(Really Saved, or Really NOT?)
A troubling question I am having these days is, “How far from God’s values can I stray, and still be “following Him”? Do I accept what God rejects? Life, ultimately, is not about what I think – it is about God, and what He has declared.
Scripture says we are to be very attentive to what we agree with in this world:
“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise… because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
I recall that the foolish virgins who ran out of oil were condemned, not just scolded – condemned.
I Corinthians 6:9,10
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Can a “so-called Christian” be so mired in support of vile values, that he of a sudden is revealed as having a hardened heart that is not actually regenerated? Is he given over to that which is not of God?
On That Day, Scripture tells us, many will stand before God, the Eternal Judge, and hear Him say, “…Depart from Me… I never knew you.” (That day of judgement. All references in one link: Isaiah 2:12, 2 Peter 3:10, 2 Peter 2:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 1 Corinthians 1:8, Malachi 4:5, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, Luke 3:7)
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ ”
How scary for me, someone who actually believes Scripture, to have deceived my self, and arrive before God saying but, but, but “…but Lord, Lord…”, discovering too late, on That Day, that I was never “in Christ” at all, ever. How eternally horrible. (Matthew 7:21-23).
Salvation in Christ involves truly following Christ. To cherish platitudes, to parrot doctrines, to relish Christian fellowship, to love the feelings of worship and prayers to God, to serve Him – even to be nice… is not what God requires for salvation. To say a prayer of accepting Christ, and yet keep a heart of rebellion accepting of sinfulness… is not salvation at all. That is condemned of God.
God hates sin. We are to hate what is evil. (Romans 12:9b) How much sin can a “so-called Christian” support, and still be following Him? I am appalled by the “so-called Christians” that align themselves in support of practices that Scripture condemns. If God condemns what we support, are we truly following Him?
Scripture, the “word of the Lord”, makes it very clear what is “not of God”. The Bible defines what is sin. Do we agree with God’s Word? Do we really think that on That Day we will argue about these things with the God who made us? On That Day?!
Galatians 5: 19-21
“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, [heresies], envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
“For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.“
Instead of asking, “What are the signs of life?”, I think it much more startling to ask, “What are the signs of an unrepentant heart?” Am I truly humbled before God now, as all creation will be on That Day? (Romans 14:11) The unrepentant heart makes excuses for sin (vile things before God). What do I support – that is “not of God”? …in my personal practices, in my politics, in my relationships, in my mind and heart? We rationalize so well, we fool ourselves!
is not about what I think –
it is about God, and
what He has declared.
Two glaring examples of what Scripture calls vile – yet are often supported and accepted by “so-called Christians” today are (1) the killing of unborn babies, “abortion”, and (2) living the homosexual life. These two especially stand-out because laws have actually been changed to accommodate them.
We have not yet changed laws to accomodate those who practice other vile things, such as “fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers… nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers” (I Corinthians 6:9,10). Some “so-called Christians” support killing a baby before it has a chance to be born, or they support living a homosexual life! These practices are totally acceptable to some, and they vote for the politicians who push for these accommodating laws! Christ does not approve of supporting what is vile in His sight. And He makes the rules!
Can you imagine this scene: On That Day all of mankind is standing before God. God asks all who are in favor of abortion, all who are in favor of legalizing gay marriage… to step forward. Would you dare? If not then, why now? In light of just such a scene happening some day, how should we live now!?
Those are glaring. But it is the “not-so-glaring” sins that many more “so-called Christians” have white-washed. Scripture states it very clearly:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”
Christ Himself said: John 13:34-35
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Christ knew how difficult it would be for me to have love. In my Christian culture it is not “so bad” these days to merely have “…enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions… envying… and things like these“. But I know, of course, that those other “really bad” things really are wrong, like “… immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, [heresies]… drunkenness, carousing, and things like these…” Ha!! (I’m being sarcastic.) But God does not grade sin “on a curve”. He equates them all as “really bad” things.
God Himself declares that “those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”.
It is fairly obvious even with the laws of man, that if a person supports a thief (“to aid and abet”), he is as guilty as the actual thief, and condemned under the law. The cardinal who leaves the known pedophile priest in ministry, is as vile as the pedophile himself. To support those who support vileness – is as vile before God as the vileness itself. But oh, how sweetly we convince ourselves otherwise.
It is a very scary thing …to realize that I may have deceived my own mind and heart to accept what God rejects. Repentance is a thing of the heart, not merely mouthing a prayer. I do not want to live a counterfeit life. I want the real thing. The salvation God will require on That Day is the only Salvation I want. How about you?
Practicing Sin – Not Following Christ
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