Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? And then I will say to them openly, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly, disregarding My commands. Jesus, Matthew 7:21
I know I've posted about this before but this topic keeps bugging me. Most of us who grew up in the Christian church were told that all you had to do to "be saved" or "go to heaven" was believe in Jesus, say some prayer and receive Him into your heart. I find the believing part in the Bible, but honestly I can't find the special prayer or the part about receiving Him into your heart. What I do find are lots of admonitions that go far beyond a simple belief.
You believe that God is one; you do well. So do the demons believe and shudder in terror!. James 2:19
It's one thing to say you believe something or have a head knowledge of something. And quite another to truly believe something in your heart. A head knowledge is transient. It can be swayed and changed and lessened over time. A heart knowledge is a reality to the person who has it. It is a knowing that goes beyond knowledge. A truth that cannot change. This, I believe, is the type of saving faith Jesus spoke about. But it is even more than that. It is a knowing that results in action. It is a knowing that transforms into a relationship with God that then produces a change in the person that then manifests itself in outward works. What are these works? They are simply doing the will of God.
And this is how we may discern that we are coming to know Him: if we keep His teachings, His commandments. Whoever says, I know Him and am acquainted with Him, but fails to keep and obey His commandments is a liar, and the Truth is not in him. 1 John 2:3-4
What saddens me is that on judgment day there will be many people who professed to know Christ who never knew Him at all. In shock and horror, they will be sent away to an eternity in hell simply because they didn't take the time to find out the truth for themselves. Instead, they relied on what some pastor said or some church doctrine told them. I personally have friends who have loved ones who are living sinful lives of drinking and immorality, etc.. but because that person "accepted Jesus as their savior" when they were ten at some church service, my friends don't fear for their salvation. There are hundreds, thousands of people who go to church whose lives aren't any different from the world around them, but who think they're safe. These are the people my heart breaks for. Someone needs to warn them.
Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. Jesus. Matthew 7:13
Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not trying to frighten anyone. 85% of the people in America claim to be Christians. I'm very concerned about their salvation. And about a watered-down gospel that's been presented to people for years. It's time we, as the church, as the body of Christ, wake up. Let's get back to the gospel. Let's talk about what Christianity really is. That its about a relationship. It's about commitment and sacrifice and a life laid down. It's about God living in us and affecting the world for good. So, first check yourself and your own heart. Then, don't be afraid to speak the truth in love to those around you.