“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” — 1 John 2:19 (NKJV)
I remember a time when I was being rebuked for a position that I took on what I thought was making me behave in a sinful way. As the conversation was getting heated, the Pastor sitting across from me ended a sentence with, “For all you know you may not be saved.” At that moment, I took it all the wrong way. I actually thought the Pastor was doubting my salvation, but in fact he wanted me to examine myself to assure myself of my salvation. I allowed myself to get bent outta all kinds of shape, resign from everything I was involved in, pull up my roots and leave that church. In time God would make a way of reconciliation with that church and its Pastor…but it left a scar nonetheless.
Recently I was having a conversation with a fellow Colony brother that I work with. Matt is a great guy to be around and his timing with things seems to be very, well…timely. However, outta nowhere he asked me about how you can be saved, being unable to sin and still having to deal with the old man that dwells within us. “Maybe I’m just arguing semantics.” He went on to say that he heard a man announce that he doesn’t sin anymore. “How can that be?” Matt asked. “Paul wouldn’t have written in Romans 7 that ‘there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me’ (Romans 7:23). Don’t we still struggle with the old man?” I told him that I sure do, but then it got me thinking…what happens if the old man wins? Hmmm….
Can a born-again Christian go back and be unborn? I mean there is so much that has been discussed over the issue of folks losing their salvation and ya gotta admit this Christian life can be real hard to live out that, at times, it may make one take the route of Demas and head back to Thessalonica. What of the many who lead, teach or even pastor a flock? What if they decide to walk away from Christianity all together, then go do the unthinkable and speak out against it? What happens when they get to the gates of heaven? As Matt put it, “It’s not like God is gonna look around to make sure the coast is clear and then go, ‘It’s okay, c’mon in anyway.'”
Scripture is clear, “For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come—and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing Him to the cross once again and holding Him up to public shame.” (Hebrews 6:4-6)
So here is what I am saying today…be careful with the salvation you’ve been given. It ain’t a toy. If you’re gonna announce that you’re a “sin-less Christian” then I hope that you “work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen” (2 Peter 1:10) and you “Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him” (Col 2:7). If this is happening in your life then you truly become a fruit bearer, showing stuff like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control to everyone you encounter.
Ya know, when one of us falls away, it is easy to say that maybe they were never one of us, but let’s be careful with our own selves as well. We’ve been given promises that say, “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13) and “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from Me” (John 10:28). Let’s take God’s promises seriously so that we don’t think that God is just gonna look around, to make sure the coast is clear and say “C’mon in anyway.” Ain’t gonna happen. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003), is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “Let us get it straight. Jesus Christ does not just offer us salvation as though it is decoration or a bouquet or some addition to our garb. He says plainly: “Throw off your old rags; strip to the skin! Let me dress you in fine clean robes of My righteousness—all Mine. Then, if it means loss of money, lose it! If it means loss of job, lose it! If it means persecution, take it! If it brings the stiff winds of opposition, bow your head into the wind and take it—for My sake!” — A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:20-21