Posts Tagged With: Obedience

Assurance of Salvation

Have you ever had a flicker of doubt over your salvation, wondering if you’re truly in the faith that saves? 

This message is mainly for those whove made a confession of faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, and accepted Him as the Lord (Master) of their lives.  And yes, we’ve been obedient to Him in Christian baptism as well. Yet there are numerous passages of scripture in the bible that should concern usthings Jesus Himself spoke, which clearly indicate that many people will think they are saved, when they are not. Some have a false assurance of salvation. I’ll offer just one biblical example here out of many scriptures from which we could choose, just to show there is such a thing as false assurance 

 

“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” Matthew 7:22-23 

 

Here’s a few others for those who may want to look them up. Luke 13:25-27, 2 Peter 3:17, James 2:18-20 & Hebrews 12:14.

 

So, what is a sure self-test to make certain we are in the faith? I believe there’s a few different ways we could evaluate our standing before God. Such as: what spiritual fruit are we producing? But I believe the following is the surest test of all. 

 

Most every Christian can tell you what Jesus said when He was asked ‘What is the greatest command in the bible?’ Because keeping it, along with the 2nd greatest command, will bring the whole of our lives into harmony with God’s desire for us. “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And the second is like it, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
 

I’m confident to emphatically and didactically state that the number one defining characteristic of a Christian is love for Christ Jesus.  (The true biblical Jesus)

 

Real Christians will always love God, and yet not a single one of us love Him perfectly. I like the admonition Dr. John MacArthur employs in his book, “Christ’s Call to Reform the Church.” He writes, “While the genuine believer will always love the Lord, the intensity of his love can fluctuate over time. The redeemed person’s love for Christ must be carefully guarded and nurtured, or it will diminish with time.” 

 

How well I’ve noted this truth in my own relationship with our Savior. Every relationship must be deliberately cultivated and fed, or else our affection will atrophy and shrivel up like a muscle long unused. We don’t want to allow our love for Jesus to cool. Remember what our now glorified Christ said when writing to one of the 7 church’s in RevelationI know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! So because you are lukewarm— neither hot nor cold— I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!” 

 

While He was on earth Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Matthew 12:30 

 

Our Lord makes it clear that a definite decision must be made, because he doesn’t tolerate fence riders, or those with one foot in and one foot out. 

 

Neither does Jesus soft pedal when He shows us what a true love for Him looks like. Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” Jn 14:21 NLT 

 

I’ve always cherished the promise that comes at the end of that verse. I’ve put it to the test and God is always faithful to keep His word—He’s revealed Himself and His love for me in ways that only He could know to do, based upon my individual personality and even on my idiosyncrasies. He knows me better than I do. What an awesome God! He will do the same for each of us. 

 

A truly redeemed soul soon discovers the bible to be the authoritative word of God. Naturally, love for His word becomes a distinctive characteristic of Christians also. The bible is authoritative above the church and above every person on earth. 

 

Do we have an intense burning desire to please God? Do we hate sin and love righteousness? Do we sincerely weep over our sinful failures as we confess them to Him? That’s called a godly sorrow. But He’s so patient and forgiving! He takes my sorrow over the times I mess up and transforms it into supernatural joy! Do we really strive for obedience to Jesus? If so, we have genuine assurance of salvation and our names are engraved upon His palmswe are forever His.

 

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Categories: Christian Living, Discipleship, Faith, Salvation, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

True or False—Continued

apple

Please do not misunderstand my intent in this message. I love the fact that being a Christian gives me a close relationship with God. My relationship with Christ, who lives within me by His Holy Spirit, is the greatest love interest in my life. Yes, Christianity at its core is based upon our relationship with God. We are intimately united with Christ. We are IN Christ. Yet, within that relationship there are things that God requires of me, just as any Father requires of his children. These things I am to do fervently with great devotion and out of love for Him and reverence for Him. Practicing what God asks of me is religion. Just because an apple has a designation of its own does not mean that it is no longer a fruit. Likewise, because our religion includes the glorious privilege of having an intimate relationship with our Creator, makes it no less a religion. I delight in doing God’s will, and my sweet relationship with Jesus makes doing God’s will as delicious to me as a sweet, crisp apple. God also commands me to have a relationship with the body of Christ, His church. We worship and praise Him together and individually. Also, I am to relate the things of God to the world. I must obey Him and do these things religiously.

While both of the images above have true statements, they each also have a false statement. If you’ve had a relationship with Christ for any length of time, then He has taught you, just as He has taught me: things that are only partially true are meant to deceive. Because they are not completely true, they are false.  Whenever the truth is mixed with a lie, the entire message becomes false. That’s a tactic of the devil: mixing truth with error in order to make it sound plausible.

So let’s see if we can discover what the enemy is hoping to accomplish by getting Christians to deny their religiosity.

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. ( James 1:26-27 NIV)

In these verses James reminds us that our expression of love towards others, practicing self-control, and striving to live pure lives IS our religion. Yet too often today, Christians hope to fit in with a world which God has commanded that we separate ourselves from. Yes, we are to witness to the world, but we are different and separate from those outside of Christ. There should be a huge distinction perceived through the love we have for one another within the body of Christ.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.  John 13:35 KJV

Are we willing to be Christ’s followers, and have we counted the cost? Will we be obedient to Him? If so, then the following will be true of us.

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:19 NIV

Again, I understand the love which compels you and I to make the gospel as attractive as possible. But God’s word does not need that kind of assistance. People will believe or they will not, and trying to blend in with them does not help our cause. But that’s what the enemy would have us do: attempt to dull the sharpness of the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Now I can already hear someone coming back with something Paul said concerning winning souls. I’ll save that for when someone brings it up.

It is my prayer that your relationship with the Savior of the world will grow closer and more intimate every day. His love is sweeter than any apple. God Bless You!

 

Categories: Church, Faith, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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