Friday, August 6, 2010

Enter In

In my hometown portion of the "Bible belt" Christian terminology is fairly common among believers and unbelievers alike. I was witnessing to a woman the other day that had obviously been raised in a religious household without actually knowing Christ personally and when I was talking to the Lord afterward, He spoke to me about what had been bothering me.

Matthew 7:21 "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." The revelation of Christ as Lord is insufficient for eternal salvation. In our Americanized Christianity we have tried to dilute the Gospel to being as palatable to a potential believer as possible; this happens by reducing the entrance into heaven down to an utterance of a few simple phrases as we site Romans 10:9 as evidence of a eternal assurance. Romans 10:9 "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;" Paul goes on to explain in verse 10, "for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." Without righteousness there is no salvation. Accepting Christ is more than just saying the words, it is a posture of the heart... this is why repentance is a requisite to salvation. Repenting is turning away from sin and towards God (which is the meaning of believing "in your heart"). Regret is not repentance. Inmates on death row have felt remorse for their sinfulness, that does not mean they are forgiven. To repent is to no longer pursue the sinfulness, and pursue the One who freely forgives for it. That's the message that Christ preached Himself (Mt 4:17).

Belief in Christ is not a passive mental acknowledgment of His existence, but the kind that changes your life. James 2:19 "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. " Just because you know the terminology, can recite the Lord's prayer, and know in your head that Jesus is Lord doesn't mean that you are saved. He must be YOUR Lord for salvation. It isn't until an individual submits to His will that he/she is saved, because that is the precise moment when THE Lord becomes Their Lord.

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