The way we come to know Jesus is by obeying Him (1 John 2:3), putting off our old self, renewing our mind with the truth, and putting on the new man (Ephesians 4:20-24). Contrary to popular belief, the Christian life is not about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but about obeying Jesus.
John 15:13-14 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. NKJV
Did Jesus lay down His life to be our friend, or so that we could obey Him? Does “While we were still sinners Christ died for us” mean that Jesus is our friend even if we do not obey Him? Nope! Jesus died so that we could live, but that doesn’t mean “so that we could live like we were living.” We’ve got to change.
Matthew 16:24-26 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? NKJV
Do those verses suggest that Jesus was more interested in having a relationship with someone He died for, or having His disciples do what they needed to do in order to have life in the end? Disciples are Christians (Acts 11:26), so this is speaking to us.
If we do not have verses like the ones above living in us, then our interpretation of “Go have a personal relationship with Jesus” can be a long way from the truth. That’s why we should not only preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:1-4), but we should be speaking the Word in our everyday conversations (Romans 10:6-8, 2 Corinthians 4:13).
Who can say that a Christian will have eternal life even if he does not deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Jesus? No one should because it is not true, but they do it every day.
John 10:26-28 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. NKJV
The sheep that Jesus was referring to when He said they shall never perish, and no one can snatch them out of My hand, are the sheep that hear His voice, and follow Him (verse 27 above). If we are not among the group of sheep that hear His voice, and follow Him, then we are not included in that promise.
However, that doesn’t stop well-meaning people from quoting verse 28 (above) to those who are not qualified to receive it. Its deception, and it comes through unsuspecting people, who are filled with worldly love, which scorns correction. Those who hate correction will die (Proverbs 15:10).
Those who follow the truth do not put up with a different Gospel (2 Corinthians 11:4). Godly sorrow leads to repentance, but worldly sorrow produces death (2 Corinthians 7:10). So, do we take a stand for the truth, and risk losing our relationship with certain people?
Matthew 10:34-39 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. NKJV
Do those verses suggest that Jesus is more interested in making peace with the world, or even what’s going on in our home, more than having us do what He wants us to do? If we have not rejected Jesus’ teaching today, how is it that I can listen to Christian radio any day of the week and hear the exact opposite, even among the well-trained (Luke 10:21)?
Do we hear Jesus’ Words today, or have we followed the ways of the world? We hear some of His Words, but it is obvious that we have rejected many passages of scripture today; the ones that don’t make us feel warm and fuzzy all over. We not only reject parts of Jesus’ message, but we do not support those who mention the whole truth, and consequently, we have chosen whom we will serve (Luke 11:48).
Jesus is not interested in having a dark relationship, with Christians who do not follow His Word (John 6:60-69), but that we should come out of darkness, and the only way to come out of darkness is to obey Jesus. Those who do not obey Jesus will burn in the fire (John 15:4-10).
How can God, Who loved the world so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for all of our sins, turn around and throw the ones who do not obey Him in the fire? That’s the type of question I would expect to hear from someone who is deceived. Does your Bible say “saved if” in 1 Corinthians 15:1-2?
Read that verse and ask yourself which side of the “if” are you on? Is being sanctified (made holy), and obeying Jesus part of the Gospel message that we should be hearing according to Romans 15:14-20, and 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15?
Unsuspecting people who never hear the Gospel, but only philosophy preaching, have no idea that God has not only delivered us from the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13), but He also calls us out of darkness (1 Peter 2:9), and into His Kingdom (1 Thessalonians 2:12). They never hear that we must deny ourselves, and follow Jesus out of darkness (John 8:12), or we will lose our life (Matthew 16:24-25, John 12:25-26).
John 12:25-26 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. NKJV
God sent Jesus to be the light that we should follow out of darkness; not the light so that we could remain in darkness.
John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” NKJV
God has absolutely no fellowship with darkness, and neither should His followers (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1). If we say that we have fellowship with God, and walk in darkness, we lie.
1 John 1:5-7 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. NKJV
So, when you hear someone say, “God told me to be a friend of the world.” Your lie detector should be blinking red!
James 4:4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. NKJV
The person who says that God told them to be a friend of this world is not hearing from God, but a deceiving spirit, which many are following this day and age.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, NKJV
If the Holy Spirit has poured God’s love onto our hearts, that alone will make us stop loving this world.
1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. NKJV
Grace itself teaches us to deny ungodliness, and worldly passions (lust).
Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, NKJV
Can we be full of God’s love and grace and still be in love with the things of this world? That’s not even a remote possibility. Therefore, after being filled with God’s love and grace, we have to choose to go back to the world’s ways in order to be controlled by the world again (2 Peter 2:20-22, Romans 6:15-18).
Get this because you will not hear it anywhere else in the Bible belt today. We cannot be in the flesh and have the Spirit of God dwelling in us at the same time, point, blank, period.
Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. NKJV
Read that verse about a thousand times until you realize that the Spirit of God is not the one who is telling you that even a little bit of sin is okay. When He pours God’s love into your heart, and you receive an abundance of God’s grace, you will not follow the ways of this world, or love this world. We need more grace! Oh Lord have mercy on us.
Yes, we can repent, but does that mean that we are saved even if we do not repent (Hebrews 6:4-6)? Was the prodigal son dead while he was away, and “alive again” after he returned (Luke 15:32)? Is the condition of being lost, the same as being found? Can we be lost and found at the same time?
There is sin that leads to death (1 John 5:16-18), if we continue in it (Galatians 5:19-20, Ephesians 5:3-7, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). So, either we are continuing in it, or we are not. It’s either one or the other.
Jesus came to take away our sins, but what does that mean? Does that mean we have the forgiveness to keep sinning, or that we should stop sinning? God is with the contrite; those who have a godly sorrow for sin, with a determination not to sin again (Isaiah 57:15, 66:2), but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil (Psalm 34:16, 1 Peter 3:12).
1 John 3:5-10 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. 10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. NKJV
Can anyone who continues in sin say that they know Jesus according to verse 6 above? Will anyone who has a determination to stop sinning, mind hearing those verses? Who will never want to hear those verses (2 Timothy 4:2-4)? By their fruits you will recognize them (Matthew 7:16, 20).
You see, at some point in time, Christians have allowed the wrong message to slip in and take over. Go have a personal relationship with Jesus is not written in the Bible, although I do expect it to be in some of the newer versions very soon. Why?
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. NKJV
Those so-called advances in the Greek language today, that is birthing all of these new Bibles, are not advances in the Greek. No, we have avoided the truth for so long that the truth has been taken from us (Mark 4:24-25), and all who take pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned (verse 12 above).
2 Thessalonians 2:13-15 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. NKJV
Salvation is through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief in the truth (verse 13 above). All of the newer Bibles have reworded verses like these in an attempt to make being saved the same as salvation. Either way, we must be sanctified by the Spirit, and we must believe the truth, and notice that this is a part of the Gospel that all of us should be hearing (verse 14 above), and keeping in memory (1 Corinthians 15:1-2).
We are not guaranteed an inheritance until after we hear the Gospel, and believe it (Ephesians 1:13-14 below ). Being saved into the Kingdom of Christ, only qualifies us to inherit the Kingdom of God according to Colossians 1:12, but no one is preaching that today. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly possible for a person to attend church all their life today and not have any inheritance in the Kingdom of God.
Today, we’re only getting people saved (Romans 10:9). Very few, less than 5%, are preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom (Mark 1:14-15, Matthew 24:14), or repentance (Luke 24:46-47, Acts 17:30), or deeds that are in line with repentance (Luke 3:8-9, Acts 26:20, 20:21, John 15:4-6).
Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. NKJV
Go be a friend of the world all you want to, and teach what you want to teach, but know that whoever abides in Jesus, does not sin (1 John 3:6, above), and we abide in Jesus by obeying Him (John 15:10). Therefore, I’m going to continue to teach people to obey Jesus for as long as the Lord allows me to live. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord in accordance with His Word regardless if we are the only ones left.
Those who wander from the way of understanding, shall find rest in the congregation of the dead (Proverbs 21:16). In a place full of dead people, it’s all about how you feel.
Once this Gospel of the Kingdom, that I am committed to preaching, makes it to every nation, then the end will come (Matthew 24:14), and the time of the gentiles will be over (Romans 11:25). My friend, we are very close to the lawless one being revealed (2Thessalonians 2:3-4), and if the truth is not living in you, then you will be tricked by his signs and wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
I’m Alan Ballou; a servant. If you have any questions for me, ask.