The Word of God encourages us to judge or evaluate ourselves regularly. This is very important because, if we don’t judge ourselves, we can believe that Jesus will do it and it might not be so nice when He does it. Specific instructions are given to us in the Word of God related to taking the Lord’s supper and self-evaluation.
1 Corinthians 11:23-31 (KJV)
23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
If we do not judge ourselves, Jesus will chasten us. He does this in several ways. First, he gives us an opportunity to learn and change our behavior. He does this through rebuke and admonition. The next type of chastening is through negative circumstances and calamities. This does not mean that every negative event is a rebuke from God, but when things go wrong it is wise to first check to be sure that we are not the source of the problem. Sometimes things are simply just circumstantial, but circumstances should cause you to judge yourself. The last type of chastening that Jesus may give is the worse type. Hopefully, no Saint will experience this level of chastening because this happens when we refuse to obey God. At this stage our behavior causes us to be condemned with the world.
In today’s post, I am duty-bound to point out the truth if I am going to help. Revelation 2:7 (KJV) states
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
True salvation means deliverance from sin. Only those who are truly saved will be able to make it into the Kingdom of God. When one is truly saved he or she wants to do the things that God requires. He or she wants to please God and to live according to His Word. If an individual does not recognize and value the Word of God there is no hope for that person. We have to accept the Bible as our roadmap for life, for without the Word of God we are lost. A saved person is one who recognizes the need for repentance, then repents and turns 180 degrees away from sin. There is an actual change in his whole life. 2 Cor. 5: 17 (KJV) states that
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I was raised to attend church and to be faithful to church matters. However, I received very little training in living a saved life. As a matter of fact, we were told that once you get saved you never have to worry or be concerned about your salvation again. I went to the little chairs at the front of the church when the “doors of the church were opened” and later got baptized in water. I thought that was it…I was in and on my way to Heaven. Man, was I ever wrong? If I was confused, maybe some of you are also confused. I encourage you to ask yourself this question: “Am I really saved?” What you are doing with that question is judging yourself. This is a very important question because your eternal future rests upon the answer.
Today we’re living in a day and time in America where everyone is “saved”, in their own eyes. So, how does one know whether or not he or she is saved? The way that we know an individual is saved is the same way that we identify a tree. We know a tree by its fruit. The same applies to salvation. Some might have received Jesus as a child and were baptized. Some might have been sprinkled with water and feel like they’re “covered”. They’re on their way to Heaven and they’re so-o-o glad. The only problem is, they’re living like the devil is their Daddy now…and he is. If you scratch a little below the surface you will discover that not only are they not saved, but the vast majority may not even know what it means to be saved. Ask them what it means and you will hear such things as “I sing in the choir” or “I’m on the Usher Board”. Some might even say, “I’m a preacher’s kid” or, “My Mama and Daddy raised me right”. You dare not press some of them too hard because they may get frustrated on you and act up. I’m remembering my own personal experience years ago.
I was a new graduate from nursing school. We had just bought our first house in Lewisville, TX when a Theology student came out to Lewisville, knocking on doors and asking families about whether or not we were interested in studying the Bible. Well, I was religious so I said “yes” to a Bible study. At the end of the first session, Gary Friesen asked me this question, “If you were to leave earth right now, which way would you go”? I got angry and told him that what he was asking was personal business and I didn’t feel that he had a right to ask me such a thing. After he left, the question lingered. It bothered me because, the truth of the matter was, I didn’t really know that I was saved. I was drinking socially and smoking like a train. I was a party animal and if you upset me I’d cuss you out. I had a sharp tongue that could cut you like a knife.
That night I went down on my knees. I asked the Lord to take me off the throne of my life and, as Gary said that I should do, I put Jesus on the throne of my life. That’s when my spiritual life took a turn in the right direction. I felt the joy of the Lord in my soul but knew that there was more that I needed. I began to hunger and thirst after righteousness and to actively search for something to fill that big gap in my soul. Matt. 5: 6 states:
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Over a period of months, God drew me to Himself with chords of love. I went to a Holiness church in Dallas, Texas, Full Gospel Holy Temple Church, where God indeed saved me and filled me with the Holy Ghost. Today I know that I am saved because I live according to the dictates of the Holy Bible. By the power of the Holy Ghost, I live a life that is pleasing to Christ. All of the glory goes to God.
It is amazing to me that so many people live in open sin and yet call themselves saved. Shacking up is one of those types of open sin. One of the most amazing things today is the fact that men and women can move in together without the benefit of marriage. It’s so glamorized on TV that they don’t call it shacking up anymore. They call it living together. They call each other “my friend” or my “fiancé”. Some have been together for years. What is their reason for not being married? Some have the silliest reasons such as, “We want a big wedding”. Some have 3 or 4 children and still call each other “fiancé”. A fiancé is not a spouse! You are not saved if you are living with a man or woman as a spouse when they are not your spouse. Who told you that that was alright? As Bishop Murray says, “Woman, you need to go to your house, tell that man to get out of your bed, get his drawers off the floor, and get out!”
Look, if you are still cussing, lying, (including telling the peace-sake lie), still cheating, still sipping, dipping and tipping you are not saved. The saved individual will quit the clubs, quit the old lying and cheating buddies and learn how to sleep in their own bed at night… without any drop-in visitors. When Jesus has cleaned up the inner man, it will show up on the outside. Women will no longer want to show off their bodies to anyone except their own husbands. Your skirt tail will go down and your cleavage will close up. Whoever heard of Sexy Saints? So, if you are sagging and bagging; shacking and tatting; cutting yourself and piercing everything that you can pierce, including unmentionable areas; lying, cheating, and stealing; shooting up and all of these ungodly things, then you are not saved. Even if you are morally good and you’ve never repented of your sins your name has never been written into the Lamb’s Book of Life.
The importance of repentance. Do you realize that if you have never actually repented of your sins you are not saved? I don’t care how many times you have gone to the front of the church to “join the church” you are not saved. Repentance is the first step in the salvation process. For those who may think that repentance is not important, let’s see what the Word of God has to say about it.
What did John the Baptist preach in Matt. 3:1-2?
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
When Jesus started his public ministry what did He preach In Matt. 4: 17?
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Apostle Paul taught repentance in Acts 20: 21
Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Apostle Peter taught repentance in Acts 2: 38
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
The good news for us all is that salvation is a gift that has been made available to every man, woman and child. You can be delivered from anything that is not like God. All you have to do is to repent.
So what is true repentance? Repentance is being godly sorry for one’s sins. It is an actual turning away from one’s old sinful behavior, taking a 180-degree turn and intending to never be guilty of those sins again. It is an act of the will to want to become a new creature in Christ Jesus. You need to see yourself as lost and bound for Hell without Christ and have a deep conviction that you want to be different. You must believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and your only hope for salvation. Then, you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior with your mouth. The Bible says in Romans 10:10 (KJV)
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
What happens after you repent? Jesus will immediately have your name written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. He will apply his precious blood to your sins and wipe them out as though they never occurred. Then, He will begin the process of transforming your life into His own image. Repenting gets you saved. Salvation makes you eligible for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Next, you ask God for the gift of the Holy Ghost. You need the Holy Ghost in order to fellowship with a Holy God. You need the Holy Ghost because He gives you the power to live a sin-free life. He will teach and guide you into all truth. He will be a comfort to you during your transformation because life is not always easy. The evidence that the Holy Ghost has arrived is the fact that you will speak in other tongues. Don’t ask me why you have to speak in tongues when you receive the Holy Ghost. Not my rules. I will tell you this…no tongues? No Holy Ghost. Seek God until you get it. Pray, fast, seek God, read the Word, turn away from sin.
Holiness Plus Nothing. The Bible warns us against adding to and taking away from the Word of God. Will someone please help me to understand what Secret Societies have to do with Christianity. You certainly cannot mix them with God, Jesus or the Holy Ghost. Just search the Scriptures for the truth.
A church that requires you to pray to an image of God is not a true church. If you are not encouraged to read the Bible or if you are told that you have to confess to a man you’d better run from that building, for it is not a church based on Christ. There may be many people who love God within those walls. I do believe that some way or somehow God will get the soul-saving information to those people who really want to be saved.
I am not judging anyone, because judging is God’s business. But I’m telling you this: If any denomination does not teach you that in order to have fellowship with a Holy God you have to live free and separated from sin, then they have fallen short of teaching and preaching the gospel. Personally, I want all that God has for me. I would not put my entire hope for eternity in something that is not supported by the Word of God. To me, that’s crazy. When Jesus comes to rapture us out of here He is going to be looking for a church like the one described in Ephesians 5:27 (KJV)
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
The people are the church, so Jesus will come back for holy people. When you become filled with the Holy Ghost it means that the very Spirit of God abides in you. You be the judge of where you are in Christ. I encourage you to love God and live for Him every day. May He bless you and yours. Let’s close with the words of a little song:
Goodbye world, I live no longer with you
Goodbye pleasures, I live no longer with you
I made up my mind to go God’s way for the rest of my days.
I made up my mind to go God’s way the rest of my days.