Category: You


Saved by Faith, or by Works?

‘Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, STRIVE to enter in at the strait gate: for MANY, I say unto you, WILL SEEK to enter in, and shall not be able.’  (Luke 13:23-24)

Notice Jesus doesn’t just say ‘many won’t enter in’.  Instead, He says ‘many will SEEK to enter in but won’t be able’.  These are not just worldly, indifferent people–they are people who WANT to enter into Heaven.  What is the difference between those who seek to enter in but can’t, and those who strive to enter in and are able?

‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY*.’  (Matthew 7:21-23)

According to Strong’s, those who ‘work iniquity’ are those who do ‘anomia’

iniquity = anomia (G458)

1) the condition of without law

..a) because ignorant of it

..b) because of violating it

2) contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness

 

This passage separates between those who DO the will of the Father, and those who don’t–and further clarifies it as those who live by His law vs. those who don’t.

Now, we know that as Christians we are not bound to the Mosaic Law.  But we ARE expected to follow the Ten Commandments (and the four restrictions in Acts 15:20).

‘ . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’  (Jesus, Matt. 19:17)

According to Matt. 7:21-23, the difference between eternal life and damnation is whether or not you follow God’s Commandments.  NO, we do not OBTAIN salvation by following the Commandments, or any other thing that we might do.  There is no salvation apart from faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross.  But when we become Christians we enter into a blood covenant with God, and our part is to do His will.  If we aren’t doing His Will, then we aren’t ‘abiding’ in Him.  If we aren’t doing His will, then we are walking in the flesh.  Christianity today is misrepresented as a free bus ticket: we say a ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ and then get a free ride.  But that’s never what God intended.  His will is to have

‘ . . .  a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:’  (1 Peter 2:9)

When God made the first covenant (the ‘Old’ covenant) with the people of Israel, Moses gave the people The Law

‘And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.’  (Exodus 24:3)

Then a blood sacrifice was made, to seal the covenant.

We are heirs to a better covenant.

‘But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.’  (Jer. 31:33)

Not only does He write His law in our hearts, He gives us His Holy Spirit, to will and to perform it.  This covenant was sealed by the blood of Jesus.

In return for being redeemed from the bondage of sin and judgment, we are to yield ourselves as living sacrifices to Him.

‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’  (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.’  (Romans 12:1)

To simplify it,

‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’  (Matt. 22:37-40)

And how do we find the love to fulfill these two commandments?  We walk in the Spirit, and not in the flesh. The Holy Spirit is the love of God, living in us, and flowing through us. The Holy Spirit will work in our heart to desire to do, and to perform the will of God.  The Holy Spirit will not lead us into sin.  The Holy Spirit will keep us on the path.

‘Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;’  (Titus 2:12)

The Holy Spirit works in conjunction with the Word of God, to change us from the inside out.

‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’  (Romans 12:2)

‘ . . . Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.’  (Ephesians 5:26-27)

How do we walk in the Spirit? We say ‘no’ to worldly lusts and ungodly temptations, thereby ‘crucifying the flesh’–because if we are walking in the flesh, we are not walking in the Spirit.  And we pray and read the Word of God . . . and then we live what we learn.

‘For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.’  (Matt. 11:30)

His yoke is easy, and His burden is light–but we must CHOOSE to walk on the narrow path.  We must STRIVE to enter in.  That striving is not a ‘work’ . . . it is our flesh and our will we strive with.  But if we say no to the flesh and yield ourselves to Him, His Spirit will lead us into all righteousness.

‘Teach me to do thy will; for thou [art] my God: thy spirit [is] good; lead me into the land of uprightness.’  (Psalm 143:10)

There is much confusion about ‘works’, but  here’s what the Bible says, in a nutshell:

‘For BY GRACE are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.’  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

‘Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.’  (Galatians 2:16)

But

‘What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? . . . faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone . . . I will shew thee my faith by my works.’  (James 2:14, 17, 18)

‘But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.‘  (James 2:20-24)

Saving faith produces ‘works’ in keeping with that faith–and that is God’s will for us.

‘Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’  (Titus 2:14)

‘And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works’  (Hebrews 10:24)

‘That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.’  (2 Timothy 3:17)

‘[This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.’  (Titus 3:8)

‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.’  (Ephesians 2:10)

Who are the ‘saints’?

‘ . . . they that keep the commandments of God, AND the faith of Jesus.’  (Rev. 14:12)

There really is no contradiction at all, except in the minds of those who don’t consider the full counsel of the Word of God.

The Once Saved Always Saved doctrine is a deception–a very dangerous one. So is the ‘seeker-friendly’ movement. Jesus said to count the cost before making a commitment. How much more, before entering into a blood covenant! (Yes, HIS blood seals the deal when you accept his gift of salvation.)

‘For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.’ (2 Peter 2:20-21)

You are not doing anyone a favor by soft selling them the gospel. A person needs to know what they are getting into, before they commit to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

‘When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.’ (Deut. 23:21)

‘If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.’ (Num. 30:2)

‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for [he hath] no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better [is it] that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl. 5:4-5)

God is not a ‘friend with benefits’. Becoming a Christian is a COVENANT . . . like marriage. Today’s ‘Christianity’ is more like ‘shacking up’ with God.

‘And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it]? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish [it], all that behold [it] begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:25-33)

(Jesus wasn’t interested in having a large number of half-hearted followers . . . He wanted followers that were FULLY COMMITTED, however few that might be.  This is quite the reverse of the seeker-friendly paradigm of modern ‘Christianity’.)

It’s true that it costs you nothing but faith to enter this covenant–Jesus paid for the wedding–but staying married to Him will cost you your life. Are you putting a stumbling block in front of others by promising them a one-sided gospel, where all they have to do is receive?

Naked Christians

‘The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.  Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and [my] fatlings [are] killed, and all things [are] ready: come unto the marriage.  But they made light of [it], and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated [them] spitefully, and slew [them].  But when the king heard [thereof], he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.’   (Matthew 22:2-7)

This is a quick summary of the history of Israel, through AD 70.

 

‘Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.  Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.’  (Matthew 22:8-10)

This summarizes taking the gospel to all the world.

 

‘And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man WHICH HAD NOT ON A WEDDING GARMENT: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast [him] into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

For many are called, but few [are] chosen.‘  (Matthew 22:11-14)

 

This is a warning for today.  It is not enough just to answer the gospel invitation.  We must be clothed in a proper wedding garment!  And what is that garment?

 

‘ . . . as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might SANCTIFY and CLEANSE it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, NOT HAVING SPOT, OR WRINKLE, or any such thing; but that it should be HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH.’  (Ephesians 5:25-27)

 

‘For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after RIGHTEOUSNESS, GODLINESS, FAITH, LOVE, PATIENCE, MEEKNESS.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called . . . That thou keep [this] commandment WITHOUT SPOT, UNREBUKEABLE, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:’  (1 Timothy 6:10-14)

 

‘ . . . be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, WITHOUT SPOT, and BLAMELESS.’  (2 Peter 3:14)

(If it depended only on Jesus Christ’s righteousness, we would not be told to BE DILIGENT.)

 

Our wedding garment is the spiritual fruit we bear, the faith we live by, and the holiness of our lifestyle.

‘ . . . that they should repent and turn to God, and DO WORKS MEET FOR REPENTANCE.’  (Acts 26:20)

 

‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH, MEEKNESS, TEMPERANCE: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have CRUCIFIED THE FLESH WITH THE AFFECTIONS AND LUSTS.’  (Galatians 5:22-24)

 

‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath BEFORE ORDAINED THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM.’  (Ephesians 2:10)

 

‘By FAITH Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that HE PLEASED GOD.’  (Hebrews 11:5)

 

‘And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; FOR THEE HAVE I SEEN RIGHTEOUS before me in this generation.’  (Genesis 7:1)

 

‘Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us CLEANSE OURSELVES from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, PERFECTING HOLINESS in the FEAR OF GOD.’  (2 Corinthians 7:1)

 

‘ . . . for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now YIELD YOUR MEMBERS servants to RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO HOLINESS . . . But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, YE HAVE YOUR FRUIT UNTO HOLINESS, and the end everlasting life.’  (Romans 6:19, 22)

 

In verse thirteen, we saw what happened to the guest who had come to the wedding feast without a garment:

‘Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and TAKE HIM AWAY, and CAST [HIM] INTO OUTER DARKNESS; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

 

Jesus repeats this teaching again . . .

‘Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles TO BURN THEM: but gather the wheat into my barn.’

(Matthew 13:30)

 

And again . . .

‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit HE TAKETH AWAY: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.   Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  If a man abide not in me, he is CAST FORTH as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and CAST [THEM] INTO THE FIRE, and they are burned.’  (John 15:1-6)

 

Paul teaches with this same spiritual understanding:

‘For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:  But that which beareth thorns and briers [is] REJECTED, and [is] nigh unto cursing; WHOSE END [IS] TO BE BURNED.

But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. . . And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:  That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. . . And so, after [Abraham] had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.’  (Hebrews 6:7-15)

 

Salvation does not come at our profession of faith.  We receive salvation if we endure to the end and produce the spiritual fruit that comes from a life of holiness and sanctification.

‘And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake: but he that endureth TO THE END shall be saved.’  (Matthew 10:22)

 

‘But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, IF WE HOLD FAST the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope FIRM UNTO THE END.’  (Hebrews 3:6)

 

The key to bearing spiritual fruit is to abide in Jesus.

‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same BRINGETH FORTH MUCH FRUIT: for without me ye can do nothing.’  (John 15:4-5)

 

Hear two final warnings, for our generation:

** ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and KEEPETH HIS GARMENTS, LEST HE WALK NAKED, and they see his shame.’  (Revelation 16:15)

 

**’ And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art LUKEWARM, and neither cold nor hot, I WILL SPUE THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH.

BECAUSE THOU SAYEST, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and KNOWEST NOT THAT THOU ART WRETCHED, and MISERABLE, and POOR, and BLIND, and NAKED: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and WHITE RAIMENT, THAT THOU MAYEST BE CLOTHED, and [that] the SHAME OF THY NAKEDNESS do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, THAT THOU MAYEST SEE.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: BE ZEALOUS therefore, and REPENT.’  (Revelation 3:14-19)

Those who teach that any effort on the part of a Christian is ‘works’, and that ‘works’ void our salvation, are misleading people. Here are some passages from Scripture that should demonstrate that self-will and effort ARE required, on our part:

‘ . . . that they should repent and turn to God, and DO WORKS MEET FOR REPENTANCE.’ (Acts 26:20)

‘ . . . BE DILIGENT that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.’ (2 Peter 3:14)

‘Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, LET US CLEANSE OURSELVES from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, PERFECTING HOLINESS in the fear of God.’ (2 Corinthians 7:1)

‘ . . . WORK OUT your own salvation with fear and trembling.’ (Philippians 2:12)

‘ . . . for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now YIELD YOUR MEMBERS servants to righteousness unto holiness.’ (Romans 6:19)

‘ . . . PUT OFF concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And BE RENEWED in the spirit of your mind; And that ye PUT ON the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’ (Ephesians 4:22-24–and more in verses 25-32)

‘[This] I say then, WALK in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.’ (Galatians 5:16)

‘But thou, O man of God, FLEE these things; and FOLLOW AFTER righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. FIGHT the good fight of faith, LAY HOLD ON eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.’ (1 Timothy 6:11-12)

A correct interpretation of Ephesians 2:8-9 . . .

‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.’

. . . is that none of us can stand before God as righteous, based on our works. Yet, in the VERY NEXT VERSE (!) we are told that:

‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.’ (Ephesians 2:10)

‘And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and WHOSOEVER RECEIVETH THE MARK of his name.’ (Revelation 14:9-11)

No matter how loving, understanding, gracious, tolerant, and forgiving you believe God to be–this one is NON-NEGOTIABLE! There is NO forgiveness, EVER, for those who take The Mark of the Beast. It doesn’t matter how good your reasons are. There is NO excuse that will get you off the hook if you take The Mark.

This is what God says is coming:

‘And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.’ (Revelation 13:16-17)

(The Bible doesn’t specify that it’s FOR buying and selling . . . it merely says you will not be allowed to buy or sell unless you have it. This may be added incentive, for people who are unwilling to take The Mark, for whatever its purpose is supposed to be. [A national healthcare i.d. maybe?])

‘ . . . In the world ye shall have tribulation . . . ‘ (John 16:33)

This is how Christians are expected to deal with the choice:

‘Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ (Revelation 14:12)

‘But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ (Matthew 24:13)

We must continue to trust God, and obey Him. We must put our faith in God, and not sell out for money–no matter what. If you put your faith in money, don’t be surprised when God doesn’t come through for you.

‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. YE CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON. (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13)

It’s one thing for Jesus to say that. It sounds good. We hear it and agree. But it goes in one ear and out the other!! Most people these days will not do, or say, what’s right if it endangers their job. Others do things that they KNOW are wrong because ‘I’ve got to make a living’.

Start practicing NOW to put God before money. IF you do–and ONLY IF you do–He promises to provide for all your needs.

‘But SEEK YE FIRST the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; AND ALL THESE THINGS shall be added unto you.’ (Matthew 6:33)

Have patience and faith, and be obedient. Put Him first, and God will provide all your needs, and comfort you in tribulation.

‘Blessed [be] God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation . . . For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.’ (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

‘For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him. . . ‘  (2 Chronicles 16:9)

‘Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me. . . ‘  (Isaiah 29:13)

Why have the churches become so much like the world?  My firm opinion is that they are populated with many people who have not been born again.  Repentance is necessary to conversion, but it is no longer preached.  Instead, people are told that all you have to do is believe in Jesus to be saved.  Well . . . that puts them in the same camp with the devil.

‘Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.’  (James 2:19)

Jesus tell us that there will be many people that believe they are Christians, that He will turn away.

‘Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’  (Matthew 7:22-23)

Either these people were wolves in sheep’s clothing and are trying to con Jesus on judgment day . . . or they are people who believed in Jesus, whose faith in Him produced works, but who are rejected for some other reason.  The last words of the verse give a clue: ‘ye that work iniquity’.

I believe these are the same people spoken of in 2nd Thessalonians 2:10-12

‘And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.’

The devil will use the ‘deceivableness of unrighteousness’ . . . to ensnare them.  Unrighteousness (sin) deceives people.  The people spoken about here, that will receive strong delusion from God and be damned, are people who practice sin.  The passage confirms this–‘they . . . who . . . had pleasure in unrighteousness’.

My belief, is that part of the strong delusion is that many people will believe they are saved, even while they continue to live in sin.  And that the truth they won’t receive or believe, is that they must repent to be saved, and then live in obedience to God to continue ‘abiding in Him’.

‘And he called [unto him] the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; . . . And they went out, and preached that men should repent.   And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed [them].’  (Mark 6:7, 12-13)

‘Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’  (Revelation 14:12)

‘If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.’  (John 15:6)

Those who receive this truth: that being reconciled to God requires repentance and obedience, can be saved.  Those who won’t receive the truth . . . who are only looking for a way to avoid hell (fire insurance, if you will), will be ensnared in the trap.

‘Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.’  (Proverbs 26:27)

‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’  (Galatians 6:7-8)

Those who want to ‘have their cake and eat it too’ . . . who want to escape the fires of hell, yet live like the devil . . . will be the ones pleading with God on judgment day.

‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.’  (Matthew 7:21)

‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?   For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Those who mock God’s grace by attempting to get eternal life without having a change of heart, by insincerely making a profession of faith with their mouth while denying it by their actions . . . they will get what they deserve.

‘Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?’  (2 Corinthians 13:5)

God hates EVERYTHING about Halloween. It is far more than fun and games, no matter what your intention. People who introduce children to Halloween, introduce children to wickedness. The penalty for involvement with the occult, in the Old Testament, was death.

(Exodus 22:18–‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.’)

Woe to those of you who promote Halloween to children! I am warning you–DON’T DO IT!

When the Bible repeats something, it is for emphasis. Three times Jesus’ warning is repeated, to those who cause little children to sin.

“But whoso shall offend* one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6

“And whosoever shall offend* one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” (Mark 9:42)

“It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” (Luke 17:2)

 

* Definition of OFFEND (G4624)

1) to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, metaph. to offend

a) to entice to sin
b) to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey

  1.   to cause to fall away
  2.   to be offended in one, i.e. to see in another what I disapprove of and what hinders me from acknowledging his authority
  3.   to cause one to judge unfavourably or unjustly of another

 

Like rebellious children, people want to see how far they can push God before judgment kicks in. When lightning doesn’t strike them dead, people conclude that either God does not see, does not care, does not judge, or does not exist. But God’s judgment for individual people doesn’t usually happen in this life. Every time you sin, you are storing up God’s wrath against you, for the day of judgment.

God is DEAD SERIOUS when it comes to those who lead children to sin . . . who teach them that bad is good, that wrong is right, that pretending wickedness is fun. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

The Bible tells us to “take captive every THOUGHT to make it obedient to Christ”. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Everything we do, and everything we say, springs from what is in our heart. What is in our heart is determined by what we ALLOW in. We must use our minds, and our knowledge of Scripture, to determine what we should allow in, and what we should reject (a reason hypnosis is so dangerous is that it bypasses this safeguard).

Not every thought we have springs from within us. Sometimes, even unwittingly, we adopt the thoughts of others because of things we see and hear. Other thoughts are little ‘darts’ that the enemy sends into our minds.

We must study our Bibles to know the ‘mind of God’. Then we must purposely align our thoughts and beliefs with His. We must reject thoughts that are not in alignment with His Word. This is how we safeguard our souls. This is where the battle rages–first, in our minds. What we do, will spring from what we believe, and what we allow to take root in our heart.

Not seeing things from God’s point of view (not ‘having the mind of God’) is why so many people have persistent sin in their life that they seem unable to overcome. Our minds must be changed, towards our sin. It is not enough, merely to know that something is bad. Through study of the Word of God, we will understand WHY something is bad–and therein lies the motivation for change.

Then, the thoughts that precede the sin must be recognized and ‘taken captive’ (rejected). We can only recognize these thoughts, by learning what the Word of God says, and making God’s way of thinking our own.

This is how the Word of God transforms us: it allows us to view things through God’s eyes, it aligns our hearts with His, and it motivates us to change to please Him and to be more like Him.