Colossians 4:2-4 ESV
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.”
The Back Door
The Lord wants me to apply this passage to our present-day situation regarding an open door for the word, and regarding the messengers of the gospel in prison, some physically, and some imprisoned more metaphorically speaking with regard to the opposition with which they are being faced.
The church at large, at least here in America, has embraced a diluted gospel, created in the minds of humans, intended to appeal to the people of the world and to the immature and self-indulgent. This diluted gospel makes no demands for death to sin or living to righteousness or submission to Christ.
It also has no moral boundaries, no guards put up to keep people from falling into sin, and so they are easy prey for falling to their deaths. For, it teaches a gospel which merely requires an acknowledgment or a profession of Christ as Savior, and then it guarantees them heaven as their eternal destiny regardless of how they live their lives on the earth.
The “door” they are presenting for the gospel is not the front door, by way of the cross of Christ and us dying with him to sin and living to his righteousness, but it is a back door to wolves in sheep’s clothing and to liars and deceivers who are of Satan and whose goal it is to destroy, not to save.
The “door” they are presenting, thus, is a lie, although it is masked and disguised to look like the true gospel. And many naïve, foolish, immature, irresponsible and self-indulgent people are flocking to it, because it appeases their flesh, and it gives them an out for their sinful practices.
Therefore, the door that they keep opening, even though the Lord and his messengers are at work to close it, is a door to hell, and it is danger lurking ready to captivate people and to catch them in their traps. It is a door leading to all manner of evil and lack of conscience and to no repentance.
God is deeply concerned, and so are those who are teaching his true gospel message, that so many people are falling for these liars and deceivers and that they are headed to hell on the promise of heaven as their eternal destiny. And that is why we are proclaiming the truth so passionately.
The Front Door
Jesus Christ is the door to salvation from sin and to eternal life with God. But his gospel message is not what is predominantly being taught today in the church and on the internet. The diluted half-truth cheap grace gospel is what is largely being taught, and the truth is being snuffed out.
And the sad reality of it all is that hardly anyone cares that this is taking place. Many don’t even know that the truth has been replaced with a lie and that the truth is now being called the lie. Or, if they do know, they don’t care, for they are busy with their own lives doing what they do.
The flesh-driven church definitely is not concerned that the gospel taught by Jesus and by Paul and the other apostles is generally missing within the gatherings of the large majority of today’s “church.” For, it is literally being pushed out the door in favor of the replacement gospel which appeases the flesh, and which makes no demands for repentance or obedience to God.
What is also missing in these gatherings of the church is purity, truth, morality, honoring of Jesus as Lord, holiness, righteousness, integrity, the Holy Spirit, the fear of God, and accountability. All of that is being devoured by these wolves in sheep’s clothing who are teaching a false grace gospel which gives free license for its adherents to continue in sin guilt free.
“But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:20-24).
Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Lu 9:23-25)
For, “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin” (Rom 6:6-7).
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness” (Rom 6:12-13).
“What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Rom 6:15-16)
“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom 8:12-14).
So, please understand what these Scriptures are teaching. They are not teaching that we can make a confession of Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives and then live however we want to live, and that heaven will be awaiting us when we die. That is a lie straight from hell!
The Scriptures are very clear. Our salvation from sin is not a one-time event which takes place in our lives which secures us heaven. Our salvation from sin is a process of a lifetime, and we must walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh in order to attain it.
For, if we make sin our practice, and we hold on to our old lives of living for sin and self, and we continue living in sin, heaven is not our eternal destiny. Hell is. For, we will die in our sins. We will not inherit eternal life. But if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live.
[Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10]
The Lord’s My Shepherd
Lyrics by Francis Rous (1579-1659)
Music by Jessie Seymour Irvine (1836-1887)
The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want;
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; He leadeth me
The quiet waters by.
My soul He doth restore again,
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
E’en for His own name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill;
For Thou art with me, and Thy rod
And staff me comfort still.
My table Thou hast furnished
In presence of my foes;
My head Thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.
Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me,
And in God’s house forevermore
My dwelling-place shall be.
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