by Frederick Hoehn, copyright 2013. |
I recently met a man, Earl, who operates a shop that sells various kinds of tea. Earl is a professing Christian, and I am persuaded that he knows more about tea than I do. But not about theology.
Earl is of the opinion that once a person becomes a Christian, he can't lose his salvation. Maybe that would be nice, if it were true.
This is the theological topic of Eternal Security. Earl's viewpoint can also be expressed as, "Once saved, always saved." But I will show from the scriptures why that viewpoint is very bad theology.
I pointed out to Earl that Jesus said, "Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, haven't we prophesied in your name? And in your name have cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful works? And then I will tell them, I never knew you, go away from me, you sinners." (Matt 7:22,23)
And then, Earl said, "There's the key, Jesus said, I never knew you, so they had never been Christians." Wrong, brother Earl.
In the Old Testament, God told Ezekiel, "When a righteous man turns from his righteousness to wickedness, his righteousness will be forgotten."
Notice that in the above Matt chapt 7 passage, they had cast out demons. You can't cast out demons unless you are a Christian. The seven sons of Sceva tried to do so, not being Christians, in Acts chapt. 19, and got beaten up for that effort.
No, they surely had been Christians, but then turned away from the Lord, their righteousness that had been theirs was forgotten by God, and they wound up in hell, where "their worms don't die, and the fire is not quenched, where there's crying and gnashing of teeth," Jesus said.
In Philippians 2:12, Paul the Apostle writes to Christians, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
But why do we need fear and trembling if we can never lose our salvation?
We need fear and trembling because it's so easy to get sloppy or lazy and forget to read the Bible, forget to pray, neglect fellowship with other Christians, watch too much TV, or anything else that keeps us from working out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
But if we can't lose our salvation, why do we need to be concerned about that?
All scripture is given by inspiration of God. The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of God's Holy Spirit says we should use fear and trembling because this concept of "Once saved, always saved" is a lie, and Christians can lose their salvation.
They can lose their salvation, and some will, says Jesus. But you don't have to be one of those who lose their salvation.
But if you start going wrong, as a Christian, the Lord will try to get you back on the right road, but if you won't cooperate with the Lord, you, or I, or any Christian could wind up in hell because they didn't work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, and resisted the Lord's efforts to set them straight.
Haven't you read in the Bible that the devil walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he can devour? (1 Pet 5:8)
So how do we avoid being devoured? By praying without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17), by keeping God's word always before us, by speaking the word of God, meditating on it, and doing it (Josh 1:8).
By bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:5).
By doing the things in 2 Peter chapter 1, and giving diligence to make our calling and election sure.
Peter's not just kidding around here. God wants you to go to heaven, but you would employ some diligence to please your earthly boss at your job that puts food on your table, so put some diligence into being a Christian, and please the Lord in heaven.
The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
Once saved, always saved is a lie from the enemy, and suggests that once you're saved, you can live just any old way you choose. No you can't. The Bible tells us how to live, and we had better follow the Bible, God's word, in our daily lives. ("His commandments don't cause grief.")
Pornography is one thing that tempts men especially. Porn is wrong because Jesus said, "He that looks at a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart."
Committing adultery with another man's wife is sin, but adultery in the heart is also sin, says Jesus. And Jesus will be our Judge on Judgment Day.
There are pornographic images, and there are pornographic words. Do the wise thing and avoid both.
I'm a senior now, but when I was a young man, I sought the Lord about the temptations of pornography. The Lord answered me, "You're just going to have to stay away from it."
I want to stay out of hell and go to heaven, so I'll stay away from porn.
In Hebrews chapter 6, we read about people who turn away from the Lord, and can't be renewed to repentance. If you've tasted of the heavenly gift (Jesus), and met those other qualifications, like most Christians, and then turn away from the Lord, your soul is in danger, my friend.
And I know a man that I'm pretty sure is in that category.
He and I were rather close for a period of time. We grew up at the same church, and went to Sunday School. As an adult, he taught Sunday School there.
Brother Fred, you mean even a Sunday School teacher can go to hell? Yes, if he messes up badly enough, and is not quick to repent.
There's a scripture that talks about being "hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." I believe that man is an example of it.
In the Old Testament, God says don't bring a cursed thing home, or you might become a cursed thing like it.
That man brought a cursed book home to his apartment, a pornographic book. Several years later, he got a house, and I saw the same book at his house.
Someone might ask, but why didn't you warn him about that? Though I didn't specifically mention that book to him, I warned that man a dozen or more times about wrong directions he was going. He would not receive correction.
Perhaps he thought he was smarter than me. And maybe he is, about some things. But not about theology.
He told me he stopped being a Christian. I tried to persuade him to change his mind. He asked me to stop talking to him about spiritual matters.
There's more about this man who quit being a Christian later in this article.
God says, "I will honor him that honors me, but he that despises me shall be lightly esteemed."
You're honoring God if you're working out your own salvation with fear and trembling, but if you get to the place where the things of God are no longer important to you, your soul is in danger.
Jesus said, "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul, or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul."
You lose your soul if you go to hell. The richest man in the world can't ransom his own soul, he can only go to heaven by following Romans 10:9,10, like the rest of us.
If you're serious about being a Christian, be sure to get the extra power Jesus spoke of in Acts 1:8. This extra power for Christians comes when you get the Baptism with the Holy Ghost with the speaking in unknown tongues (languages).
In Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we are told that Jesus is the baptizer with the Holy Ghost.
Ask Jesus to baptize you with the Holy Ghost. When you pray, believe that you receive the things you ask for, and you shall have them. (Mark 11:24)
It's called an unknown tongue because the person speaking doesn't understand the language that he is speaking. The Holy Ghost gives him the words to speak, then he adds his voice and speaks those words out, in a language the speaker hasn't learned.
Here is more about the man I referred to earlier that lost his salvation. He was a Christian from a small boy. We had been friends.
He didn't speak the word, meditate on it, and do it. (Josh 1:8)
He didn't call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised. (2 Sam 22:4) Since the Lord is worthy to be praised, then we really ought to be spending some time praising him. We regard the Department of the Treasury as worthy of getting some tax money from us, don't we? And what happens if we fail to pay the taxes that we owe? Similarly, bad things can happen if we don't worship the Lord.
He didn't worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. (1 Chr 16:29)
He didn't humble himself and pray and seek the Lord properly. (2 Chron 7:14)
He failed to kiss the Son, so he's not angry, and we're destroyed from the way, when his anger is kindled but a little. (Psa 2:12)
He wasn't one of the blessed who put their trust in him. (Psa 2:12)
He didn't rejoice in the Lord's salvation. (Psa 9:14)
He didn't keep the Lord always before him. (Psa 16:8)
He failed to "Wait on the Lord." (Psa 27:14)
He didn't shout for joy. (Psa 32:11)
He didn't "bless the Lord at all times" and keep "his praise always in his mouth." (Psa 34:1)
He didn't delight himself in the Lord. (Psa 37)
He didn't rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him. (Psa 37:7)
The meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. (Psalm 37:11) The man rejected meekness, and so rejected inheriting.
He didn't order his conversation right. (Psa 50:23)
He turned back to folly. (Psa 85:8)
He didn't dwell in the secret place of the most high. (Psa 91:1)
He didn't, for the love of the Lord, hate evil. (Psa 97:10)
He failed to understand the loving kindness of the Lord. (Psa 107:43)
He didn't continue to fear the Lord. (The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Psa 111:10)
He didn't obey, "From the rising of the sun until the going down of the same, the Lord's name is to be praised." (Psa 113:3)
He failed in hiding God's word in his heart so he wouldn't sin against Him. (Psa 119:11) But I've heard that man quote some scripture, but he let it slip away (Mark 4:18,19). Check up on yourself--there are four categories in the Parable of the Planter (Mark chapter 4). In which one of the four categories are you?
He didn't rejoice in the word of God as someone who finds great treasure. (Psa 119:162)
He didn't fear the Lord and bless him. (Psa 135:20)
He leaned to his own understanding. (Prov 3:5,6)
He didn't keep his heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. (Prov 4:23)
He forsook having an "understanding heart." (Prov 8:5)
He didn't commit his works to the Lord so that his thoughts would be established. (Prov 16:3)
He didn't stick close to Jesus, the "friend that sticks closer than a brother". (Prov 18:24)
He didn't keep himself in the fear of God all day long. (Prov 23:17)
He was not "of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord." (Isa 11:3)
He failed to hunger and thirst for righteousness. (Matt 5:6)
He wasn't pure in heart. (Matt 5:8)
He didn't seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. (Matt 6:33)
He failed to avoid casting pearls before swine in his relationships. (Matt 7:6)
He didn't seek the Lord enough. (Seek and you shall find. Matt 7:7)
He failed to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. (Matt 10:16)
He didn't endure to the end. (Matt 10:22)
He found his life and lost it, instead of losing his life for Jesus, and finding it. (Matt 10:39)
He didn't keep humble like a little child. (Matt 18:3,4)
He didn't command his mountain of temptations to go. (Mk 11:23)
He didn't love the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mrk 12:30)
Jesus said, "Men ought always to pray and not faint." This man stopped praying and fainted. (Luke 18:1)
He failed to "In your patience, possess your soul." (Luke 21:19)
He failed to always pray that he would be counted worthy to escape all the things that are coming on the earth, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:36)
He didn't believe that God is righteous. (John 3:33)
He didn't patiently continue in well-doing. (Rom 2:7)
He didn't recon himself dead indeed to sin. (Rom 6:11)
He allowed sin to have dominion over him. (Rom 6:14)
He failed to stay away from the things whose end is death. (Rom 6:21)
He didn't present his body as a living sacrifice, which was his reasonable service to the Lord. (Rom 12:1,2)
He became conformed to this world. (Rom 12:2)
He let himself be overcome by evil instead of overcoming evil with good. (Rom 12:21)
By committing fornication, he sinned against his own body. (1 Cor 6:18)
He didn't keep the flesh under subjection. (1 Cor 9:27)
He didn't bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor 10:5) But brother Fred, how do you know his thoughts? I don't know all of them, but I know some of them by what he has said. "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." (Matt 12:34) We speak out of our mouths what is in our hearts.
He didn't live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved him and gave Himself for him. (Gal 2:20)
He didn't walk in the spirit so that he wouldn't fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Gal 5:16)
He got weary in well-doing. (Gal 6:9)
He didn't overcome the fiery darts of the enemy with the shield of faith. (Eph 6:16)
He didn't humble himself and become obedient like Jesus. (Phil 2:8)
He didn't work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil 2:12)
He didn't thank God enough. (Phil 4:6)
He didn't think enough on what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report. (Phil 4:8)
He didn't pray without stopping. (1 Thess 5:17)
He failed to hold tightly to what he had received. (1 Thess 5:21)
He failed to receive the love of the truth and hold tightly to it. (2 Thess 2:10) But why hold tightly? Because if you have just a loose grip on the truth, there's the possibility of it being snatched away from you.
He didn't keep himself from foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and hell. (1 Tim 6:9)
He didn't fight the good fight of faith, and take hold of eternal life. (1 Tim 6:12) If you fail to take hold of eternal life, you spend eternity in a fiery hell.
And this man had above average intelligence. But what good is that if you still go to hell? He started down a slippery slope and was hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Heb 3:13)
He turned back toward hell. (Heb 10:39)
He didn't confess that he was a stranger and a pilgrim in the earth. (Heb 11:13)
He failed to "Resist the devil, and he'll flee from you." (Jas 4:7)
He didn't abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul. (1 Pet 2:11)
He disregarded his exceedingly great and precious promises. (2 Pet 1:4)
He failed to escape "the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Pet 1:4)
He didn't "give diligence to make" his "calling and election sure." (2 Pet 1:10)
He didn't keep himself from idols. Some think an idol is like a statue that people fall down and worship, but an idol can be anything that's more important to you than the Lord. (1 Jhn 5:21)
He wasn't faithful until death so that he could have the crown of life. (Rev 2:10)
The Lord set before him life and death, and he chose death. He'll regret that decision.
He failed to call wisdom his sister, and understanding his kinswoman. (Prov 7:4)
He didn't stay in faith and keep the switch of faith turned on. (Kenneth E. Hagin)
But brother Fred, don't you know the Bible says, "Don't judge so you won't be judged?" Yes, I do. But God has made me a priest. I'm writing these things not for the purpose of judging someone, but I'm reporting what happened with that man so that others won't fall into the same pit.
This man will see his error immediately upon his arrival in hell. Unfortunately, once someone gets to hell, they don't get back out. "Who didn't open the door of his (Satan's) prisoners." (Isa 14:17)
I've heard it said, "Well, if I'm going to hell, I'll have a lot of friends there." But here's what that statement is ignorant of: Those friends will be blaming you in hell, and you'll be blaming them for your going to hell. Thus they'll no longer be your friends. There is no friendship in hell.
If it had been a young Christian that had made these mistakes, that would be understandable, and surely the Lord would show mercy. But this is a man in his sixties, who had been a Christian since a little boy, and then turned away from following the Lord.
I believe he is in the Hebrews 6:4-6 category of people, and can't be renewed again to repentance. 4 For it is impossible for those who were once illuminated, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify to themselves the Son of God again, and put him to an open shame.
I don't want it to be this way for this man, but I believe that's how it is for him.
He didn't obey, "Don't love the world, nor the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away and its lust, but he that does the will of God lives forever." (1 Jhn 2:15-17)
The Lord gave me a little vision one time of a huge snake swallowing people whole. The huge snake represented every kind of sexual activity not acceptable to God.
The kind of sex acceptable to God is, "Marriage is honorable, and the bed undefiled, but God will judge whoremongers and adulterers." This, of course, means marriage between a man and a woman.
Elsewhere in the Bible, God condemns homosexuality. The Bible also warns us that a Christian should not marry an unbeliever, (Don't be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. 2 Cor 6:14)
Some people might think they don't have to please God in this matter, but don't forget, it's God who decides whether we go up to heaven or down to hell, and Jesus said most people go to hell. (Matt 7:13,14)
This man had a conflict of interest, being in the medical profession, where they use natural means to heal, and being a Christian, where "I am the Lord who heals you." (Ex 15:26) I don't say a Christian can't work in the medical profession, but don't let it pull you away from the Lord, or if that's what seems to be happening, ask the Lord about a different vocation.
And I heard that man speak words of doubt that the miraculous healings in the Bible were real. But Jesus really did miraculously heal people.
And beside the medical profession, the fields of Psychology and Psychiatry also present a likely conflict of interest for Christians considering those vocations.
The problems that those professions seek to cure are generally demonic in origin. You cure the problem by casting out the demons behind those problems.
But you can't cast out demons unless you're a Christian. So then, the Holy Bible ought to be required reading for every student of Psychology and Psychiatry. But are the colleges and universities making the Bible a textbook for those students? I think not.
This, of course, results in very low cure rates for those professions. They can write prescriptions, of course, to keep the patient doped up. But that doesn't get rid of the demons.
Show biz is another vocation not so good for Christians. People in show biz are like married to show biz, which tends to ruin families. Show biz tends to demand 100% of a person's time, which tends to leave no room for the Lord. How can you put Jesus first if your career field demands 100% of your time?
Those who love lying vanities forsake their own mercies. If most of your friends are unbelievers, like that man, you're likely to come into contact with a lot of lying vanities. If your friends tend to send you in the direction of hell, break off your friendship with them.
In 2 Peter chapter 2, verses 9 The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust until the day of judgment to be punished, 10 But mainly those who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. They're presumptuous, self-willed, they aren't afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11 But angels, who are greater in power and might, don't bring railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like natural brute animals, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil about the things that they don't understand, and shall completely perish in their own corruption, 13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, like those who that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. They are spots and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you, 14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that can't stop sinning, corrupting unstable souls, they have exercised their hearts with covetous practices, cursed children, 15 Who've forsaken the right way, and have gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, 16 But was scolded for his sin, the dumb donkey speaking with man's voice spoke against the insanity of the prophet. 17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest, to whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever.
The man told me his excuse for stopping his being a Christian. He thinks he caught the Lord in a lie. But did he catch the Lord in a lie? No, because Jesus never lied.
There was a man whose salvation was prayed for by a lot of Christians. But the man didn't get saved. Jesus said, "Whatever you ask, I'll do it."
Yes, but God never forces anyone to become a Christian.
He'll try to show the person why they need Jesus, but if that person is resolutely against going to heaven, God won't force him to go to heaven.
I know that man that was prayed for, and I expect that man rejected God very early in life, so that when this other man came along, it was already too late. We should not be blaming the Lord for the belligerence of some man on earth.
If you accuse the Lord of a lie, you're failing to employ sufficient fear of God. God has already accepted Jesus as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. Hebrews chapter 9, verses 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean make them holy, purifying the flesh, 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this purpose, he is the mediator of the new testament, so that by means of death, for the redemption of the sins that were under the first testament, those who are called would receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
I believe the Lord has shown me that this man is one of the Hebrews chapter six people that can't be renewed again to repentance. And I surely didn't want it to be that way. I tried a dozen times or more to get that man back on the road to heaven.
But he wouldn't receive correction. Perhaps he thought he was smarter than I am. Maybe he is smarter than me about some things. But not about theology. Bad theology can send you to hell, together with the mistakes you'll make if you have bad theology.
That's why we need to study the Bible for ourselves, and seek the Lord for ourselves, if we're serious about working out our own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil 2:12)
This man let the word of God slip away from him, or be stolen from him, as in the parable of the planter. (The enemy comes and steals the word that was planted.)
He neglected fellowshiping with Christians, and most of his friends were unbelievers, including his girlfriend of twenty years.
Someone recently reminded me that "No man can pluck them out of Jesus hand, and no man can pluck them out of the Father's hand." Yes, but they can foolishly choose to walk out of Jesus' hand.
This happens after someone has been hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. They become reprobate, as in Romans chapter one. (King James Version)
He neglected building up himself on his most holy faith by praying in unknown tongues. (Jude 20)
He failed to "Buy the truth and don't sell it." And what price did he get for turning loose of the truth, several million dollars? No, just a pile of junk. Some short-term pleasures that will be long forgotten during his unending stay in hell.
He apparently failed to perceive that pornography is demonic, and that using it allows demons to enter the user.
It may not exactly say that in the Bible. There wasn't much porn when the Bible was written. But the Bible says, "Keep yourself from idols," and it is clear that pornography is a form of idolatry. For more on this, please see my book, "Pornography Kills..."
Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." One of Jesus' commandments is "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."
This man didn't give the word of God a high priority in his life. No doubt you're aware that "You shall not not take the name of the Lord your God in vain." But in the Psalms, it says God's word is above his name. (Psa 138:2)
Jesus said, "He that endures to the end shall be saved." This man didn't endure to the end. He quit part way along.
Jesus said, "Be faithful until death, and I'll give you a crown of life." This man wasn't faithful until death. There's my Eternal Security--endure to the end and be faithful until death, and you go to heaven.
But Jesus said, "Without me, you can do nothing, so I pray, Lord, help me to endure to the end and be faithful until death, and I believe that I receive. Amen."
While in the Chicago area, at the place where I was living, one of the maids was Minnie. I learned that Minnie was a Christian. She and I discussed things from time to time. I was surprised at how little she seemed to know of good doctrine.
I asked Minnie, "Do you read the Bible?" She answered, "I don't have time to read the Bible." Excuse me? No time to read the Bible? But each of us has twenty four hours every day.
Other Christians read the Bible. The maids would have the room doors open as they made up the rooms. I've seen where Minnie would go in and make up someone's room (the tenant was probably away at work), and after making up the room, sit down and watch TV there.
But instead of sitting down and watching TV, couldn't she have read a Psalm in a pocket New Testament with Psalms? I doubt the money she earned as a maid enabled her to have a car. So, probably she got to work on public transportation.
As she was riding the bus to work, couldn't she have pulled a New Testament out of her purse and read a chapter or two? Judgment Day will come. Will Minnie really try to tell Jesus on Judgment Day that she didn't have time to read the Bible? I don't think Jesus will buy that. That scripture about "Hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" is like another scripture that says, "A little yeast leavens the whole lump."
What starts out as just a little sin, can wind up sending someone to hell.
This man who lost his salvation, didn't he notice any of the warning signs? Did he not notice that most of his friends were unbelievers? And his girlfriend was an unbeliever. He didn't care for gospel music, but rather for the music of the world.
Did he really find no clues that he was going down the wrong road? "My spirit shall not always strive with man," God says. I'm sure the Lord made efforts to get his attention, to get him to change directions, but he continued down the wrong road.
One way the Lord tried to set him straight was by sending him a priest to admonish him. The Priest, Frederick Hoehn, but the man probably failed to discern me as a priest.
Eventually, the Lord could do nothing more to get him back on the road to heaven, as I'm sure the Lord will explain to him on Judgment Day, when he also gets the bad news that his name has been removed from the Lamb's Book of Life in heaven. (You have to have your name in that book to go to heaven, we are told in the book of Revelation.)
In the early days of having an unbeliever as his girlfriend, he spoke of trying to win her to Jesus. But it looks like, instead, she won him to going with her to hell. He's going to wish he'd never met her.
In the Bible, God warns, "Don't be unequally yoked together with unbelievers." (2 Cor 6:14) A Christian has no business having a girlfriend or boyfriend who is not a Christian.
One time I visited the man at his home. We were outside for a while. A neighbor man was also outside, and said something about "in another life," a reference to the false doctrine of reincarnation. I spoke up and said, "There's no reincarnation, that's folklore."
My saying that brought a smile of embarrassment to this man's face. He's supposed to be a Christian, but he's embarrassed when another Christian gives a word of witnessing?
But Jesus taught that we Christians should "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they'll see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." We Christians are all supposed to be witnesses.
But a Christian who is embarrassed at witnessing is not healthy spiritually. Was this man concerned that if he were too much involved with witnessing for the Lord, he might become unpopular in the neighborhood?
But Jesus said, "If you're ashamed of me before men, I'll be ashamed of you before my Father and the angels." But I remember when that man had a giving heart, and sincerity as a younger Christian. What happened? He was hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
He would not have accepted the position as Sunday School teacher if he believed that what he was teaching was lies.
I visited the man at his apartment one time, and he spoke of having fornicated the previous night. The fact that they were mutually consenting adults doesn't make it OK with God.
You're supposed to have sex only with your spouse, the Bible says. And this man never married. Single people aren't supposed to be having sex.
Having most of his friends unbelievers was a bad influence.
The Bible tells us, "Don't go with an angry man, and with a furious man you shall not go, so that you don't learn his ways, and get a snare to your soul."
But it's not just anger that can rub off on you. If you hang around with adulterers, adultery can rub off on you. If you hang out with blasphemers, blasphemy can rub off on you.
With whomever you spend time, you're likely to become more like they are. So choose your friends carefully.
I knew a man in Houston, and then I was away for a while. When I returned to Houston, it surprised me how the man had developed a very foul mouth, speaking a lot of four letter words.
I said something to him about it, and he explained he had been hanging out with the guys at the auto repair shop, and they talked like that, so he started talking like that.
Solomon's unbelieving wives led him astray so far that it caused God to split the nation of Israel into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah. In the book of Judges, those Judges typically ruled for forty years, but Sampson only twenty.
Why? Because his mistake of his relationship with an unbeliever, Delilah, cut his life short.
Jesus said if you love anything more than him, you're not worthy of him. Jesus said, "You can't serve God and mammon."
Mammon is money, and most people are going after those dollars, but the Christian must put God first. God says, "I am a jealous God." He does not accept being second or third or tenth place behind our other priorities.
Paul counts other things as dung (excrement, feces) so that he can win Christ. But when Paul said that, he was already a Christian. But, you see, he wanted to keep his salvation and go to heaven, in the face of various temptations and opposition from the enemy.
And Paul says, "Be followers of me, just as I am of Christ." (1 Cor 11:1) It will be great to see Paul in heaven. Will you be there, my friend?
There's more to being a Christian than just barely squeaking into heaven by the skin of our teeth. 1 Cor 3:11-15 shows that there are various degrees of reward in heaven.
The things we do on earth are either in the gold, silver, precious stones categories, or in the wood, hay, stubble categories. God's fire will test our works.
If those works pass the fire test, we'll be rewarded. If they fail the fire test, we'll suffer loss. If you win a lot of souls for Jesus, that's gold, silver, precious stones.
This former Christian is like the man in the Bible that lost a demon, and then that demon returned with seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and the last condition of the man was worse than the first.
There was another man who was on TV who was part of a weekly TV program that continued for many years. He started out as an evangelical Christian. But later, he switched to a false religion, the Church of Religious Science.
What? Just quit Jesus for that junk? Because it doesn't really matter whether you go to heaven or hell, right? But you'll see that it did matter when you arrive in hell.
You see, that religion doesn't believe the Bible, and doesn't have salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. "He that wanders out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead." That means you go to hell if you wander out of the way of understanding.
Then there was another man, Adrian, a co-worker of mine. He had been Catholic, and then switched to Buddhism. I don't recommend the Catholic church. They have a prayer called the Rosary.
The Rosary is a prayer addressed to Mary. Praying to Mary is idolatry. We must pray to God. But the Buddhists don't have salvation through Jesus. I said to Adrian, "You were better off as a Catholic because at least they believe in Jesus."
Seems like Adrian said he gets a good feeling when he does those Buddhist chants. You know where that good feeling comes from? From demons, who love to have you doing Buddhist chants and going to hell, instead of salvation through Jesus and going to heaven.
The Bible says, "He that trusts in his heart is a fool," and it says, "God has no pleasure in fools." You don't go by feelings, you go by the word of God. But a serious Christian could feel something in his spirit that could be a leading from God's Holy Spirit.
Adrian had seen examples of corruption in the Catholic Church. Yes, but you can quit a church without quitting Jesus.
But all of this that was against this former Christian I've been speaking about could have been washed away by the blood of Jesus if he had remained a Christian, and feared God. The man thought that he had caught Jesus in a lie. But did he catch Jesus in a lie? No, because Jesus never lies.
But, you see, by the time he thought he had caught Jesus in a lie, the man had already been hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. He was "reprobate," as in Romans chapter 1.
What kind of wisdom is it that thinks it has caught Jesus in a lie, when Jesus never lies? Well, that's not wisdom, it's foolishness, and lack of fear of God.
If you really think you have a case against Jesus, to whom would you plead that case? The only authority higher than Jesus is God the Father. But God the Father has already accepted the sacrifice of Jesus as payment for our sins.
In the Old Testament, the sacrificial lamb had to be perfect, no blemishes. God has accepted Jesus as a perfect sacrifice. How then will you persuade God the Father that Jesus is defective?
Well, you won't, that's all. So don't waste your time trying to do that.
What a shame to have to go to hell to find out your theology was fatally wrong. People who go to hell don't get out of hell. Better to fix the problem in this life, so you can go to heaven.
And that's where "fear and trembling comes in." (Phil 2:12) We need to use some fear and trembling so that we don't royally mess up in our understanding of God's principles.
A little yeast leavens the whole lump. (1 Cor 5:6)
The man became like 2 Peter 2:20-22--- 20 For if after they’ve escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandments delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb, "The dog has turned to his own vomit again, and the pig that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."
I was present at a church service where a word of revelation was given to the people that said, "If you wallow in your sins, you'll die in them." That word of revelation was a manifestation of one of the gifts of the spirit mentioned in 1 Cor. chapter 12.
The persuading of this man that Jesus told a lie is a device of Satan and his demons. 2 Cor 2:11 says "For we are not ignorant of his (Satan's) devices."
And this was a man of above average intelligence, a college graduate, a graduate of graduate school, a Professional in his trade with a resume enviable by earthly standards.
How in the world did it happen that he swallowed the lie that says that Jesus has lied? Here's how: he was hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Heb 3:13)
Of course, once someone is convinced that Jesus is a liar, that would tend to relieve them of the responsibility of living in a way pleasing to God. It would seem to relieve them of the need to witness for Jesus. It would seem to make life easier for the short period of time between the present and the day of his death. And then, on Judgment Day, the man will have the utterly impossible task of proving Jesus a liar.
Jesus will find just excellent answers to that false accusation, and the man accusing Jesus of being a liar will be found to be a liar himself, and "All liars shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone." (Rev 21:8)
If you happen to be someone who likes challenging tasks, you might consider climbing Mt. Everest. Some have succeeded in doing so, while others have died trying. Personally, I want no part of it. I'll just live in the valley, thank you. By the way, it gets extremely cold up there in the winter. Fatally cold, and even during some parts of the summer months.
But if someone wants a bigger challenge than climbing Mt. Everest, there is the staggeringly impossible task of trying to prove Jesus a liar. I mentioned before about Minnie, who said she didn't have time to read the Bible. If she says that to the Lord on Judgment Day, I don't think he'll buy that argument.
But on Judgment Day, can you imagine this man trying to tell Judge Jesus that the Judge of All the Earth is a liar? That argument won't fly. That pot won't hold water. That dog won't hunt.
All who try to prove Jesus a liar will fail, and God the Father will back up his Son, the Unspeakable Gift of God, sacrificed for the sins of the world.
And that man will be sent back to the hell where he had been awaiting Judgment Day, where their worms don't die, and where there's weeping and gnashing of teeth, and where the fire is never quenched.
That scripture, Rev 21:8, proves that Jesus is not a liar. After Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion, he appeared to his disciples and to more than five hundred Christians. Not long after that, Christians watched him ascend to heaven, where he now sits at the right hand of God the Father.
But Rev 21:8 says "all liars shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone." So then, if Jesus had really been a liar, he would not have ascended up to heaven, but rather descended down to hell, which will later be thrown into the lake of fire.
But then, of course, God would not have raised Jesus from the dead had Jesus been a liar. And 2 Cor 5:21 tells us Jesus never sinned.
In 1 John 5:16, we are told, "If any man sees his brother sin a sin that's not to death, he shall ask, and he'll give him life for those who don't sin to death. There is a sin to death, I don't say that he should pray for it."
I believe this man has sinned a sin that's "to death," that is, I think it's too late for that man. What a pity. And all that talent that he had.
In 1 Tim 4:1,2, we read, "Now the Spirit speaks specifically that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron..."
The man departed from the faith, and listened to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.
Virginia was a friend with a high I.Q. She had been Jewish. But later, Virginia decided to become an Atheist. When their lives on earth are over, where do Atheists go? They go to hell. So what is the advantage of a high I.Q. if it doesn't keep you out of hell?
It is a temptation for smart people to lean to their own understanding, which ought not to be done. (Prov 3:5,6) The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. You don't have wisdom just because you're smart. You have wisdom if you fear God.
Jesus told us to fear God who can not only kill us, but who can also send us to hell.
Scriptures quoted are from the Holy Bible, Hoehn Version, and New Testament, Hoehn Version, copyright 2011. Both are available as ebooks for the Kindle reader at Amazon.com
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