Monday, August 14, 2017

Not Always Saved

Not Always Saved
August 14, 2017
Revelation 3:2  "Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God."

When Jesus dictated the seven letters to the seven churches, His lamps unto the World, He was not writing to the non-believer. He was not writing to the Jew, or to the Pharisee, or anyone following false religions. Jesus was writing to a very specific group of individuals. He was writing to Christians, to those who professed to follow the name of Jesus and had received salvation for the repentance of their sins. It was a very narrow group of individuals, and each Christian church was subject to their own struggles. None was perfect and Jesus recognized that. He was sending the letters on ahead of Himself, to convince the believers He was on His way and that when He arrived, they better be living rightly. They better had fixed the problems within the four walls of their church and within the lining of their hearts.

The church of Sardis, though, they were unique above all other churches. Jesus said they had a reputation that preceded themselves. He acknowledged that they were known for being a healthy church, a living and vibrant place where lives were changed and people were true believers and worshipers of the name of Jesus and the one true God. They hadn't fallen victim to false teaching and they hadn't worshiped other Gods. Their problem, however, is probably the most common problem among churches today. He said they had a reputation for being alive but they were really dead inside. This reputation of once being alive could not have been gained if it wasn't legitimate at one time. My guess is that the church of Sardis was once an amazing environment where lives were restored and healed, where people were truly introduced into a relationship with Jesus. Their fault, however, was falling victim to the status quo.

The church of Sardis had risen to the level of excellence in the eyes of many and they tried to maintain it on programs and practice and the perpetuation of going through the motions. Jesus said they had gone through the motions long enough that it still looked real to those peering from the outside. They were now faking it, because somewhere along the line it was easier to do it from memory than from the heart. Their hearts were no longer in it. Jesus had a warning for them; He threatened to erase their names from the book of life. Many people believe that once you have come to the knowledge of Jesus as your Savior, and repented of your sins, that you will enter Heaven no matter what you do after that moment. Jesus said He had the authority to "blot out that name from the book of life." A name could not be blot out if it had not been written there in the first place by the only one who could write it in place. I can't write anyone's name in the book of life, only Jesus has that authority. But Jesus also has the authority to take away someone's name, thereby voiding their salvation and ticket into Heaven. Only true believers, those who believe and live that way until the very end received salvation. Those faking it or going through the motions are at risk.

You and I are probably the most at risk for this. Those in the church of Sardis were still regular church attendees, after all they were part of the church body who would be reading His letter. Apparently, those who were once rich and vibrant in their relationship with Jesus, can still be church attendees until the very end, yet end up with their name blotted out of the book of life. This is a sad state of affairs, to lose the most important thing ever and not even realize it, your salvation. Jesus says wake up before its too late. Falling asleep in church could void your salvation. You still have work to do for Him; your life is not complete and therefore your tasks are not complete. Stay alert and keep your heart in it at all times, lest your name get blotted out from the book of life.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  John 15:1-6, Rom 11:17-22, Phil 2:12, Revelation 2 & 3

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