“Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness. But if wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my decrees and do what is just and right, they will surely live and not die. All their past (*not past, present and future!) sins will be forgotten, and they will live because of the righteous things they have done. Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live. However, if righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things and act like other sinners, should they be allowed to live? No, of course not! All their righteous acts will be forgotten, and they will die for their sins. Yet you say, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one not doing what’s right, or is it you? When righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things, they will die for it. Yes, they will die because of their sinful deeds. And if wicked people turn from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives. They will live because they thought it over and decided to turn from their sins. Such people will not die. And yet the people of Israel keep saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ O people of Israel, it is you who are not doing what’s right, not I. Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions, says the Sovereign Lord. Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you! Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel? I don’t want you to die, says the Sovereign Lord. Turn back and live!” (Ezekiel 18:20-32, *my own interjection)
Now this is coming straight from the Creator’s mouth! So if you can still believe in being Once Saved Always Saved after reading that then you just love lies. Paul told Timothy that in the end times there would people unable to endure sound doctrine. So because of your own worldly desires and wicked ways (that you need to repent of in order to be saved!) you would rather join a church that hired a pastor to preach the people happy, or listen to Joel Osteen. Do not be deceived. Not even by your own sick heart (according to Jeremiah 17:9), the unrighteous will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God.
“I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:1-8)
And Paul may have finished his race but even he knew that he wasn’t Once Saved Always Saved.
And he preached grace! This is why we need to be able to rightly divide the word. Yes, we are saved by grace but the scriptures specifically (and repeatedly) state THROUGH FAITH, in which we know without works is void.
See so many of us are told that all we have to do is confess with our mouths and “believe” in our hearts that Jesus is Lord and we’ll be “saved” but these self proclaimed pastors always leave out the next and most important verse..
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Our hearts have to believe UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS! We are not getting into heaven offering the Lord emotion and lip service.
“And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.” (Isaiah 29:13)
Salvation takes great effort. It requires true repentance because this “grace” that ya’ll depend on isn’t saving repeat offenders.
“Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.” Hebrews 10:26-27 (NLT)
God’s grace is given to assist in sanctification. It doesn’t excuse sin or permit us to hold on to our old ways of thinking and living.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1-2)
If you’re interested, I blogged a little more in depth about abusing grace here but in reality no one is truly “saved” yet. That’s why the scriptures tell us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). True salvation isn’t received until Jesus Christ returns. That’s whole point of being “sealed” with the holy ghost. And speaking of that, I understand that some of you may feel a sense of security because the holy Spirit dwells in you. But first you need to test the spirit because many counterfeits are on the move. The scriptures say that God gives his Spirit to those who ask AND OBEY (Acts 5:32). Not to any ol’ fool claiming Christianity! The holy Spirit is HOLY. This is what enables you to overcome sin and worldliness, and to commit to more than just what’s easy and popular or convenient. Besides, it’s not merely about receiving but about ABIDING in the Spirit (and in the teachings!) you’ve been given. So I don’t care how called or anointed you think you are, there are plenty of parables of the Master’s servants being tossed into the fire. So let’s humble ourselves, and let those of you who believe in being once saved always saved examine yourselves to see if you’re truly in the faith.
With nothing but love,