What would we do if the police or a government official came up to us and demanded we stop practicing our faith? How would we respond if we were threatened with jail, or worse? I can hear the tough talk now about how we would do this or say that. But, the fact is we do very little now so I wonder what we would do if we faced fierce opposition. If we are truly blood washed Christians, we will, with God’s help, practice our faith in public. Our words and actions will demonstrate who we really are. And we certainly will not take our religious freedom for granted. However, many Christians today try to “fit in” with the world rather than stand out in a crowd. The “IN crowd” is merely the “SIN Crowd” with the S removed. Sadly, many today are plastic Christians sitting under a plastic steeple admiring a stain glass facade. We hide who we really are with our fancy clothes and prominent pew preferences. We have become the people we despise the most, Pharisees.
For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20 NKJV Should we be concerned? Should we be worried about our relationship with Christ? Absolutely, because we have been taking Him for granted long enough. We are so weak in our faith Christ tells us, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Revelation 3:15-17 NKJV We neglect our daily obligations with the dread of a spoiled child. Our focus should be on Christ and others around us rather than on me, me, me!
When was the last time you spent time with your Lord and Savior? When was the last time you took your Bible studies seriously? When was the last time you cried out to God with all your heart? When was the last time you shared your faith? This is something we are asked to do. It is our obligation to God to witness to everyone we come in contact with. We have become lazy and overconfident. We are trusting in our own ability instead of relying on our heavenly Father. He has been to easy on all of us. He has let us slide long enough. If we are truly who we claim to be we will be preaching repentance. I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:3 NKJV
How confident are you in your salvation? Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV Wow! How many of us have been prophesying lately? How many of us have been casting out demons lately? None?
And what is the will of the Father? “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40 NKJV This is where many Christian’s faith ends, with a “head felt” belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Demons believe and tremble fearing the Lord God Almighty. How can we recognize a Christian? We recognize them by their works, or fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Matthew 7:18-19 NKJV
Jesus drove the money changers and their animals out of the temple. Wonder how He would respond to the recreational assemblies in churches today? The attic sales, dinners and dances. How do you think He would react? The church today is full of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Modernistic views are invading our churches like thieves. Frustrated Christians are leaving the Church in droves, and God’s message is being diluted by liberalism. The blood – bought salvation of Jesus Christ is being passed over for a “feel good” lifestyle where anything goes. Many are led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:6-7 NKJV
There are many Christians today who make an outward show of religion but never have a one on one relationship with Jesus Christ. Sadly, they work to earn their salvation. Many pastors are trained in business management and spend most of their time running the church instead of growing spiritually with God, leaving church members spiritual weak. People place their faith in work they do in a local church, money they give, or a high moral life. None of these things will get you to heaven. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NKJV
Salvation is a gift from God. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13 NKJV Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5 NKJV For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV
Dear friend, how does your faith, your love for others stack up? Where are you going to be when the last trumpet sounds? The time isn’t coming. It is here! The theater of the world is set. The world powers and players are in position. We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. Corinthians 6:1-3 NKJV Don’t base your salvation on a “head felt” belief. Open your heart up to Christ. He is here with you now. Won’t you get down on your knees and pray with me?
Dear heavenly Father, give me greater knowledge of Your truth, and light up my heart with Your love and understanding. Fill me with the power of Your courage, and enhance my life with service to others. Set me apart from the fallen world, and count me in the number of Your eternally saved. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen