Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The True Meaning Of Salvation

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Image result for true meaning of salvationWhat is the idea of being saved?   Most believe that the idea of being saved is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  I am inclined to agree with this but I am also going to dare to say that this is not all of it.  In my personal experiences with observing other Christians who claimed to be saved, it would seem as though they only want to claim the blood of Jesus when it is convenient for them.  It is as if they are saying,

" Well in case there is a heaven, then let me go ahead an claim Jesus as my Savior so that I will not go to hell when I die."

However, the question remains if they really believe this in their heart.  And if they believe it, then they should show it in their daily life.

The Bible states

" For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,  but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries." Hebrews 10:26-27

"The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me.  And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages." John 10:27-28

I often wondered why God put me in a position to be near Christians and had they not told me that they were Christian I would not have even guessed it.  What does it mean to hear God's voice.  It means that once you are truly saved that God begins to convict your wrong doing and slowly you began to change.  Although we are not perfect and we can never be, there should be an effort on our part on a daily basis to seek God's will and to act on it.

Image result for my sheep hear my voiceFor example, if a serial killer accepts Jesus but continues on raping women and dumping their bodies in the river for fun, then they are hardly saved.  They may think to themselves well

"I can repent of killing all these people" and then day after day go about killing people time and time again thinking that because they became "saved" and repent at the end of the day that this means they will be going to heaven.

I used such an extreme example because I wanted to point out that with God no sin is greater than the next and a person that murders is the same type of person who lies, steals, commits adultery and so on.  Now that I have said that, how does this change your perception on if you are saved or not?

After being saved I have sinned do not get me wrong, but slowly, and surely God always convicts me of my sin and I try not to sin again.  Even though I may not be successful at my attempts and fall many times, I still try not to sin and God knows this because He knows me.  So just to be clear you cannot have a malicious way about you, going around doing wrong all day everyday and after you do it, try to repent.  God knows the difference between a person that tries not to sin and is trying to please Him, versus a person that sins openly and then says they did not mean it when they really did.

Some of the type of Christians that I have encountered are Christians who have tried to get people fired on the job, talk bad about other people, they literally get up and think to themselves how they can make someone's life miserable. They lie, cheat, steal, and they have no intention what so ever trying to change.

 Instead they say, "Well I may be wrong, but God knows my heart."

Well that is just the thing, God does know you heart.

Image result for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks"How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say." Matthew 12:34 

So if you heart is filled with malicious, deceit, anger, jealousy, and is set on doing other people wrong this is what is going to come out of you.  There is no sense in trying to cover up your evil doing by masking it in the idea of salvation.  Are you saved really, if you only want to harm others?

A few days ago, I was at the drug store.  It was cold, about 20 degrees outside.  As I was checking out I heard a man going around the store asking for jumper cables.  It was cold outside and I wanted to go home.  But I also had jumper cables in the truck of my car.  I wanted someone else to come forward and help this man, but they didn't.  God began to convict me on this, telling me that I needed to help this man.  As I walked out of the store I walked very slow, really wanting to go home.  After all, if I did not help his man he would not know that I had jumper cables in my car.  What difference did it make?  Right? Wrong!

 Even if no one is looking God knows that He put you in a position to help someone and you refused.  When the man came out of the store I turned to him and told him I had cables if he needed them.  He told me that he decided to wait for his mechanic because he was not sure if he needed a jump or if it was another problem.  I still insisted before he told me that he really did not need the cables and thanked me.

What is the point of this story?  The point is that when you are saved God will convict your heart in the smallest ways and tell you to help someone if it is in your ability to help them.  It means being a Christian even when no one else is looking and even if no one would have known that it was in my power to help this man.  I would know, and God would know that He put this test before me and I failed.  It means setting aside the fact that it was freezing outside and I wanted to go home, and putting someone else first.

I am reminded of two other incidents years ago in which I had failed God's test.  The first was when I was in college.  As I was walking a homeless man asked me to pray for him, and he began to to cry.  And I refused.  Because I was in a hurry to get back to my room.  And the next day, my roommates and I had Bible study.  What do you think pleased God more? Me having Bible study or actually stopping and praying for that homeless man?  I think He would have preferred me to pray for the homeless man.

How many people simply go to church, Bible study, and Sunday school, but do not really do anything in their waking lives to do God work?  This was over 10 years ago and it still stands out in my mind because I felt it was a time in which I failed God.  I have since repented, but when you are saved the times that you failed God stick out in your mind.  And you no longer seek to make excuses for your shortcomings.

The second was about 4 years ago.  I was taking my son to the babysitter before work and a  woman ran out of gas in front of me.  She approached my car and asked for money.  I never carry cash on me but I gave her the money that I had in the car at the time.  In which she was grateful.  One might say that I had done my Christian duty.  This situation plagues me still.  I knew that giving her the dollar or so that I had in my car was not enough.  There was a gas station 2 minutes from where we were along with an ATM.  I could have gotten more money out and brought it to her.  I know this because this is what God was telling me the whole time as I passed that gas station but I ignored Him, saying "I gave her what I had I think that is good enough."  Knowing in my heart that it wasn't, knowing that God wanted me to do more.

I often think of this Bible story

Image result for Luke 10:30-37“A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.  By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.  Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him.  Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.  The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,  telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.'  'Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits' Jesus asked.  The man replied, 'The one who showed him mercy.' Then Jesus said, 'Yes, now go and do the same.'"  Luke 10:30-37

I am convinced that there are a whole lot of so called saved people that are going to be on their way to the highway of hell.

The Bible states

"You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way." Matthew 7:13

I know this may sound harsh, but we have to stop calling ourselves Christians and not doing anything that is Christian in our lives.  Do I think I am going to hell for not helping those to people, no I do not.  But notice that I was convicted of these situations.  I repented for them because I had a chance to show the glory of God to a stranger and I failed.  It is a difference between knowing and understanding that you have done something wrong and regretting it, then actually doing things wrong and excusing it.

I often wondered why I would encounter what I call as surface Christians.  People who claim to be Christians but in every other way appeared to be anything but.  I have encountered an elder in a church (not my church) at my past work place who was jealous of another female employee and openly admitted to me that she was trying to get her fired.  In fact, I have encountered a few Christians like this.

Image result for Matthew 7: 21-23I have encountered Christians who were work place bullies toward other people.  I encountered a pastors wife on one of my employments and had she not told me she was a pastors wife I would have not known she was even a Christian.  She was simply nasty to the core, to everyone that she met.

The Bible states

" 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.   Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?  And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands]." Matthew 7: 21-23

You see these are the people who believed in God, who knew God, who did things in God's name, but were rejected from heaven for not doing the will of the father.  And what is the will of the father you may ask?  It is doing what Jesus commanded us to do.

If people cannot tell that you are a Christian without you proclaiming that you are a Christian, then something is wrong.  Salvation means that it shines through your pores, your speech, being kind, your actions, and the way you live.  If this is not you, then I think you should re-evaluate your salvation.
God sees all.  He sees into your heart, thoughts, and your intentions.  There is no hiding your evil intent or ways from Him, even if you can hide it from man.  God is coming back for a bride that is holy and without blemish.   And you will be held accountable for ALL that you have done.

Big or small, every single thought, action, and intent, that is not the will of God.  And when you stand before Him on that day, you are really going to have to think what you could possibly say to God to justify why you lied on that person, why you caused that single mother to lose their job, why you did not have time to pray for someone, why you bullied someone or was so envious of them that you made their life miserable, why you thought it was okay to use profanity and beat everyone that did you wrong to a bloody pulp, why you did not honor you body and posed half naked all over social media at every chance that you got?
Image result for wide is the road that leads to destruction
 And I surely hope that you have a good reason.  Because God is going to say that He came into the world endured temptation, poverty, and persecution but still did the will of the father.  So if you feel that your excuse can measure up to what Jesus had to endure for us, then by all means, give it a go.

But it is not to late to change, repent, or search the areas of our heart that needs to be changed.  So that we can make it into heaven.  You cannot take chances on your salvation, it is better to proclaim Jesus and glorify Him in your daily walk.  It is better to be sure of your salvation then to take a chance to spend all eternity in Hell.  Because that it a really long time to spend getting tormented.  It is something like forever.