Going To Church Doesn’t Mean You’re Saved

There’s been many times where I’ve asked someone if they knew Jesus and his or her response was, “My dad is a pastor,” or “Yeah, I go to church,” or “I was raised going to church.” But I was not asking them if they regularly attended a corporate Christian service at a building, or if their parents knew Jesus. I asked if they knew Him.

“Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew‬ ‭3‬:‭8-10‬ NKJV)

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”-(‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭21-23‬)

It is a tragic thing when people assume the sum of christianity is going to a weekly church service. This is not only tragic because they’re utterly missing out on the incredible reality of knowing Jesus personally and experiencing Him daily and having His love completely transform you into who you were created to be and leading you into your destiny through the power of the Holy Spirit, but they’re on the path to destruction, not realizing Jesus isn’t going to allow people into heaven on the basis of their church attendance but on whether or not they truly knew Him, had given their heart to Him and loved Him not in word, but in deed and truth.

That word for “know” is the same word the bible uses when speaking of a husband and wife becoming one through sexual intimacy. It’s the deepest and most intimate level of knowing, and that is what God desires for us. He didn’t send His Son from heaven to live here and teach and walk among us and heal us for three years just so we can think He’s cool and go on with our lives. He wanted to reveal Himself to us, to have us know beyond a doubt what He’s about: love.

He taught us that He’s a loving Father who desires to reveal Himself to us, to adopt us as His own, to heal us, to transform us, to teach us, to use us to bless others and bring them into His family, to redeem us, to set us free.

When someone really knows Jesus, it’s evident in that their life is completely changed. They aren’t the same person. You see the transformation. And that’s my prayer for all those who think they are a Christian, but don’t really know Christ, and for those who have knowingly rejected Him. May you come to know and experience the amazing love, forgiveness, and transformation that I’ve known and experienced for the past six years. Not just so your life on this earth is incredible, but so that you can be saved from yourself and from the chains of satan and go to heaven.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭6‬)

We Aren’t Supposed To Recount The Evil People Do In Secret

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭11-12‬ NKJV)

Notice how it says we shouldn’t even speak about the things that the ungodly do in private because talking about it in itself is shameful. But then how do we expose them? By the light of Christ in us; by being different, by being like Him. And when one receives the Light of the world, they are convicted by the Holy Spirit of just how evil their previous actions were:

But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” (‭Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭13-14‬ NKJV)

These verses convicted me this morning because I have spoken about the evil things evil people do. And sometimes I’ll pray for them, but not always. Praying for the light of Christ to penetrate their darkness should always be my prayer when I’m confronted by the evil of others.

So this is my prayer:

Father, please purify me completely. Please help me abide in You. Please help me not to waste my words, but to be wise and guard my tongue. May my speech always be gracious and seasoned with salt. May I not gossip or even speak about evil things people do in secret, but expose it with the purity and love of your light shining through me. May you, in Your mercy, reveal the truth to those in darkness and may they be drawn near by your love and repent that they may be saved. In Jesus’ name, amen.

I encourage you, the next time you see or hear about the evil someone or a group of people are doing, instead of recounting their evil to someone else, expose it by the purity of your own life, by walking like Jesus, and pray for their salvation.

May we walk as children of the light everyday and make the most of the time given to us, because the days are indeed evil.

I love you and I’m praying for you daily,

Natasha

Question: What do you guys think about the fact that he says the things they do in secret? Do you think this means if someone is doing evil in public, it’s okay to speak about it? I think of the times Paul warned the church of someone who was a false prophet and briefly touching on the evils they were doing. What are your thoughts on this?

What You Do Can’t Get You Into Heaven, But What You Do Can Keep You Out Of It

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭8-9‬)

Indeed, no matter how boast-worthy we deem our good works, they can never surpass what Christ did for us: living a morally perfect life and then offering up His perfect life as a perfect sacrifice for our sins upon the cross. But, what we do can most certainly keep us out of heaven—even if we profess Christ as Savior and Lord.

This is a very popular verse in the church today, however, it is only the first half of this verse that is popular, while the second half is usually never even mentioned:

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭1‬ NKJV)

There is an obvious clause in this verse: the necessity for not walking according to our flesh but according to the Holy Spirit.

The bible is clear:

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭19-21‬ NKJV)

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭5-9‬ NKJV)

“Once saved, always saved,” is a pervasive false doctrine that has infected the church and defiled her. This notion proposes that no matter what, when you give your life to Jesus, you are going to heaven. But we must abide in Christ, we must continue fighting the good fight if we are to be with our Lord. Even Jesus affirmed this truth when He said in both Matthew 10:22 and 24:13, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”

We must endure. Jesus says in the previous verse in chapter 24 that the love of many will grow cold. You can start strong on the narrow path of life, but end up on the wide road of destruction. Jesus also affirmed this in His parable of the seeds; some seed (the gospel) fell on rocky ground and these are those who accept Christ immediately, but do not have their roots grown deep in the faith so when trials come they fall away, and for others, the seed falls among thorns and after a while, the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches draws them away.

Jesus was ardent about His disciples abiding in Him, remaining in His teaching, strengthening their faith and producing good fruit. But how many hear the gospel and “accept it,” only to continue doing the same sins they did before, but believe they’re still going to heaven because, “once saved, always saved?”

Salvation is not empty, it is not ineffective. Salvation brings about transformation in the life of the surrendered, and the fruits of his salvation become evident to all.

May we take heed this warning from our brother, Paul, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified (II Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭5‬), and: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;” (Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭12‬)

How To Know You’re Really Saved

For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. (‭Titus‬ ‭3‬:‭3-8‬ NKJV)

Notice the beginning says, “we were once” and then it lists: once foolish, once disobedient, once deceived, once serving various lusts and pleasures, once living in malice and envy, once hateful and hating one another. Then it is says immediately after: “But when.”

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior was made known to us, He saved us “through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”

The word in the Greek for regeneration is Paliggenesia, which means:

new birth, reproduction, renewal, recreation, regeneration
hence renovation, regeneration, the production of a new life consecrated to God, a radical change of mind for the better. The word often used to denote the restoration of a thing to its pristine state, its renovation, as a renewal or restoration of life after death.

And the Greek word for renewing is Anakainosis, which means:

a renewal, renovation, complete change for the better.

When you truly surrender to Christ, a miracle happens: you are recreated. You are consecrated to God. A radical change of mind happens for the better. And you are renewed and completely changed for the better.

If this hasn’t happened to you, then you must ask yourself: when I “accepted Christ” did I accept His salvation AND His total lordship over my life, or just His salvation? You cannot have one without the other; they go hand-in-hand.

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”-Romans‬ ‭10‬:‭9‬

When you proclaim that Jesus is your Lord, you are saying He now controls your life. Whatever He says, goes. You are saying He is master and you are no longer a slave of sin, but a slave of Christ.

There is no genuine regeneration and renewal in the life of a person who only wants hell-insurance. Or a person who kinda wants Jesus, but doesn’t want to follow everything He commands. Usually, those who say a prayer to receive Christ as Lord and to receive His Holy Spirit, but do not want to completely obey His commands, these people usually don’t change much. They might cuss less, start attending church regularly, and read their bible sometimes, but they still sin, they still look and act like the world. There’s no complete change of lifestyle and desires and a radical change of mind toward God and His ways.

Sadly, there are many like this. As Jesus said:

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”-Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭13-14‬

Will you stride with the many on the road to destruction, or will you walk with the few on the road to life and receive salvation? As always, the choice is yours.

Christians are NOT slaves of sin

Yesterday I was in a discussion where I was making a point that the gospel is not merely about forgiveness and going to heaven, that is only half of it. The other half is repentance from sin. This full gospel has been cut in half and many pastors reduce it to, “Ask for forgiveness, say a prayer to receive Christ, and you’re going to heaven.” They do not stress the importance of repentance, like Christ Himself did:

“From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭4‬:‭17‬)

“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (‭Mark‬ ‭1‬:‭14-15‬)

“Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” (‭John‬ ‭5‬:‭13-14‬)

The person I was having the discussion with brought up the woman caught in adultery who the Pharisees brought to Jesus to stone, and how Jesus told her, “I don’t condemn you.” But notice the last thing He says to her:

“Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John‬ ‭8‬:‭10-11‬)

Jesus did not want people to keep sinning. There’s a difference between making a mistake, and deliberately sinning, or being “caught in a sin-cycle.” The Christian who let’s Christ’s Holy Spirit lead them, does not give in to the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Sin does not have dominion over them (Romans 6:14).

But many who are in church today do not know the full gospel. In fact, they are taught lies that they will always be a slave to sin, and death is their only savior from their sinfulness. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Christ came to defeat sin in the flesh and give us new life. Because Christ defeated it, and gives us His Holy Spirit, we too can and are expected to defeat it as well.

“Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (‭John‬ ‭8‬:‭34-36‬)

Christians: Stop Stepping In Dog Poop

Wow:

“But now since you have been set free from sin and have become the slaves of God, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life.”(Romans 6:22 AMP)

Wow squared:

“So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12, 13)

This verse has finally clicked in my brain:

“Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.” (Philippians 2:14, 15, italics mine)

So my question is: why are so many Christians struggling with sin?

I touched on this, but for me personally, I struggled with sin; impatience, rudeness to my husband sometimes, selfishness. And even though they were done on “smaller scales,” they were consistent. I didn’t know why I couldn’t stop acting them out completely.

Then this whole thing happened; a huge whammy revelation that all this time, I’ve been believing a lie: that even as a Christian, I would mess up and sin. I just completely accepted this as fact, that it was impossible to be, as Colossians 1:10 states, “fully pleasing” to God.

But it’s not impossible. In fact, it’s expected! We are commanded to walk worthily and work out our salvation.

Now some will pause and say I’m believing a works-only salvation, but that’s not what I’m saying, and that’s not what the Bible is saying.

What the Bible says is that we are saved by God’s grace, through Jesus Christ, who’s blood cleanses us from all sin, and makes us new. Now, in this newness, we can walk in holiness and obedience to God, that leads to salvation.

Remember:

“But now since you have been set free from sin and have become the slaves of God, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life. For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:22, 23 AMP)

There is a payment for sin, and that is death, however:

“All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin which does not [involve] death [that may be repented of and forgiven]. We know [absolutely] that anyone born of God does not [deliberately and knowingly] practice committing sin, but the One Who was begotten of God carefully watches over and protects him [Christ’s divine presence within him preserves him against the evil], and the wicked one does not lay hold (get a grip) on him or touch [him].” (1 John 5:17, 18 AMP)

There are sins that don’t lead to death, but we know lying does for sure, as does sexual immorality, drunkenness, selfishness, idolatry, anger, envy, etc. and how many Christians struggle with these yet justify it and think they’ll still get into heaven?

We can’t trust our feelings or the mere teachings of men. We need to search the Scriptures, to really know them ourselves, and obey God.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.” (Matthew 7:13, 14)

I’m A Christian; Party Over My House Everyone!

As a disciple of Christ, there are many commands over my life. Jesus is supposed to be the Master of my life. He commanded that if we truly love Him we must obey His commands. I must love the Lord with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love others as myself. But in order to really obey Christ, I must fear Him.

If you don’t really fear street racing, you’re gonna do it, and you can die. If your parents tell you you’re not allowed to do something, but you really want to do it, if you don’t fear them, you will engage in the activity. The same is true with the Supreme Ruler.

How many Christians are compromising right now, whether it be in an ungodly relationship, or their idolizing money, or thinking it’s okay to dress immodestly, and be impure in a relationship as long as they’re not going all the way? And they have no idea that their disobedience leads to death and a terrifying judgement according to Hebrews chapter ten. Why are they engaging in sin? Because they have believed a popular lie preached in many churches today: you can sin, God’s grace covers, you’re “free in Him,” you’ll still go to heaven.

The real truth is:

“For if we deliberately sin 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 about to consume the adversaries. If anyone disregards Moses’ law, he dies without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know the One who has said, Vengeance belongs to Me, I will repay, and again, The Lord will judge His people. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!”(Hebrews 10:26-31)

We need to fear God. If you are in sin, you can literally pray for the fear of The Lord, and God will give it you. That, and believing His word without wrestling with it, is necessary if you are going to overcome sin.

Let us not take God or His Word lightly. Let us fear Him that we may abstain from sin by the power of His Holy Spirit within us, and thus be able to stand before Him, “blameless.”

I Just Got Electrocuted By God

Romans 6-8 has me really contemplating my walk with Jesus.

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” (Romans 8:1-14 NLT)

A few things jump out and just shock my heart with electrifying words of truth that have somehow bypassed my mind and have thus darkened areas of my heart from the light of Truth.

If I belong to Jesus, the power of His very own Spirit has *freed* me from the power of sin.

Paul goes on to explain that in Christ who was sacrificed for us, God declared an end to sin’s control over our lives, and that we are no longer obligated to do what our sinful nature urges us to do.

This got me thinking: if the all-powerful Spirit of Christ lives in me, why am I still “struggling” with selfishness, impatience, and rudeness?

Then the Truth of God’s Word dawned: once you’re in Christ, sin is a choice. Every time I’m rude to my husband or impatient, it’s because I am choosing to be rather than choosing to take a moment when I’m tested to pray for strength to overcome and be led by the Spirit. As a Christian, because of what Jesus did, my, “old sinful self was crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in my life,” and I am, “no longer a slave to sin.” For when I, “died with Christ I was set free from the power of sin. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God.” So I, “also should consider myself to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.”(Romans 6:6, 7, 10, 11 NLT)

I literally should not be sinning, or “struggling” with sin. If anything, I should be battling temptation through the Spirit’s power, but by no means should I be giving in to it, and based on Scripture, even as believers, there are sins that “lead to death.” I am not merely saved by grace so I can keep on doing what I please. I am commanded to please God and that means to stop sinning. If I “spit upon His cross” and abuse His grace, I forfeit His sacrifice for me and I will go to hell.

This revelation caused me to receive another answered prayer: God, help me fear You more.

Holiness is not to be taken lightly. As a Christian, I have no excuse to sin. My only excuse is literally, I chose to do it rather than depend on God and obey His will.

I’m sharing this with my brothers and sisters because I know of others who are in sin and yet claim to be a Christian. They, like me, probably don’t realize they are on a path to hell and are not tapping into the power Christ provides to defeat sin. They also probably focus on the second part of what Christ’s death and resurrection accomplished for them which is salvation from hell, but they are forgetting of unaware of the first part which is salvation from sin.

God’s Word has an extremely high standard for Christians. So let us stop compromising and take our sanctification seriously. God gives us the power to conquer sin, so let us begin walking in that truth. If you desire sin more than holiness before our Lord, then choose sin and know that it will result in your spiritual death, your eternal destruction. I pray you please choose rightly.

“For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.” (Titus 2:11-15)

“And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. For if we deliberately sin 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 about to consume the adversaries.”(Hebrews 10:24-27)