October 12, 2010

Salvation Characteristics: Bad Evidences

I get this question ALL the time. “Can I lose my salvation?”

We as humans too often deceive ourselves into believing things or are deceived into believing things by Satan that just are not true. The worst of these deceptions is the belief that we are actually saved. I have heard it asked quite a lot, “Can I lose my salvation?” My usual instant reply is, “That is not the question you should be asking.” What I then tell people is that they should be asking themselves, “Did you ever have salvation?” This avoids the Arminian and Calvinism debate outright and makes a believer focus on what matters. They are forced to focus on the inner person and their inner and outward behaviors that are manifestations of the inward reality.

Unfortunately, many assume because they “did something" they were told to do by the church or performed some rite of passage like saying the sinner’s prayer when they were 7 years old and were told they’re good as gold. First off, doing anything other than having faith gets you works and nothing more. Secondly, saying a prayer when you were a child and then doing nothing else to maintain a relationship with a “LIVING GOD” and ignoring Him for the last 30 years signifies little or nothing. What it does show is that you said a prayer to God at 7 years old and it meant little or nothing. If you are not showing manifestations of your salvation (which I will outline in my next post) you had better evaluate your standing before the Almighty God. The question is not, “Can I lose it…it is…did/do you have it? Sadly I have found that many folks do not know whether they are coming or going sometimes because they have not rooted their beliefs in the Bible but rather bad teachings of the advise of others that are partially or fully Biblically illiterate.

The list I have typed here is by no means complete but it should give reader a general idea of where they are at from a salvational point of view. Some of the following are evidences that do not prove or disprove one’s faith and/or salvation. Please do not use them as the sole gauge of your salvational standing before God. By themselves they are not good indicators.

Outward Visible Morality

The Rich Young Man

‘Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and 'love your neighbor as yourself.' "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." ~Matthew 19:16-21

The Hypocritical Pharisees

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. ~Matthew 23:27

Intellectual Knowledge

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. ~Romans 1:21

“Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God…”
~Romans 2:17

Religious Involvement & Active Ministry

Sermon On The Mount

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’~Matthew 7:21-23

Conviction of Sin and Wrongdoing

Trial Before Felix
As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, "That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you."~Acts 24:25

Assurance (by mental human assessment)

"Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.' You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it. "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. ~Matthew 23:16-24

Time of Decision to Come To Faith

Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.~ Luke 8:13-14

You cannot continue to be a sinner in any form and frivolously assume that you are saved. You must truly assess yourself and discern with spiritual eyes based in the Scripture. In addition to this list another indicator of whether you are truly in the faith and on solid ground is in 1 John. More on this next.

We must be cautious as believers to examine ourselves and assure that we are and remain in the faith for our own eternal well-being and for others. We must assure that we are for others because we also serve as examples to the brothers and sisters in Christ that look to us as anchors when they are unsure of themselves or when their faith flags and wavers. We cannot allow ourselves to be blown wherever the winds of doubt blow us so that we end up like a ship adrift on the sea or wandering in circles trying to get out bearings. We know where we are...we are In Christ, all points of the compass point out from there. More on this in the next post.

1 comment:

ArtWerx said...

(:D i think this is your best post so far. i wish everyone concentrated on things like this instead of distractions & trifles. WE are the trifles though, & God's power supports us! (:D i love your picture too, as always! (:D haveagreatday!!! (:D

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