Friday, November 2, 2012

True Salvation or False Profession?

On October 21, our pastor preached a sermon entitled "Strengthening the Church" over Acts 14:21-28. Following are some excerpts.
All of the activities of Grace BibleChurch are like lipstick on a pig unless we are making disciples. We can have a great Sunday school program, but if our Sunday school program is not about making disciples and preaching the gospel and strengthening the church, it is all for nothing ... an awful lot of youth ministry is lipstick on a pig ... unless we are making disciples and preaching the gospel.
Preaching the gospel, making disciples, strengthening the church ... He's not talking about the programs that it represents. He's not talking about having a better choir, a better nursery, a better whatever it may be. He's talking about strengthening the souls of the disciples ... Grace Bible Church is the people that are gathered together for this purpose, and the strengthening of souls is something that needs to continually happen ...
We are always trying to make sure we are teaching assurance of salvation ... you can know that you have eternal life, based on First John 5:11-12 ... Aren't you grateful that you can know? But here's a challenge: we have been so insistent and so emphasizing assurance of salvation ... that we have extended false assurance to people who are not true believers ... There is a time when it is absolutely necessary for us to exhort people to continue in the faith and that time at Grace Bible Church is right now. That's an exhortation to our young people. Just because you grew up in a Christian home does not guarantee that you have a walk with Christ ... Just because you went to Sunday school and Awana, even got your Citation Award or whatever it may be, accomplished lots of Scripture memory, if you do not continue in the faith, then you are not a follower of Christ.
I'm not telling you it's a works salvation. I'm telling you that there's a genuine demonstration of faith that is not just what you think ... it's not what you think, it's not how you feel in an emotional way, it is a demonstration of your full trust, including your will, trusting in Him, and if you're fully trusting in Him, then you will CONTINUE IN THE FAITH. I'm telling you, it's clear. You will continue. If you go out from us, it's because you were not of us. That's what the Scripture teaches in First John. The people who go out from us and abandon the faith and go that wrong direction, they go out from us because they were not of us, and no matter how they looked on the outside, and no matter what they said on the outside, and no matter how much emotion they had in responding to certain things, if they're going out it's because they were not of us. They were never saved in the first place is what I'm telling you, and I'm warning you that right here in this room are people who have made some sort of a profession, walked a certain direction, but you are right now considering abandoning the faith, and I am exhorting you strongly to continue in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Just because you were born into a Christian home does not make you a Christian any more than being born in a garage makes you a car ... You say, "...why are you so worked up about this?" Because I've watched it happen over and over again - watched it happen to our young people. Young people who grow up going on mission teams, knowing the gospel, giving the gospel to other people, growing up in the youth group, winning their Citation Award, achieving all kinds of things, and eventually they abandon the Christian faith and have nothing to do with Jesus Christ, and then the exhortation says, "Ah, be comforted mom and dad, because at least they said a prayer when they were three years old and they have assurance of salvation." BALONEY! They haven't continued in the faith because they never truly trusted in Christ. And my exhortation is to believe in Christ. Continue with Christ. Follow Christ ... There is no other. There is no alternative. Jesus is IT! ... Beware lest you neglect such a great salvation. Beware that you would turn away from Christ. Beware that you would somehow abandon the faith. Young people, beware that somehow you would stop continuing in this Christian faith ... There's going to be suffering and there's going to be straying ... Make sure that you are continuing in the faith...
...Some of you are like, "Whoa, I thought I was in a church that taught assurance of salvation." I do. I teach assurance of true salvation, but I also believe that there are false professions of faith. I believe that there are people who respond with emotions or intellect who do not come to a full trust in Jesus Christ, and they look like us, they act like us, they continue with us for a long period of time, but if they abandon the faith, it is because they were never saved in the first place, and my exhortation is STRONG, "Be warned to continue in this faith. Do not stray. Do not abandon. Continue to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ...

...I'm so sick of giving false assurance to a bunch of people who are not believers. Have you ever heard this kind of nonsense? ... A kid goes off, gets involved in all sorts of immorality, drug addiction, becomes a murderer, he's in prison, but his mom says, "Whew, but at least he prayed a prayer when he was three years old. Whew. I'm glad he's got assurance." That kid has no assurance, because he's abandoned - I'm not telling you he's lost because of the bad things he's done. I'm telling you that the fruit of his life is demonstrating he never, ever came to genuine faith ... The assurance that you are a child of God will never be some prayer that you said with your mom when your were three, four, five, ten. or however old it was. Your assurance will not be that you walked an aisle at a church or raised a hand or said a certain prayer at the end of some sort of service. Your assurance will be the work of the Spirit of God in your life, and when you see the work of the fruit of the Spirit of God in your life, you can know that He who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ. Continue, continue in the faith...

You say, "Jeff, you're teaching a works salvation." I'm not. I'm telling you about saving faith that really produces works and change in your life. I'm telling you that when Jesus Christ comes into you, He saves you and He saves you completely ... I'm telling you that God will begin a work, God will complete the work, and part of God's working in you will be for you to continue in the faith ... I'm not causing you to doubt your assurance. I'm telling you that God is able to keep you and that God will keep you, but when God keeps you, you continue in the faith ...

If you are ever in Colorado Springs on a Sunday, please consider attending Grace Bible Church, a church where the Word of God is held in the highest regard.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, the proof is in the fruit. A race well run for purposes that are not our own and not for our benefit. Well said. It's not just a prayer, it should be the start of an eternal romance with the only one who can save us. :)

    Lisa B ~ CA


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