Revelation 3:1-3 ESV
“I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.”
I read this quote from A. W. Tozer today on social media:
“It is my opinion that tens of thousands of people, if not millions, have been brought into some kind of religious experience by ‘accepting’ Christ, and they have not been saved. If your Christian conversion did not reverse the direction of your life, if it did not transform it then you are not converted at all. You are simply a victim of the ‘accept Jesus’ heresy!”
– A.W. Tozer
Many people today are professing faith in Jesus Christ, but they don’t really know Jesus, for they never died with him to sin, and they never lived to him and to his righteousness. They just prayed a prayer to “receive Christ,” but it never went anywhere, or they merely accepted Jesus’ forgiveness for their sins, but they skipped over the part where they are to repent of their sins.
They want the resurrection without the cross, basically. They want the promises of forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God without having to die with Christ to sin or having to live to him and to his righteousness. They don’t want to revere him, obey him, or leave their sins behind them. They just want him to forgive them, so heaven is secured them when they die.
Now, not everyone takes it to that extreme, but many do. There are many people today professing faith in Jesus Christ who blatantly say that they don’t have to obey the Lord or repent of their sins or revere him as Lord (owner-master) of their lives. They say Jesus does it all and that nothing is required of them other than to “believe.” But even the demons believe.
Others will see the word “repentance” as merely a change of mind from disbelief to belief in Jesus, but they will not see it as a necessary element of their faith which requires that we forsake our former lives of living to sin and to self and that we now walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands in humble submission to him as Lord because we love him.
Many people are separating their spiritual lives from their secular lives as though they can live two separate existences in one body, and as though one does not impact or affect the other. They see their salvation from sin as separate from how they live their lives day by day. For many are convinced God no longer sees when they sin but that all he sees is Jesus.
But Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And he shed his blood for us to redeem us (to buy us back for God) so we would now honor God with our lives (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Co 6:19-20).
And Jesus said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For, if we hold on to our old lives of living for sin and self we will lose them for eternity. But if we die with Christ to sin and to self, and we live to Christ and to his righteousness, in his power, we have life in Christ (Lu 9:23-26).
For genuine faith in Jesus Christ involves us being crucified with Christ in death to sin and us being no longer enslaved to sin but us now becoming slaves of God and of his righteousness. Now we walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to our flesh, but now according to the Spirit. For, Jesus is our Lord (owner-master), and our lives now belong to him.
But, if we refuse to die with him to sin and to live to him and to his righteousness, thinking we don’t have to, the Scriptures teach we will die in our sins. We will not inherit eternal life with God. For, if we live to the flesh, making sin our practice, and righteousness is not our practice, we will die without Christ, and heaven is not our eternal destiny.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
Revelation 3:4-6 ESV
“Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
The Scriptures teach: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matt 7:13-14).
The majority of people are taking the broad road that leads to destruction because they refuse to bow the knee to Jesus Christ and to submit to his Lordship over their lives. They want to hold on to their sinful practices, and so they continue living in sin. They may profess Jesus as Lord, but it is lip service only, for they will not surrender their lives over to him.
So, those who are not living in sin, who are not making sin their practice, but who are making righteousness their practice, are few in numbers. We are in the minority, not the majority. We will walk with Jesus in white (purity, righteousness). For all who live in victory over sin, by God’s grace, in the power and strength of God’s Spirit, have eternal life with God.
So, please listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Please read the word of God chapter by chapter and verse by verse, in context, so that you know what the Scriptures teach regarding our salvation from sin and eternal life with God. For many “wolves in sheep’s clothing” are out there teaching that you can continue living in sin and still have eternal life with God.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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