My two oldest boys love each other, except when they are together. Our four year old Lincoln wants to do everything his big brother Andy, age six does. If Andy is not with Lincoln, he wants to know where Andy is so he can be near him. The most common example of this happens on a daily basis in our house. Lincoln had just woke up from a nap and wanted to know where his big brother was playing. When Lincoln found out Andy was playing with toys in his room, Lincoln ran as fast as he could to where Andy was playing. And they play together like loving brothers…for about five minutes. Then Lincoln will come running out of the run crying and screaming.
We ask, “What’s wrong Lincoln?”
He replies, “Andy has a toy I want and he wont give it to me!”
“Who had it first?” I ask.
“Andy, but I want it!” Lincoln replies.
I always close this little scenario by telling Lincoln that he can have the toy when Andy is done playing with it, and that we don’t take toys from others. I let him know that we take turns and share, not just take things because we want them. And little Lincoln’s reply to me is always the same….
“THAT’s NOT FAIR!!!”
Lincoln being only four years old doesnt have the capability to fully understand justice yet. He doesnt fully understand the difference between right and wrong. All Lincoln sees is that his selfish desires are not being met. Things are not playing out in his favor. So any verdict that doesnt appear satisfactory to his standards, he deems them unfair. Andy, our six year old, has pulled this “not fair” card as well. But Andy at times will take it up a notch. If things dont go his way, he has been known to tell me, “You just dont love me.”
That crushes me. I would give my life for any of my children. I dont have rules and consequences for disobedience because of a lack of love for them. Its quite the opposite. Even though they may not understand at times, the rules in our household are in place because I do love them more than they know. The rules are in place because I dont want them to get hurt. I want nothing but joy in the lives of my kids, but I will not compromise the rules of our house just because they dont understand.
This plays out the very same way in our walk with Christ. How many times have you shaken your fist to the Heavens above and pleaded before God that the circumstances in your life were unfair? I can think of more than a few times.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8.
God clearly points out that his thoughts are so much higher than ours. And his standards and ways are not ours. But honestly, aren’t you glad to know that? If we had our way, we would be wallowing in every feel good sin we stumbled upon. If we had our way, our human nature points us towards putting our selfish desires as utmost importance. Like the old saying goes, “Looking out for number one!” We are selfish by nature. We are sinful by nature. But the Lord is Holy. Holy literally means seperate.What a scary thought that would be to serve a God who was just as fallen and sinful as we are!
It is so prevalent in many churches today to seek a God that is made in our image. Christianity has been distorted so much within the last century. Jesus has been given a make over so to speak. He has been made so loving that he is almost weak. Jesus is portrayed at times as a God who is loving and forgiving to a fault. And it is because he has been taken out of context.
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.
Did you read that? Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. So many take this to mean we cannot lose our salvation once we have declared Jesus is Lord. And I believe that to be true! The Bible said it! We cannot lose our salvation. And because of this verse, so many people will live a willingly sinful life, and when confronted, they will claim that they gave their life to Christ years ago so they are good. They treat salvation sort of like a flu shot. But that’s not how God works.
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,” Hebrews 10:26.
You see, the question is not one of, “Did that person living in sin lose his salvation?” The question is, did that person ever truly have salvation to begin with? So many have been falsely deceived into placing all their faith in a prayer or baptism experience that they are saved instead of taking the word of God and seeking to see what it says a true Christian looks like! As it says plainly in the verse above from Hebrews, if a person can continue living in sin after professing Christ as Lord, the grace of God no longer covers them.
Jesus paid the price for sin. He was the sacrifice for sin. But a person who choses to continue living in sin after raising their hand for Jesus is no longer covered under Christ’s sacrifice.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
This verse is so overlooked, yet it says it all! If you truly profess Christ as Lord, you literally become a new creation! The sins you once loved, you now hate. It doesnt mean you are not tempted, but you now avoid the temptation because you heart now desires to do the will of God! You hunger to know and draw near to him not just no Sunday mornings, but with your life! Friends, I pray you take these words to heart. If you have no desire for the Lord in your life and are still chosing sin over Christ, then according to scripture, you are not saved.
First of all, if someone claims salvation in Christ, if it is true, they will be developing that relationship with Him. They will be seeking him in scripture and searching to know what He expects of our lives. A true Christian will seek to know the desire of the Lord. Secondly in knowing God’s expectations, we will know know God’s commands for our lives. Now think about this logically. If someone claimed to be a Christian yet continued on in a certain sin, and then once it was brought to their attention, claimed they didnt know it was breaking God’s commandment, what would this tell you? It would tell you that they have a shallow understanding of the God they claim to serve, therefore proving they have no relationship with him.
Now the other side of the coin are those who will profess to know Christ as saviour, yet chose to continue sinning placing their faith in a moment in time where they professed Jesus a Lord. Rev. Paul Washer once said, “Do you know what your profession of Christ as Lord is worth? Absolutely nothing.”
“A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.” Matthew 7:18.
If I were to tell you that I had an very healthy apple tree growing in my backyard, and when glanced at it, there were no apples but instead rotten fruit all over it, you would say that I was either crazy or a liar. In the same way, a person cannot profess Christ and it be true unless they bear his fruit. As I alluded to in my previous blog post, I think we spend so little time in the word of God that the majority of American Christians dont truly know the God they profess to serve.
We serve a God of love and forgiveness. But that forgiveness requires a life change from us. I heard a pastor once say it would do Christianity a greater justice if many professing Christians just renounced their faith instead of filing into church on Sunday and living like the devil every other day of the week. Because if they are not a new creation in Christ, the regardless of what they say, they are not abiding under the forgiveness of Christ, but his wrath. They also set an example for new believers that is false. As Ive written many times, Jesus clearly says in Matthew that the road to salvation is narrow, and few will truly find it.
Test yourself, search yourself….ask yourself why you believe what you believe regarding salvation? Is it because of what your friends told you? Is it because of an article you read? Is it because what your pastor told you? The only answer should be based on what scripture says. The very people that will claim Jesus is Lord of their life are sometimes the same ones that only open their Bible’s on Sunday mornings. If we are a people that are truly converted and truly seeking God’s will for our lives, then we should be in His word at every opportunity. People will claim they are just so busy and dont have time to sit and read their bible, but they have plenty of time to cookout with friends on the weekend, go to the movies, watch television at night, or play on their new I Phone.
Its not that they dont have time for God, its that they want salvation and eternal security without the commitment. They want the benefits without the responsibilities. And its no surprise that many “christians” have this mindset. It is the society we live in. The majority of view on marriage are the same way. Sexual relations as well as alcohol and drug abuse are the same way. Our culture teaches us to seek the pleasures and benefits of a sinful life and just dont worry about the responsibilities. Dont worry about a long term commitment. That is the theology of our world. That is how many people think about God. And God has warned, “Few of you will actually receive eternal life.”
My boys at times think I am unfair. They think I am unloving because of rules I have in my house. They think I am robbing them of their joy. But they dont know what I know. They dont realize that if I allowed them to jump on my bed, they could fall off and be seriously injured. They dont realize that teaching them to share is actually teaching them justice. Our twin baby boys Abel and Luke dont realize that I am forbidding them from swimming in the deep end of a pool not to spoil their fun, but because they dont know how to swim and they could drown. They see me as a kill joy. But I am seeking to save them from heartache. I want their lives full of joy more so very much. And even though they cant see it, I know more than they do.
If I as a fallen, sinful man can love enough to have rules in place to protect my children, how much more can be said of God in the same manner?
“The path is narrow…”
” Seek me with all your heart….”
“I will make you a new creation….
“Repent and flee from sin…”
“Deny your flesh, take up your cross, and follow me…
” Why do you call me Lord, yet not do as I say…
” Those who love me, obey my commands….”