Are you actually saved?

Are You Actually Saved???

In my last post, we discussed the righteous and loving judgement of God. Many church goers suppose that this judgement doesn’t apply to them because they are saved by grace through faith. This idea is reinforced by one of the most beloved and quoted verses in the Bible:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Salvation sounds easy enough, right? It’s no wonder this is one of the most famous Bible verses. But this is not the only thing the Bible has to say about your salvation! Is entering eternity with the Father actually that easy?
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13)
Jesus didn’t sound too optimistic, did he? Perhaps it’s worthwhile to take our time to evaluate our own salvation. Ask yourself, are you actually saved? I will not take our salvation for granted today. Rather than give false assurances, we’ll take a careful look at what else the Bible has to say about being saved. The Bible has some powerful ways of describing Christians.
“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32)
Many churches teach that salvation is received by hearing about Jesus, and saying a prayer to confess your need for Him as Lord of your life. But this isn’t just confessing Jesus in a prayer, it’s confessing Jesus to everyone around. Those who are saved do much more than simply hear and accept the message. Those who are saved also act on it.
For it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. (Romans 2:13)
“A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. (Matthew 21:28-31)
It’s not enough to know about Jesus. Jesus must also know you.
Someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers.’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out. (Luke 13:23-28)
The relationship you have with Jesus is evaluated by the fruits of your actions.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. (John 15:5-6)
Those who are saved do not withhold forgiveness.
For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (Matthew 6:14-15)
Forgiveness, having a relationship with Jesus, acting like it, and sharing Jesus with others all are pretty straight forward. So far, these requirements seem safe. But the Bible has far more extreme things to say about those who are saved: For one thing, they hate their lives, hate their families, and have given up everything.
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple... So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. (Luke 14:26-27, 33)
Those who are saved have been baptised and perform miracles.
He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. (Mark 16:16-18)
Now if anyone had a shot at salvation, I’d think it would be the guy who lays hands on the sick in the name of Jesus and they recover. But Jesus said not even miracles aren’t enough for salvation.
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
The most important characteristic of those who are saved? They do not sin.
For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20)
And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? (1 Peter 4:18)
No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil. (1 John 3:7-8)
For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:5)
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:41-46)
So, are you actually saved? The answer is in these verses. Are you proud to confess Jesus to other people? Do you believe in Jesus, and act out that salvation? Do you have a relationship with Jesus and the fruit to prove it? Have you forgiven every wrong against you? Do you hate your life and even your earthly family? Have you been baptised? Do you perform miracles? Are you free from sin?

If your answer is yes, I encourage you to keep up your guard and continue to “run in such a way that you may win.” (1 Corinthians 9:24). If your answer to any of these questions is no, then you either deny the Bible or accept you’ll be judged and condemned. Do not think that just because you call yourself a Christian, you will escape Jesus’ judgement. The scriptures are very clear that Christians will be judged along with the rest of the world.
For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? (1 Peter 4:18-19)
But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. (Romans 14:10)
For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality. (Colossians 3:25)
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. (Romans 2:3-11)
I am well aware that this teaching flies in the face of some of the core beliefs of many protestant churches. They have written volumes trying to reconcile their beliefs with scripture. But I believe these scriptures actually speak for themselves, no commentary necessary. How then can our sin be judged if our salvation is not by works but by faith alone? We will take a closer look at this in my next post. In the meantime, if you’d like to look up more verses describing those who are saved, check out Matthew 7:16-20, 18:34, 25:29-30, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:57-62, and John 6:51, 12:25-26, 14:15.

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