You say you are a Christian. Are you really saved?
Some of you just don’t believe in Jesus. Some of you really wonder just what it means to be saved. Some of you said the salvation prayer, but still wonder if you are saved. Some of you said the salvation prayer, and are saved. Some of you will fall into Matthew 7:22-23.
Matthew 7:22-23 “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? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
For those of you who don’t believe in Jesus, no there is nothing I can really say to change your mind. Knowing Jesus is personal to each of us who has accepted him. If you seek knowledge of him, you will find it. It is up to you what to do with that knowledge, and whether you will accept his gift of salvation. It is different for each individual when they come to the choice to accept Jesus.
Some of you are still wondering what is salvation. Basically after God made man, man sinned against God. That sin had a steep price that only the Son of God could pay. The Son had to come to Earth as one of us. He is known as Jesus. During his life, he taught about God, healed people, and worked miracles. Then he died for us, rose again, and now sits at the right hand of the Father. Salvation is accepting who Jesus was, who Jesus is, and that he sacrificed himself so we can live in peace with him for eternity. This is the gift called salvation.
I told everyone I accepted Jesus in my life. Besides I don’t want to go to hell, or burn in the lake of fire. I can live life as I normally do. That is salvation, right? My question to you is do you really believe Jesus is the Son of God? He came to Earth born of a virgin to die for your sins on the cross? Seek the answer in your heart, and ask God to reveal the answer to you.
Some of you honestly believe you are saved. Some of you truly are, and will meet Jesus when you die. What about Matthew 7:22-23? How can we know for sure Jesus will not turn us away? From that passage he will turn away those who say Lord I have told people about you, prophesied in your name, used your name to cast out demons. Look what I have done for you. Jesus will still look at you and say leave.
How could that be? How could he turn away those who have accepted him and his gift of salvation? The obvious would be those who may teach and preach about him, but don’t really believe in their hearts. They found out that they can gain money, prestige, power, status from doing works in the name of the Lord.
What about the not so obvious? I heard many preachers ask what the congregation is doing for God. I heard them preach you need to do good works, tithe, and etc. Yet, there is still the possibility of Jesus turning you away. I believe God has been showing me the answer. There was one question that kept popping up. Why are you doing God’s work?
I believe that is where the heart of it lies. Have you accepted Jesus because you actually believe and have faith that he died for your sins, or do you accept him only out of fear of going to hell? Are you going to church because you actually want to, or to impress your neighbors? Are you hoping to gain more acceptance by going to church, or are you going because you really want to know more about God?
Are you tithing to actually say thank you God, Jesus, and Holy Ghost for everything you have done for me and my family? Or are you tithing to make people believe you are charitable and giving. You don’t want them to believe you are stingy. Why did you take a position in the church whether it is being the usher, Sunday school teacher, or pastor? Is it because you have a heart for him, or for something else that is self serving?
Here is where it can get really tricky. Who are you putting first in your life? This is a big question for most of us. Most of us have jobs, and things we need to do. We end up thinking we have no time to squeeze God in our busy lives. Even in doing God’s work, we can squeeze him out. Here lies the danger.
By doing so, we put ourselves and our lives first in front of God. You make time for your boss, your friends, your spouse, children, and etc. Yet, the most important person in your life you can’t make room for. You rather sit back and relax watching a movie instead of praying and worshiping God.
Yes, we need to read the Bible. Head knowledge is not the same as a relationship. I see praying as talking to God. Does God talk back audibly? No. He has guided me in other ways. Where as I was going to do one thing, but out of no where have an unction to do something else. Later was glad I did the something else. It is like God uses my conscience to prompt me to do something. More than once I’m glad I listened to that still small voice.
Aren’t pastors connected to God in a way that others aren’t, and everything they do is directly for God? Not necessarily. God speaks to those who have developed a strong relationship with him through praise, worship, praying, hearing and reading His word. As long as they are not pastors for the wrong reasons, they should have the strongest relationship with God.
Pastors can get so involved with life, doing the daily tasks, talking with others, that they could push God aside. Since they believe they are doing everything for God, that their relationship will always stay strong. These people were saved, these people were helped, these people were ministered to. It can start to become routine. Prayer time starts to dwindles. The time they spent with God disappears in activities they feel they should be and need to be doing.
Those activities and good deeds start to replace the relationship they have with God. Slowly, the good deeds and the pride that comes with doing good deeds starts creeping into the place where God should be. God starts to become second in our lives. This is something that can happen to any one of us. It is very easy to slip into.
This is something we need to guard against. That what we are doing is for God and not us. We should strive to be able to hear from God, and what he wants us to do. When we believe we know what God is telling us, that we have the faith, strength, and courage to step out and do what God wants us to do. In everything, we keep God first whether it is in Bible Study or watching Sunday night football.
How can you put God first when all you want to do is sit down and watch the game or play the game? We can start by thanking him for having what we have, being able to sit down and watch or play, and inviting him into every activity we do. I believe Jesus knows that we will fail trying, and am glad he gives us his grace and mercy for when we do fail. As long as we keep going back and putting God first in our lives and hearts that we will receive His grace and mercy.