Shocking Statements for Dying and Dead Disciples!
The Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles often uttered words of warning to wake up those who are spiritually asleep or to shock those who are complacent. Many assume that life in Christ is to be peaceful, quiet, and undisturbedand there is an element of truth in this, for we are to live with a peace of heart. Others assure us that we are saved by grace, thus there is no need to be actively involved in the work of God. And surely the majority of those professing Christianity simply are drifting, hoping that their nominal, comfortable, uninvolved lives will get them to heaven! All of these compromises show how deceived contemporary Christianity is in our day!
Do we find ourselves influenced by the majority of those professing to be Christians today? Do we go through the motions, without a heart that is burning for the Lord, that hates sin, and that is devoting all available time, effort, money, and possessions to the work of the Lord? Are we deceived by a false and counterfeit Christianity that little resembles the radical lifestyle that Christ demanded? Lets look at some of the shocking statements found in Scripture. The Bible says, Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! (2 Corinthians 13:5). Let us pray that God will shake us from our apathy and awake us from our spiritual slumber!
The Self-indulgent and Self-centered cannot be Saved!
The very essence of coming to Christ for salvation is denying yourself and trusting in God to save you through Jesus Christ. We cannot repent of our sins, humble ourselves before God and His will, and live a disciplined life of love, if we do not deny ourselves. Jesus stated plainly, If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospels will save it (Mark8:34-35). Have you truly come to Christ, have you denied yourself, and do you truly follow Him? Do you attempt to save your life or are you willing to lose your life for the Savior? Only those who live a life of personal, consistent self-denial will receive eternal life!
Those who Love the World will Not have Eternal Life!
John warned his readers: Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust [desire] of the flesh and the lust [desire] of the eyes and the boastful pride of life [the boasting of what he has and does, NIV], is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:15, 17). When I first read this passage, it shocked me deeply and radically changed my own life! If you love the world, you cannot truly love God! Only those who turn from the world, have a living love for God, and do His will rather than their own will, will live forever with Him!
The Lukewarm Christian will be Rejected!
The Lord Jesus warned apathetic Christians with these words: I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. . . . Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent (Revelation 3:15,16,19). Are you lukewarm in your commitment? Are you complacent in your life? If so, Jesus says that He must reject you. He calls on you to be zealous and repent of this lethargic, indifferent attitude and begin to live fully for the Lord Jesus and His will!
Those who Deliberately Sin will be Judged by the Living God!
We take sin far too casually! Many Christians are careless in their response to the will of God revealed in the Bible. They knowingly do what God forbids, they knowingly fail to do what God commands, and they do not repent of this deliberate disobedience. Yet Scripture warns: If we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. . . . It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:26, 27, 31). This warning, given to Christians and not non-Christians (vv. 19, 23, 32), shows the deadly result of deliberately, knowingly, purposely sinning against God and refusing to repent, confess, or forsake the sin (cf. 1 John 1:9)!
Those who Deal Casually with Sin will be Sent to Hell!
Many cannot imagine that Jesus actually said what He said. They think that His words were too radical, too shocking, too bold for a Savior who is the Prince of peace. But Jesus did say what the Bible says. Christ solemnly warned, If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell (Matthew 5:29). Granted, Jesus used symbolic language here, but He used it to make a pointthat we must deal decisively with sin in our life. We must tear sin from our life rather than be overpowered by it; otherwise, we will have our part in the fire of hell!
Those on the Wide and Popular Pathway will be Destroyed!
In a very vivid way, Jesus portrayed the two paths that everyone on earth travels. He declared, Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:13-14). Those on the broad way will be destroyed, while those on the narrow way will find eternal life. Notice that many are on the broad way and few on the narrow way. Have you begun to walk the narrow way of self-denial, of personal sacrifice and of discipleship, but concluded that this is too hard, too radical, too different from the way of your friends? Be assured of this, that only those who enter the narrow gate and walk the narrow way of self-denial, discipleship, and faith in Christ will receive eternal life!
Those who Fail to Love Christ Supremely Cannot be Saved!
The Bible says that we are to love our father and mother, our son or daughter, our husband or wife, as well as fellow-Christians. But have you failed to have an all-consuming love for God? Do you love Him with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30)? Jesus said that our love for others must be secondary: 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 (Matthew 10:37). If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple (Luke 14:26). What did Jesus mean? Our love for God and our love for the Lord Jesus must be so intense, so passionate, so all consuming, that all other loves must be like hatred in comparison. If you ever need to choose between God and any human being, you must choose God because you earnestly love Him (cf. Acts 5:29)! In fact, we must place God higher than our own lives! Apart from this love, we cannot be saved (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:22)!
Those who Indulge the Flesh will Not Enter the Kingdom of God
Paul forewarned certain Christians that those who indulge in the deeds of the flesh, such as immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, anger, envying, carousing, and other sins will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21; cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Do we refuse to put to death the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13) so that we might have life? Do we take sin lightly, refusing to acknowledge that such unrepentant sin will keep us from Gods kingdom and eternal life?
Those who Refuse to Suffer for Christ cannot be Saved!
The way of Christ is a way of suffering! Jesus said, In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Paul also warned, Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). He also said, All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). Unless we are living the kind of life that brings suffering, tribulation, and persecution, we will not enter the kingdom of God! A true Christian will suffer for Christ!
Those who Indulge the Body will be Disqualified!
We often live comfortable and complacent lives, seeking peace at any price, seeking the easy life of self-indulgence. In contrast, Paul said of himself, I beat my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27). Are you willing to make your body your slave? Or do you indulge the flesh by pampering your body, pleasing your body, and obeying its every wish? Paul says that we must beat our body into submission if we would not be disqualified from the race of life!
Do these plain statements of Gods Word touch your heart? Do they speak to you and are you determined to apply Christs radical demands to your own life? On the other hand, do you react and rebel against them, considering them unfair or too drastic? We simply offer these passages as a sample of dozens of other scriptures that warn of the danger to Christians of succumbing to the compromising world around them and the propensity of their own flesh. Please take them seriously, for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). Are you and I prepared for the Judgment to come?