If you were blind, would you know it? By Alan Ballou
Is it possible that a well-meaning, church attending Christian could be headed for the fire without knowing it? According to Luke 13:24-28 below, Jesus said that it’s going to happen to many, who seek to enter the Kingdom.
Luke 13:24-29 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 26 then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. NKJV
That passage tells me that out of all the people who seek to enter the Kingdom, many of them will not make it. They are workers of iniquity (sin), and they did not “come to know Jesus.” Knowing the terror of the Lord, I try to persuade men (2 Corinthians 5:11).
Do the following scriptures suggest that it is possible for brother to wander away from the truth?
James 5:19-20 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. NKJV
It says, “If anyone wanders from the truth” (verse 19 above). What is truth, and shouldn’t all Christians know if they wander away from it? First of all, know that the Word itself is truth.
John 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. NKJV
Jesus prayed for His disciples that they would be sanctified by the truth, which He identifies as God’s Word. Actually, Jesus always spoke what God wanted Him to speak (John 12:49), and He requires His disciples to speak in accordance with the truth also (Matthew 12:33-37, 7:15-20, 1 Corinthians, Romans 10:6-8).
So, how can the average Christian check to see if they had wandered from the truth? We test what we have come to believe by measuring it against the Word of God (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Let’s take a look at the doctrine of abiding (remaining) in Jesus Christ. Every Christian should know the doctrine of abiding in Jesus Christ since none of us would be able to do anything without abiding in Him according to John 15:4-5 below.
John 15:4-5 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. NKJV
If you are a believer, then you would agree that apart from abiding in Jesus, you cannot bear fruit (verse 4 above), or anything else spiritually (verse 5 above).
If you have been a Christian for years and you lead others, answer this question. How do we abide in Jesus? Please write your answer down, and then open your Bible to John 15:10 to see if you have wandered from the truth.
Think about this. If you are not abiding in Christ, and haven’t been for years, then you are operating in the flesh (apart from Me you can do nothing, John 15:4-5 above). No surprise, since millions do. I have found that only disciples of Jesus, make disciples of Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20).
Some denominations actually teach that Christians do not have to do anything after they are saved, except rest in the finished work of Christ. The doctrine of abiding in Jesus says differently. In fact, those who do not abide in Jesus, which is the only way to bear fruit, will burn in the fire.
John 15:6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. NKJV
How important is the doctrine of abiding in Jesus Christ? You may want to stop and check John 15:10 from your Bible, if you have not already, because those who do not abide will not make it. Now, you can see just how easy it will be for someone to believe that they will be walking streets of gold, but in the end they will weep and gnash their teeth in shock.
We’re not even supposed to welcome preachers who do not bring the doctrine of abiding in Jesus Christ. What would have to change in your church, if you lived by faith in the following verses?
2 John 9-11 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. NKJV
If John 15:4-5 is truth, then there are a lot of well-meaning church attending people today, who have wandered from the truth. Not only do they not realize it, but some are willing to fight against anyone who brings it up.
About 10 years ago, I was interrupted while teaching that we had to abide in Christ, to the point that the service was stopped, because they thought that one of the deacons was going to hit me. That’s how upset his was over the scriptures I was teaching. Imagine that.
How do we abide in Jesus Christ according to John 15:10, and 1 John 3:24? If what you read in your Bible does match what you thought, then you too were off course. You don’t have to thank me, but thank the Lord, Who sent a high school dropout, and a man who used to be a homeless drunk to teach you the truth. Praise the Lord my God!
How do we abide in Jesus? For years now, I’ve asked that question, especially when I’m teaching a new group of people. I have never heard the correct answer according to what is written in the Bible of the person who answered. Now, stop and think about that for a minute.
That’s how far we have drifted away from the truth, and when we drift away from the truth, we can neglect the salvation that was given to us (1 Corinthians 15:1-2, Hebrews 2:1-3 below).
Hebrews 2:1-3 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, NKJV
There are even whole denominations today that have doctrinal statements that are against abiding in Christ, because they say it is like trying to earn salvation. We’re not trying to earn our salvation, but we are simply doing what God saved us to do to begin with.
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. NKJV
Get this. God determined when and where we would be born (Acts 17:26), before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), and He prepared good works for us to do beforehand. We were born, and saved to do God’s work!
2 Timothy 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, NKJV
In fact, scripture itself teaches us to be careful to do good works so that we will not be unfruitful. How can anyone proclaim the opposite and say that they are preaching according to God’s Word? They can’t.
Titus 3:14 And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful. NKJV
One preacher asked, “How many good works is enough?” When we are set free from sin by allowing ourselves to become God’s slave, then we will know that we are doing enough.
Romans 6:15-18 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. NKJV
Allow me to warn you according to scripture. You will know Bible teachers by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-20). Just because someone is well-trained by men, and leads thousands of people, it doesn’t mean that they are not blind as a bat when it comes to faith, and when the blind leads the blind, both fall into the ditch (Luke 6:39).
You might ask, “How can someone attend seminary and study the Bible for many years and still be blind?” Simple. They do not take Jesus at His Word, and because of that His Word does not remain in them, and by speaking against the faith, they fall away from it. Therefore, what they may have had once, is taken from them.
John 5:38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. NKJV
1 Timothy 6:20-21 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge – 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. NKJV
Mark 4:24-25 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 25 For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” NKJV
They don’t mention the doctrine of abiding in Jesus and many other scriptures because it doesn’t please the ear of the listeners (2 Timothy 4:2-4). Only the unrighteous suppress the truth (Romans 1:18), and the unrighteous will not make it (1 Corinthians 6:9).
You can recognize them by their fruits, which includes what they say (Matthew 12:33-37) and do (Luke 6:43-49). It is very easy to speak against the verses that we don’t have living in us, and that is one of the reasons why all of these new doctrines are popping up.
One preacher said, “Jesus didn’t say He was finished, but IT is finished!” He preached that in such a way as to mean that Jesus wants us to stop doing anything and everything. However, Jesus is the one Who appointed us to go and bear fruit.
John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. NKJV
Let me put it this way. Read the following verses and ask yourself if you need to “sow to please the Spirit, which is doing something after you are saved?”
Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. NKJV
Who will reap everlasting life according to verse 8 above? Who has eternal salvation according to the following verse?
Hebrews 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, NKJV
How do we abide in Jesus according to John 15:10? How do we come to know Jesus according to 1 John 2:3? Every Christian needs to be able to answer those questions by heart.
If we obeyed Jesus, what would we be doing according to John 13:34-35? How do we love one another according to 1 John 3:16-19? If we learned how to abide in Jesus today, what would we stop doing according to 1 John 3:6?
If you were blind, would you know it? You won’t know until you test what you have come to believe with what is actually written in your Bible. What things “accompany salvation” according to the following verses?
Hebrews 6:9-12 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. 10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. NKJV
If you believe the verses, proclaim them to help turn as many as possible back to the truth (2 Corinthians 4:13). God will see it, and by doing so you will be fruitful (James 5:19-20, John 4:36).
I’m Alan Ballou; a servant. If my wife Lucie, and I may be of service to you, please contact us below. Thank you.