“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21)
As the church “progresses” further and further away from delivering the Truth in God’s Word, it produces subjects (Christians) that progress further and further away from living the self-denied life of a true disciple of Christ! If the church would have stayed in their lane and kept its focus on following the great commission of Jesus Christ to, “go and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you,” (Matt. 28:18-20) we wouldn’t have the many mega-churches full of unrepentant hearts living with no fear of the Lord like we have today.
The reason Christ’s command was to “go and make disciples” rather than to “go and sell salvation” is two-fold: For one, man cannot cause salvation! And two, it is only true disciples of Christ that His Word promises will receive the gift of salvation! Therefore, in essence, “making a disciple of Christ” is bringing someone salvation! On the flip, promising someone eternal security before they know the Lord (truly live with His Spirit) will not make them a disciple of Christ! This speaks to the difference between seeking salvation and seeking God; one will leave you bound in sin and one will make you holy! That is why “salvation” was not to be the goal, teaching and encouraging others to live a self-denied life for Christ was! When you put the cart before the horse (promise salvation before someone truly gives their life to Christ), you create a mess! Yeah, I know, part of the human tradition that we’ve created requires that we say that we have “given our life to Christ” in order to receive this pseudo-salvation of our souls, but your heart can’t lie to its Creator and the false teaching within the church today no longer produces subjects that bear the fruit of His kingdom!
My point is that it is impossible to properly motivate someone to “continue to work out their salvation with fear and trembling” and “teach them to obey everything that the Lord commanded” when you promise your subjects that they already stand there holding onto the prize! (1 Cor. 9:24-27) Once the church started claiming to have the authority to “deliver salvation” rather than to simply serve as the pillar of Truth, the church suffered a complete systems failure; a metabolic syndrome of the spiritual variety! For “who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Rom. 8:24b-25) Who willingly goes into strict training with zeal for the Lord if they buy the lie that they already have their “ticket to heaven”? Who “glories in the suffering” that produces the perseverance and character required to attain a goal that you perceive to already have obtained? (Rom. 5:3-5) Again, who hungers for that which they already have?
Imagine the difference in how a “believer” would live their life if they believed that the only way to enter the paradise of God was to live free from sin (repent), fully surrender their heart to Christ and serve the Lord’s will for their life! If you believed that that was the only way to receive His Spirit and the gift of eternal salvation, imagine “what earnestness that would produce; what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what eagerness to see justice done.” (2 Cor. 7:11) I imagine that a person who believed that to be true would know the fear of the Lord and have the proper motivation to “purify themself from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence to God.” (2 Cor. 7:1) I believe that a person who believes those conditions to be God’s Truth might then earnestly desire to seek the knowledge of God in His Word, and “offer their body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — for this is your true and proper worship.” (Rom. 12:1)
The false teaching within the church today is a lie! Let us consider this, how many mega-churches do you think that you can fill by delivering the Truth in God’s Word? Because those conditions that I just provided (a genuine repentance, a fully surrendered heart to serve His will, obeying His commands and abiding in His Word till the end) serve as the only confidence that we can have before the Lord regarding what His Word says is required to be welcomed into His Light! (Matt. 7:21, John 3:19-21, John 8:31-32, John 14:23-24, Heb. 10:26-31, 1 John 3:6-10, Rev. 21:7-8) Well, there’s hundreds more where those came from, but again, consider how His Truth motivates one to action as compared to Satan’s deception. I understand that you will not fill these mega-churches with His Truth, and you most certainly can by offering an extremely wide door via “another way”; but what action does that message produce? Please forgive the mocking and tell me what zeal for the Lord the promised “salvation” message from pastor’s today springs forth? Here it is in a nutshell… Simply get your arrogant, prideful self to acknowledge that Jesus is real and say that you’re going to allow Him to forgive you, and you, too, can be a child of God on your way to heaven and nothing can change that! Hmmm, any desire to hate sin, repent (turn from sin), and walk obediently to God’s commands in Satan’s deception? I think not! Utterly detestable!
Salvation is attained by “doing”, not “receiving”! (John 13:14-17) That is not to suggest that eternal salvation isn’t a gift received by the grace of God through faith in His Son, Jesus; but it is to suggest that unless you “do the will of God” there is no promise of receiving the gift in which you hope! (1 John 2:17) Jesus makes clear who will receive the victor’s crown, and He makes clear that there is far more to it than simply believing that He exists. (Rev. 2:7, Matt. 7:21, John 8:31-32) Do you see salvation as a goal that you “press on” to attain, or as something that you’ve already accomplished? Are you still chasing after God with all your heart, or do you believe that you have already arrived? (Phil. 3:10-14)
Is your life Jesus? (1 John 2:3-6) Come on, let’s stop lying to ourselves or living in denial! How many Christians today view salvation as “living as Jesus did” over simply “believing what Jesus did”? The church message today distorts the Truth and takes scripture out of context boiling salvation down to simply “believing in Jesus” (easy-believism) because Satan’s deception is intended to keep you from the cross; keep you from bearing your own! The fact is, a study of His full message of Truth reveals that to “believe in Him” is to believe what Jesus said, not simply to believe that He exists! Believing in God will not do much for your life, believing God will bring you Life! As I often say, Jesus is not a free pass, He is the Way! Jesus says, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46) Again, to “believe in Jesus” is to believe what He says, to believe His conditions for reconciliation, to agree with Him about sin, to understand that you must repent (turn from sin), and agree to fully surrender your heart to serve His will and live to the glory of God, as Jesus did! (John 3:19-21)
If I cannot convince you that you are being deceived, then I will ask you to consider whether the salvation message within the church today properly motivates one to produce the fruit of His kingdom? (Matt. 21:43-44) Do you honestly think that people will turn from sin and fully surrender their heart to serve God’s will if it is simply encouraged, or strongly suggested, rather than being stated as a requirement to enter into His Light? (John 3:19-21, Matt. 7:21-23, 1 John 2:3-6, John 8:31-32, Luke 6:47-49, Heb. 5:8-10, 2 Thess. 1:8) God didn’t suggest, or strongly recommend that His children obey His commands… He states that they will! (John 14:23-24) Of course, there are hundreds more scripture speaking to the Truth regarding what is required for salvation that completely contradicts that false teaching within the church today, and that Truth requires truly giving Christ your life rather than simply professing to do so (“accepting Christ as your Savior”) followed by some meaningless ritual, work, or tradition. And do not bother trying to go and walk in His Light without His Spirit, it is impossible and will only lead to disappointment and frustration! You must truly, fully give your heart (life) to Christ!
God does not bestow His Spirit upon the one who selfishly longs to receive salvation, He bestows His Spirit upon the one whose heart is fully surrendered to serve His will! Which makes for a better world? Preaching the Word and sending several thousand disciples of Christ (actually living with Christ’s Spirit) out to demonstrate the love of God to the world; or sending out two billion self-professing “Christians” that have bought Satan’s deception hook, line, and sinker? Well, I guess the current state of our nation answers that question rather easily now doesn’t it? Beware of allowing the fact that you will never attain the perfection of Christ to be an excuse to reject His command that you strive with all your heart to do so! We are all given different gifts, abilities, talents, and grace so that we might be able to live up to what God called us to be. Are you giving Him all your heart and following that which He called you to do, or are you holding enough of your heart back in order for you to continue to live the life you love?
Do not hold onto possessions that prevent your heart from experiencing the full measure of His love! To obey His commands is to love Jesus! To love your devotion to Jesus is love for “self”. There is a world of difference between loving all that Jesus can do for you, and loving the Word, Himself. One exudes selfishness and one humility. Do you show your love for Him by praising His Name, attending church service, singing “worship” songs, and giving out of your wealth, or do you show your love for Him by allowing Him to refine your heart in the fear of the Lord, and earnestly seeking His knowledge, diligently striving to grow and become mature, complete in Christ in order to serve His will? Simply believing in Jesus does not make you holy. Believing that you must live as Jesus did to enter His kingdom will make you holy. (Heb. 12:14-15) Is your life Jesus? Fear the Lord!
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