Sunday, January 5, 2014

Are you Genuinely Saved?

What assures you of your right standing before God?  In your mind, what constitutes the reality that you are a walking Christian who will go to heaven when your time on this earth ends?

It is a frightening and sobering thought that there will be many people standing before God on the Day of Judgment who will realize, "I am going to hell forever because I thought I was saved and I really wasn't."

" ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.  So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.' "  Revelation 3: 15-16

Why is this?  Could it be due to the fact that so many believe they are in right standing before God and are paying their due to God simply by weekly attendance in church, being moral, paying tithe, giving money to different noble organizations, reading their Bible often, always doing devotionals, praying sporadically or claiming that they "love God with their whole heart" when there is actually no real evidence of a transformed life?  Indeed.  All of this, many, even countless people do to a greater or lesser degree.  What's missing is a daily commitment to God, a real relationship filled with total surrender to the Lord and His will, where you have resolved to no longer live as you please but to commit your life to God, asking Him to do the necessary work on your heart so thereby you walk in the freedom He offers to those who know Him, and seeking after Him from a willing heart, wanting God to incline your heart to Him and rescue you from worldly patterns and strongholds...the sort of relationship where you follow after Him through thick and thin, "no matter what He does for you in this circumstance..."

One might argue that the Christian faith and what God requires of those who "know" Him can be compared to a marriage relationship.  Would anyone consider a meaningful and growing and dear marriage relationship to be one where all your spouse does to remain in "right standing" with you is take care of chores around the home, always have dinner prepared, working long hours "so you can stay in that house" and deal with you strictly by maintaining an almost business-like relationship...or would the marriage thrive and be intimate and genuine if both husband and wife sought to spend quality time together, made communication a top priority in their relationship, drew close to one another through friendship, affection, and intimacy, and sought to build and maintain their relationship out of love for one another and gratitude to where each can say, "I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine" (Song of Solomon 6: 3)?

Second Corinthians 13: 5 says, "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!  Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?"

Jesus says in Matthew 7: 22-23, " '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.’ "

Imagine that!  To the watching world, these people probably were viewed by others as the ones who truly knew God!

If you are going to be a Christian, be a genuine and real Christian.  Don't play around with the world's enticements and think that showing up to church each week will make everything all right (or at least make you appear to be a genuine follower of Christ in the sight of others when you know in your heart that your commitment isn't genuine).  Remember the quote, "Being a fake Christian is worse than not being a Christian at all."

Plead with God to deal kindly with you for His name's sake, to guide you in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake, to lead you to repentance, and provide genuine accountability, godly friendships, and trusted mentors for you to speak to.  Ask Him to give you a heart that fears, trusts, and obeys Him.  Pray that He would reveal Himself to you in a way you cannot deny.  Plead with Him to purge, refine, sanctify, purify, transform, deliver, and set you free, to somehow make the time daily for you to seek after Him and provide resources for you to study that are Biblically accurate, to draw you close to Him, lead you to a Bible-believing church, give you wisdom and discernment, and build your faith, joy, and trust in Him over time.

God is able to answer these prayers!  Mighty and faithful is He!

"So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom."  Psalm 90: 12

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."  Romans 12: 2


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