Thursday, March 16, 2006

Do you have the Son?

"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." John 3:36 (NASB)

This verse captures the need for Christians to preach the gospel and it also captures the need for eveyone to understand and heed the gospel.

We always must remember that "believing" is not a simple acknowlegement of a fact and then moving forward in an unchanged (or mostly unchanged) manner. The Apostle Paul wrote, "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 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 12:1,2) Paul shows us what a Christian is to "be" like.

There is a false teaching out in the culture today that you can have true saving faith and yet no real change in your life. This is called "easy believism" (catchy name, huh?). In previous posts (click here to read my post on repentance), I have shown different passages in the Bible where we see that the demons believe and know the truth of God, but they aren't saved. There is a huge difference between saving faith and dead faith (James 2). James 2:26 makes the illustration picutre perfect and clear: "For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead."

The stakes are high, the lines are drawn, and the truth is clear. Do not be deceived, do not try to fool God or think that you will repent on your death bed. You truly may be able to do that. But do you know whether you'll have a death bed? Do you know that you won't be in a coma? How do you know that you won't be so bitter by all of life's problems that you will not even want to think about God, much less bend your knee to him?

Don't wait. You may not have may not.

If you don't think that you need to repent or if you think that you're OK, please click here to test that theory.


sj said...

You hit the nail right on the head. You really left no option. People need to come to repentance. Good post, my love. You are clear, concise, and to the point. As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this entry. I truly hope that those who read it who are not saved will begin seeking the truth of a saving God.
I love you!

Nate J. said...

Nice topic. There must be a balance between stressing grace and works. I'm sure you would agree with me that the modern church has placed so much emphasis on the grace and love of God that people's lifestyles don't match up to their "claim" to be Christians. They want all of the benefits of God's salvation and forgiveness so they are quick to claim them, but in the meantime, their lives are totally apathetic to and void of a true love for God. That is where your phrase "easy believism" comes into play. It's easy to believe and claim something for yourself, but it is much harder to back up the genuine nature of that claim by your lifestyle. That is why good works and a genuine heart of repentance are so important - they validate that your claim of faith is real. The other danger, of course, is to place too much emphasis on works. This is also very dangerous because as Ephesians 2:8-9 clearly states, we are not saved by any kind of work. - Than again, Abraham was justified by his works according to James 2. Abraham proved his faith by his works. This topic can be confusing to people (especially to many unbelievers who think that good works are what help you make it to Heaven) Just for the record, I do think that our churches today could stress the works side just a bit more :)

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