I haven’t said anything about it, but your thoughts and comments are welcome.
Feb 24, 2014
A Frightening Thought
Great things happen during revival. The Holy Spirit moves among the people. People are realizing their sin and are repenting and getting renewed. People are developing a passion for the things of God. Some develop a stronger desire to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His coming again. Broken relationships are restored. Christians are striving to get closer to God. It is truly a mountaintop experience. Granted, we know we cannot stay on the mountain, but that does not stop us from trying to stay there.
But there is a frightening thing about revival. Consider the person who attends services but does not experience any type of renewal. There are those who resist the urging of The Holy Spirit. If they are an unrepentant non-believer, then their hearts are hardened against the movement of God. That is sad and we must pray all the more for that person. The most frightening part (according to some) is that some people could be so jaded to the Gospel that God has stopped talking to them.
What about the backslidden Christian? What about the unrepentant Christian?
“Yea, Steve, I know. But I’m in God’s hands. I’ve accepted Jesus as LORD and Savior, and I’m His. Nothing can separate me from His love.”
I know about Eternal Security. Not all Christians subscribe to that doctrine. Some believe it is possible to lose their salvation. (No, I do not want to open the Eternal Security debate) Others will simply argue that some “Christians” never surrendered all to Christ and are therefore not His.
I don’t know how true the story is, but I’m told that one pastor told my dad that all he had to do was be immersed and join the church and he would be saved. According to the story, dad knew better than that and in so many words told that pastor what he could do with his baptism. But that still does not make him a child of God. While I would like to believe dad accepted Christ before his death, I will never know in this life. I do know that during the summer before his death, he was watching more televangelists and Christian programming.
There are ministers who tell folks that. Walk the aisle during the invitation, talk to the preacher, be baptized and join the church and all will be fine. Many of these folks are seen in church during their annual Easter and Christmas pilgrimages. I’m not trying to be judgmental, but doesn’t James talk about works being an indicator of faith? These “Christians” go through life thinking they are God’s children and never realize the truth, because they have never really heard the truth.
We do a fantastic job at times in sharing the Gospel, but then drop the ball where it comes to making disciples.
But what about the backslidden Christian … that person who is always there but is skeptical about everything that goes on in the church. This person is seeing the movement of the Holy Spirit all around and is seeing people changing, but are not experiencing any of that himself or herself. Some may never realize they are missing out. Others recognize a change and a movement of God, but are experiencing nothing. I’m not talking about emotion or a lack thereof. Some of us don’t display emotion as easily as others. But consider the frightening aspect of knowing and experiencing God’s salvation, but not being moved at all by His Spirit. This person has lost the Joy of his salvation. Is it possible to lose one’s salvation and therefore said joy?
Consider this passages in Hebrews
Consider this passages in Hebrews. “Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits. For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.” (6:1-7)
I’ll be honest … I struggle with this. The passage says (as I read it anyway) that a person who falls away can lose his salvation and once lost, will not regain it. Some say that the writer was talking about the angels who rebelled with Old Ugly. Others note that this passage is simply an argument that one, who is saved, cannot lose that salvation. While I’m not looking to debate this question, I do welcome your comments. Trust me, I’ve debated this in my mind to the point that I believe I could take either side of the question and give a convincing argument.
Anyway, what about the Christian who is not moved in revival; No newfound joy … No visible change in behavior … no testimony to share … just there. To say the least, that person is missing a blessing. The most? It’s terrifying to think about. I guess the worse thought is the realization that it is too late for you. I know there are people who admit not going to Heaven, but then I don’t think these people really believe in eternal bliss or punishment. Then others simply don’t believe in a place called Hell.
But what about the person who does not realize the situation he is in? Or the person who does realize his situation; is there still home for that person? Can a person be hopelessly lost and not realize it?
“But LORD, didn’t I teach
that youth Sunday School class?”
“LORD? I was there
every time the church door was open!”
“LORD, I went on those mission trips
to Honduras and Ethiopia.”
And He said,
“Depart from me,
I never knew you.”
And there shall be weeping
and gnashing of teeth.
I can think of only one thing
Why have you
It was because…
He bore our sin.
For anyone else…
It is because
That one will choose
To bear their own sin.
In Christ’s Love