How can a spiritual, born again Christian know if a person is saved? How can a spiritual, born again Christian know what a person’s understanding of God’s Word is? Note, it says “spiritual,” born again Christian. A worldlyminded or lukewarm Christian (or a new Christian) cannot discern these matters, neither can he usually understand how a spiritual Christian can, just as a first grader in school cannot understand college level material.
Does the Bible give us Scripture that can answer these questions? Does the Bible give us any indication that we may know, at least in part, if a person is conforming to the image of Christ? Yes, it does.
The fruits a person brings forth (or, we may say, a person’s attitude) clearly reveals their understanding of God’s Word.
Note the following 9 words: fruits, obedience, correction, serving God, water baptism, sin, humbleness, fearing God, and confess.
1-Fruits (or attitude) which includes above all—LOVE. The Bible clearly states, Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? If a person’s attitude is like thorns or thistles, they will not be gathered. They are not saved.
17-Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18-A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19-Every tree (or every person) that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Every person that does not bring forth the fruits of the Spirit of God will certainly perish.
20-Wherefore BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM. You will KNOW if a person is saved by their fruits. You can also know their understanding of the Gospel by their fruits; indeed, you shall know them.
Ja 3:17-But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Lk 3:8-Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance.
The fruit of the Spirit should be covered later in this message. The greatest fruit of all is love; and the greatest commandment is to love the Lord thy God, and the second to love the brethren. If you do not love as the Bible commands, you are nothing—you are not saved.
2-Obedience. Heb 5:9 and Acts 5:32 clearly reveal that God gives eternal salvation to them that obey Him.
3-Correction. Many scriptures. The religious leaders of 2000 years ago looked like they were saved. They worshipped God, believed in God, and preached. However, they would not receive and obey correction from the Word of God, while the saved did. The attitude and degree to which a person responds to correction from God’s Word is a good measure of their fruits and their childlikeness or humility.
4-Serving God. A person that will not serve God when called to do so, in the way God commands him to, is not saved-ref Mal 3:18; Lk 6:46. In all 7 churches in the Revelation, you are judged by your works.
However just because a person serves God, this does not prove they are saved-ref Mt 7:21-24. Serving God nets us eternal rewards, not salvation.
5-Water baptism. If a person has not submitted to the commandment of being baptized by full immersion after believing on Jesus and repenting, the Scriptures clearly state that he has rejected the counsel of God against himself-ref Acts 2:38; Lk 7:30 and many others.
6-Sin. The Bible clearly shows that a person that continues to willfully practice sin has not known God-ref 1 Jn 3:6.
A person that practices cursing God’s name is not saved.
A person that dares to speak against God’s anointed has no fear of God. For it is written: 2 Pe 2:10-But chiefly them that walk after the flesh…Presumptuous are they, self-willed, THEY ARE NOT AFRAID TO SPEAK EVIL OF DIGNITIES. Num 12:8-…WHEREFORE THEN WERE YE NOT AFRAID TO SPEAK AGAINST MY SERVANT MOSES?
7-Humbleness. If a person is proud and not humble, the Bible clearly shows they cannot be saved; for grace is only given to the humble. God resists the proud-ref Ja 4:6.
8-Fear God. Do you fear God? If you do not, clearly the Word of salvation is not sent to you. For it is written, Acts 13:26-Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. The fear of God certainly can change you. You don’t stop sinning, because you love God. You stop practicing sin, because you are afraid of eternal damnation. It is written, Prov 16:6-BY THE FEAR OF THE LORD MEN DEPART FROM EVIL.
9-Confess. A person that does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not saved-ref 1 Jn 4:2,3; 2 Jn 1:7.
A person that hates his brother in Christ is not saved-ref 1 Jn 2:9.
These 9 things testify if a person is saved or not. These also reveal a person’s understanding of Scripture.
More than anything else, one must have Christ-like love, if he is to enter the Kingdom of God. It is written:
Do you get easily upset with your brothers and sisters in Christ?
Do you get easily upset with elders in the church and your pastor?
Do you get easily upset with people?
Should you, as a Christian, treat people badly, because they may treat you badly?
Is it not written: 1 Thes 5:12-13-AND WE BESEECH YOU, BRETHREN, TO KNOW THEM WHICH LABOUR AMONG YOU, AND ARE OVER YOU IN THE LORD, AND ADMONISH YOU; AND TO ESTEEM THEM VERY HIGHLY IN LOVE FOR THEIR WORK’S SAKE. AND BE AT PEACE AMONG YOURSELVES.
Indeed, if you are conformed to the image of Christ as you are suppose to be, then you will not treat others badly, even if they do so to you. You are not to reward hate for hate, anger for anger, yelling for yelling.
You are not to reward evil for evil,
or a bad attitude for a bad attitude.
You are not to have an accusing nature as Satan does.
As a Christian you are to always have a loving, kind, merciful, compassionate, forgiving attitude.
And if you do not, it is you that are in sin, probably much more than those you are mad at. Before you try casting out the mote out of your brother’s eye, first cast out the beam you have in your own eye-ref Mt 7:5. If you treat the brethren badly, you need to repent and put on love.
Often times people just forget things that you want them to do. Should you rail on them? God forbid! Are you more just than God? If God has compassion on them, and you do not, what does this say for your walk with Jesus, Who is the Example we are to follow?
1 Jn 4:7-BELOVED, LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER: FOR LOVE IS OF GOD; AND EVERY ONE THAT LOVETH IS BORN OF GOD, AND KNOWETH GOD.
1 Jn 4:12-IF WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER, GOD DWELLETH IN US, AND HIS LOVE IS PERFECTED IN US.
1 Jn 3:18-MY LITTLE CHILDREN, LET US NOT LOVE IN WORD, NEITHER IN TONGUE; BUT IN DEED AND IN TRUTH.
1 Cor 13:2-IF I HAVE THE GIFT OF PROPHECY AND CAN FATHOM ALL MYSTERIES AND ALL KNOWLEDGE, AND IF I HAVE A FAITH THAT CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS, BUT HAVE NOT LOVE, I AM NOTHING.
1 Cor 13:3-7-IF I GIVE ALL I POSSESS TO THE POOR AND SURRENDER MY BODY TO THE FLAMES, BUT HAVE NOT LOVE, I GAIN NOTHING.
LOVE IS PATIENT,
LOVE IS KIND.
IT DOES NOT ENVY,
IT DOES NOT BOAST,
IT IS NOT PROUD.
IT IS NOT RUDE,
IT IS NOT SELF-SEEKING,
IT IS NOT EASILY ANGERED,
IT KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS.
LOVE DOES NOT DELIGHT IN EVIL BUT REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH.
IT ALWAYS PROTECTS,
ALWAYS PERSEVERES (NIV).
1 Cor 13:13-AND NOW THESE THREE REMAIN: FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE. BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE (NIV).
Ro 13:10-LOVE WORKETH NO ILL TO HIS NEIGHBOUR: THEREFORE LOVE IS THE FULFILLING OF THE LAW.
1 Cor 14:1-FOLLOW THE WAY OF LOVE (NIV).
How do we get this love? How is it possible for a mean-spirited, accusing, stiff-necked, son of the devil, who is full of hate and bitterness to be transformed into a person that loves as Christ did?
The answer lies in the Bible. First, we must understand the awesome love of Christ Himself. We need to understand that He came to this earth in human form, healed the sick, raised the dead, and demonstrated a love for humanity as no man has ever done.
God took on the form of a man. He came to this earth to die and pay the penalty for people’s sins, that is, for those that would trust in Him as their only possible hope of salvation. He was ridiculed, falsely accused, mocked, tortured, beaten beyond human recognition (or marred worse than any man).
His beard was torn from His face. He was hung on a cross. He was spat on by those He created. He endured the shame of the cross. He demonstrated love for mankind far beyond what anyone has ever done. He was God, but He was tortured by those He created, because they did not want Him to reign over them.
But then He rose from the dead. He defeated even death. And now, in is unending love, He offers the gift of eternal salvation to all those that will repent and trust in Him.
What does He ask of us?—to become like Him, to be conformed to His likeness-ref Ro 8:29, and to serve Him. His Word (the Bible) clearly shows that the time we have on this earth is a time of testing, to see if we will believe His Word, repent, and conform to Him, and serve Him. Yet despite His love, most people choose to dwell in the fruits of the devil, rather than the fruits of the Spirit.
What else did Jesus do for us? If we will repent and trust in Him, He gives us the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, strengthen us, and fill our heart with love. Knowing these things and understanding what Christ did for sinful and rebellious man, those that inherit eternal life must humble themselves.
Ro 5:6-8-FOR WHEN WE WERE YET WITHOUT STRENGTH, IN DUE TIME CHRIST DIED FOR THE UNGODLY. …BUT GOD COMMENDETH HIS LOVE TOWARD US, IN THAT, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US.
Through understanding the incredible love God has for us, in that He (God who came to this earth in human form) was tortured and died for the ungodly, this understanding compels us to love God and also to love all born again Christians, those which Christ also died for. They are our brothers and sisters as we all have the same Father, and that is God.
2 Cor 5:14-FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST CONSTRAINETH (or compels) US.
For we understand that…GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE-Jn 3:16.
Ro 5:5…THE LOVE OF GOD IS SHED ABROAD IN OUR HEARTS BY THE HOLY GHOST WHICH IS GIVEN UNTO US. In other words, the supernatural power to love the brethren so much we would even die for them is only possible by the Holy Spirit putting this love into our hearts. But if we don’t have the Holy Spirit, then how can He give us this supernatural love for the brethren?
The bottomline, plain and simple: If a person says they are saved, but the love of God is not in them for ALL their brethren, then they are either very worldly (or carnal, or lukewarm) or are not saved at all. As the Bible clearly shows us, MANY, MANY, MANY-ref Mt chapter 7, are absolutely positive they are saved, but God does not know them. And when they die or the Rapture comes, they will not be with Jesus. The key is—have they repented from the heart? Do they love all the brethren or just a select few? Do they say they love the brethren, but they won’t even speak nicely to them, or go out of their way to help them, even if it is inconvenient? Oh, foolish people. How easy it is for the deceiver to deceive you, even as he deceiveth the whole world.
And those that labor in God’s Word you are to give them double honor. For it is written: 1 Tim 5:17-LET THE ELDERS THAT RULE WELL BE COUNTED WORTHY OF DOUBLE HONOUR, ESPECIALLY THEY WHO LABOUR IN THE WORD AND DOCTRINE. And even beyond this, be warned:
Heb 13:17-OBEY THEM THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU (this would be an elder),
AND SUBMIT YOURSELVES:
FOR THEY WATCH FOR YOUR SOULS,
AS THEY THAT MUST GIVE ACCOUNT,
THAT THEY MAY DO IT WITH JOY, AND NOT WITH GRIEF:
FOR THAT IS UNPROFITABLE FOR YOU.
If you treat an elder badly, you may be in deep spiritual trouble. Fear God, and depart from your evil ways. We are to love all of God’s children, for Christ died for them, and He loves them. If you do not love what God loves, you are certainly not following God. Can you judge yourself by God’s Word? Has darkness so blinded your eyes that you think truth is falsehood and falsehood is truth? This is the way it is with nearly all people, for the Scriptures clearly tell that only a few, a very few, are really saved.
It is written: Ro 5:6-8-FOR WHEN WE WERE YET WITHOUT STRENGTH, IN DUE TIME CHRIST DIED FOR THE UNGODLY. FOR SCARCELY FOR A RIGHTEOUS MAN WILL ONE DIE: YET PERADVENTURE FOR A GOOD MAN SOME WOULD EVEN DARE TO DIE. BUT GOD COMMENDETH HIS LOVE TOWARD US, IN THAT, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US.
Jn 15:13, 14-GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS. YE ARE MY FRIENDS, IF YE DO WHATSOEVER I COMMAND YOU.
1 Jn 4:19-21-WE LOVE HIM, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.
1 Jn 4:16-AND WE HAVE KNOWN AND BELIEVED THE LOVE THAT GOD HATH TO US.
GOD IS LOVE; AND HE THAT DWELLETH IN LOVE DWELLETH IN GOD, AND GOD IN HIM.
Love is an attitude that is measured by obedience. It is the greatest fruit of the Spirit of God. When we are saved the Spirit of God dwells in us and a transformation begins to take place within us. Slowly, the love of God changes us. We are transformed from a person of anger, hate, skepticism, accusing, meanness, to a person that begins to love more and more. That love eventually grows so much in us that we would lay down our lives for the brethren. The more we understand God and His love and what He did for us, the more we love. People we once hated, we begin to love. People we were angry with, we begin to forgive and begin to love. Our attitude and more than our attitude—our heart itself is being transformed as God’s Word works in us.
Gradually, our attitude changes from the fruits of the devil, to the fruits of the Spirit of God. These are Gal 5:22,23-BUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS
LONGSUFFERING, (or patience)
GENTLENESS, (or kindness)
FAITH, (or faithfulness)
MEEKNESS, (or gentleness)
TEMPERANCE: (or self-control)
AGAINST SUCH THERE IS NO LAW.
If this transformation does not eventually take place in a person’s life, then something is very wrong. Perhaps there is bitterness, anger and unforgiveness in a person’s life that has not been repented of. Perhaps the person keeps looking back at their past, rather than looking forward at the love of Christ. Only the Lord knows. Understand this:
Mt 9:17-NEITHER DO MEN PUT NEW WINE INTO OLD BOTTLES: ELSE THE BOTTLES BREAK, AND THE WINE RUNNETH OUT, AND THE BOTTLES PERISH: BUT THEY PUT NEW WINE INTO NEW BOTTLES, AND BOTH ARE PRESERVED.
What is this saying? God’s Word is telling us that the new wine (or the Holy Spirit) must be put in new bottles, that is, into a person that has repented (thus a new bottle), because if the person has not truly repented and trusted in Jesus Christ, they are still an old bottle, so when the Holy Spirit is put into an unrepentant sinner (or old bottle), the new wine (or the Holy Spirit) runs out.
Love is the strongest evidence of whether a person is born again or is not. Love works no evil to his neighbor. If the fruits of the Spirit do not begin to shine forth after a person trusts in Jesus, repents, and is baptized, it is a very bad sign.
Also when the Spirit of God comes into a person, instantly, the person becomes more aware of sin. The Holy Spirit convicts people of their sin. A person begins to feel awful about their sins. When a brother is mean to another brother, immediately they know they need to make this right and ask for forgiveness. They, in turn, must forgive their brothers, for if men do not forgive others, neither will their heavenly Father forgive them.
Note God’s Word on this subject of loving each other:
2 Jn 1:5-6-A NEW COMMANDMENT UNTO THEE,…THAT WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
1 Jn 4:21-AND THIS COMMANDMENT HAVE WE FROM HIM, THAT HE WHO LOVETH GOD LOVE HIS BROTHER ALSO.
A person that says they love God, but does love some of the brethren is a liar. It is written:
1 Jn 4:20-21-IF A MAN SAY, I LOVE GOD, AND HATETH HIS BROTHER, HE IS A LIAR:
FOR HE THAT LOVETH NOT HIS BROTHER WHOM HE HATH SEEN, HOW CAN HE LOVE GOD WHOM HE HATH NOT SEEN? AND THIS COMMANDMENT HAVE WE FROM HIM, THAT HE WHO LOVETH GOD LOVE HIS BROTHER ALSO.
1 Jn 4:11-BELOVED, IF GOD SO LOVED US, WE OUGHT ALSO TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
1 Jn 4:7-BELOVED, LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER: FOR LOVE IS OF GOD…
Then God gives us a condition regarding our faith, because your faith will not work except by love.
Gal 5:6-FOR IN JESUS CHRIST NEITHER CIRCUMCISION AVAILETH ANY THING, NOR UNCIRCUMCISION; BUT FAITH WHICH WORKETH by love.
Yes, and beyond loving the brethren, we are to love even our enemies. For it is written, Lk 6:35-BUT LOVE YE YOUR ENEMIES.
So how is it possible for this incredible love to fill us? The Spirit of God, Who is love, dwells inside of us (those who have been born again), and thus the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. Note God’s Word:
30-NOW I BESEECH YOU, BRETHREN, FOR THE LORD JESUS CHRIST’S SAKE, AND FOR THE LOVE OF THE SPIRIT.
Ro 5:5-AND HOPE MAKETH NOT ASHAMED; BECAUSE THE LOVE OF GOD IS SHED ABROAD IN OUR HEARTS BY THE HOLY GHOST WHICH IS GIVEN UNTO US.
So how can we know that we love God and the brethren?
1 Jn 5:2-BY THIS WE KNOW THAT WE LOVE THE CHILDREN OF GOD, WHEN WE LOVE GOD, AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS.
2 Jn 6-AND THIS IS LOVE, THAT WE WALK AFTER HIS COMMANDMENTS.
On the flip side, how can we know we do not really know God?
It is written: 1 Jn 4:8-HE THAT LOVETH NOT KNOWETH NOT GOD; FOR GOD IS LOVE.
We note that Paul was very saddened by many that he preached to, as it is written: 2 Cor 12:15-AND I WILL VERY GLADLY SPEND AND BE SPENT FOR YOU; THOUGH THE MORE ABUNDANTLY I LOVE YOU, THE LESS I BE LOVED. The Corinthian church was a very worldly church. Much like the church of today—that is, the lukewarm church.
On the negative side, regarding Satan, it is written:
Rev 12:7-11-AND THERE WAS WAR IN HEAVEN: MICHAEL AND HIS ANGELS FOUGHT AGAINST THE DRAGON (which is Satan); AND THE DRAGON FOUGHT AND HIS ANGELS, AND PREVAILED NOT; NEITHER WAS THEIR PLACE FOUND ANY MORE IN HEAVEN.
AND THE GREAT DRAGON WAS CAST OUT, THAT OLD SERPENT, CALLED THE DEVIL, AND SATAN, WHICH DECEIVETH THE WHOLE WORLD: HE WAS CAST OUT INTO THE EARTH, AND HIS ANGELS WERE CAST OUT WITH HIM.
AND I HEARD A LOUD VOICE SAYING IN HEAVEN, NOW IS COME SALVATION, AND STRENGTH, AND THE KINGDOM OF OUR GOD, AND THE POWER OF HIS CHRIST: FOR THE ACCUSER OF OUR BRETHREN IS CAST DOWN, WHICH ACCUSED THEM BEFORE OUR GOD DAY AND NIGHT.
AND THEY OVERCAME HIM BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB, AND BY THE WORD OF THEIR TESTIMONY; AND THEY LOVED NOT THEIR LIVES UNTO THE DEATH.
We have brought forth God’s Word on love, but now we also need to show the reverse side.
As the following list comes forth, examine yourself and see if some of these fit you.
Are you an accuser or an exhorter?
Are you an accuser, or a person of praise and thanks and love?
Do you think negatively of people around you or positively?
Are you a condemner or a forgiver?
Do you see people talking in a corner and immediately think they are talking about you, or are you filled with love?
Are you a person that people like to be around as you are often giving thanks and praise to God; or are you a person no one wants to be around because you are an accuser, a condemner and a person that strives with others, which is sin?
Are your thoughts positive or negative?
Are you an angry person, or a person of love?
Do you cause strife with people? Striving is sin, but love is the fulfilling of the law.
Do you blow your stack sometimes, or do you love?
Are you the type of person that looks for a person’s motive behind what their words say, or do you show forth the fruits of the Spirit?
Do you doubt born again, truthful people and think they lie and have some evil motive?
Do you quarrel with people, strive with people, contend with people, or do you love?
Ro 2:8, 9-BUT UNTO THEM THAT ARE CONTENTIOUS,…TRIBULATION AND ANGUISH, UPON EVERY SOUL OF MAN…
Do people look at you and see a person of genuine love, compassion, mercy, even a person with a sweet and quiet spirit that brings forth the fruits of the Spirit of God as Jesus did?
When a person looks at you, do they see love, or do they see something else?
Are you a person that has a very divisive spirit?
Are you a person that is quarrelsome,
that causes strife?
Are you a person that sometimes has an accusing nature?
Are you a person of many words, or
a person that has an angry spirit that can explode at any time,
Are you a person that causes tension,
a person that tries to control other people’s lives?
Are you a person that follows such a person that is like what we have just read? How then can you grow to be like Jesus if you are always around someone with an angry, suspicious attitude?
Are you a person that if someone around you tries to follow Jesus, you make it more difficult for them, although perhaps not intentionally?
Are you a person that is often suspicious of others and their motives, even when they just try to help you and love you?
Are you a person that can always find some fault to accuse someone of?
Do you find fault with many people, instead of loving them?
If someone looks at you wrong, is your head immediately filled with thoughts against them?
Do you believe others have thoughts against you?
Are you the type of person that will argue even with God’s anointed elders, and you refuse to love them as God loves them?
Do you actually despise some brethren for whom Christ died?
Do you look at others that love you with mistrust and evil thoughts?
Do you speak against God’s anointed behind their back and try to persuade those around you to see it from your viewpoint, thus sowing discord?
Do you sow discord among the brethren in any way? That is one of the 7 great sins that God hates.
Are you a person that seems to have no fear of God by your actions, yet you think you do?
Are you a person that others have to tip-toe around, because they fear you will lash out against them with some kind of accusation or negative remark?
Are you a person that people love to be around,
or are you a person that people take a wide step around trying to avoid you?
Do you have a sweet, loving spirit, or another spirit which is not after the fruits of the Spirit and love?
Do you know how to love people all of the time, not just some of the time?
Remember, Satan’s ministers look like they are of God, but they are not, yet they think they are.
Such a person as described above may think they understand God’s Word, but, in reality, their understanding of God’s Word is very shallow, as Satan makes them think this way; just as he did with the religious leaders in the days of Jesus and still does today.
These ministers sometimes are positive they understand Scripture, but their understanding is confusion not truth. It is not possible to make them understand this, because the voice in their mind lies to them-ref Jn 8.. That voice is far louder than God’s Word to them. So they often give ungodly advice to those around them which they believe is correct, and if they are corrected, they contend with the correction.
They often contend about things in the Bible, and yet think they are doing the will of God. They are often uncorrectable, or if they are corrected, they repent for a short season, but then revert right back to the way they were. Beware, for such people have a form of love, but they can turn against you quickly. They may even refuse to warmly greet someone that is greatly loved and anointed of the Lord; yet they think they are doing the right thing.
Oh, how blind some people can be. As it is written, if you have not love, you are NOTHING. Such people may love those around them, but get on their wrong side, and watch out. They can turn on you in an instant.
But God’s people are not this way. God’s people even love their enemies, and they do good to them that do them harm.
Remember this: THOSE THAT LOVE YOU WILL SHOW YOU YOUR FAULTS AND TRY TO HELP YOU REPENT. BUT THOSE THAT DO NOT LOVE YOU, WILL JUST KEEP SILENT. THE BIBLE TRIES TO MAKE EACH OF US LOOK AT OURSELVES HONESTLY, AND SEE OUR SIN, SO WE CAN REPENT. FOR HOW CAN WE REPENT OF SINS WE DON’T REALIZE WE DO? Sin is the abominable thing that God hates.
Satan knows God’s Word better than any human. He knows God’s Word so well that he can actually argue with Jesus, Who is the Word. However, though he knows all of God’s Word well, his understanding of God’s Word is incorrect. His understanding is darkness not light.
Satan is the expert of all experts in being able to deceive you by filling your mind with incorrect understanding of God’s Word; for he deceiveth the whole world, and much of the world does not even believe he exists.
Are your thoughts in line with the fruits of the Spirit of God, or in line with the fruits of the devil?
These are questions we all need to ask ourself. Are we allowing God to mold us into the image of Christ, or are we still walking in the fruits of the devil, always negative, always having accusing thoughts toward those that love us.
Is love the center of our life, or is it the opposite of love?
Does our attitude reflect the fruits of the devil, yet we can’t see it?
Has your whole life been one of accusing and striving with people and having negative thoughts toward people, and now you just can’t seem to change? The Holy Spirit can change you—if you will let Him.
Have you noticed that when some people walk into your house, a spirit of joy comes in with them, but with others, a cold or sour atmosphere? Regretfully, when a person filled with love comes to some homes, they are greeted with mistrust, coldness, and even hate. Satan and his followers have great problems understanding LOVE. Does this describe you?
Is your personality one that attracts people like honey, or is it a personality that repels people like bad breath? But the good news is this—if the worst of sinners can repent, such as Paul, and become filled with the fruits of the Spirit of God, so can you. However, the time of repentance before the Tribulation may occur is getting shorter, and there will soon be little or no time to serve God. Then, at the Judgment, what will happen to you? Jn 6:28, 29-THEN SAID THEY UNTO HIM, WHAT SHALL WE DO, THAT WE MIGHT WORK THE WORKS OF GOD? JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO THEM, THIS IS THE WORK OF GOD, THAT YE BELIEVE ON HIM WHOM HE HATH SENT.
What kind of person was Jesus? He was the embodiment of love. People flocked to Him. Multitudes came to hear Him.
Yes, He spoke against sin and unrighteousness. Yes, the words He spoke were sharper than any two-edged sword, and many hated Him for this, as He pointed directly to the sin in their lives. But in doing this, He caused many to look at themselves in light of the Word of God and repent. He gave those that were repentant, hope.
He loved people.
He healed the sick.
He raised the dead.
He spoke to people the Words of Life.
Jesus brought forth all the fruits of the Spirit. Do you? If you follow Jesus, you are to do the same as He did. You are to have the same attitude that He did.
You are to put on Christ, and put off the ways of the devil.
You are to be converted.
You are to be born again.
You are to be changed.
You are to be conformed to Christ, and not to this world.
You are to be transformed from being like the devil to being like Christ.
You are to think like Christ,
act like Christ,
and have the fruits of the Spirit like Christ.
You are to deny yourself and follow Jesus daily.
You are to die to yourself. Self-centeredness must die.
You are to put off all pride, which can be the mother of contention and strife.
You are to forsake everything for Christ and trust in Him.
It is written:
Pv 13:10-Only by pride cometh contention.
If a person is contentious, they have pride; and if a person has pride, the Bible is absolutely clear that God does resist the proud. A proud person according to the Bible is resisted by God and does not receive grace.
Pv 22:10-Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.
1 Pe 5:5-Be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Pride is associated with knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words-ref 1 Tim 6:4.
2 Tim 6:2-6-Pride is associated with having an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions, and constant friction.
6-But godliness with contentment is great gain.
You are to put off the old man which is corrupt and put on the new man which is to be like Christ.
You are to no longer walk in the fruits of the devil, having accusing thoughts, pride and a contentious spirit, and a sour attitude of thinking negatively of the brethren as the devil does.
You are to treat others as you want them to treat you.
Why would a Christian dare to accuse a fellow brother or sister in Christ? For it is written: Ro 8:1-There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Do you dare to accuse the brethren of various things, yet the various things you accuse them of are under the blood of Jesus?
Do you strive about God’s Word, thereby making yourself unteachable and uncorrectable? Do you think you know more about God’s Word than those God puts over you. Join the club, so to speak, for indeed born again churches all over the world with spiritually-minded, love-filled, Spirit-led ministers experience, time after time, people striving with them about God’s Word, because they themselves have a great blindness in their heart and are not filled with love. It happened to Jesus, and it happened to the apostles. Many very religious sons of the devil publicly and openly strived, challenged, contended with, and mocked the words that Jesus brought forth. Now they know they were wrong, as they are in hell They would not receive correction even from Jesus.
Do you find fault with many people over the smallest of things, but Jesus finds no fault with them, as their sins are forgiven? How is it that you dare to speak against the brethren for whom Christ died.
Do you have fits of rage?
Do you have fits of anger?
Do you sow discord?
Remember, each of us shall give an account of every idle word that we shall speak.
Fear God, and put off the old accusing, negative nature and put on the fruits of the Spirit, especially love.
Do you love someone you accuse? No.
Do you love someone that you have negative thoughts against? No.
Do you even consider how negative your attitude may be?
Are you always suspicious of people,
always questioning what a person did or why they did it,
always doubting people,
often having evil or negative thoughts against those that God has forgiven and loves?
How do people see you? Do they see you as a person that is positive or negative?
Do you repel people, or draw them?
You can change. Jesus wants to change you, but will you let Him do a work in you, or are you so set in your ways that you do not even want to change? Are you so hard that even the love of Christ toward you does not soften your heart?
Often people that have an accusing, negative, sour-type attitude don’t even realize it.
They have been the way they are for so long that it is natural to them.
They are totally unaware that their attitude is what causes people to want to stay clear of them. Are you a person that stirs up strife, contentions, and bad feelings?
And if you are corrected on these things, is your attitude one of love or of hate? If you are being corrected and you have an attitude of hate toward the person that corrects you with God’s Word, then your hate falls on Jesus. For it is written:
John 7:7-The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
1 Jn 2:9-He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
1 Jn 4:20-If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
If you treat a son of God badly—that is, a born again Christian, cleansed by the blood, you are credited with treating God Himself badly. For it is written: Mt 25:40-AND THE KING SHALL ANSWER AND SAY UNTO THEM, VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, INASMUCH AS YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE MY BRETHREN, YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ME. How you treat a born again Christian is how you also treat Jesus. So fear God, and be very careful, especially regarding how you treat a God-fearing, anointed minister or elder, whom God has appointed over you to help you and to love you. Lk 10:16-HE THAT HEARETH YOU HEARETH ME; AND HE THAT DESPISETH YOU DESPISETH ME; AND HE THAT DESPISETH ME DESPISETH HIM THAT SENT ME.
A person with a negative attitude problem is clearly not yielded to the love of God,
and to the fruits of the Spirit of God. Remember Christ is love, and He did only good, so why was He so hated, even today?
Regretfully, a person’s bad attitude can rub off on those around them. Love is the opposite of these.
Such a person is not humble,
and meek as God would have them be.
Is your thinking perverted?
Are you a person of many words? Jesus was not.
Are you a person that is hasty to speak? Jesus was not.
Do you get easily angry?
It is written: Prov 22:24-25-MAKE NO FRIENDSHIP WITH AN ANGRY MAN; AND WITH A FURIOUS MAN THOU SHALT NOT GO: LEST THOU LEARN HIS WAYS, AND GET A SNARE TO THY SOUL.
Note, God is speaking to each of us and warning us that if you are around an angry person, you will learn his ways; and by learning his ways, your soul will get snared.
You will be in danger spiritually.
If a person claims to be born again and has this kind of attitude, it does not help draw people closer to Jesus. They actually drive people away from Jesus by their ungodly attitude and put GIANT stumbling blocks before people.
Pv 29:22-23-AN ANGRY MAN STIRRETH UP STRIFE, AND A FURIOUS MAN ABOUNDETH IN TRANSGRESSION. A MAN’S PRIDE SHALL BRING HIM LOW: BUT HONOUR SHALL UPHOLD THE HUMBLE IN SPIRIT. Note, a person that stirs up strife is an angry person inside.
Regarding striving, listen to God’s Word. It is God’s Word that shall justify you or condemn you at the Judgment.
Ps 35:1.32-PLEAD MY CAUSE, O LORD, WITH THEM THAT STRIVE WITH ME: FIGHT AGAINST THEM FOR THE LORD DETESTS A PERVERSE MAN.
Pv 25:8-GO NOT FORTH HASTILY TO STRIVE.
Isa 41:11-THEY THAT STRIVE WITH THEE SHALL PERISH.
Hosea 4:4-YET LET NO MAN STRIVE.
2 Tim 2:14-OF THESE THINGS PUT THEM IN REMEMBRANCE, CHARGING THEM BEFORE THE LORD THAT THEY STRIVE NOT ABOUT WORDS TO NO PROFIT, BUT TO THE SUBVERTING OF THE HEARERS. In other words:
2 Tim 2:14 NIV-WARN THEM BEFORE GOD AGAINST QUARRELING ABOUT WORDS; IT IS OF NO VALUE, AND ONLY RUINS THOSE WHO LISTEN.
A person that strives about words is a person that is in sin and not submitted to God as they ought to be. They need to repent, because they can put stumbling blocks in people’s ways. Note God’s Word.
2 Tim 2:24-26-AND THE SERVANT OF THE LORD MUST NOT STRIVE; BUT BE GENTLE UNTO ALL MEN, APT TO TEACH, PATIENT.
2 Tim 2:24-26-NIV-AND THE LORD’S SERVANT MUST NOT QUARREL; INSTEAD, HE MUST BE KIND TO EVERYONE, ABLE TO TEACH, NOT RESENTFUL. THOSE WHO OPPOSE HIM HE MUST GENTLY INSTRUCT, IN THE HOPE THAT GOD WILL GRANT THEM REPENTANCE LEADING THEM TO A KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH, AND THAT THEY WILL COME TO THEIR SENSES AND ESCAPE FROM THE TRAP OF THE DEVIL, WHO HAS TAKEN THEM CAPTIVE TO DO HIS WILL.
If you do not have a humble, submissive, broken, meek, repentant, loving spirit—repent quickly,
lest you become a huge stumbling block to those that seek to truly draw closer to Jesus.
A meek and quiet spirit is what God desires, not a prideful, boastful, strifeful, quarreling, “I know it all” attitude, that is a talk, talk, talk dominating spirit. Do people like to be around a person that has an aggressive, dominating spirit that seeks to be in control of everything? Absolutely not.
If a person always seeks to be in control, how can God be leading them? He can’t. They quench the Spirit of God trying to change them, to conform them to His image. God’s Word gives a very stern warning. 1 Thes 5:18-19-QUENCH NOT THE SPIRIT. This is an absolute command that demands obedience; and to disobey this is sin, a very serious sin. Again, it is written: QUENCH NOT THE SPIRIT.
The NIV puts it this way—DO NOT PUT OUT THE SPIRIT’S FIRE.
1 Cor 2:14-BUT THE NATURAL (or worldl-minded) MAN (or man without the spirit-NIV) RECEIVETH NOT (or does not accept) THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD: FOR THEY ARE FOOLISHNESS UNTO HIM: NEITHER CAN HE KNOW (or understand) THEM, BECAUSE THEY ARE SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED. They have a form of understanding, but their understanding is not of God. But glory to God, they can repent, if they will humble themselves, have a broken and meek spirit, and if God peradventure will grant them understanding. Why? because striving and quarreling comes from pride, which must be repented of and crucified.
You can change.
God is far, far, far bigger and more powerful than Satan, which is behind a person’s
rebellious, negative, striving, questioning, angry, dominating, prideful, controlling, sour grapes, fault-finding, accusing, spirit.
God can change you. That is a fact. God has changed some of the vilest people in the world. Paul was the chiefest of sinners, because he greatly persecuted the church of God; but God changed him-ref 1 Cor 15:9.
God can and will change you, but you MUST GET OUT OF THE WAY. You must stop resisting the Spirit of correction. You must stop resisting God trying to help you. You need to put on the garments of praise, thankfulness, patience, and all the fruits of the Spirit. Stop resisting God. Stop quenching His Spirit. You certainly can, for many people far worse than you throughout history have changed and become Spirit-filled, love-filled, born again Christians. and you can also.
You can change. The only question is, WILL YOU LET GOD MAKE THESE CHANGES IN YOU, WILL YOU LET GOD DO A WORK IN YOU, or will you resist right to the end because you just don’t want God to be in total control of your life????? If Satan has control of your fruits and you like it that way, just resist the Spirit and suffer the results. Quench not the Spirit, resist not the Spirit, do not put out the Spirit’s fire, for the Spirit of God will not always strive with men-Gen 6:3.
On the positive side, the side of the Spirit of God, it is written:
Heb 13:15-LET US OFFER THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE TO GOD CONTINUALLY, THAT IS, THE FRUIT OF OUR LIPS GIVING THANKS TO HIS NAME.
Ro 8:6,7-FOR TO BE CARNALLY (or worldly) MINDED IS DEATH; BUT TO BE SPIRITUALLY MINDED IS LIFE AND PEACE. BECAUSE THE CARNAL (or worldly) MIND IS ENMITY (or hatred) AGAINST GOD: FOR IT IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE LAW OF GOD, NEITHER INDEED CAN BE. What does this mean? There are two ways to think about things. One is based on how the world thinks and does things. The other is based on how God’s Word teaches us to think and what He teaches us to do. The two are opposite. The world says get a job, do this, go here and there. The Bible says to serve God only, and He will take care of the rest and will direct things; and yes, He will feed and clothe you. The world says trust in yourself. The Bible says not to do this, but rather trust in Jesus and keep your thoughts on Jesus, and He will take care of the rest. Peter left his wife and family and followed Jesus. Jesus took care of them, and Peter did what the Lord told him to do. Jesus left His home in heaven and did what His Father told Him to do and say. He died a horrible death, but as a result, all who TRUST in Him will forever be with Him. Few understand what repentance means. It is not just repenting of sin, it is repenting of following the world, doing an about face and following the Bible—which is Jesus. FEW ever do this, because they never can bring themselves to believe God’s Word and trust in Jesus, because voices in their mind cause them to doubt. Thus, to be worldly-minded is to perish, but to have the mind of Christ is eternal life and peace.
Gal 5:16-18-THIS I SAY THEN, WALK IN THE SPIRIT, AND YE SHALL NOT FULFIL THE LUST OF THE FLESH. FOR THE FLESH LUSTETH AGAINST THE SPIRIT, AND THE SPIRIT AGAINST THE FLESH: AND THESE ARE CONTRARY THE ONE TO THE OTHER: SO THAT YE CANNOT DO THE THINGS THAT YE WOULD. BUT IF YE BE LED OF THE SPIRIT, YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW.
It is written: 1 Tim 5:8-BUT IF ANY PROVIDE NOT FOR HIS OWN, AND SPECIALLY FOR THOSE OF HIS OWN HOUSE, HE HATH DENIED THE FAITH, AND IS WORSE THAN AN INFIDEL.
One might then say, how is it that the Bible teaches to forsake everything, and to pick up your cross and follow Jesus as the apostles and many others did?
The answer is simple. Some people are called to serve the Lord immediately after being saved. Many examples of this are in the Bible. Others are called to serve God later on, after God has prepared them in some way.
Those that are willing to forsake everything to serve God and have trust in God to do so, can rest assured that God will provide for them and their families.
This is a step very few people will do, because they just can’t trust in God to provide because they can’t SEE how God will provide. They don’t have enough faith to walk by faith and not by sight. They just can’t stop trusting in themselves to get things done. They never fully trust in the Living God to keep His Word. Their mind is full of thoughts that run contrary to the Scriptures, and because they just can’t fully trust God and His Word, their whole life of following Jesus is a life of compromise. They are a wave, and such people should not believe that they shall receive anything of the Lord.
Ja 1:6-8-FOR HE THAT WAVERETH IS LIKE A WAVE OF THE SEA DRIVEN WITH THE WIND AND TOSSED.
7 FOR LET NOT THAT MAN THINK THAT HE SHALL RECEIVE ANY THING OF THE LORD.
8 A DOUBLE MINDED MAN IS UNSTABLE IN ALL HIS WAYS.
Does this describe you? Are you a wave-type of Christian that is unstable when it comes to trusting in Jesus to provide and answer your prayers? Are you like doubting Thomas who would not believe Jesus was resurrected until he had seen Him and had the opportunity to thrust his hand into His side. The Bible never tells us whether he did so.
God says go to the mission field. One may say, I cannot, I have no money. They do not trust in God to provide. Another will begin packing their bags, even though there is no money; and then as he does, the money comes in, in an unexpected way and at the last moment. God told Israel to go forth into the Promised Land by way of the Jordan; and as they were going forth, the waters dried up.
Some operate under the idea that seeing is believing. However, the Christian operates by trusting in God and believing even before he sees, because he trusts in the Word of God. We do not see heaven, but we trust we shall be there. We have not seen God, but we trust in His Word, for God cannot lie.
Some are tomorrow Christians. “Yes, I will serve God tomorrow,” but most never have the faith and love to pick up their cross daily and follow Jesus no matter what the outcome. There are lots of tomorrow Christians around that think they will be in heaven, but when they die, they are not where they want to be. They perish.
During the Tribulation, people that decide to follow Jesus and not the Antichrist will have no time. If they follow Jesus, almost immediately most will have to start running for their lives, for a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. Most will be caught and tortured, and finally have their head chopped off. Their own children may be tortured before their very eyes. Is this the kind of love and faith you have right now? Or are you nothing more than a lukewarm Christian that thinks of yourself far more highly than you ought to think. If you think you understand the Scriptures well, think again, because pride can kill you. The more you understand God’s Word, the more humble you become and the more God’s love flows through you.
Note the following steps:
Step 1 is believing in Jesus and understanding you are a sinner and have no hope of going to heaven, but deserve hell because of your sins. Have you reached this point yet? You need to hear and study God’s Word on a daily basis, as if you are going to school. You need to learn of Jesus. You need to learn to obey God’s Word.
Step 2 is repenting of your sins and trusting in Jesus as your only hope of salvation. Acts 2:38-Have you done this yet?
Step 3 is obeying the Bible and getting baptized by full immersion-ref Ro 6:4; Col 2:12. Have you done this yet?
Step 4 is to begin letting Jesus change your heart, your thinking and your actions. Few have ever done this.
Step 5 is to trust in Jesus and not yourself. Very few ever do this.
Step 6 is forsaking everything, denying oneself, and picking up your cross daily and following Jesus and obeying His Word.
Step 7 is serving Jesus. Note the words of the living God.
It is written, and you are to obey.
Mt 4:10-Then saith Jesus unto him,…THOU SHALT WORSHIP THE LORD THY GOD, AND HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE. You are to serve God, and God alone. You are to follow Jesus and obey the Gospel. You are to become a bondservant or slave to Jesus. You are called to be a son of God. God tells you, you are only to serve God, which also means you must learn to trust in Him, and, in turn, He will provide for you; because it is written:
Lk 12:22-AND HE SAID…THEREFORE I SAY UNTO YOU, TAKE NO THOUGHT FOR YOUR LIFE, WHAT YE SHALL EAT; NEITHER FOR THE BODY, WHAT YE SHALL PUT ON. In other words, do not even think about where your food and clothes are going to come from. God will take care of it in His time.
Lk 12:29-AND SEEK NOT YE WHAT YE SHALL EAT, OR WHAT YE SHALL DRINK, NEITHER BE YE OF DOUBTFUL MIND. Do not seek this world for your food and drink, and do not doubt that God will provide. That is a command. Satan will try to cause you to doubt, but if you do, you are in sin because you refuse to believe and trust in God to keep His Word. If you cannot trust in God to provide food and clothes, how could you ever really trust that God will give you salvation which is far more difficult?
Lk 12:31-BUT RATHER SEEK YE THE KINGDOM OF GOD; AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU. If you will follow Jesus, if you will trust in Jesus, He will take care of all these things. However, if you doubt, then He may not provide your clothes and food, and moreover, your soul will perish to hell.
In other words, it is all or nothing. Lk 12:34-FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO. If you want to lay up treasures on this earth and have the finer things of this life, then you should not expect to go to heaven.
It is also written in Mal 3:18-THEN SHALL YE (Jesus) RETURN, AND DISCERN BETWEEN THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED, BETWEEN HIM THAT SERVETH GOD AND HIM THAT SERVETH HIM NOT. Note the words: HIM THAT SERVETH GOD—RIGHTEOUS, HIM THAT SERVETH HIM NOT—WICKED.
If you will not give up this world and serve Jesus now, it is proof you do not fully trust in Him to provide for you now. Don’t deceive yourself. God is not mocked. God’s Word is clear. If you are called to be saved, you are also called to undergo a life-changing attitude and to serve only God; and serving God must be in harmony with the Bible. Compromise means hell. He did not compromise in dying for your sins, and in the same way, you cannot compromise in following, trusting in and serving God.
This is further confirmed by the following: Lk 9:23-AND HE SAID TO THEM ALL, IF ANY MAN WILL COME AFTER ME, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS DAILY, AND FOLLOW ME.
This is God talking to you. Fear God, and depart from evil. Fear God, and follow Him and serve Him only.
Do you have one of those rare preachers that isn’t afraid to tell you the truth from God’s Word? Do you argue with what he says and even strive with him? If you do, don’t expect to enter heaven, for your bad attitude falls against Jesus, even as it is written. Fear God, and run from every evil way. Crucify your sinful, rebellious nature. Have you not read, these six things doth the Lord hate, yea, seven are an abomination to Him?
Summary. Jesus was tempted by the devil to disobey His Father. The devil failed. However, you must also go through temptations as Jesus did. Satan will tell you in your thoughts, you do not have to serve the living God. You must do other things. He may tell you that you must support your family and not trust in Jesus to do it. He may make you afraid to serve God. As you seek to serve God, expect your mind to be filled with excuses. Your mind may be filled with you can serve God another way, such as work a job and give the money to a church. Satan is a master at making you think wrong is right and right is wrong. He succeeds in deceiving nearly all people, except a very few.
So, now you have a choice to make. Will you believe God’s Word and follow Jesus in the way He tells you to, or will you follow the voice in your mind that tells you, you must work a worldly job, or you must go here, or do this or that?
Are you serving the world, working in the world, doing the things that the world does? The answer is probably yes. Then you need to repent. You need to change direction. You need to trust in Jesus and follow Him. If you are one of the very few people in this lukewarm generation that has a preacher that labours in the Word of God, listen to him and obey him, for he watches for your soul as one that must give an account of you to God. Will he give a good account or a bad one?
Few, very few will serve God this way—Him only shalt thou serve. Nearly all that call on Jesus to save them believe they can compromise. And what does Jesus say?
Mt 7:21-28-NOT EVERY ONE THAT SAITH UNTO ME, LORD, LORD, SHALL ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; BUT HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN. So what is Jesus saying? He clearly is telling you that a sinner’s prayer does not save you, if you will not obey His Word and trust in Him and serve Him in the manner that He tells you. All your excuses, all your alibis, will only lead you to hell.
Submit is mentioned in the Bible app. 12 times. One key to obeying God is the word SUBMISSION. Submit to God. Submit to His Word. Submit to sound doctrine that your minister may give you. Obey God and not all those thoughts in your mind that run contrary to good, sound Biblical doctrine. A person that is proud, or self-centered, or thinks they know it all, or even believes they have a good understanding of the Bible, or is argumentative, or a person that causes strife has no chance to enter heaven, unless he becomes broken and humble before God, so He can remold him into His image. Repenting in cases as this usually only results in the person going right back to the way they were.
Jesus says in v.22: MANY WILL SAY TO ME IN THAT DAY, LORD, LORD,
HAVE WE NOT PROPHESIED IN THY NAME?
AND IN THY NAME HAVE CAST OUT DEVILS?
AND IN THY NAME DONE MANY WONDERFUL WORKS?
23 AND THEN WILL I PROFESS UNTO THEM, I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY.
Many, many, many people are convinced beyond any doubt that they are saved. They are positive, but are positively wrong. It is not enough to say a sinner’s prayer, and even say you have repented and have been baptized. You MUST obey the Gospel and serve Him in the way He tells you to, which will always be in harmony with the Gospel. You can make up your own works for Jesus. You can witness. You can do many wonderful works for Jesus—but if you have not surrendered to the authority of Jesus in the manner He states you must do—then you will perish. Bottomline is that you must let Jesus reign and rule over you in all things, and it must be in harmony with the Bible, or you will perish. You cannot go off and do your own thing, even if it is witnessing and wonderful works. What you are to do is to surrender your will to the Scriptures. God has an established order in following Jesus. He has ordained various offices—pastors, teachers, elders, etc. You must be part of God’s plan, which is always in harmony with the Bible.
Did Jesus shed His precious blood to save you, so you could continue serving the world and be of no profit to Him? Are you spiritually blind and dumb? Do you believe you can get into heaven with a rebellious, self-centered attitude that strives with people over all sorts of things? If you do, you deceive yourself and are spiritually blind and dead.
Do you lead people away from Jesus by misleading them? Do you see things in light of worldly answers rather than in trusting in God? Do you advise people to serve the world, when the Bible says HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE??? Do you mislead people into believing they can do whatever they want in this world, and yet inherit eternal life???
Do you put obstacles before people by telling them things that are in direct opposition to God’s Word, yet you actually think you are right? Many people do. Jesus’ own brothers tried to make Him show Himself openly, and they used very persuasive words from the devil to do so. Does your attitude look like Jesus some of the time, but like the devil other times? Where is fearing God in your life? Many think they can go to heaven another way—the way of compromise. The Bible says, THERE IS A WAY THAT SEEMETH RIGHT UNTO A MAN; BUT THE END THEREOF ARE THE WAYS OF DEATH-Pv 16:25.
WHAT PROFIT IS THERE IF YOU GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD, BUT LOSE YOUR OWN SOUL? What person now in hell, would not forsake all he ever had in this world to get out and have another chance to repent? Oh, foolish people, why don’t you repent right now, before it is too late? Forsake everything as it is written, and serve the living God. Tomorrow may be too late. Resistance to God’s Word does not come from God. Have you made a covenant or agreement with God by being willing to give up or sacrificing all you have, even your own self, even your own will to follow Him in these last moments of time? Perhaps you say you will in the 11th hour. That hour is now, or are you so spiritually blind that you can’t recognize the signs of the times? Jesus died for your sins. Will you die to yourself for Him?
God’s way is through a very strait gate and along a very narrow path, and very, very few are willing to repent enough to inherit eternal life. So they compromise and think to themselves, “I am doing right and will not perish.” They cannot understand the thoughts in their mind that are contrary to the Bible are from the Devil. As it is written: SATAN, WHICH DECEIVETH THE WHOLE WORLD-Rev 12:9.
If you will not allow Jesus to change you, you will not be with Him. Many people have supposedly followed Jesus for many years, yet they are no different now than they were 30 years ago. They follow Jesus, they follow the world, and they follow Jesus again. It just never seems to occur to them that their understanding of the Bible is actually blindness and confusion. They actually believe they do understand the Bible, but Satan has blinded them. As it is written, the LIGHT THAT IS IN THEM IS DARKNESS, but the darkness has blinded their eyes from understanding. They have a form of understanding, but it takes them to hell. By their fruits, one can discern this.
24 THEREFORE WHOSOEVER HEARETH THESE SAYINGS OF MINE, AND DOETH THEM, I WILL LIKEN HIM UNTO A WISE MAN, WHICH BUILT HIS HOUSE UPON A ROCK:
25 AND THE RAIN DESCENDED, AND THE FLOODS CAME, AND THE WINDS BLEW, AND BEAT UPON THAT HOUSE; AND IT FELL NOT: FOR IT WAS FOUNDED UPON A ROCK.
26 AND EVERY ONE THAT HEARETH THESE SAYINGS OF MINE, AND DOETH THEM NOT, SHALL BE LIKENED UNTO A FOOLISH MAN, WHICH BUILT HIS HOUSE UPON THE SAND:
27 AND THE RAIN DESCENDED, AND THE FLOODS CAME, AND THE WINDS BLEW, AND BEAT UPON THAT HOUSE; AND IT FELL: AND GREAT WAS THE FALL OF IT.
28 AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN JESUS HAD ENDED THESE SAYINGS, THE PEOPLE WERE ASTONISHED AT HIS DOCTRINE.
You need a Christ-like attitude, one like Jesus. Without this, you are forever doomed. You need to forsake all pride and become as a humble child, meek and broken.
19 NOW THE WORKS OF THE FLESH ARE MANIFEST, WHICH ARE THESE; ADULTERY,
FORNICATION, (or sexual immorality)
UNCLEANNESS, (or impurity)
LASCIVIOUSNESS, (or debauchery)
VARIANCE, (or discord) (or sowing discord)
EMULATIONS, (or jealousy)
WRATH, (or fits of rage)
STRIFE, (or selfish ambition)
SEDITIONS, (or dissensions)
HERESIES, (or factions)
21 ENVYINGS, (or, we may say, jealousy)
REVELLINGS, (or orgies)
AND SUCH LIKE: OF THE WHICH I TELL YOU BEFORE, AS I HAVE ALSO TOLD YOU IN TIME PAST, THAT THEY WHICH DO SUCH THINGS SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
As stated previously:
22 BUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS
LONGSUFFERING, (or patience)
GENTLENESS, (or kindness)
FAITH, (or faithfulness)
23 MEEKNESS, (or gentleness)
TEMPERANCE: (or self-control) AGAINST SUCH THERE IS NO LAW.
24 AND THEY THAT ARE CHRIST’S HAVE CRUCIFIED THE FLESH WITH THE AFFECTIONS AND LUSTS (or passions and desires).
25 IF WE LIVE IN THE SPIRIT, LET US ALSO WALK IN THE SPIRIT.
26 LET US NOT BE DESIROUS OF VAIN GLORY, PROVOKING ONE ANOTHER, ENVYING ONE ANOTHER.
Let us not forget: the more you are in control, the less God is in control of you.
The rewards of you being in control right now is pride, self-centeredness, a feeling of importance, a feeling that I am needed and wanted, and knowing that Satan has you right where he wants you. You can get angry and mad at people. You can do all those evil things that make you feel so good. You can strive with people, quarrel with people, blow your stack at people. Satan can give you the world for now. The rewards can be fulfilling now, but horrible for eternity.
However, the rewards of giving up control is humbleness, meekness, brokenness, and repentance. The rewards of giving up control now can mean persecutions, many problems, things just not going the way you want, and the world hating you. However, as you grow in the Lord, you begin to realize all you are going through works together for good for them that love God and are the called according to His purpose. And when the end finally comes, there will be no more tears when dwelling with the King of kings and the Lord of lords for eternity. No more sorrow for eternity, only joy.
They that are Christ’s have crucified this sinful nature. Have you done this?
This day you have heard God’s Word. You have heard God’s will for you. Now what will you do? Some listening may humble themselves and repent. For others, what you have heard probably went in one ear and out the other, and absolutely no change will take place in your self-centered lifestyle. Nevertheless, you can never say at the Judgment, when you may perish, that you did not hear God’s will for your life, but the thoughts in your heart and mind caused you to continue going astray. So the way you were is the way you will remain, and the way you remain shall be the way you are for eternity as you are screaming, crying, and gnashing your teeth for ever and ever in eternal torment. Thus, it is written, and thus, it shall be—except you allow God to change you from within; but time has almost run out.
Understand this. If you give unbiblical advice to someone that causes them to go astray from God’s Word, you are in very deep trouble with God.
If you offend one of these little ones that believe in Jesus, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. Might we say, if your tongue causes people to go astray, cut it off; for the tongue can no man tame.
Be not hasty to give anyone Biblical advice. For it is written:
Heb 5:11-14…WE HAVE MANY THINGS TO SAY, AND HARD TO BE UTTERED (or hard to tell you), SEEING YE ARE DULL OF HEARING. (A person that is dull of hearing is often a person that sees things from a worldly perspective, not from God’s Word. They see things from their emotions, not from trusting in God.)
12…YE HAVE NEED THAT ONE TEACH YOU AGAIN WHICH BE THE FIRST PRINCIPLES OF THE ORACLES OF GOD; AND ARE BECOME SUCH AS HAVE NEED OF MILK, AND NOT OF STRONG MEAT.
FOR EVERY ONE THAT USETH MILK IS UNSKILFUL IN THE WORD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: FOR HE IS A BABE.
BUT STRONG MEAT BELONGETH TO THEM THAT ARE OF FULL AGE, EVEN THOSE WHO BY REASON OF USE HAVE THEIR SENSES EXERCISED TO DISCERN BOTH GOOD AND EVIL.
Unless you have reached the level of full age in your Biblical understanding, it is best you learn to close your mouth, regarding advising people of things pertaining to God’s will, lest you unknowingly lead God’s people to go astray, then you in turn suffer the reward of leading people away from God’s will rather than toward God’s will.
1 Cor 13:13-AND NOW THESE THREE REMAIN: FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE. BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE (NIV).