And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; and said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.John 4:39-42
Mainstream Christianity works more like a machine following orders and steps rather than with love and patience. Men have derived “systems of salvation” to make it easier for men to be “born again.” But those same systems lead men to condemn unbelievers too quickly.
We must first remember that we are not in the position to judge the eternal salvation of a single individual especially with regarding to judging them unto condemnation!
We must also remember that God knows the heart of every man and can rightfully judge the presence or absence of faith in Him. WE DO NOT HAVE THAT ABILITY!
This passage from the gospel of John shows that belief is displayed in a variety of ways and comes to fruition at different rates. Just because a person does not respond immediately does not mean he should be condemned by us for his unbelief. If that were the case, then Stephen would have been completely wrong to condemn Saul of Tarsus (Paul the Apostle) who was in charge of Stephen’s execution! (Which is why he didn’t)
Paul is an extreme case but there are other times when people display their belief differently that others. They may display it in the same way but their belief does not go as deep as another. This does not mean the lesser devotee is damned because he does not measure up to one who is walking by faith in a better way.
Our walk in faith is a growth process. All of God’s children are growing but they are all at different stages of growth and they are growing at different rates. And not only that, often times we have highs and lows in our discipleship. What if someone were to judge us at our lowest point? Let us make sure we offer them the same charity we would expect from them.