It has been man’s desire from the beginning to “get to Heaven” on his own terms. Yes, we have choices but the born-again believer does not have to make the wrong choices in life. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit of God to successfully live separated lives. Again, it is choice! Today’s preaching from the pulpit rarely speaks of living a separated life. Instead, today’s preaching concentrates on God’s love and goodness (which is all true) but leaves out His judgment and chastisement. This type of preaching has been going on for quite some time and we are seeing the effects of this preaching in the lives of Christians.
~Matthew 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? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
I’m currently reading Sacred Betrayal by James R. Beller. It is an excellent book on Baptist history – and not only Baptist history but the decline of separated living. How sad to see where biblical doctrine has been watered down throughout the centuries. Is it any wonder that the believer is weak? Granted, we are responsible for our own spiritual growth. It is not up to the preacher to spoon feed us, Christian! Even a baby learns to feed himself, after all. As believers, we should be growing in the Lord at a steady pace. The preaching of God’s Word should be enforcing what we have already learned from the Word. The preaching should be the glue that binds all that we’ve learned together!
~2 Corinthians 2:11-15 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia. Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
So why then do we see so many misguided and weak Christians? If they are truly born again, they are failing in a few areas. You can read your Bible until the cows come home. But if you are merely reading for the sake of reading, you won’t glean a thing. The Holy Spirit may have brought out a couple of verses for you to glean from but you have ignored His prodding. The Apostle Paul exhorts us not to quench the Holy Spirit.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
Jesus called believers to a higher standard, don’t you see that? He didn’t give believers an open door to sin! This is what is being taught in churches today! How sad is that? Baptists are looked upon with disdain because it is said of them that they claim salvation but live like the world! Christ must be looking down from His Heaven and shedding tears at the perversions being taught in the Church today – all under the guise of “freedom” and “grace”! Is it any wonder that some believers look to other “religions” that will help them to “feel” saved? One will doubt their salvation if one is not in God’s Word being fed by the Master. One will doubt their salvation if one isn’t led by the Holy Spirit. How can you doubt your salvation when you are being obedient to God’s Word? You are only as “spiritual” as the amount of time you work at listening to God and obeying His Words. The truth from God’s Word sets us free. We no longer live in doubt, shame, and bewilderment. We are secure in God’s love because of what Christ did. As a result of our salvation, we desire to follow after Him and do what pleases Him – not what pleases man!
~John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
In kind, one will look to other doctrines if one isn’t grounded in what he has been taught by God – not by man, but by God! Why does a Christian stray and try to live by religious laws again? For example, if a person is born again, why would he want to go back to the Catholic church and see his Saviour being sacrificed in the mass day after day? Why would a person who is born again want to follow Levitical laws that placed burdens from which Christ freed us? Why would a person who is born again be side tracked into a religion that requires you to not have electricity or phones. Is it just so they can say they are separated? Is it because they need this “extra” doctrine to prove to themselves that if they keep it they are truly saved? God knows the heart, Christian! God wants obedience to His Word. If we are truly living according to His Word, we won’t need the religious bondage to make us “feel” saved. If we are truly living according to His Word, we won’t doubt our salvation. Obedience brings peace and leaves no room for doubt.
~2 Corinthians 10:5 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
Furthermore, following after false teaching brings burdens that cannot be carried. Christ gave us freedom with our salvation. It is a freedom from sin and an ability, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to say no to sin. This is where Christians have dropped the ball. They have become so complacent to sin and not living a separated life that they feel as though they can not conquer sin.
~Matthew 5:27-28 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
We are held to a higher standard, not an open ticket to sin. Do Christ’s words sound like an open ticket to sin? Does this sound like an open door to enjoy the things of the world? The Christian is called to live with higher standards than the Ten Commandments! These higher standards cannot be done in the flesh. They cannot be upheld by unbelievers. Only a yielded Christian can live by these standards – yielded to the Holy Spirit of God. But it takes a committed believer! It takes a believer who seeks after God’s will and applies what he has learned. The Jews could not keep the Law and that is why our Lord and Saviour came to save them from their bondage of sin! But here in Matthew, Jesus is adding that not only should they NOT commit adultery but they in fact commit adultery just by looking on a woman with lust in their hearts!
Christ taught separation. When a believer says he loves the Lord, then let him live like he does. The more a Christian dabbles in the world, the harder it will be for him to stay away from sin. Eventually, that Christian will smell and act like the world. Is it any wonder Christians are weak today? They are being fed man’s garbage, not God’s Word! Whatever happened to comparing God’s Word to what the preacher says? Whatever happened to the Christian spending quality time in his Bible and learning at the feet of Christ? There are too many Martha’s and not enough Mary’s! The more we separate ourselves, the closer we get to our Saviour and the less we love the things of this world.
Sit at Christ’s feet and learn from Him. After all, the Holy Spirit penned His words for us to be able to glean from its blessed pages! We are to study for ourselves (2 Tim. 2:15), not be spoon fed by the preacher! We are to learn from Jesus, not from man! Man can deceive us but God will not.
~Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
No where in the Bible does it encourage to be of the world. No where in the Bible does it say that it’s OK to act like the world. No where in the Bible does it say to live like everyone else does. We are suppose to be (Titus 2:14 and 1 Peter 2:9) different, not like the rest of the world.
This is what is preached in today’s church: “We have to go into the world to win them.” True, we do. However, no where does the Word say to be like the world – quite the opposite – we are to be “peculiar.” Christians who are not living separated lives are going to doubt their salvation and seek to find that peace within from something. Christians who are not living separated lives are going to be looking for “more” out of their Christian walk because they are not at peace in their spirit. They’re not at peace because the Holy Spirit is trying to convict them and guide them but they are quenching Him. Be at peace by being in the Word and obeying what the Holy Spirit points out to you. He’ll clean you through and through and you will never have to seek confirmation of your salvation.