THE DOCTRINE OF SALVATION ACCORDING TO THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH, JESUS CHRIST, LORD OF ALL
I KNOW WHAT CALVIN AND ARMINIUS AND MY PASTOR HAVE TO SAY ABOUT SALVATION, BUT WHAT DOES JESUS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT IT?
The Parable Of The Sower in Mark 4 was a parable concerning the gospel of the Kingdom of God (4:11), as were most, if not all of Jesus' Parables.
Luke 8:3-18, Matthew 13:3-33, 2 Cor 4:3-4, Eph 2:10, Heb 3:6, Heb10:22 - 31, 1 Tim 4:1-6, 2 Tim 2: 19, Heb3:12-14
A great multitude of people gathered around Jesus one day as He was teaching by the sea side, and he had to get in a boat to preach to the people, and IN HIS DOCTRINE (Mk 4:2), Jesus told this Parable:
Mar 4:3 Hearken; Behold,
there went out a sower to sow:
4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some a hundred.
9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Remember that this is a DOCTRINAL exposition that Jesus presents here. The parallel passages of this parable can be found in Luke 8, and Matthew 13. We see that after He spoke this parable concerning His doctrine, that He identified the parable as a lesson pertaining to the Kingdom of God (Vs 11):
4:10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked
of him the parable.
11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
In Luke 8:11, we read that Jesus identifies the seed that the sower sows as the Word of God. (Luk 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.)
MARK 4:14 The sower soweth
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.
Matt 13:22 records our Lord as saying that he who received the seed into the good ground is he that hears the word AND UNDERSTANDS IT, AND ALSO BEARS FRUIT. Each of the accounts of this parable mentions that the one who receives the Word and understands it (or receives it), bears fruit.
Each account of this parable has slight variations, and I believe that this is NOT because of a lapse of memory on the part of the authors, but because there is an important Truth in each account that needs to be seen. For instance, in Luke 8:12 concerning the seeds that landed by the way side, our Teacher mentions that the devil comes once they have heard, and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. This is a very important point to consider if one is going to learn of the doctrine of salvation as taught by Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
Luk 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
By now it should be evident that the major doctrinal point in this parable has to do with the salvation of a person who has become a citizen of the Kingdom of God. We know that the Word of God says that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (Jn 3:15-18), and from this parable, we can see that Satan is actively involved in preventing men from believing and being saved.
As a matter of fact in 2 Cor 4:4 that very truth is confirmed:
2Co 4:3 But if our gospel
be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
In Luke 8:13, we see that some receive the word with joy, and BELIEVE for a while, but because they are not rooted, in time of temptation they eventually fall away.
Luk 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
Since Jesus used the phrase "Lest they should believe and be saved" in the previous verse, it would seem to indicate that the one who believes in verse 13 is obviously saved, since they BELIEVE FOR A WHILE… Unless you want to wrestle with the scriptures.
THE OPPOSITE OF BELIEF IS UNBELIEF.
2 Cor 4:4 and Luke 8:12 is speaking of those people that have been duped by the god of this world, Satan, and who have never believed. But in Luke 8:13, we see that Jesus Himself teaches that there are some who believe, and then actually fall away because of certain circumstances that may beset them. The word translated "while" ("Which for a while believe") is the Greek word "kairos" and it means "season", which can denote either a short duration of time or a long duration of time.
Luk 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
This seems pretty cut and dried, but for those who would wrestle with words (and there are many who do just that), it is important to understand that Jesus used the Greek word "aphistemi" which was translated in the English as "fall away".
To grasp what this word means, we will quote three verses where this word is used. Each time the word is translated as "depart".
2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
No one would argue that the word of God says if we name the Name of Christ, we are to depart from iniquity. This shows a responsibility on the believer's part. IF WE ARE TOLD TO DEPART FROM IT, WE MUST BE ABLE TO COMPLY WITH THE COMMAND. The next place where we see this word used is in 1 Tim 4:1:
1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit
speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart
from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
Just as the one who received the Word and believed for a while in the Lord Jesus' parable of the seed that fell on stony ground, but eventually departed (fall away) because of the persecution for the Word, so we see that the Holy Spirit distinctly tells us without mincing words ("speaketh expressly") that in the latter times, there would be some who would depart from the faith.
NOTE THIS: YOU CAN'T DEPART FROM SOME PLACE YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN TO! YOU CAN'T DEPART FROM THE FAITH IF YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN IN THE FAITH!
Hence, those who depart from the faith must have been IN the faith at one time. We were once immersed in iniquity - in 2 Tim 2:19 we are told to depart from it. Here in 1 Timothy 4:1, we are told plainly that there are those who were once in the faith who would depart from it, and who would give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and all other kinds of abominations.
YOU WHO TEACH THE DOCTRINE OF UNCONDITIONAL ETERNAL SECURITY - DO YOU HONESTLY BELIEVE THAT THESE WHO WERE ONCE IN THE FAITH BUT HAVE DEPARTED FROM THAT FAITH ARE STILL SAVED?
Gal 6:7 Be not deceived;
God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 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.
And to top it off, "BRETHREN" are warned against departing from the living God in Heb 3:12:
3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief,
in departing from the living God.
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;
I have heard some commentators who, in an effort to explain away certain passages that seem to contradict their view of UNCONDITIONAL eternal security, say that the Book of Hebrews was written to unregenerate Jews. But that this is not the case can be seen throughout the Book of Hebrews, as well as here in verse 12 where the writer calls them "brethren". See also 3:1, where the author refers to the recipients of his epistle as "Holy Brethren", and states that they are partakers of the Heavenly calling. See also Heb 10:19, 13:22, and particularly Heb 13:23 where he alludes to Timothy as "our brother".
Just a side note: notice the condition placed in verse 14 of Hebrews chapter 3. We are made partakers of Christ IF we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. The confidence it is speaking of here contextually is our faith in God. See Hebrews 11:1 where this word is translated as substance = "Faith is the SUBSTANCE (confidence) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". This word translated as "confidence" refers to a foundation, as in something that has real substance in our lives, that upholds us, and keeps us firm in the faith. This kind of confidence is unwavering, because it is a REALITY to the one who has it. It is not merely a theory or a philosophical position. It is so real that no one can convince us otherwise.
UNBELIEF IS THE OPPOSITE OF THE CONFIDENCE THAT REFLECTS ONE'S FAITH. IN THE LETTER TO THE HEBREWS WE ARE WARNED NOT TO DEPART FROM GOD AS A RESULT OF UNBELIEF.
This appears to be what happens to the one who hears the Word, receives it with joy, believes the Word He has heard, and walks in the Faith for a season, but when trials and persecution comes his way, he departs from the Faith (Mark 4:16), obviously because he doesn't believe his God is a Very Present Help in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1), able to deliver him from the trial he is experiencing.
THE ISSUE IS THAT HE DEPARTS FROM THE FAITH. NOT THAT HE FALLS INTO SIN!
There is an important distinction here. Although sin has no dominion over us, the carnal mind is constantly at war with the spirit (Romans 8:7), and often times that carnality has a way of showing itself (1 Cor 3:3). That is why we have need of a Savior who is able to save us from our sins, and who is able to intercede on our behalf if we yield to our carnal nature and give in to the temptation to sin (Rom 8:34, Heb 7:25).
The command of the Lord is that we SIN NOT. But IF we sin (not "When" - sin is to be the exception to the rule), we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One (1 John 2:1). IF we confess our sins, He is Faithful and Just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness ( 1 Jn 1:9). Since sin has no more dominion over us (Rom 6:14), eventually, as we learn how to apply the Mind of Christ in our lives (1 Cor 2:16), we will have victory over the various sins that so easily beset us (1 John 5:4, Heb 12:1). The simple fact is that Heb 10:35 warns us not to cast away (or throw away or off) our confidence in Jesus Christ.
The word translated as "confidence" actually means boldness or openness or frankness. What the passage is saying is that we are not to become ashamed of our belief in Jesus Christ, or to waver from our steadfastness in our walk toward Him. We are told not to waver from our faith in Christ. Jesus warned against this very thing in Matthew 10:32-33:
Mat 10:32 Whosoever therefore
shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which
is in heaven.
33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
If we are warned not to depart from our belief in Jesus Christ, then the implication is that we who are Christians can obviously do it. It is not necessary to warn someone not to do a thing if they are unable to do it.
Hymenaeus and Alexander are two individuals who Paul refers to as having done that very thing (1 Tim 1:20). But because they were ministers of the Word, and not simply the laity, their case must be examined ELSEWHERE in this study, regarding the responsibility and the salvation of those who are ministers of the Word. Remember that Jesus taught us that to whom much is given, much is required.
CHRISTIAN: GOD'S HOLY WORD WARNS US NOT TO DEPART FROM THE FAITH, AND PLAINLY TELLS US THAT THERE WILL BE SOME WHO DO JUST THAT.
Again, in Luke, we see that there are those who hear the Word and the cares and riches and pleasures of this life hinder them from bringing any fruit to perfection. One final observation here on this parable of Jesus' doctrine concerning salvation - In verse 15 we are told:
Luk 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
The Greek word translated as "keep" is the word "katecho", and it is used in three different places in the Book of Hebrews:
Heb 3:6 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.
This is a conditional statement, the word "IF" being the pivotal word here. We are His house (He dwells in us) IF we hold fast the confidence (not depart from it) and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. The word "confidence" here is the same Greek word that we saw in Heb10:35, which means frankness, openness, outspokenness. This is talking about our position in Christ as believers. The person who truly believes with his or her heart will be very bold about his or her stance for Jesus. They know Who they had believed in. The word translated as "Hold Fast" is our Greek word "katecho" used in Luke 8:15 and translated there as "keep".
Without wrestling with the scripture to defend a preconceived doctrinal statement such as Unconditional Eternal Security, this passage appears to be saying that we are to continue in our belief, and not to depart from it. In verse 14, the writer stresses that condition again:
Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;
Notice that big two letter word "IF" which indicates a condition to be fulfilled by the reader of this word. If the writer saw fit to warn us from departing from the faith, it must be possible to do. Look again at Heb 10:35 which exhorts the readers not to cast away that confidence or firm resolve of their faith that they possess. Taking into consideration the verses in Hebrews where we are exhorted to HOLD FAST that which we have in Christ, and the conditional statements defined by the two letter word "IF," and the exhortation to remain in the faith; rather than grapple with the letter to the Hebrews, one should be able to embrace the fact that God would have us to be aware that although we may be eternally secure while we maintain our confidence in Him and in Who He is, it is dangerous ground for a Christian to deny the Grace of God through his turning away from the True Faith, and embracing the religion and philosophy of the world.
At this point some would argue the doctrine of "Perseverance of the Saints" (Calvin's philosophy), saying that because of God's Plan of Predestination and Election (as they understand it), one who is truly saved can not walk away from the Faith. Our passages here in Hebrews and our Lord's own teaching would definitively say otherwise.
Heb 10:22 Let us draw
near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed
with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
NOTICE WE ARE EXHORTED TO EXERCISE OUR WILL HERE ("Let us draw near with a true heart", "Let us hold fast (katecho) the profession of our faith without wavering"). As we are like the seed planted on the good soil, KEEPING the Word, and holding fast the profession of our faith we are then warned by the author of Hebrews:
Heb 10:24 And let us consider
one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Many Christians have a problem with this scripture. The unconditional eternal securitist struggles with it and tries to prove that it doesn't say what it says, and the fruit his wrestling bears is a bunch of professing Christians who have the attitude of "Well, I said the prayer. I'm saved, and I don't have to do anything else with my Christian life. I might not get as many rewards as some get, but hey, I want to eat, drink and be merry in this life. I want to 'enjoy life while I've got it!'' (The fruit of Extreme Calvinism).
They end up being the seed that is on the thorny ground, with the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choking off the Word that has been deposited in their lives, and they don't bear fruit.
On the other hand, the one who is caught up in a works-oriented righteousness and who does not understand the Love of the Father is constantly looking over his shoulder thinking God is going to take him out every time he sins. The fruit he bears is one who is constantly questioning his salvation, and who has not understood the Goodness of God (The fruit of Extreme Armenianism).
But the child of God that has true Faith in the finished work of Jesus rests in Him, understanding the dire warning, and being very aware of his or her propensity for sin, STRIVES TO WALK IN OBEDIENCE TO THE WILL OF GOD (although they may fail at their goal often, they press on in their pursuit of Holiness before God and men) and he is quick to confess his or her sin before God and others, understanding that sin is not something to be taken lightly while maintaining a wonderful confidence in the Love of Christ that was demonstrated for him on Calvary's cross.
Our attitude is to be that ALTHOUGH WE ARE NOT SINLESS, WE ARE TO STRIVE TO SIN LESS THAN WE USED TO, and our goal should be to bring every thought into captivity to the OBEDIENCE of Christ (2 Cor 10:5). Jesus' Doctrine is that we are to hear the Word, keep it, and bear fruit for His Glory (Lk 8:15), I can accept that. I don't have to wrestle with philosophical musings. My question is simply: "What does the Lord say about it?" And if the Lord says it, I believe it.
CHRISTIAN!: NEITHER CALVIN OR ARMINIUS WERE OUR SAVIORS. THEY WERE MERELY CHRISTIAN THEOLOGIAN/PHILOSOPHERS WHO WERE PRONE TO ERROR LIKE ANYONE ELSE. DON'T LOOK TO THEIR WRITINGS FOR YOUR POSITION ON SALVATION. LOOK TO JESUS, THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH!
What does Jesus have to say about salvation? Although those who adhere to the doctrine of Unconditional Eternal Security would flatly deny this statement that I am about to make, the fact of the matter is that this doctrine is a close relative to Universal Unitarianism.
Universal Unitarianism teaches that it doesn't matter what a person does in this life, God is a God of Love and Grace, and He would never send anyone to hell, no matter what Jesus Himself taught. All people will spend eternity in Heaven, regardless of their religious affiliation.
The UES adherents will concede that not ALL PEOPLE will go to heaven; the large majority of mankind is going to Hell. But if you prayed to ask Jesus Christ in your heart, the bottom line is that it doesn't matter what you do with your life, you WILL go to heaven, because God is a God of Love and Grace, and He would never send anyone who "sincerely prayed the prayer" to Hell, regardless of what they do. BUT JESUS SAID:
Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
WOE TO THE PASTOR OR THE PREACHER WHO HAS LOOKED TO SOME PHILOSOPHY OF MAN TO GIVE HIM REVELATION AS TO THE DOCTRINE HE SHOULD EMBRACE! WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR RELIANCE UPON THE HOLY SPIRIT TO LEAD YOU INTO THE TRUTH?
TO CONTEND WITH THE DOCTRINE OF JESUS, BY SAYING "WELL, JESUS WAS UNDER THE LAW UNTIL HIS DEATH, SO THE THINGS HE WAS SPEAKING WERE TO THOSE WHO WERE UNDER THE LAW, BUT NOT TO US", IS TO DECLARE THAT THE WORDS SPOKEN BY THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH, WHO TAUGHT THE DISCIPLES THE VERY PRINCIPLES OF FAITH AS OPPOSED TO THE LETTER OF THE LAW WERE NOT AS IMPORTANT AS THE WORDS OF PAUL AND PETER, JAMES, JOHN AND JUDE WERE (BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I HAVE HEARD SOME WHO CLING TO CALVIN'S DOCTRINE SAY THAT VERY THING!).
JESUS WAS INDEED UNDER THE LAW, AND HE DID NOT BREAK ANY OF THE LAW THAT HIS FATHER SPOKE. JESUS FULFILLED THE LAW OF HIS FATHER. NOW WE ARE OBLIGED TO FULFILL THE LAW OF CHRIST, TO OBEY HIS WORDS, AND HIS INSTRUCTIONS (SEE Joh 15:9 - 14). WE ARE ABLE TO DO THIS BECAUSE THE HOLY SPIRIT DWELLS WITHIN US AS A RESULT OF THE GRACE OF GOD, AND ENABLES US TO RESIST SIN AND TO LIVE AN OBEDIENT LIFE BEFORE GOD (SEE TITUS 2:11-14). DO NOT BE DECIEVED: WE WILL BE JUDGED ACCORDING TO THE WORDS THAT JESUS SPOKE.
Speaking of the necessity of obeying His words, Jesus has this to say:
12:47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for
I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
Joh 14:23 Jesus answered
and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father
will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
IN WALKING IN OBEDIENCE to the doctrine of Christ, we are made clean (John 15:3). No one can honestly dispute the Words of Jesus in John 15 as saying anything less than what they truly say: He says that every branch IN Him that bears not fruit, the Father takes away. Jesus did not say those branches outside of Him are taken away…He said those that are IN the vine, which is Christ. If we are IN Christ, we are saved from our sins and the Wrath of the Almighty God. Our responsibility is to REMAIN in Christ.
The Christian philosophers who argue with their logic, and maintain that the Father would never send His children to Hell needs to understand a simple truth that Jesus spoke in the parable of the Prodigal Son. He said that the father of the son himself declared that his son had been dead (Luke 15:24). The parable is about the child of God that decides to leave the covering of his Father. The word of God says that because of trespasses and sins, we are dead to God (Eph 2:1). This is speaking of a spiritual death. Though our heart may be beating, and we may be breathing and walking in the flesh, if we are yielding to the flesh we are spiritually dead, lost in our sin. If we willfully turn away from God and spend our substance in riotous living like the prodigal son of Jesus' parable did, Jesus Himself declared that our position with the Father is that we are LOST and we are DEAD. If we come to our senses, repent, and return to the Father, confessing to the Father that we have sinned against Him, He is ready and Just to forgive us for our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. As long as we continue to wallow in the mire of sin after we have been washed by Jesus (2 Pet 2:22), we have no fellowship with Him, because we are dead to Him, and have chosen to walk in darkness rather than His Light (Jn 1:6). Repentance unto obedience brings Life. Disobedience brings death (Jn 3:36).
Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
The Greek word translated as "believeth not" here in Jn 3:36 is the word apeitheo¯, which actually means "disobeys".
THOSE WHO DISOBEY THE SON SHALL NOT SEE LIFE, BUT THE WRATH OF GOD REMAINS ON THEM.
In Jesus' discourse in John 15: 1-10, the Word "Abide" here actually means to remain. Anybody who would read this passage would understand that Jesus says that IF we remain in Him, He will remain in us (Vs 4). In order to bear fruit, we need to remain in Him. If we do not remain in Him, He says that we will not bear fruit (vs 4). If we do not bear fruit, we will be taken away from the vine by the Father (Vs. 2). According to Jesus, if we do not remain in Him, we will not only be taken away from the vine, but we will be cast forth and wither, and will be burned (Vs 6).
There is a certain place for hypocrites, those who profess to be IN Christ, but who do not remain IN Him.
He says IF we keep His commandments, we will remain in His Love just as He kept His Father's Commandments and remained in His Father's Love (Vs. 10). And His commandment was that we are to love one another, as He has loved us.
Joh 15:1 I am the true
vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 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. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 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.
5 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.
6 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.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Notice that Jesus makes a conditional statement in verse 14. He says "Ye are my friends, IF ye do whatsoever I command you."
After Jesus told the parable of the sower, He said "If any man have ears to hear, let him hear" (Mark 4:23). Then He continued with His Doctrine.
He tells us to take heed to what we hear. As we respond in obedience to what we hear, we are assured that we will receive more from Him. There are many who do not heed His doctrine, and who frolic in Satan's kingdom while professing to be servants in the Kingdom of God. They deceive themselves, and the Truth is not in them. From these who are deceived and who have nothing (not bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God) will be taken away even that which they have (Matt 25:29).
THIS IS A FEARFUL REALITY FOR THE ONE WHO THINKS THAT HE CAN HAVE SALVATION AND IGNORE THE WILL OF GOD FOR HIS LIFE.
But as we respond to His Word (a choice we must make for ourselves), we will be like a seed that sprouts, and then becomes a blade, but eventually it will become a mature ear of corn, and bear much fruit for the master (Mark 4:26-28). In yielding to the nurturing of His Word, we bear the fruit that He calls us to bear. Jesus' Doctrine tells us that we are here for the furtherance of God's Kingdom, and we need to be heeding His Word and His Will for our lives, so we can bear fruit for the husbandman (John 15:1,2).
WOE TO THE SHEPHERDS WHO HAVE LULLED THE PEOPLE OF GOD INTO COMPLACENCY, AND A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY, TEACHING DOCTRINES OF MEN INSTEAD OF THE DOCTRINES OF THE AUTHOR AND THE FINISHER OF OUR FAITH! CHRISTIAN: DON'T BE DUPED BY THEIR SWELLING WORDS OF VANITY! YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY AND A DUTY BEFORE GOD!
Jesus prophesied that there would be false prophets in the last day that would come in His Name and who would decieve many. (Matt 24:11-12). He said that these were wolves in sheep's clothing (Matt 7:14). The Prophets of the doctrine of Unconditional Eternal Security have embraced a philosophy which came from the logic of men, and not from the pure unadulterated Word of God.They coddle the Christian in his or her sin, and assure them that since they "prayed the prayer" they will have peace with God regardless of their sin, producing fruit that is evil and corrupt.
They teach their disciples to riducule those who live a life striving against sin, falsely accusing them of trying to work their way to Heaven, because they themselves cannot cease from sin, so they teach others to be like them, instead of instructing them to be like Jesus (1 John 2:6).
They toss around a phrase that isn't in the Word of God: "I AM JUST A SINNER SAVED BY GRACE," when throughout the New Testament, the believers are referred to saints. The same thing that happened to Israel under the Covenant of the Law is happening to those who are Christians and who are under the covenant of Grace (look again at Titus 2:11-15).
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that
prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart,
and not out of the mouth of the LORD.
17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
See how the UES TEACHERS assure the one who has prayed to recieve Jesus: "Now that you have asked Jesus Christ into your heart, it doesn't matter what you do, you will be in Heaven when you die. You might lose some rewards, and you might reap some consequences for your actions here on earth, but you are gloriously saved, and ultimately, you will be in heaven when you die!"
But see what God told Jeremiah concerning these prophets:
Jer 23:21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
The one who teaches the Word of the Lord will do all they can to instruct the sinner to turn from their evil ways and from the evil of their doings! The problem with most preachers is that they have their eyes on numbers, and they are afraid of offending people, and losing the numbers and as a result the income that comes with those numbers!
PASTOR, MINISTER, EVANGELIST, PROPHET, TEACHER, APOSTLE, WHOEVER YOU ARE, IF THIS IS YOU, YOU NEED TO REPENT! WOE TO YOU IF YOU DO NOT REPENT! WHAT A FEARFUL THING IT WILL BE TO ACCOUNT FOR THE LIES YOU HAVE EMBRACED AND TAUGHT OTHERS BECAUSE OF YOUR OWN FOOLISH IMAGINATIONS.
Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and
do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness;
yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this
people at all, saith the LORD.
Jer 23:40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.
According to Matthew and Luke, Jesus then told a couple more parables to further expound on His Doctrine of the responsibility of the one who professes to be a Christian:
Luk 8:16 No man, when
he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a
bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the
17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
Unlike the ungodly teachings of the Masonic Lodge (which many Chrsitians unwittingly take part in), or the cult called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and their secretive "Temple Rituals", ours is not a secret religion or society (If you are a part of either of these, you need to get out of it!).
Jesus' Doctrine is that the follower of Christ's responsibility is to be bold for Him.
Luk 8:18 Take heed therefore
how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath
not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
19 Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press.
20 And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.
21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.
Over and over we can see how Jesus stressed the importance of bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God. Christian! Do not be misled or beguiled by some man who through eloquent words would enchant you with his philosophy.
Gal 1:6 I marvel that
ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Look to the Doctrine of Jesus Christ, and be saved! Mark His Words, Christian: TAKE HEED HOW YOU HEAR!
We have been saved, not by our works - no man can earn his way into Heaven, and no man can boast of his righteousness that saved him. It is the GIFT OF GOD. Even while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me.
But when we have believed the Word of God and have been enlightened as to our necessity of submitting to the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved from the due penalty of our sins, and have called on the Name of Jesus Christ, God brought us from the darkness into His Marvelous Light, and His Purpose is for us to live in His Kingdom, and to yield to His Will, not our own (Matt 6:10, 7:21, 12:50, 26:39, 42; Mark 3:5; Luke 11:2; 12:47, 22:42; Jn 4:34, 6:38; Rom 12:2; Gal 1:4; Eph 5:17, 6:6; Col 1:9-10; 1 Thes 4:3; Heb 10:36; 1 Pet 4:1,2; 1 Jn 2:17).
His Plan from the beginning of time was that His People would bear good fruit for His Kingdom. It is our responsibility as Christians to submit to the Will of God in our lives.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
When we recieve Jesus Christ as our Lord, He does a regenerative work in us. The Almighty God prophesied of this in the book of Exekiel:
Eze 36:25 Then will I
sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness,
and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
It is that regenerative work which is done in us by the Holy Spirit that enables us to walk in the Spirit, and to obey His Word.
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I'll tell you the Truth: I personally don't have the courage to stand before God and tell Him that He utterly failed at His Plan to Redeem me from my sin. I don't have the courage to tell Him that He didn't truly destroy the works of the devil in my life. I don't have the courage to tell Him I reject His word that declares me to be saint, and that I prefer to refer to my self as a sinner saved by Grace. I don't want to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Accuser and tell God that His Word is not true, and that the fact is that sin still has dominion over me. I don't want to argue with God and tell Him that he worded His Bible wrong, and that all those "IF'S" shouldn't be there, since IF implies a condition to be met by me, and that goes against the Calvinist's doctrine of Unconditional Eternal Security. In short, I don't want to be found ever accusing God of being a liar. THESE ARE ONLY A FEW OF THE CONDITIONAL STATEMENTS FOUND IN THE WORD OF GOD:
Matt 5:13;6:14-15;18:35;19:17; Jn 8:51;14:23,15:6,7,10,14; Rom 8:13,17;11:21-24; 1 Cor 15:1,2; Gal 6:9; 2 Tim 2:19-21; Heb 3:6,7,14; 6:4-6; 10:26,38;12:25; Jas 5:19-20; 2 Pet 1:5-11;2:20; 1 Jn 2:3,24; Rev 3:3
The fact is that Jesus' Work on the Cross enabled and equipped me and every other Born Again Believer through His Holy Spirit to yield to His Will in my life. I now am able (but am I WILLING? THAT is the crux of the matter!) to bring my body into subjection to the obedience of Christ (1 Cor 9:27). IF I REFUSE TO DO SO, I am in danger of becoming reprobate, as was the Apostle Paul himself (castaway=reprobate). If, in my endeavors to bring my body in subjection to the obedience of Chrsit, I fail in my efforts to do so, and I confess my sin before Him, and petition Him to help me in this area He responds, and sooner or later, I gain the victory. He has not called me to a passive relationship with Him. Because I love Him, I want to do all that I can to please Him.
Do I fail? Yes! That's why I am so desperately in need of a Savior Who is Faithful and Just to forgive me of my sin and to cleanse me of my unrighteousness (1 Jn 1:9).
Will I fail? That's a different question altogether. With His help, moment by moment I am able to overcome the temptations of the flesh to sin. If He helps me to get through this present moment without sin, then I can trust Him to keep me in the next moment, the next half hour, the next hour, the next several hours, and possibly the next 24 hours...But for now I will look at Jesus Chrsit to enable me to overcome the temptations of this moment. His Hand is not shortened, that He cannot save me from my sin. My objective is to get through the day having pleased Him, and I refuse to acknowledge that it is impossible for Him to enable me to walk free from sin moment by moment. It is my responsibility to obey His Will for my life.
The false teachers who try to convince me that I am just a sinner saved by Grace will not persuade me to settle for anything less than a life that pleases God my Redeemer. I have been called by Jesus Christ, the King of Saints to be a saint, to live a life Holy and acceptable to Him. I have been called to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and to press forward to the mark of the High Calling that is in Jesus Christ. I have been called to walk in the Spirit so that I will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. I could never do any of these things without His Intervention in my life. He has intervened, He has equipped me, regenerated me, enabled me, and has given me a stewardship over my life. I am now responsible to strive against sin, to resist the devil, and to submit to God. IF I fail, I have a wonderful Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One.
In yielding to the Spirit, and walking in the Spirit of the Lord, we are able to bear good fruit, and are enabled to walk in those good works that God had before ordained that we should walk in. But in walking after the flesh, we become entangled in the bondage that Jesus Christ has set us free from, and cannot fulfill His Will for our lives, because we are dead to Him and have lost our personal relationship with Him (Luke 15:24, 1 John 1:6).
THE CHOICE IS LEFT UP TO US.
We are to choose this day who we will serve - the inclinations of our flesh, or the leading of the Holy Spirit. In yielding to the Spirit, our lives demonstrate that the Word of God has landed on good ground, and that Word bears fruit. Fruit by its nature begets more fruit, because it contains the seed that produces more fruit. While we are not saved by our works, our salvation is made evident by the good works that we do, or the fruit that we bear.
IF YOU ARE NOT BEARING FRUIT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD, IT IS NOT UNREASONABLE TO ASK YOURSELF IF YOU ARE TRULY SAVED. DON'T LET SOME MAN GIVE YOU FALSE ASSURANCE THAT JUST BECAUSE YOU PRAYED A PRAYER TO ASK JESUS INTO YOUR HEART, AND WERE BAPTIZED THAT YOU ARE NOW SAVED! EXAMINE YOURSELF. ARE YOU A FRUIT- BEARING TREE FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD? DO ALL WHO KNOW YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN, AND THAT YOU ARE LIVING EACH DAY TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY FOR JESUS?
We are very familiar with Romans 10:9,10.
Rom 10:9 That if thou
shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart
that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
But even though we may quote these verses, somehow the key to verse 10 slips right by us: "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness". If you truly believe with your heart, you will choose to live according to God's Will, unto righteousness, and not according to your own will. You need to examine your life, Christian. Are you bearing good fruit for the Kingdom of God? Honestly ask yourself: Where is your heart?
2Co 13:5 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?
John the Baptist preached a hard word to the Jews:
Mat 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
"Well, Lance", someone might say, "that was John telling the Jews to get right". That's true. But Jesus said about the same thing in John 15:1-10. See also Matt 7:19, 12:33; Lk 6:43-44.
About now I suppose there are some who have been reading this, and realize that although they have said a prayer to ask Jesus into their hearts, they have not really been walking or living for Him. There is no fruit in their lives to show that they are a Christian tree. But all is not lost! Look at the parable Jesus speaks now concerning you:
13:6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his
vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why encumbereth it the ground?
8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
There is time for you to repent and begin to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God! Don't wait for the time where you are cut down! God's Grace and Mercy are available for you!
REMEMBER, WE DON'T WORK TO GET SAVED, OR EVEN TO MAINTAIN OUR SALVATION. BUT IF WE HAVE REALLY BELIEVED WITH OUR HEARTS, WE WILL HAVE BECOME A DIFFERENT PERSON WITH DIFFERENT PRIORITIES, DIFFERENT DESIRES. WE WILL LOATHE OUR FORMER WAYS (Ez 36:31), AND WILL WANT TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF JESUS CHRIST (Rom 8:29). WE HAVE NOW BEEN CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS UNTO GOOD WORKS FOR HIS GLORY (Eph 2:10). OUR LOVE FOR GOD WILL COMPEL US TO LIVE LIVES THAT WOULD BE PLEASING TO HIM (Jn 14:15,21,23; 1 Jn 3:18).
ARE YOU HUNGERING AND THIRSTING FOR HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS? YOU WILL BE FILLED (MATT 5:6)
OR ARE YOU LISTENING TO THE WHISPERING VOICE OF THE ADVERSARY THAT IS TELLING YOU "NOW YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SEEN AS A FANATIC BY YOUR FRIENDS AND YOUR FAMILY, DO YOU? YOU DON'T NEED TO TAKE THIS 'JESUS THING' TOO FAR. YOU DON'T WANT PEOPLE TO CALL YOU A HOLY ROLLER, DO YOU?" IF YOU ARE LISTENING TO HIS VOICE, SATAN'S GOT YOU RIGHT WHERE HE WANTS YOU. HE WANTS YOU TO BE LULLED INTO COMPLACENCY, AND TO RENDER YOU INEFFECTIVE FOR THE FURTHERANCE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
GOD HAS GRANTED US AUTHORITY OVER THE ENEMY OF OUR SOULS. WE DON'T HAVE TO SIN. WE DON'T HAVE TO SETTLE FOR OUR NEIGHBORHOODS BEING TAKEN OVER BY THE PRINCIPALITIES OF DARKNESS. REMEMBER WHEN YOU FIRST TASTED THE SALVATION OF YOUR SOUL BEFORE MEN'S PHILOSOPHY GOT INBETWEEN YOU AND YOUR LOVE FOR THE ONE THAT SAVED YOU. RETURN TO YOUR FIRST LOVE BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. WHEN JESUS COMES WILL HE FIND YOUR LAMP TRIMMED AND BURNING BRIGHTLY, OR WILL IT HAVE GONE OUT (MATT 25:1-13)?
1Co 15:33 Be not deceived:
evil communications corrupt good manners.
34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
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