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The Daily Word of Righteousness
A Warning to the Backslider, #5
But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. (Hebrews 3:6—NIV)
Can you see that we are the house of Christ only as long as we "hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast"? It is said today that salvation is not conditional. The truth is, our being saved depends on our response. The Hebrew Christians were drifting away from their courage and hope.
That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, "Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways." So I declared on oath in my anger, "They shall never enter my rest." (Hebrews 3:10,11—NIV)
The writer reminds these seasoned Christians how the Jews started out from Egypt, a type of being saved initially, and then were prevented from entering the land of promise, a type of not finally becoming part of Christ.
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. (Hebrews 3:12—NIV)
When previously discussing the passage from Second Peter we spoke of the believer who turns away from God. But what is the penalty for doing this? Peter told us the penalty was to end up in a worse condition than when we started out as a Christian.
We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. (Hebrews 3:14—NIV)
The penalty is to not share in Christ.
The absolute unwillingness of modern Evangelical ministers to accept the above as it is written has brought chaos into the churches.
Salvation is a goal we pursue, not a ticket we receive at the time of taking "the four steps of salvation." As we can see, we are not saved in Christ until we persevere until the end of our discipleship. He who endures to the end shall be saved, just as the Lord said.
The branch that does not bear the fruit of the moral image of Christ will be cut out of the Vine, out of Christ. This is the Word of God. It must be preached today for we are losing a whole generation of American believers. They think they are saved and on their way to Heaven but they are not participating in the program of redemption, the process of deliverance from the influence of Satan and entrance into the Person of God through Christ.
Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. (Hebrews 4:1—NIV)
To be in the rest of God is to be doing God's will sternly and perfectly. Yet we hear Christians saying today that no one can do God's will perfectly. It is too hard.
The truth is, we either press into God's rest or we are in danger of not being accepted in Christ in the Day of the Lord. We absolutely must cease from our own works, our own plans and schemes, and find God's will for our life. Until we do this we are not qualified to be resurrected and caught up when the Lord returns.
To be continued.