Who Is Responsible Here?
By Don Twobears
Somewhere along the way some people have the idea that once they are saved then that’s all there is to it. In a certain sense they are correct. Once you give your life to Jesus Christ (in absolute truth) you are definitely saved and no one can reverse that or take it away from you! Does that mean that you are able to live however you wish, act however or be whatever you wish?
The answer of course is NO. This is the area with which most people have a problem. It is then important to read God’s holy Word─the Bible─to find the answers to questions like these that perplex us the most;
“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:15-18, emphasis added).
Please note in the verses above the emboldened words are imperative for the born-again believer to understand. When we are truly saved we are no longer the same persons we were before giving our their lives to Christ. “All things are become new,” is the part of the passage that resonates the most. This is where the “rubber meets the road” so to speak. This is exactly where we fail our Lord and Savior most often because we drift from this place so easily.
I do NOT mean just you, but all of us! If we take a moment and think on this truth we can see at that point when we are babes in Christ we are subsisting on the “milk of the Word, not the meat. In easier terms we have not made it to the point where we are eating solid food just yet! Having said that, do you see why it is so easy for the new born-again individual to slip away?
This is the exact time the more mature Christian needs to step in and remind the babes in Christ to keep their eyes on our Lord and noses in their Bibles. How many times have you heard these new Christians complain about how hard it is to maintain themselves in the Lord when temptaion is so prevalent around them? It seems it is something akin to being placed on a very strict diet. No fun, no pleasure!
It is at these times that they need to be reminded why they gave their lives to Christ in the first place; the desire for heaven, for eternal life and that the opposite of that is eternal death and separation from the Lord.
I remember when I was a new dad my daughter would awake, sometimes not hungry or in need of a new diaper but something near and dear to her was absent. The mother’s heartbeat! I would hold my daughter close to my chest that she could hear my heartbeat. Then I would put my arms around her and lay back on the couch and we would both fall alseep, content with each other.
This went on for weeks and weeks and I found that it met the needs us both. My daughter would feel the safety of my heartbeat and my arms around her and I would feel the safety of her being so close that I could care and nurture her. We both benefited from this. She slept soundly and safely and so did I.
It is the same thing with new Christians. If they are constantly coming to the Lord for all their needs, as with a new born baby, the baby does not know to crawl to the Father. The Father must hear the cry and respond. What would happen if there is no cry, no knowledge of need? Hunger and starvation, a stunting of growth! New Chrisitans need the more mature Christians to lean on! Newcomers often don’t want to ask for help, it makes them appear weak and frail. But the mature Christian is able to know the needs of the new Christian and supply the answers.
Often it is the lack of mature Christians interceding that contributes to the downfall of new Christians causing them to jump back into old lifestyles. When these new beleivers realize they have sinned they have no idea of what to do. They fear telling anyone out of shame and give up on their newfound faith and the fall continues unabated. They do not realize the answers are right there in the Word of God. They have no idea which way to turn and the Bible is then relegated to the dusty table only to be forgotten.
It would then appear that there is no one responsible for this failure, so we must then turn the tide and look to the Scriptures for the answer. The mature Christian should be helping the new Christian see where the ball was dropped and help remedy the situation. But often times people do not want to be considered responsible for the growth of others. Somewhere along the way they come to feel that they have done all there is to do as far as the Great Commission is concerned. Here are some examples from the Word of God:
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
“Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak” (Romans 14:19-21, emphasis added).
Probably the most telling Scripture concerning our duties as born-again Christians is found in Ezekiel 3.17-21, emphasis added:
“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
Again, when a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.”
As you can see this is not something the Lord leaves as something weak or ineffectual. It is profound to every born-again Christian and we must be conscious of it. We talk a great deal about the Great Commission. Evidence like this from the Bible outshines many other areas in the area of responsibilty.
“Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. And this is the writing that was written, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. This is the interpretation of the thing: Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. Tekel; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. Peres; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old” (Daniel 5:24-31, emphasis added).
The adages of old need to be remembered and adhered to! These sayings are important for all of us to know because there is cause and effect, an answer for all things and every one of us are responsible to the Lord. This is exactly true regardless of whether you are saved to Jesus Christ or NOT! If a man is foolish enough to say. “There is NO God,” then He deserves the just rewards for his ignorant choice!
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
God’s way, it’s HIS way or the highway! And the highway leads to destruction. Therefore one might want to contemplate these choices and the future! The unsaved know nothing that is why they need YOU and me. The born-again Christian should be reading the Bible and learning everything possible. We will be held accoountable, ignorance is NO excuse!
Jesus Christ still saves!
You may contact the author at: firstname.lastname@example.org