#199 FAITH WITHOUT WORK IS DEAD, MARK 16:16
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned, MAR 16:16.
These are the words of our Saviour, and they seem to conclude the ministry of our Saviour according to the gospel of Mark as we see in MAR 16:19, "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God."
Stop and ponder that the conclusion of our Saviours whole ministry is found in the words of our text, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned," MAR 16:16. We must see the importance of the issue of believing. See the emphasis Jesus placed on this essential element, the grace of all graces. It is saving faith. Our text teaches us that faith is the principle saving grace, and unbelief the chief damning sin, "...he that believeth not shall be damned."
Our text clearly teaches that true saving faith is indispensable. One may, or may not be baptized without a direct consequence to salvation, but not so with true saving faith. To remain in unbelief is to live without God or any hope for eternity. Now consider this issue that is all important. We know that where ever the Lord builds a church, the devil builds a castle. For every truth that has any significance or importance, Satan has his counterfeit. What would Satan be more eager to counterfeit than saving faith? Then men would go on living in a delusion supposing they have salvation when they do not.
Believing, having faith in Jesus Christ, may not be a saving faith. See what Jesus said to the many broad road believers in MAT 7:21-23, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [They all died believing they had salvation in Jesus! But how did He respond to them?] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
So it is most important that we deal with this issue. We must resolve the question, "What is saving faith?" We can remain in unbelief even while we think we are doing God service, living without God or any hope for eternity because we are not serving Him in His ordained way! EPH 2:12 tells us, "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world." Notice the part about having no hope.
Without saving faith we are without hope. Now we must understand what is saving faith. It is such an important issue. Dont forget that Satan goes out as an angel of light to deceive even the very elect. 2CO 11:14 says, "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." Those ministers of righteousness go out to teach a saving faith that is counterfeit.
Now beloved, if believing with a true saving faith is so essential to salvation, and unbelief so fatal as to be a damning sin, then the most urgent question remains! What is it to believe in Christ with a saving faith? We must deal honestly with ourselves in this most urgent question so we are not deceived in this matter. We certainly do not want to proceed on a presumption.
If we realize the importance of saving faith, we may well understand why Satan makes himself so busy to deceive souls on this issue. It is a matter of salvation or damnation. The Lord Jesus says, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." If Satan can deceive us into thinking we believe and thinking we have salvation, but it is a delusion, he knows we will be damned because it is unbelief.
Satan could not care less which side of the road we are on, as long as we are in the ditch and not on the road. Satan is not picky; when we are gullible, he will use either one of the two elements necessary for salvation to put us in a ditch. He doesnt care whether we want a religion that will take us to heaven on our works or one that claims salvation by grace. Today many people, millions, are deceived by thinking they merit salvation by works. In the Reformation Luther saw that salvation was by grace, by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ rather than by works. Satan would now tip the scales so far that there is salvation without works. Both philosophies put one into the ditch; one is just as fatal as the other. Satan uses these as false saving faiths.
Satan either wants to deceive men into claiming salvation by works or salvation without works. Now lets see how Scripture deals with this issue. The one side of this principle comes through clearly in ROM 4:2 and 6, "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God." That teaches us that there is no salvation by works. V:6, "Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works." That means we have no merit in our works; we cannot merit salvation by works. That knocks one of Satans philosophies a death blow, i.e., our best works are only acceptable in the righteousness of Christ.
The other side of this principal comes through in JAM 2:20-22 where it is also talking about Abraham being justified by works. "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?"
If we keep the Scriptures in context, they explain themselves. It was faith that was made perfect; it was the doing, the exercise of saving faith. There is no saving faith without the exercise by works. Abraham put Isaac on the altar. That was his works. He didnt sit down and say, "I believe that God will do this, but I cant put Isaac on the altar because he is my salvation." That would have been disobedience.
Abrahams works proved that he trusted God; if it was necessary, God would raise Isaac from the dead. It was by obedience of faith that Abraham was justified. He didnt merit salvation; the works were the evidence of his salvation. The works are our evidence of salvation; it is the exercise of saving faith. JAM 2:17 says, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." You cannot have saving faith without works, but those works are not meritorious for they are the evidence of what we already possess, i.e., a new heart with a love for God. Our actions establish what is in our heart. That is how works justify. Works are the evidence or the exercise of saving faith.
The prodigal did not receive the fathers kiss nor ring while he still remained in rebellion against him! He had to put his faith into action; he arose and went to his father and told him he had sinned. Do you see that the act of doing this showed his change of heart? It was apparent by his conduct. That is where we see saving faith. The prodigal son could not be saved, he could not entertain the kisses or the ring of his father as long as he was walking in rebellion. He had to return to his father. Not only did he confess his sin, he turned away from it.
A heart filled with the rebellion that was born in the Garden of Eden cannot believe to the saving of the soul until that rebellion is broken. LUK 13:2-3 says, "And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
The gospel of our Saviour clearly places repentance before faith. Do you claim saving faith while still walking in rebellion? If so, you are walking under Satans gospel. You have a counterfeit faith. MAR 1:15 says, "And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." It does not tell us to believe first, then repent. We must keep the order straight. The prodigal son repented, he came to himself, i.e., to a change of attitude, then he arose and returned to his father. That is an example of saving faith.
If we claim to believe on Jesus Christ and have never repented, then we are still walking in sin in a counterfeit faith. That is Satans gospel.
True repentance is remorse over, and a turning from sin. It consists in a renewal of our thoughts as well as actions. The very exercise of this repentance is believing. To gain a right understanding of what it is to believe we need to see the original Greek translation of "believe not" in our text. This phrase comes from the Greek word "apisteo" which means "To betray a trust, to be unfaithful, to disbelieve, or to defy the authority of."
ISA 55:7 says, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." Again, take notice of the chronology. See that forsaking an evil way and thoughts take place first. True repentance is not only remorse over sin and turning from it, it is a renewal of the thoughts as well as the actions. It takes a change of heart. Then he can return to the Lord; that takes place secondly. The third happening is the remission of sins, mercy and pardon, and that does not occur until there is a change of ways. We will not continue in sin that grace may abound. Grace abounds to save us from sin. Mercy follows the change of heart.
No one can receive Christ as their Saviour while they reject Him as Lord! Jesus said in MAT 7:21, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." What is salvation? What does it mean to be saved? It means that we become reconciled with God. Can a person claim to be reconciled to God while they walk in rebellion against God? That doesnt even make good sense. Yet today, there are millions who claim that they have faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, but they continue to walk in sin. There is Satans counterfeit saving faith.
Our rebellion must be broken, and we must come under the yoke of Christ before we can claim Him as Saviour! He has not saved us from sin until we come under His yoke. See how Scripture refers to Jesus as "Lord and Saviour," not Saviour and Lord; Scripture places repentance before forgiveness of sin. Referring to Jesus as Lord means we come under His authority, His service or yoke first, then He becomes our Saviour.
ACT 5:31 says, "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince [see the Lordship] and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." Repentance comes before forgiveness, Lord before Saviour. Are we claiming Him as Saviour without knowing Him as Lord? If so, we are under Satans counterfeit saving faith. It is very important to understand this. Until we understand what it is to have our will totally dissolved in the will of God and be saved from sin, we arent saved from anything. Those who are still serving sin have no saving faith.
MAR 1:4 says, "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." Note the word for. Read it again. People are teaching a legal religion today; they are preaching the blood of Christ for pardon outside of repentance. That is Satans gospel. Christ went out to preach repentance for the kingdom of heaven is at hand; He didnt preach pardon first. In other words, He wants us to come under His authority and into His service now; salvation is a by-product of it or rather the consequences of serving Him as Lord.
Now see how the Scriptures confirm this principle, using the same order, in Christs commission to His disciples in LUK 24:47, "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
When the Lord Jesus Christ commissioned His apostles to go out and preach, they were to preach repentance first, then remissions of sins.
Christ purchased our salvation as an act of obedience and thereby, "...being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him," HEB 5:9. It does not say to those who believe on Him or those who want a pardon or those who want to escape hell. Those who do obey Him have repented of their sins; they have come into His kingdom and service.
Now lets take some of these words that we think we understand so well into the original to find out what they really mean in the original. It is very important.
The word believeth is used twice in our text, but the meanings are just 180 degrees apart. "He that believeth, and...he that believeth not." The meanings are direct opposites in the original Greek.
In the first instance the word believeth" is taken from the Greek word, "Pisteuo" which means "To have faith in, i.e., to entrust ones spiritual well being to Christ, to believe, to trust in Christ."
In the second instance, the word believeth is taken from the Greek word, Apisteo which means, "To be unbelieving, to disobey, a person unworthy of trust or obedience, unbelief, unfaithfulness, disobedience, incredible thing, an unbeliever." That is saying that the person who "believeth not" does not believe the Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of their obedience. It means that one would count Christ as incredible; it means one does not believe Him.
What does it mean to repent? To have saving faith? It means to trust and obey Him as being worthy of all obedience. If we believe Him, we will keep His commandments. Can a person claim saving faith and still walk in disobedience? That is a contradiction of the meaning of the word. Do you see how Satan perverts the gospel? He has what he calls a carnal Christian; you are saved, you have accepted, you will go to heaven, and you believe in eternal security, but you may live carnally. The word "carnal" means unregenerate. It is confusion; you cannot disassociate obedience of faith with saving faith. When one talks of unbelief, you are talking of being disobedient because you do not believe He is worthy of your trust or obedience. Can you say you are placing all your spiritual trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and disobey Him? That is speaking with a forked tongue. Now you see the satanic deceit of teaching that you can walk contrary to the Word of God and still have saving faith.
The gospel has as clearly identified faith with obedience as it has identified unbelief with disobedience. ROM 16:25-26 says, "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith."
Again we find that we cannot separate faith from obedience. If a person is walking in disobedience, he is walking in unbelief. It doesnt matter how much faith that person wants to claim, it is counterfeit faith. If their saving faith has not prompted the exercise of faith as it did with the prodigal son, you do not have saving faith. The prodigal son came to himself, he turned from his sin, he acknowledged his sin, he repented of his sin, and returned to his father to serve him. If a person can walk on and lightly esteem the least of His commandments, they may not claim saving faith.
Satan is much more aware of what constitutes saving faith than most of those who profess to possess it, and therefore, we must beware of his counterfeit faith. He will give us comfort in something that is not genuine; he would have us resting on a false foundation. He would have us have a faith in Jesus Christ that is counterfeit. Is that possible? Yes.
Satan deceives his millions with half-truths with a counterfeit faith. Many believe in Christ, entrusting their spiritual well being to Christ, but have never received a new heart. Their will has never been dissolved in the will of God. They do not understand the first or the second table of the law. They do not understand what it means to love God above all with all their heart, soul, and mind. Their will must be dissolved in the will of God. They do not understand that the second table of the law is to love our neighbour as ourselves. The thermometer that tells us the level of our love for God is how much we love our neighbour. If we ought against our neighbour, if we can be unmerciful to them, we may not claim we love God because he who shows no mercy will have judgment without mercy.
Lets use Scripture to establish the necessity of a new heart; Scripture tells us that one can actually believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour and still have a counterfeit faith. ACT 8:13 says, "Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done." Simon believed; he placed his hope of salvation upon the Lord Jesus Christ. He was baptized; "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."
Philip took him to be a genuine Christian, but it was latter revealed that he had not yet received a new heart! It was revealed that he was still covetous; Simon thought he could buy the gift of the Holy Spirit with money. If he could buy that power, he could make merchandise of it. Yes, he believed; he believeth that the Lord Jesus Christ was the Messiah.
Now see what Simon missed; he believed and he was baptized, but he had not repented. Peter told him in ACT 8:21-23, "Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity."
Simon was one of Satans Christians who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, and he was baptized. Peter said he was still in the gall of bitterness and was held captive by iniquity, sin. His heart was not right with God.
There are those who seem to truly believe; they can obey for a while. They will even come to what looks like saving faith forsaking their sins until self must be denied. Now lets see what Scripture says about this. The parable of the sower tells how the seed fell in various places in LUK 8:6 "And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it." So what does our Saviour say about the seed that fell on the rock? LUK 8:13 says, "They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away."
For awhile they actually have the evidence of saving faith forsaking their sins and walking in the way of the Lord. They obey, and they place their hope of salvation upon the Lord Jesus Christ, but they are unwilling to crucify self. That means they never were saved because there was never true repentance or a true work of regeneration or a true change of heart. It was only a faith on the surface.
Jesus showed them that the root of their problem was self. Their faith had no root outside of themselves. They, in their own strength, would obey. MAT 13:21 says, "Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended." He had a shallow root, as soon as persecution began to beat on him, he withered away. He was not able to stand in his own strength.
The faith of many has Christ as its object which is not saving faith. It is so important to understand this. So many people say all they have to do is believe. Oh no, that is not all; I have not found one place in Scripture that says all one has to do is believe; neither Jesus nor the apostles ever made such a statement. In JOH 2:23-25 we read, "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man."
The multitude believed in the name of Jesus when they saw the miracles. Now notice the very next word. "But" He knew their hearts. There had been no work of regeneration so He did not commit Himself to them. Oh yes, they believed, but it was not saving faith.
In His testimony about the broad road church Jesus told how many shall believe in Him, placing their entire hope for eternity upon Him; but it was not a saving faith! They fell into Satans trap! Look at MAT 7:22-23, "Many will say to me in that day, [the judgment day] Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Do you see how crafty Satan is? They had never repented of their wrong attitude! They were unbelievers!
In Matthew 7 Jesus speaks of the narrow gate and the broad way. Few would find the first, but many would travel the broad way. He is talking about the great majority of believers. That becomes a very serious matter. Jesus is saying that by far the greatest majority of all professed believers are going to find out on the judgment day that they have been deceived. They died in faith, believing in the Lord. They had preached and did good works, but Jesus will answer, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Where was their deficiency? They were lacking saving faith, obedience. They had never repented and turned from the power of sin. They believed in being saved in their sins instead of from their sins. They were deceived for eternity. They spent their lives prophesying in His name, casting out devils, and doing many mighty works. They were Christians, but they slighted His commands. They would decide what is right and wrong; they would be the judges. They never had saving faith, which is unconditional surrender to the will of God. They were still workers of iniquity.
Saving faith is produced by the Word of God, and accompanied with joy; so is a non-saving faith. Satan has fabricated many ways to make his counterfeit faith seem identical to saving faith. We must find the distinctions.
Joy is not a distinguishing mark. MAT 13:20-21 says, "But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended." Those persons received His Word with joy, but when self gets taken down in trials and tribulations, they are offended. That was a non-saving faith because it could not stand the test of trial.
Oh beloved, how solemn! If you can have faith in Christ which does not save, then how urgent it is to examine whether or not we are deceived. Are we one of the few that finds the straight gate.
The Holy Spirit sets forth many cautions against being deceived. ISA 44:20 tells of the person who can use part of his stock to make a meal and use the other half to make an idol. "He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?" We must examine our faith.
Esau is the type of the harlot church. See how Edom was deceived to think he dwelt in the clefts of the Rock.
OBA V:3-4 and 6 says, "The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD." He thought he was dwelling in the crucifixion of Christ, in the cleft of the Rock, but the pride in his heart had lifted him up to a point he thinks he has a Saviour. He has never been brought into the valley of humiliation. V:6 says, "How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up!"
In our day all the believing in the Lord Jesus Christ will be searched out. Is it the pride of our heart that has lifted us up, or have we been brought to the cleft of the Rock through the valley of humiliation? Has the Lord brought us to a new heart and a new understanding, or is it the pride of our heart? The Lord reveals the thoughts and intents of the heart, and He will examine them.
The deceit is that of the heart. We must examine where our heart lies and if we do have true saving faith which begins with a changed heart. Saving faith begins with a changed heart as it did with Jacob, and we need to notice the difference between Jacob and Esau.
We read in GEN 32:25 and 31, "And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacobs thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him." The thigh is the place of strength in a wrestler; the Lord touched Jacob in the hollow of his thigh. That means all of his strength was gone; it shrank and he became as an invalid. Now Jacob cannot wrestle in his own strength; his faith is not rooted in himself. He must now place his faith in God. V:31 says, "And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh."
Do you see the difference between Jacob and Esau? Jacob was lame; every step he took brought him to a stop as he moved one foot up to the other. Every step he took reminded him that the Lord had touched the hollow of his thigh. The Lord asked Jacob what his name was, and he had to reply, "Jacob." Jacob means trickster, supplanter; he was a sinner. Esau, on the other hand, built the dwelling place of his heart among the stars; he was as lofty as an eagle. He was defiant, asking who could bring him down. The Lord brought him down. Jacob had to turn from his sin for he could not go on and build in his own strength. Jacob had saving faith.
We must daily take heed of the exhortation we find in 2CO 13:5. "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" That exhortation to examine ourselves is to you and I. Put your own heart on trial. Is the Spirit of Christ in you? Has Christ been formed in you? If you do not have Christ formed in you, you are a reprobate.
How do you examine yourself? Faith is not some power of the mind. Faith is the exercise of believing. If you believe you will naturally obey, you will delight to do the will of God. PSA 112:1 says, "Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments."
If you place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for your eternal salvation, it is evidenced by your delightful obedience. If that isnt there, you have unbelief for it is associated with disobedience. Examine yourself; you can tell. You know where your hearts desire is. If your soul is not dissolved in His will, you are a reprobate.
The many Jesus spoke of as the broad road christians are those who want to be saved from hell, but are not willing to be saved from self. Now we are getting into the distinction between counterfeit and saving faith. What is the desire of the heart? Is it to be delivered from hell? Or is it to be delivered from yourself and sin? There is the distinction.
The Lord Jesus Christ will not have us dictate the terms of our salvation! We will not dictate the terms by which we will be saved. We will either be saved on His terms or not at all! If we think we are saved under any terms, except those of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are not saved. Jesus came to save His people from their sins, not in their sins. Jesus did not come to offer a pardon to any person who is living in sin.
When we are saved from sin, from its power and pollution, the result is to be saved from its guilt. If we have a guilty conscience, that tells us we are heading for hell. Are we more concerned about being delivered from the guilt of sin or from sin itself? When we are saved from the pollution of sin, the effect is that we are saved from the guilt as well.
MAR 1:4 says, "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." Repentance, remorse over sin, is turning from sin for the remission of sin.
Where Christ has given saving faith, self-will is dissolved into the law of love. There is a lasting longing, a hunger and thirst after righteousness. What is heaven? What is righteousness? 2PE 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." Righteousness spoken of here is a perfect conformity of heart and soul and walk of life to Divine law, i.e., the first and second table of the law. It is to have a great desire and enabling grace to walk in the law of love.
How many today want to capitalize upon the death of the Son for the inheritance, but do not bring forth the fruits of the vineyard? We see this in the parable given by Jesus in MAT 21:38. "But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance." They would seize upon the death of the Son for the inheritance. They did not love God; they did not render the fruits of the vineyard. No. They were killing the servants who were sent. They were willing to kill the Son to capitalize on and steal the inheritance.
That is Satans counterfeit faith today. People want to capitalize on the death of the Son for the inheritance of heaven without love for God or His will. They have no desire for Gods presence and nearness or to spend eternity with God because they love Him. They want to go to heaven to escape hell. They want to walk on streets of gold and do big things that please the flesh.
One day at a funeral it was said that the man was in heaven now riding his horses and doing the things he loved so much. What presumption! What a delusion of what constitutes heaven! Heaven means to be able to have our heart and soul to dwell in the immediate presence of God. We can have a very extensive taste of that here on earth when our will is dissolved in His will.
The Lord is looking for those to serve Him who will bring forth the fruits of repentance. MAT 21:43 tells us, "Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." That is saving faith. Saving faith cannot be disassociated with the exercise of saving faith.
Of those who covet His peace, but to whom His yoke is unwelcome Jesus says, "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me," LUK 19:27. That is the announcement which will be heard on the judgment day. Those who died in a counterfeit saving faith never entered the kingdom of heaven in this world. They never served the Lord in their lifetime; their will was never broken. They served the lusts of the flesh. They who will be slain are those who would not let Christ reign over them in this life.
How many in our day claim saving faith, but have no desire for Christ to come into their soul as a Refiner? It says in MAL 3: 2-3, "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiners fire, and like fullers soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness."
How many today claim Christ as their Saviour desiring to have their sinful lusts burned up? They do not have a desire to have their old man of sin utterly dissolved. They have no desire to melt their souls at the foot of the cross in complete, unconditional surrender.
To deny self means taking up ones cross daily, to deny self is a task from which many professed believers shrink with abhorrence! Ask many if they are walking under Christ as King, and they will answer in the affirmative. Yes, they are, but identify one particular sin they are living in, and they become furious. They are not like David who said, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting," PSA 139:23. David wanted the Lord to identify his sins; many believers today become furious at such a thought.
MAR 6:20 shows us this, "For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly." Now see what Herod did when John identified one of Herods sins. "For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias sake, his brother Philips wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brothers wife," MAR 6:17-18.
Oh yes, Herod heard John gladly and revised his life until John touched a darling sin. For this Herod put John in prison, not only that, Herod cut off Johns head; he killed him.
If we have any reservations in our obedience to the law of love, i.e., loving God above all, the Light of Christ will be our condemnation on the judgment day. Even one reservation of having our will dissolved in the will of Christ will be brought before us in the light. It will cause us to call unto the rocks to fall on us to hide us from that Light!! Cf. REV 6:16.
There will be noting hidden from the Light of Christ on that great day of judgment. REV 21:23-24 says, "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it."
This is the Light that our Saviour said would condemn the works of darkness. "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God," JOH 3:19-21.
Our text says, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned," MAR 16:16. Amen.
These on-lines sermons are a ministry of Gospel Chapel located in Conrad, Montana. We also have a daily devotion. For a list of sermons on cassette please visit our on-line tape catalog. See also, our sermon notes.
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