Monday, February 18, 2019
Salvation is a marriage contract that CAN be broken by you!
God is a God of Covenant. Throughout human history, God has made many covenants with man. But what is a covenant? My dictionary says a covenant is an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified.
God made a covenant with Adam and Eve. He told them they could eat of any fruit of any tree in the Garden, except from the Tree of Good and Evil. When they broke that Covenant, the consequence was spiritual death and expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
God made a covenant with Noah, with Abraham, with Moses, with the people of Israel...etc. Most of God's covenants are 2-way covenants. In other words, God promises to do something (or not do something) if we do such and such. Build an ark, Noah, exactly like I say and I will save your entire family from the flood. Moses, go to Pharaoh and do what I tell you, and I will rescue the Jewish people from slavery. Abraham, if you follow me and have faith in me, you will be the father of many nations. Israel, if you love me and follow my rules, I will make you a great nation and protect you.
Marriage is a covenant. It is a 2-way agreement between both parties. It traditionally goes something like this. " I, take ______ to be my lawfully wedded _____ to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part, so help me God."
What most Christians don't realize and what is not normally taught in church, (especially during altar calls!) is that salvation is in fact, entering into a marriage covenant with Jesus. We are the Bride of Christ. (Sorry to you men if that makes you uncomfortable, but it's a spiritual union, not physical) Jesus often spoke of Himself as the Bridegroom and the "church" is spoken of in Revelation as the Bride. The Apostle Paul often speaks of the church as being espoused to Jesus.
Before Jesus came to Earth, the Jewish people were espoused to God Himself, but they broke their marriage vows and hence God divorced them. God divorced? Never heard that before?
And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; Jeremiah 3:8
Why did God divorce Israel? For their backsliding, idolatry and adultery. So, if God divorced Israel for such things, why wouldn't Jesus do the same for us if we commit the same atrocities? We certainly need to be more careful when we convey the Gospel to people and ask them to receive Jesus. So often we talk of His love and grace and the free gift of salvation, but we fail to mention that when people receive Jesus in faith, they are entering into a binding covenant of marriage with Him. He gives them eternal life and so much more, BUT He requires something of them as well.
Think of any normal marriage. You fall in love, you take your vows, and you begin your lives together. But what if your spouse loses interest in you, never spends time with you, and ends up committing adultery with another woman? Is that an acceptable marriage?
This is why I believe we need to start looking at our salvation more seriously. And we need to enter into that salvation with the understanding that it is a covenant and much is required of us to keep it. Yes, Jesus's gift of salvation is absolutely free and given in complete grace. There's nothing we can do to earn it. But to keep that covenant, well, that's another matter.
Like any marriage, we need to put our spouse (Jesus) first in our life. There shouldn't be anyone or anything that comes before Him. Not material possessions, career, person, pet, health, beauty, success, fame, or money! We must live our lives for Him, follow Him, obey Him, and spend time with Him, both in His Word and in His presence. Yes, we may slip up now and then,(because yes, we are still sinners) but if we are quick to come back to Him and repent, He is graciously willing to forgive.
I know some of you are hissing at me and starting to click away. After all, this is not what most churches teach. They teach an all-grace, no works salvation wherein God does everything for us and we don't have to do a thing. I used to believe that too. Then I actually picked up my Bible and started reading. Before you click away, let the Word of God prove I'm right. Below, I'm listing a few verses for you to ponder.
Before I leave you, let me just say that being married to Jesus (ultimately with a wedding in Heaven) is already and will be the most wonderful relationship I've ever had! In our covenant with Him, He gives us SO MUCH more than we can ever give in return. Life, love, joy, peace, purpose, health, miracles, friendship in this life and in the next more than we can imagine!
Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. Hebrews 10:26-29
Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. Hebrews 5:8
Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. Hebrews 3:12-14
Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good. Titus 1:15-16
Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked 1 Timothy 1:19
My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins. James 5:19-20
And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.” 2 Peter 2:20-22
There are many more, but I'll leave it there. My biggest fear is for the thousands of "Christians" who have bought into the lie that salvation is just receiving Jesus and believing in Him and that His Grace covers them no matter how they behave or what they do..... that ultimately these people will find themselves in hell. And then it will be too late to discover they were lied to by their pastor and never took the time to read the Bible for themselves. Believe me, preaching this does not make me popular or help sell my books. Quite the opposite, in fact. But I must say what the Lord tells me to say. My ministry is to warn the lukewarm Christian to repent and do the works that prove they are truly saved. For if you love Jesus as you would love your fiance, then you will act accordingly. Otherwise when He comes for His bride, you may find yourself left behind.
“Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. Matthew 24:40-41
The Greek word "LEFT" in the above Scripture means "To send away, to bid going away, to depart... of a HUSBAND DIVORCING HIS WIFE"