6-7; 2 Corinthians 7:8-10 . Pray that he would convict and change the heart.
- Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Approach the person tenderly, patiently, and kindly. Explain that you are confronting them out of a deep and loving concern for their eternal good.
- Point them to the Scriptures. Explain that your goal is not to render a final verdict on their souls. Rather, you are concerned they aren’t living like Scripture says a Christian lives. Refer them to passages like Matthew 7:13-29 Romans 6:12-23 Romans 8:13 1 Corinthians 6:9-112 Corinthians 13:5, and the whole book of 1 John.
- Question them gently. Ask things like, “Do you think your life matches the Bible’s picture of a genuine Christian? Are you genuinely fighting sin or secretly cherishing it? Do you believe that being a Christian means repenting of your sin and trusting in Christ?”
- Remind them of their profession of faith and baptism. Remind them of the gospel.
- Urge them to consider eternity. Remind them that their eternal joy or condemnation is at stake (Psalms 49 Matthew 25:31-46).
For more great resources from Mark Dever and 9Marks Ministries, visit www.9marks.org