Follow the Truth, Not the Lies

Philippians 3:17 ESV

“Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.”

Be very careful who you imitate. Paul had an excellent reputation of being a godly man who followed Jesus Christ with his life in purity of devotion to him. He did not teach what he was not living. He was no hypocrite. So whatever he counseled us to do, he was already living that. There was no pretense with him. So, he could say with all honesty that other Christians could imitate (copy) him in truth. He served as a model to them.

But not everyone who professes faith in Jesus models for us how we should live as followers of Christ. There are many bad examples out there, including those who profess to be pastors and elders of church congregations who are the ones who should be leading us in the way that we should go by what they teach and practice. And I am not saying that they must be absolutely perfect, but they should live what they preach, in practice.

At least here in America, there are many worldly people professing faith in Jesus Christ, including many pastors and elders. And so they are not setting forth godly examples for their people to follow, and they are usually not teaching the truth of the gospel, either, but they are teaching a diluted gospel message which is a blend of truth and lies together, which is very deceptive. So we need to be people who test what we see and hear.

Philippians 3:18-19 ESV

“For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.”

Sadly this is very true and it appears to describe the majority of professing Christians here in America these days. So many professing Christians are living much like the ungodly of this world. Some of them are living worse lives than those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ, for so many are engaged in sexual immorality, lying, cheating, manipulating, trickery, deception, worldliness, adultery, unfaithfulness, and godlessness, etc.

Largely I believe this stems from the fact that the true gospel of Christ is not being taught much here in America anymore, but it has largely been replaced by a cheap grace gospel which requires no death to sin and no living to God and to his righteousness. It requires no repentance and no obedience to Christ and to his commands. But it gives its adherents freedom to keep on in their deliberate and habitual sin without guilt.

For what they are teaching is that we can just profess faith in Christ and then we have forgiveness of all sins, all the promises of God, and the guarantee of heaven when we die, regardless of how we live on this earth. Even if they do teach confession of sin it is nothing more than a mere acknowledgment of sin but it is not a turning away from sin to follow Jesus in obedience. It is not dying to sin and living to righteousness.

Philippians 3:20-21; 4:1 ESV

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

“Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.”

Not everyone is going to heaven when they die, not even all who profess faith in Jesus Christ. For we must be crucified with Christ in sin, and we must be raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And then we must walk in holiness and righteousness in obedience to our Lord’s commands and no longer in habitual and deliberate sin, or heaven is not our destiny.

And then we must daily die to sin and to self and walk in obedience to our Lord, and we must continue in those walks of faith in the Lord Jesus until the very end or we don’t have eternal life with God. If you strayed from the Lord for a short time but then you returned to him, then you must continue in him steadfast in spirit to the end, for not everyone professing Christ as Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but only those obeying the will of God (Matthew 7:21-23).

So, the Scriptures teach us that God’s grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we await our Lord’s return. For Jesus Christ gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Titus 2:11-14; Ephesians 2:10).

[Jn 8:31-32,51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 11:17-24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 5:9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:1-5; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Jas 1:21-25; Eph 4:17-24]

How Beautiful Heaven Must Be

Songwriters: Cordelia J. Whiteside Bridgewater, 1920 / Andy Pickens Bland

We read of a place that’s called heaven,
It’s made for the pure and the free;
These truths in God’s word He has given,
How beautiful heaven must be.

In heaven no drooping nor pining,
No wishing for elsewhere to be;
God’s light is forever, there shining,
How beautiful heaven must be.

The angels so sweetly are singing,
Up there by the beautiful sea;
Sweet chords from their gold harps are ringing,
How beautiful heaven must be.

How beautiful heaven must be
Sweet home of the happy and free;
Fair haven of rest for the weary,
How beautiful heaven must be

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