Friday, December 5, 2014

Guest Post

    Here is an email my brother sent me today that I thought was blog worthy. Thanks, T.C.!


    There is a passage in Matthew that scares me probably more than any other passage. It's part of what's commonly called the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus had just gone over the Commandments again in chapter 5, taking care of the poor, how to get treasure in Heaven, and trusting God in chapter 6, and then near the end of chapter 7, he starts warning about false prophets. He says they can be known by their fruit. The next 3 verses are what caught my attention.

In verse 21-23, He says:
21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Here, we have some 'good Christians'. They call Jesus 'Lord'. They're such amazing people that they'll call on Jesus' name and heal people. To most people, that would be a sign of great faith. If I saw someone do that, the though would never enter my mind that I needed to go witness to them and they needed to be saved! Obviously, if they had such faith to work miracles, they had their faith in Christ, right? Wrong. Jesus was using them to accomplish his missions, but they hadn't fully surrendered their lives to Him, or didn't believe that He died for their sins. For whatever reason, they didn't believe He died for them.

What's even more disturbing is that they thought they were saved! Jesus won't let them into Heaven, and the thing they point out is, 'Lord, look at the amazing things I've done. Oh, and this wasn't for me; I did it in YOUR name.' Jesus will look at them and say, 'You weren't my child. You didn't ever come to know me.'

Notice they don't say, 'We believed that you would come to save sinners. We believed their promises, and you let us down.' No, their answer is a sneaky form of works salvation. They thought, 'Look at the amazing things we've done; surely we're saved.'

The next question that ought to be asked is, ok, so we're not saved through works, even done in Jesus' name. How are we saved? We read right over it; it's almost concealed in the second half of verse 21.

21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

I'm not arguing for a works-based salvation. Trying to do God's will is an effect of salvation, rather than a cause. Otherwise, the people shown above who were healing people would have gotten in. They were doing God's will, and yet, they not let into Heaven. Jesus is saying, don't be fooled by people who are doing great works in my name. I may work through them, but they haven't necessarily have been saved by me yet. More personally, don't deceive yourself. I may work through you, but if you aren't surrendered to me, you aren't born again.

We've got to be watchful in our lives that we don't put our trust in outward signs as evidence of salvation. Salvation will produce those signs, but you can have the signs without salvation.

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