NEWS PROVIDED BY
Sept. 26, 2023
WASHINGTON, Penn., Sept. 26, 2023 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following is submitted by Dan Corner of Evangelical Outreach:
Christians are in an intense struggle against sin (Heb. 12:4). Evil is trying to overcome us, but we can overcome it by good (Rom. 12:21). We must be an overcomer in the end to inherit God's kingdom and escape the lake of fire (Rev. 21:1-8). We might have to shed our blood (Heb. 12:4) and die a martyr to overcome (Rev.12:11). IF WE DISOWN JESUS, HE WILL DISOWN US (Mt. 10:33; 2 Tim 2:12).
If we look back after putting our hand to the plow, we are not fit for God's kingdom (Lk. 9:62). It is possible to again get entangled in sin and be overcome by it (2 Pet. 2:20; 1Tim. 5:11). Our current spiritual battle is for spiritual life or death itself (Rom. 8:13; Jam. 5:19,20; Lk. 15:24; etc.). We are told to PUT FORTH EVERY EFFORT TO ENTER THE NARROW DOOR, for many will try to enter but will not be able to (Lk. 13:24), and put forth every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with God (2 Pet. 3:14).
There will be many deceived by false prophets (Mt. 24:11). Many will turn away from the truth (2 Tim. 4:3,4). Many will be deceived by false teachers declaring heresies (2 Pet. 2:1,2). People will be deceived by satanic miracles (Rev. 19:20; 2 Thess. 2:9-12). We are to add to our faith various virtues to make our calling and election sure (2 Pet 1:5-10). We must continue in God's kindness or we will be cut off from spiritual life (Rom. 11:20-22). We must continue in the teaching of Jesus to have God (2 Jn. 9). We must persevere under trial to receive the crown of life (Jam. 1:12). We must bring forth good fruit or we'll be cut down and thrown in the fire (Jn. 15:1-6; Lk. 13:6-9). The lukewarm will be spued out of Jesus' body (Rev. 3:15,16).
Only a "few" (the minority) at Sardis didn't soil their spiritual clothes and were still worthy to walk with Jesus (Rev. 3:4,5). It is our personal responsibility—not God's—to keep our lamps burning (Lk. 12:35), keep ourselves pure (1 Tim. 5:22), keep ourselves from idols (1 Jn. 5:21) and keep ourselves from the spiritual pollutants of this world (Jam. 1:26,27).
It is possible to quickly turn away from God (1 Tim. 5:15; Gal. 1:6), return to sin and go back as a dog to his vomit or a washed sow to the mud again (2 Pet. 2:22). We must keep God's word not to die spiritually (Jn. 8:51). Jesus is the source of eternal salvation, but only for those who OBEY him (Heb. 5:9).
Only those who DO GOD'S WILL shall enter God's kingdom (Mt. 7:21). We have to put God's word into practice to be the Lord's spiritual family (Lk. 8:21). If we forsake God, he will forsake us (2 Chron. 15:2). After initial salvation we are to be afraid of God, who can destroy both our body and soul in hell (Mt 10:28; Lk 12:4,5). It is hard for the righteous to be saved (1 Pet. 4:18; Mt. 7:14). Even the apostle Judas Iscariot lost his salvation (Mt. 10:1-4 cf. Mk. 14:21; Jn. 17:12) and the Lord's original disciples, who were trying to be the greatest in the kingdom, would have to change to enter the kingdom of heaven (Mt. 18:1-3).
To think you are standing firm is to be set up for a spiritual fall (1 Cor. 10:12) and to be arrogant (Rom. 11:20). God opposes the arrogant (1 Pet. 5:5). Without holiness and a pure heart at death, no one will see God (Heb. 12:14; Mt. 5:8; Rev. 20:6). We have to persist in doing good to get eternal life (Rom. 2:6-8) and sow to please the Spirit of God to reap eternal life (Gal. 6:8,9).
It is possible to believe in vain (1 Cor. 15:2), cease believing (Lk. 8:13) and have our faith shipwrecked (1 Tim. 1:19) and destroyed (2 Tim. 2:18; Rom. 11:19-21). We can also fall away (Heb. 6:6; Lk. 8:13) and no longer be known by Jesus after we became spiritual virgins and had a burning spiritual lamp (Mt. 25:12). If we take words away from God's book of prophecy, he will take our share of the holy city away from us (Rev. 22:19). Loving God is a salvation issue (Jam. 2:5; 1 Cor. 2:9), which is the same as obeying God (Jn. 14:15,21,23). Being faithful to God to the point of death (Rev. 2:10, 11) is also a salvation issue.
To share in Christ, we must hold firmly until the end to the confidence we had at first (Heb. 3:14). To continue to remain in the Son, we will have to see to it that what we have heard from the beginning remains in us (1 Jn. 2:24,25). According to true grace teaching, eternal life is also a hope (Titus 3:7), yet to be reaped (Gal. 6:8,9), in the age to come (Mk. 10:30) for only those who persist in doing good (Rom. 2:7), and do not grow weary and give up (Gal. 6:9). The most righteous man on earth in his day was Job and he was blameless, upright, feared the Lord and shunned evil (Job 1:8). God esteems: him who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at his word (Isa 66:2). Are you a real Christian? [Print out here on the Christian Life - pdf.]
SOURCE Evangelical Outreach
CONTACT: Dan Corner, 724-632-3210