You're not supposed to judge!
I know, "judge not that you be not judged" (Matt. 7:1) But you forget scripture says that "if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged." (1 Corinthians 11:31)
"You don't know me! Only God sees the heart."
I know God sees the heart and that should scare us all. I don't want to question your salvation. I want you to question it. The Apostle Paul wanted you to question your salvation when he said to examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith.(2 Corinthians 13:5)
"Well I believe in God."
Great, so do the demons!(James 2:19)
"I'm saved by faith and not works."
But can that faith save you?(James 2:14)
"Repentance? Yes I've repented."
Well John the baptist said to bear fruits in keeping with repentance.(Luke 3:8)
Look, more is at stake here than your pride. I'm worried about your soul. Many believe they are saved yet will be turned away by Jesus himself.(Matt. 7:21-23) Where is the evidence of your salvation? James said that faith without works is dead.(James 2:17)
"I didn't think we had to work for our salvation to try to earn it?"
We don't do good works to get saved. We now are able to do good works because we are saved.(Ephesians 2:10) Salvation is a gift secured by Jesus dying for our sins on the cross and resurrecting to be our Savior.(Romans 6:23)
Many claim they believe this, but then never bear fruit. Do you really have faith? Or do you merely believe these facts to be correct? There is a difference. James puts it this way.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17)Do you see what he is saying? If you see someone in need and say you care about their needs, yet do nothing for them - then do you really care? If you say you are a sinner who has repented and placed your faith in Jesus Christ to save you and yet this faith hasn't effected your lifestyle, actions, or worldview - then is this real faith?
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:18)James is saying "I believe, therefore I do." Our works are the result of our faith. If you believe Jesus had to die to cleanse you from your sins, then why would anyone want to continue on sinning willfully? If sin is what was leading you to death and hell, then why would you treat it as no big deal? You don't really believe these things you claim or you would act upon them.
Look to what Jesus said about our actions.
“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:43-45)What we do reveals who we are. Jesus didn't say to look to a person's confession, but to their fruit.
So what fruit are you bearing?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that anything short of perfection means you're lost. I'm saying that the bent of a redeemed life will be towards holiness and not sinfulness. Everyone will stumble, but those who have repented and trusted in Jesus will continue to repent and trust in Jesus. They will be broken over their sin, confessing that their actions were indeed sinful and seeking forgiveness. If you on the other hand try to justify your sin claiming that it isn't wrong, or not that wrong, or that it wasn't your fault, or everyone else is doing it, then there is cause for alarm. If you don't clearly see the danger of sin, then what did you need saved from? If what your doing now is OK, then what sins did you repent of in the first place.
I know this sounds harsh but many have deceived themselves. They hear the Gospel call and admire it yet never heed its warning surrendering to it.
I'll leave you with one last warning given by Jesus himself.
On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matt 7:22-23)
Originally posted April 29, 2010
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