Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What it Takes

I was watching a documentary on Navy Seals training. As part of the documentary some of the SEAL instructors were talking about how they weed out the recuits. His observation was that the combination of rough conditions, pressure and time weeds out those who REALLY want to be a SEAL from those who just fancy the idea of being a SEAL. I thought that was an interesting parallel to how true christianity works.

What does it take to get to heaven? Apparently it takes faith, it takes obedience, it takes patience and it takes perseverance. Your faith and obedience WILL be tested until you exhale your final breath. Like the Navy SEAL trainees many "so called christians" fancy the idea of being a christian and going to heaven. Time has a way of wearing down those who just fancy the idea, and seperating them from those who REALLY want it. What does the bible say about these things?

9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Is it enough to ask, seek and knock one time? Apparently not...
<< Luke 18 >>
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

her CONTINUAL COMING....also known as persistence.

The idea of "once saved always saved" is a lie from the pit of hell. The Bible is FULL of conditional statements regarding the salvation of man. Many other websites have extensive refutations of the "once saved always saved" doctrine. I'll include one area of scripture that negates the idea in one fell swoop:

1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

This is plain english IF is a CONDITIONAL WORD. IFFFFFF you remain in me....see it?

What does it take to remain in Him? Faith, Obedience, patience, persistence.

Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

Those who don't REALLY want it, will be worn down by time, the world, the devil and their own evil desires. It's a very sobering thought that most people won't make it into heaven, only a few are saved:

7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

7:22 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? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Let me put this another way for you:

If I was a teacher and you were a student in my class and I told you that tomorrow I was going to give you a test that was quite easy, you would prepare for that test one way. If however, I was to tell you that the test tomorrow was very tough, you'd have an entirely different outlook on your preparation and mindset going into the test, right? How many of your "pastors" have reminded you lately (or ever) that only a few will make it into heaven? Don't you think that's important information to have as we look for Jesus's soon return? It's quite sobering. On our own we are in BIG TROUBLE, but Jesus said we are not alone. He sends the Comforter and the deposit guaranteeing our inheritance to those who remain in Him, also know as the Holy Spirit. With Him, all things are possible. Wake up you who slumber, time is oh so short.......