“And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.” —Mark 1:23-25
Church attendance means nothing; neither does membership; neither does professing to know that Jesus of Nazareth is the Holy One of God. None of that matters apart from the supernatural work of God to impart saving faith by God’s grace. In the very worst case, it may be as the man from our text, possessed of an unclean spirit. Yet, today, even if a person is not demon possessed, he may still attend a congregation where the presence of the Lord actually is; yet he possesses a spirit that is dead and void of true life. Because he is dead in trespasses and sins, he is tormented above measure in the midst of true spiritual worship because the Lord inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). In true spiritual worship, there is the presence of Christ (Matthew 18:20).
The unsaved, unregenerate and reprobate soul may know who Christ is but he has no intimate knowledge of Him, His will or His way. There is no power for such a one because there is no Presence in them. They are not possessed of the Lord.
Devils are forbidden to proclaim Jesus of Nazareth as the Holy One of Israel, the Savior of the world, as it is written in Luke 4:41,
And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.
By the wideness of God’s mercy, reprobates are proclaiming Christ, even from pulpits all around the world; nevertheless, a rebuke from the Lord is coming if they are not delivered from the bondage of sin by God’s free grace, for their proclamation is vain and is merely the faith of demons, as it written in James 2:19,
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.