I think the hardest lot to receive the Gospel of salvation are the people who profess they already have Christ but it ended there. There are many who do believe but do not and cannot follow Him. Many say they know Christ but in their lives, there is no likeness of Him. It is harder to bring the Gospel to these people because they believe they have a stable religion and that it holds them securely. They follow church traditions and hold on to them fast. These are ingrained in their veins for years of practicing them and they insist that what they do and have is the real thing.
What they have is religion. But can having a religion alone save us? Can having faith alone, that is, you profess you know Christ and believe in Him and call on His name, without following Him and doing His commandments save us? I know a lot of people who go to church every Sunday but once they come out of it, they proceed to do what they are accustomed to doing: gossip, cuss, gamble, and all other acts of a life of depravity. The Lord tells about them in Matthew 7:21:
“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.
Aren’t they what James 1:22-24 describes?
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26)
I know two women who seem to really love the Lord, their favorite expression is “God is good!” But these two women are a couple. They live together as “husband and wife” and have been for a very long time. But what does the Lord say?
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. (John 14:15)
For it’s not enough that we profess our faith and love of God yet we do not follow Him. There is no regeneration [Spiritual rebirth] that happened, for merely taking hold of religion doesn’t give a person “new life”. The token of a genuine faith in Christ and of truly being in Him is having a transformed life, becoming a new creation.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor. 5:17)
What we need is to receive the true Gospel of peace, a real reconciliation with God through our genuine repentance, baptism in water in the name of Jesus, and baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). And to continue in Christ. The continuing, or abiding, is the most vital part.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. (John 15:4-6)
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Mat. 24:13, emphasis mine)
What we need is an authentic relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Photo taken from Flicker and edited at picmonkey.com).
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