GET OUT OF THE STORM

GET OUT OF THE STORM

How to know if your “brother” or “sister” is saved or not.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.”, Matthew 7:21

I believe that there is probably no other Scripture in the entire 66 books of the Bible that is as tragic as this one.

The whole truth of the matter is that there will be people, a good many people, that stand before the Lord, assuming they are about to enter into the Glory of the Lord, the long-awaited reward…HEAVEN.  Only these poor tragic souls will be told they’re on their way to hell.  This is just reality folks.  I am so sorry to tell you this.  Can you imagine a worst possible illusion that you can have, one BIG mistake about your everlasting destiny?  Can you imagine, for a moment with me, in that moment to be mistaken about your salvation?

I’m often asked the question, “Are Roman Catholics Christians (Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhist, pick one)?”  And I will turn it around and ask, “Do you think Protestants are just naturally Christians?”  What about this one, “Are evangelicals necessarily Christians?”  “But more important than any of these questions; Are you a Christian?”  Now, believe they will not want to embarrass themselves any more than they have and they will always say, “Yes, yes I am a Christian.”

This tragedy would make a Shakespearean play tragedy of tragedies blush!   Sadly,  it will occur and it does occur and it will continue to occur that someone would sit in church and end up saying, “But, Lord, but, Lord,” only to hear, “Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity, I never knew you.”

Don’t you know my friend that, Christianity is filled with people in all kinds of religious activities?   The church programs, etc.  Just think of all the Christian organizations, there’s no end to them.  With all of this confusion, with every shingle on every counselor’s door, every church building and crisis center will say, “Christian or Jesus”, how can we tell if someone is a Christian?  Is it really that important to know if so and so is really saved?

Wouldn’t a better question to ask is if you are saved?  Yes, that is a great question.  Please see my essay, “How to Know You Are a Christian: Ten Ways To Keep The Devil From Barking.”

For now, how can we tell if someone is a Christian?  Because he or she says they are?  Because their Pastor says they are?  Maybe they have one of them REALLY BIG BIBLES.  Or maybe they own Jones & Smith Christian Counseling.   Or maybe their Band is a Christian Rock Band called, I AM A ROCK!

Well, let’s get into it and see if we can figure this out.

Jesus tells us that there are two ways to know if someone is saved, that is if they are going to Heaven when they die.  This is important, I will explain why later.

  • They have LOVE FOR EACH OTHER. John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
  • BY THEIR FRUIT (what fruit? I’ll tell you in a second.) Matthew 7:16, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

What FRUIT?  The Fruits of the Spirit (big S…Holy Spirit) ….are these 9 things evident in their lives?

FRUIT (beneficial results):

LOVE (Love is the greatest gift God can give.  This love is not a feeling, but a choice. It is the choice to be kind, to sacrifice, to consider another’s needs greater than one’s own (Philippians 2:3). Agape is used in all of the “hard” love verses in the New Testament.  God’s children are the conduits of His love, as they are empowered by the Holy Spirit.)

JOY (Joy is the natural reaction to the work of God, whether promised or fulfilled.  we have joy because of God’s grace. The next step in the progression is to allow our joy to become an action as we express it, although sometimes joy can be so great it is inexpressible (1 Peter 1:8).  Possessing joy is a choice. We choose whether to value God’s presence, promises, and work in our lives. When we yield to the Spirit, He opens our eyes to God’s grace around us and fills us with joy (Romans 15:13). Joy is not to be found in a fallen world; it is only fellowship with God that can make our joy complete (1 John 1:4). )
PEACE (God’s methods of warfare are not what we expected. Instead of a battle, He sent us the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus’ goal in coming to earth was more than simply to cease hostilities; He came to bring about a full and abiding relationship of restoration and love. The cost of this peace was His life (Isaiah 53:5).  Just as we cannot force another to be at peace with us, even Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross did not ensure that we would accept His terms of peace.  The Spirit-filled Christian has a peace that is abundant, available in every situation, and unlike anything that the world has to offer (John 14:27). The alternative to being filled with the Spirit and His peace is to be filled with alarm, filled with doubt, filled with foreboding, or filled with dread. How much better to let the Spirit have control and perform His work of growing fruit to the glory of God!)

LONGSUFFERING (Having patience in spite of your troubles.  Patience comes from a position of power. A person may have the ability to take revenge or cause trouble, but patience brings self-restraint and careful thinking. Losing patience is a sign of weakness.  The opposite of patience is agitation, discouragement, and a desire for revenge. God does not want His children to live in agitation but in peace (John 14:27). He wants to dispel discouragement and replace it with hope and praise (Psalm 42:5). We are not to avenge ourselves; rather, we are to love others (Romans 12:19; Leviticus 19:18).)

Gentleness (Might restrained. Humility and grace, to be gentle is to recognize that God’s ways and thoughts are high above our own.  we will correct others with easiness instead of arguing in resentment and anger, knowing that their salvation is far more important than our pride.  Quick to forgive.)

GOODNESS (virtue and holiness in action, desire to be a blessing, uprightness of heart and life.  It results in a life characterized by deeds motivated by righteousness and a desire to be a blessing. It’s a moral characteristic of a Spirit-filled person.  Giving to the poor, providing for one’s children, visiting the sick, volunteering to clean up after a storm, and praying for an enemy. Expressions of goodness are as varied as the Spirit is creative.)

FAITH (strong belief in God, complete trust in God.  Faithfulness is believing that God is who He says He is and continuing in that belief despite the vagaries of life. Functionally, that means we trust what God says in the Bible, and not necessarily what the world or our own eyes tell us. We trust He will work out everything for good. We trust He will work His will in us. And we trust that our situation on earth is nothing compared to our future reward in heaven.  We are called to live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).)

MEEKNESS (Meekness is a valuable and important fruit and requires much study.   Putting God first in all things.  Meekness loves to learn. And it counts the corrective blows of a friend as precious (Proverbs 27:6).  Meekness begins when we put our trust in God. Then, because we trust him, we commit our way to him. We roll onto him our anxieties, our frustrations, our plans, our relationships, our jobs, our health.  James says, in this quiet confidence we are slow to speak and quick to listen (James 1:19). We become reasonable and open to correction (James 3:17). James calls this the “meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13).  Meekness is so important that it is the third characteristic Jesus mentions in His foundational teaching, the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Obviously, the world’s ideal of the perfect man is very different from His. The meek are among those so favored that they will share in Jesus’ inheritance of the earth.  Three people in the Bible are specifically described as being meek: Jesus (Mt 11:29)
(Mt 21:5), Paul (2 Cor 10:1), and Moses (Num 12:3). Each of these men was amongst the most persecuted men in the Bible.  MEEKNESS IS A SIGN TO AN UNBELIEVING WORLD THAT CHRIST IS IN US.  Meekness does indeed require much study.

In Matthew 11:29, Jesus links meekness with lowliness: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle [meek, KJV] and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Ephesians 4:1-3 states:

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness [meekness, KJV], with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

The King James version is correct, as the Greek text uses prautes. “Gentle” and “gentleness” are incorrect because in this context they are only an aspect of the meekness we should express in our dealings with others.

Godly meekness cannot be divorced from its association with gentleness. However, this gentleness is not usually seen in the situations where the Bible’s writers use meekness. Notice II Corinthians 10:1: “Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you.” Here, meekness appears with gentleness, as though a similarity exists alongside a specific difference.

This does not mean the meek will take everything “lying down.” Notice Moses, who as we have seen, was the meekest man of his time. He did not hesitate to order the execution of about three thousand of the idolaters who worshipped the Golden Calf while he was with God on the mountain (Exodus 32:25-28). Against evil, this meek man was as stern as steel.

A meek person will feel the wrong done against him and feel it bitterly. But because he is not thinking of himself, his meekness does not allow his spirit to give vent to a hateful, savage and vindictive anger that seeks to “get even.” He will instead be full of pity for the damaged character, attitudes and blindness of the perpetrator. From the stake Jesus uttered, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).

A Valuable Fruit

This much misunderstood and maligned virtue is the antidote for most of the nervous anxiety that is greatly intensifying the normal day-to-day stresses of life. God commands us in Zephaniah 2:3:

Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility [meekness, KJV]. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.

How valuable is that blessing?

There is more:

The poor [meek, KJV] shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever! (Psalm 22:26)

Further, “The Lord lifts up the humble (meek, KJV); He casts the wicked down to the ground” (Psalm 147:6).

Finally:

The humble [meek, KJV] also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 29:19).

This is not a virtue to ignore because carnal men consider it a weakness. It may appear to them as weakness, but the spiritual reality is that it is great strength, an attribute of Almighty God and a fruit of His Spirit we greatly need.)

Temperance (abstinence from alcoholic drink, or self-control, self-restraint in all things.  Temperance is the ability to control oneself. It involves moderation, constraint, and the ability to say “no” to our baser desires and fleshly lusts.  Believers need self-control because the outside world and internal forces still attack (Romans 7:21-25). Like a vulnerable city, we must have defenses. A wall around an ancient city was designed to keep out the enemy.)

I BELIEVE THAT GOD DIDN’T JUST PUT WORDS IN HIS WORD TO FILL UP SPACE.  EACH WORD, UNLIKE MY RAMBLINSG 😊, EACH WORD HAS SPECIFIC MEANING AND VALUE.  Jesus taught us how to separate the sheep from the goats…the sinner bound for hell and the Christian saved by Grace on his way to Glory because of Christ’s finished work upon the cross.

Why is it so important that Jesus made sure we knew how to tell if someone was a Christian?  I believe that answer is simple and to the point.

Ephesians 4:14, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”

In order to protect us.  It is one thing to be a Christian and yet and entirely different thing to say we are a Christian.  If someone says they are a Christian…and they preach a gospel…and they are not saved, you will be blown to and fro…confused with the knowledge of the true gospel.  Remember, GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION, 1 Corinthians 14:33, BUT THE AUTHOR OF PEACE.

Colossians 2:8, Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

I have seen the face of mental illness. I have seen what it is like when people are unable to hear God because their minds are broken and cannot seem to connect to God even when they want to connect to God. And I know whatever gets your mind gets you. So one of the most important things we need to learn and teach others is how to guard, strengthen, and renew our minds because the battle for sin always starts in the mind.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

It is important to know God’s Word, be in prayer.  The Bible says that if any man lack wisdom to ask for it.  James 1:5 We must know we are saved and we must have confidence in our salvation.  See my essay, “How to Know You Are a Christian: Ten Ways To Keep The Devil From Barking.”

Even though they are in church many people are uncertain of their salvation.  Some denominations teach that you can lose your salvation.  Some Christians believe they can lose their salvation.   Some teach and others believe you can’t lose your salvation.  Which is it and if it be so, how to keep from losing your salvation.

How can you be sure that you are a Christian?   Here are 10 true Christian values that will keep the devil from barking and you can rest assured that you have the Holy Spirit inside of you, working in you, which provide solid, biblical evidence that you are a Christian and that you can know that you are saved.  On the other hand, we may prove that even though you think you are saved, that you are not, even though you truly desire to be saved.

Let’s get to the truth and at the end, I promise that either way, if you want to be saved, you will be and you will have confidence that you are.  On the other hand, if you read my thesis and decide, nahhh, I’m fine, who cares, you will not be saved and you will know why.   Why in the world would you want to read my poorly written essay if you had no desire to be saved?  😊

See you next time, may God bless you and yours,

Rev. Kevin Airrington

Airrington Ministries

The Bible Rescue Co.

www.airrington.com

www.thebiblerescue.co

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