One of the blessings that comes with posting articles to the internet is the unknown impact they will have in the future. Last week I learned that Amy Spreeman from Stand Up for the Truth had republished my February 2011 article titled, People Who Will Not Go to Heaven. The reposted article generated some traffic to airō, and I was humbled by the impact the article had on a couple of individuals.
One such person was a brother by the name of Jared Baergen. Jared wrote in the comment section,
I just have to say that this blog post really hits home with me. I just became a Christian two years ago myself, and this is one of my all time fav. passages in Scripture (1 Cor. 6:9-11). Right after Paul says none of these people will enter heaven, he goes on to say, “and such were some of you, but you’ve been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ.”
I really enjoyed the way you worded everything. It is exactly how I’ve been trying to word what I’ve been thinking. This article almost brings tears to my eyes because it hits at the heart of where my heart is at. The church is well set up for for the end. There are so many churches that resemble the church of Sardis and the church of Laodicea in Revelation chapter three. It is high time that the true church started acting like it, by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone. Thank you for your kind, and candid exhortation!
Also, this is not me trolling, but if you are interested, I recently was baptized at my church and I posted the video at my blog: http://jtbaergen.blogspot.com/2012/01/new-beginning.html?m=0 // If you are interested, my testimony is very similar to your own! Thank you, again, for your kind, and candid exhortation to people who are sayers and hearers, as I was, but not necessarily doers (Matthew 7).
Jared is right. The visible church is in such a state of apostasy with its carnal “christianity”, easy-believism, postmodernism, low view of God and Scripture, purpose-and-prosperity-driven theology, and charismania. Although the Apostle Paul warned us of this age in such passages as 2 Timothy 3:3-4,
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths”,
it doesn’t excuse professing yet worldly christians of their responsibility to turn away from their love of sin and idolatrous feel-good christianity.
Jared was also right about his testimony being similar to my own. I too was a false convert, and praise God for His grace that broke me over my sin, Whose grace wrought godly sorrow in me producing repentance that led to salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10). This is the testimony of regeneration – a life consumed with sin, pride, and “good deeds” changed by the cleansing of the Holy Spirit to begin a life of loving and obeying God in pursuit of holiness (Titus 3:3-7).
As in Jared’s life, my life as a false convert could not be reconciled with the following Scriptures:
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. – 1 John 1:6-7
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. – 1 John 2:3
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. – 1 John 2:15
No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. – 1 John 3:9-10
How does your life reconcile with these Scripture, dear reader? Are you scratching your head wondering whether your life fits within their context? Let me challenge you to take a moment to do a few things:
- Watch Jared’s testimony from his Janurary 2012 baptism and ask yourself whether your life has been changed by the grace of God as Jared’s life has been changed by the grace of God.
- Read the People Who Will Not Go to Heaven article and examine yourself with the Scripture presented.
- Read the page on Eternal Life to see whether you truly understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ (because if you do and have believed in its promises, your life as a new creation in Christ will be markedly different from ungodly, worldly people).
- Continue examining yourself in the book of 1 John, a book for biblical assurance of salvation and self-examination (per 2 Corinthians 13:5).
- Pray and read God’s Word until He saves you or gives you biblical assurance of salvation, then continuing praying and reading as you hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6).
This may seem like a lot of work, and it is to be sure, but isn’t this worth the eternal destination of your soul? Isn’t examining yourself with God’s Word worth determining whether you have truly been born again and have received Life and Hope in the Lord Jesus Christ?
I pray you indeed take the time to examine yourself whether you are in the faith.
To my brethren who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, who have been conveyed from the power of darkness into the Kingdom of God, who have been adopted as sons and daughters of our merciful Father, who have been saved by grace alone through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone to the praise of His glorious grace alone, I hope you too watch Jared’s testimony and rejoice with me in the salvation of this precious brother!
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. – 1 John 3:1-3
You may also be interested in the page, Lordship Salvation