I’m spending a lot of time on salvation, simply because I can’t think of any two more important topics than Salvation and the Bible. all the rest of it, while important, is only window dressing by comparison.
3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 13:3-9 (KJV)
There are four kinds of people who hear the Gospel.
- The way side
- stony places
- good ground
People who have told me – and there’s a LOT – who’ve said to me, “I used to be a Christian, but…”
No, you were a “stony place” hearer.
“I was a Protestant, but I investigated history nad the Bible and found the truth of the Roman Catholic church.”
Stony place hearer.
“I was a Christian, but I kept thinking there must be something more, and I found a Messianic synagogue, and began keeping the law…”
Stony place hearer.
“I said the sinner prayers years ago, but kind of fell out of habit of going to church. I really don’t read my Bible or pray anymore… haven’t done anything like that in years. But hey, I’m still a Christian even though I’m back in the world for several years now…”
Thorny place hearer.
“some missionary came to my door and led me to a sinner’s prayer, so I’m saved. But I don’t think you need to go to church to be a Christian.”
thorny place hearer.
“I consider myself a Christian, but not one of those fanatical born-again types…”
“How can you all believe that stuff?”
way side hearer.
What do all of the above have in common?
They’re not saved.
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:15-20 (KJV)
I would say a horribly large majority of Christianity falls into the numbers above.
Christianity is not something you ADD. It’s not a club. It’s a change of life.
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Acts 26:18 (KJV)
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: Ephesians 5:8 (KJV)
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 1 Thessalonians 5:5 (KJV)
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)
Does this sound like it can be something you are only on about a dozen sundays a year? I think the standard joke among Pastors is, “What difference does it make if you switch churches? Does it really matter what church you don’t show up to?”
It’s often amusing to me that many unSaved people go to church far more often than those who consider themselves Christians.
To repent and be saved lasts the rest of your life. If it doesn’t, if it lasts three to five years… you’re not saved.
If you’ve withdrawn from your local church because of emotional hurt or because of doctrinal differences…. you’re in a different category. As long as you’re still praying, reading your Bible, and seeking after the things of God. We very probably will see in the next few years the vast majority of saved Christians departing denominations and most established churches, and going to small Fundamentalist fellowships. I think that was something I wrote in one of my very first blog posts.
If we go by the examples above, at least 75% of the people who consider themselves Christians will not be entering Heaven.
As I’ve said many times, that’s a horror I cannot conceieve of. That’s why the Lord says there will be “Weeping” and “Gnashing of teeth”.
Some will still be defiant, angry, enraged, bitter that they are in Hell. Even in torment, they’ll curse God.
Others will sob and weep for all eternity as they writhe in agony.
People, am I painting a vivid enough picture?
Ye must be born again.
There’s no harm in making sure if you’re saved. Just get on your knees and repent. In your own words, admit you are a sinner, deserving of Hell. That you cannot save yourself. Ask the Lord Jesus Christ to save you. Admit that He and He alonne can save you.