In light of the previous two articles with the same title, there are a few things still missing that I want to touch on. Far too many people think they will be going up in the Rapture and yet, we must ask the question, “Are they truly born-again?” In other words, what are the criteria expected by the Lord for an individual to be taken in the Rapture?
Is it enough to SAY that you are born-again? If you are born-again, how do you know that you are? It would appear that these are some very enlightening questions for each person. Yet what is, usually missed is living lives according to the Lord. Let’s put this another way, are YOU indeed saved by Jesus Christ, is your life entirely changed, because of YOUR commitment to HIM? Are you saved by the grace of Jesus Christ? Are you washed in HIS blood from the cross at Calvary? Have you truly turned YOUR life over to HIM and held back nothing?
“My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?” (Proverbs 1:15-22, emphasis added)
There are many who “think” (in their own wisdom) they have “done enough” to be saved. Yet their lives do not reflect such an important commitment to Jesus Christ. Yes, they go to church, they may even be in the choir or have become a deacon. They know how to put on the “face of piety” when the need arises. Still, the question is this: Have they committed to a “covenant” with Jesus Christ, as their Lord and Savior?
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23, emphasis added).
This has to be the saddest passage in the Bible and yet it is enormously evident that many will fall into this category. For lack of a better way to say it, many people have given Jesus Christ “lip service.” Somewhere along the way, they believed in their heart, that they can say the words─a verbal profession only and that should be enough. The Bible calls them fools! They haven’t come to the knowledge that Jesus Christ (God) knows every thought, every idea, every intent of their heart. Nothing is hidden from HIM!!
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 3:14-22, emphasis added).
Sometimes it is very painful to read the Word of God because HE knows us inside and out; there is nothing in us HE does not already know! It is NEVER enough to simply declare that we are born-again, there must be PROOF that Jesus Christ does indeed shine through our lives, every day, every hour and in every way! One may wonder why we must meet HIS expectations and why would HE set the bar so very high? It is already painfully evident, that we could never attain the goals in life, as HE has set down for us. IF that is the case, why should we even attempt to do so, if all we will do is fail? The answer is in the words of John the Baptist:
“Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:28-36, emphasis added.)
In the previous passage from the Word of God, the words, “He must increase, but I must decrease” explains everything to the most minute detail. If you are truly born-again, if you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, IF your intent is to live and have eternal Life, there MUST be proof! It will be most evident when the Lord God Almighty is given glory and YOU are no where to be found!
Too many are living life in their own strength, in their own way, according to their own rules and NOT those of Jesus Christ! And then they wonder why, they fail miserably at every turn and they will soon wonder why, they were NOT taken in the Rapture of the church of Jesus Christ: LIP SERVICE! It doesn’t work with Jesus Christ and it never will!
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” There is a simple solution to being truly “saved” or NOT truly “saved” and this is according to the Word of God. Please note the verses above. There are three parts to this passage and it is important to understand them.
(1) (a)He that believeth on the Son…..(b)hath everlasting life. Do you see how this is broken up in (a) and then (b)? (a) your action, (b) your answer! Now lets go to the next part (2) (a) and he that believeth NOT the Son (b)shall NOT see life. (a) your action or lack there of, (b) your answer! That’s about as simple as it gets, don’t you think? (3) (a) but the wrath of God abideth on him. Note here please, there is no action by you, just a simple end result, for YOUR lack of belief. I like to think of in the old southern way, “Is you is or is you ain’t” and that makes it truly simple to understand.
Now you may be reading this and getting angry and that is truly alright with me! Being angry at me for saying these things will get you no where real quick. The question is, how does Jesus Christ THINK of you?! Are you so busy going to church, singing in the choir and being a deacon and then looking all pious the whole time so YOU “look good?”Or are you so HUMBLED by the Lord that you realize this is your easiest of duties to please the Lord? Does Jesus Christ shine through YOU? If everyone is able to see you, then you haven’t accomplished a single thing and it might be of some real importance to you, to re-evaluate your relationship with Jesus Christ.
How better to say this, than to say, Jesus Christ MUST be your all in all, in everything you do or say and it MUST be from your heart, with all your strength, with all your might and with all your spirit! There is NO other way! This is why, reading and studying your Bible is so crucial. You’ll never KNOW what is expected of you, IF no one ever tells you!! Whom better to tell you, how to be saved and saved to Jesus Christ…FOR SURE…than Jesus Christ HIMSELF?!
It says in John 1.1-4, emphasis added:“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”
Jesus Christ is GOD! Let there be NO mistake in this — anything else and YOU will NOT see heaven!
John 14.6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me!!”
Jesus Christ…IS…all things…to everyone!