A False Reputation

Revelation 3:1b-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.”

Now, this was written to the church in Sardis, and I believe this can be taken more than one way without straying from the original intent. But today I believe the Lord would have me focus particularly on the idea of having a reputation of being alive spiritually, but in fact, you are dead spiritually. For you profess to know the Lord, and you may even put on a show of righteousness to impress others, but the reality of the situation is that you are spiritually dead because sin is what you practice, and righteousness and walks of obedience to the Lord are not what you practice.

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7 ESV)

Now, there are many people claiming to be Christians who are saying that they are believers in Jesus Christ, yet they are still walking in sin. Sin is still their practice. But they are convinced that a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ once in their lives is enough to secure them salvation of all sin and heaven as their eternal destiny. The problem with that theory, though, is that it does not match what the Scriptures teach, if we read them in their context and not out of context.

Therefore, if we claim to be in fellowship with the Lord while we continue in sin, in practice, then we are liars who do not practice the truth. For we cannot walk in sin and walk in righteousness at the same time, for that is like trying to go east and to go west at the same time. But they are in opposite directions. But this is not saying that we will never sin or that we will be absolutely perfect (1 John 2:1-2). This really comes down to what we practice, what are our habits, what we go back to over and over again deliberately with the full intent of doing what we know is either wrong or right. Is sin what we practice? Or is obedience to our Lord our practice?

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21-23)

Now these are Jesus’ words here. And he is letting us know that lip service only to him is not enough to secure us salvation from sin and eternal life with God. Only the ones DOING the will of God the Father, in practice, will enter the kingdom of heaven. So, it doesn’t matter what our lips profess if by our actions we deny the one we profess to know and to serve. For it is not enough to just claim to believe in Jesus, but we must walk in accord with his Spirit and no longer according to the flesh.

And there are going to be many people who now profess Jesus as Lord who are going to stand before Jesus one day still professing him as Lord, but he is going to tell them that he never knew them, and that they are to depart from him because they are workers of lawlessness. For they are the disobedient, not the obedient. And the reason he does not know them is because they do not obey him, and so, in reality, they do not know him. And when they claim that they do, they are liars (see 1 John 2:3-6).

So, what is the solution to all of this? If this is where you are, professing faith in Jesus Christ, making a reputation for yourself as being a follower of Jesus Christ while you continue in deliberate and habitual sin, and not in walks of obedience to the Lord, then you need to repent of your sin, and you need to do a turnabout. And you need to be honest, and stop lying, and you need to stop walking in sin, but now you must walk (in conduct, in practice) in obedience to the Lord, in holiness and in righteousness, by God’s grace.

And what I am sharing with you here is not my own thinking. What I am sharing with you here is what the Scriptures teach. And they DO NOT teach that we can profess faith in Jesus Christ once in our lives and now we are guaranteed heaven when we die. What they teach is that we must walk (in conduct, in practice) in obedience to our Lord and in walks of holiness and righteousness, and that we must continue steadfast in these walks of faith unto the very end if we want to have eternal life with God.

So, don’t stake your salvation on a one-time in your life profession of faith in Jesus Christ which you think guarantees you forgiveness of all sin and heaven as your eternal destiny. Read the Scriptures in their full context prayerfully, seeking God’s face, and you will see that if we want to be sure of our salvation and eternal life with God, we must walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, and in walks of obedience to our Lord, and not in habitual and deliberate sin.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Broken Cord

An Original Work / August 29, 2018

Your bond is broken with your Lord and Savior
And your testimony is separate from Him.
Your words not matching your actions today.
Repent of your sin and bow down and pray.
Live what you testify in truth always.

Purity’s lacking in your life and witness,
For you profess one thing, but other you do.
Not moral, spiritual. Still of the flesh.
Not living in truth to what you confess.
Lying about it puts you in a mess.

Living a lie is your practice, ‘tis true of you.
Masquerade righteousness – none of it true.
Your heart is not given to your Lord God.
Because of how you live, you are a fraud.
Turn from your sin and give your life to God.

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