Saturday, January 17, 2015
This began as a journal entry, and I thought "Why not blog it?" So here I am.
I just read Matthew 7. I encourage you to read it. It is so intense! The reality of what Jesus said... should we not tremble? If our faith is securely planted on the "bedrock" He speaks of, so wonderful! But what of others? What of your aunt, friend, coworker or child? They are destined for eternal separation from God! How can we discuss trivial things day after day, and totally dismiss the urgency of the gospel?
Knowing that "the gateway to life is very narrow," ought we not to be absolutely certain this message we preach, this gospel we present, is more than a simple prayer uttered for the alleviation of guilt or fear? Are we truly leading people to the narrow gate, or are they merely walking to and peering through it? I am fearful for the many that I see whose lives do not testify to the heart change they claim. Whose "tree," as referenced in Matthew 7:20, does not produce fruit.
As for me, personally, how much do I condone by silence? How much responsibility do I forsake by giving silent approval? There is some part of what I condone by silence that I am personally responsible for, and I am genuinely concerned for that part I play, for I will be judged for it.
Let me clarify that in saying all of the above I am not suggesting in any way that we gain salvation through "works." The moment we believe that is the moment we forsake the grace and peace of the work of the gospel in our hearts and lives.
But as in the words of Paul "Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound? Certainly not!"
But more than in the act of attempting to abuse the cross of Christ, consider the dangerous results/possibilities of such an attempt!
True heart change leads to true life change. If a life is not changed; if the passions, desires, actions, words, and pursuits show no alteration of course congruent with the proclamation of Christ as Lord, I begin to wonder at the sincerity and truth of the proclamation. Would Christ look at me--or you--and say "There is she/he that follows Me. They are my disciple"?
Think of it this way: If a person was slowly dying due to heart failure, and received a heart transplant, would we consider the operation a success if the patient did not show signs of life/improvement?
Would we consider it hope for success if he died? Of course not!
So it is with a spiritual change of heart. It will take time and healing and determination for every symptom of the effects of the old heart to diminish, and some may never go away entirely, but you would expect and seek consistent rehabilitation of functions, and lay the foundation for new habits, would you not?
I simply ask that we make an honest evaluation of our own hearts, and the way in which we present (or condone the presentation of) the gospel. It is so vital. So important!
"Not everyone who calls out to Me 'Lord! Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven."
"Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves."
Please, my friends, this is not something we can afford to get wrong. I want to spend forever with you and Jesus!