Yesterday I listened to a sermon by Mark S. Case, "God's People are not Prepared". For those of you who regularly read this blog and wonder where I have been, these messages are for you. Case's sermon is along the same lines as my blog message - wake up, be ready. As he says, it is not enough just to be saved and then go on living the so-called Christian life as we know it.
Pastors spend their entire careers teaching and preaching (correctly) the Word of God. But they may spend only a fraction of that time talking about what really matters most. We are in the last days. There are very specific things that we should be doing now. These are the things that we should know. These are the things that should be taught. In light of the fact of this present dispensation, spending much time teaching about other things seems like time not well spent.
The time is short. Life is short. Jesus may come at any moment. If He tarries, that does not mean we should fill in the time with other material. No. There are far too many souls at stake. And first I wish to address the souls who already believe themselves to be saved Christians.
No longer will I address this matter in terms of what you should be doing. That word "should" is too weak. It is evasive. It makes what I say sound like a suggestion. It makes what God says for these last days to sound like an option. Nothing could be further from the truth. What I say next is God's command. You may call me a fool but....
You know with what strong words I persuaded you in former times on this blog. I was zealous for God and His Church. And then, for a period of about a year, I have fallen away. It was all according to God's plan for me, then He might show me, and I in turn you, His commands for these last days.
They are in fact no different than what I have told you all along. But first I went through this period of sin to learn something important. The truth.
God says that Jesus came to save us from our sins, to deliver us from sin. Did He do that for you? Think a moment on the absoluteness of death. God says that the blood of His Son washed away all sin for all men for all time. His death was sufficient and never to be repeated. God says that we, His saved from sin children, identify with that death in that we are crucified with Christ, nevertheless we live by the faith of the Son of God in us.
The death in us is death to sin. The life in us is the righteousness and holiness of God whereby He calls us adopted sons and daughters in Jesus. While this death and life were guaranteed by a one-time Calvary, it is not enough that we sit idle and believe that we remain in this proper life and death state with God. There is a responsibility we must carry out moment by moment in reality.
God says we are to reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin. We are to awake unto righteousness and sin not. Listen carefully now. This means that we are to live a life free from sin in Jesus because he saved us from our sins and delivered us from our sin. He gave us the power through Him to live. It didn't just happen at the moment of our salvation; it must be worked out constantly in life.
In other words, stop sinning. Why? Because you can. God commanded it, gave you the power to do it, and ultimately, He receives the glory from it. There is no glory in a Christian who sins.
Read through the latter epistles of Paul and you see this theme over and over to Timothy, the Thessalonians, the Hebrews. In the last days even Christians will fall away, teach false doctrine, and lead many astray. That's right. The evil in these last days will be more profound on the lips and actions of saved people than it is from the world. Christians can and will be wicked, evil, deceptive, deceived, and wretched.
I know. I went through it for a year just so God could convince me. But it is all there in black and white for you to read in His Word.
The only salvation is Jesus. It was good enough the moment He saved you. It is good enough for each moment of your life. But are you alive? Are you free? Are you holy and righteous? Are you?
This is not about whether you sin or not. Of course you do. But you can stop. And when you go through with it, the remedy is the same. The blood of Jesus. Confess, forsake, repent. Judgment will begin in the Church. I know the horrors of that judgment for a year of my time. That will be wood, hay, stubble, dead works.
Hear the words of life. God saved you from your sins now to be free now to glorify Him now. The instant you sin again after salvation all but your salvation is lost. God is merciful and gracious in His goodness to keep calling you to repent. But that is entirely up to you.