Are you a true Christian? Does your walk match your talk? Test yourself!
John 8:30-38 Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him. To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
Fact is – Not everybody is saved! A lot say that are, but they’re not based on Biblical evidence. The Bible says there are many people that think they are saved, but they really aren’t. (Matt 7:13-14, Luke 13:22-30)
- You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell* is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. “But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it. Matt 7:13-14
- Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He replied, “The door to heaven is narrow. Work hard to get in, because many will try to enter, but when the head of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. Then you will stand outside knocking and pleading, `Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, `I do not know you.’ You will say, `But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ And he will reply, `I tell you, I don’t know you. Go away, all you who do evil.’ Luke 13:22-27
Are you saved? How do you know you’re saved? Do you have a Biblical reason for believing that you are? These are super important questions for each of us!
Matt 13:18-23 (The parable of the sower, soil types) “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
- :19 Seed sown on the path – Hears the gospel, doesn’t really get it, satan snatches away the word, the message that was sown – NOT SAVED!
- :20 Seed sown on rocky ground – Hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. “I can go to heaven?! I really want that!,” yet has no root, when tribulation or persecution comes related to the word, he immediately falls away, “I want to go to heaven, but no one told me it was going to cost me anything, I’m so ‘otta here, it’s not going to cost me.” Will pay no price – NOT SAVED!
- :22 Seed sown among thorns – Hears the word, “hmmm, that sounds good, that church is close to my house, I like how I feel when I’m there, I kind of find that interesting, the people are nice, I think I’ll go back there”… until the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches chokes the word and it proves unfruitful – personal work/career & wealth, personal happiness & enjoyment, helping at church is inconvenient and wastes time, etc. Person has no fruit, they embrace the word in a superficial way, but have no fruit – NOT SAVED!
- :23 Seed sown on good soil – Hears the word, understands it, indeed bears fruit (some more than others, but all do bear fruit) for God, – ALL TRULY SAVED PEOPLE BEAR FRUIT! – 1 John 2:24 See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.
1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
Matt 13:24-29 (The parable of the sower – weeds vs wheet) Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ” ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ ” ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ”
Wheat – SAVED, Weeds – NOT SAVED
- Many people believe in Jesus. Early on, you can’t tell weeds from wheat. You have to wait until the plant is full grown. The fruit comes on in the fall, not in the spring. First, it needs to experience the storms of the summer and the scorching heat.
- Profession does not equal conversion. – Belief does not automatically equal saved.
- James 2:19 – You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder. – Demons – NOT SAVED
Matt 7:21 The Doing Is the Proving of the Saving Bearing good fruit. It’s not the doing that gets you saved, but the doing accompanies it with a loving and joyful heart. You want to serve!
Matt 7:15-23 (Bearing Fruit) – “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Luke 6:43-46 (Bearing Fruit) – “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
It’s not just what you did in serving Him, but rather your whole life – are you the same on each day of the week or are you different at church on Sundays? Does everyone in your life know you as a devoted follower of Christ?
- Matt 7:22 prophesy in your name (examples), teaching Sunday School, leading a small group, speaking for God, training your children – worshipped like one at church, but didn’t live your life like a Christian – God NEVER knew them. NOT SAVED.
- Gal 5:19-21 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. NOT SAVED (Continual patterns, not a few messups.)
“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling” – This is very serious! Test yourself.
If you’re saved, you are conscientious about this and care to make sure your talk equals your walk.
- Phil 2:12 (Paul) “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,”
- Paul, himself, examined his salvation, 1 Cor 9:27 (Paul) “but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” – If his walk didn’t match his talk, then he was not saved. The proof is in the pudding.
If your faith hasn’t changed you, it hasn’t saved you. Your Salvation is the only thing that will matter in 100 years! This is it!
Here’s some evidence of those who are saved…
- John 8:31 Genuine disciples abide in Jesus’ Words. – Not just because they believed Him (:30), but they needed to also abide in His Word (:31) – time will tell. At the end of the day, here’s the proof. To remain or to continue in God’s Word. Salvation happens at a moment in time, but it’s demonstrated over time. Saying “I believe it” doesn’t really matter. Just watch for a while – a week, month, year – are there changes?
- 1 John 2:3-6 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. For those saved… Jesus is the very purpose for life itself, to live for Him and serve Him. It’s the only thing that really matters, He’s Lord of your life.
Are these growing patterns in your life? If yes, then you are His disciple indeed. If not, you may think twice… Do an analysis…
- Am I – more loving? (my heart for the church people and for those that are lost has increased), more truthful? (less regard for anything other than what is true, don’t really care if you believe it or not, not burdened whether you’ll get rattled by the truth), more humble? (less sure of yourself, less confident in anything other than the Lord, Lord’s hand on your back putting you on your knees, more confident in God, greater capacity to say “I believe it’s going to work out”), more giving? (of my time, talents, & funds) –
- A growing pattern of the fruits of the spirit: Gal 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self‑control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. – Do you have these growing patterns?
- Ephesians 5: (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
- I’m not where I should be, but I’m not where I was. That’s good!
- :32 Abiding leads to freedom – experiential knowledge, not just head knowledge (the Word moves you, not bored with it, it’s a greater treasure to you, means more and more), growing pattern of freedom in your life,
- Free from power of sin – Even when you want to do what’s right, before Christ, you did the wrong, sometimes you still do the wrong when you want to do the right, but it’s getting better, you choose the right more often. You’re not where you used to be. The truth is not an inconvenience. Sin used to say “Do This” and you did it, now you don’t want it and don’t do it.
- Free from pain of sin – the painful, hurtful consequences of sin. Choose to sin, choose to suffer. Don’t want to suffer the miserable consequences.
- Freedom is not the ability to do what you feel will make you happy, real freedom is when we desire to do what we should do – a growing pattern. You want to do the right thing and you do it.
- False Disciples don’t recognize bondage to sin. – :33 – The jews were proud of their spiritual heritage and stood firm on this, very prideful, insulted, verbally opposed him, verbally abused him, tried to stone him. – NOT SAVED. No awareness of personal sin and of its hold on their life. – “It’s not wrong what I’m doing” Not convicted enough to change. Push them about their sin and you’ll have a blowout.
Who commits sin? Everyone. “Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.” Everyone is a slave to sin. No perfect people, just forgiven people. True disciples recognize themselves as sinners in need of their savior.
- Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
- Isaiah 53:6 “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Bondage to Sin Check
- Do you have a secret sin that is increasing its control on your life? Maybe no one even knows about it except you. Is it encroaching on your life? Is it getting better or worse? Getting free or deeper into bondage? If you’re truly saved, you should be getting more free, not deeper into the sin.
- Do you have a capacity to hold onto an offense? If someone abuses, slights, or mistreats you, you will not forget, make them pay. Followers are increasingly forgiving even though it may be hard – the need to reconcile. False converts are increasingly offended & angry. 1 John 2:9-11 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
- Do you have a reflex reaction to reminders about sin in your life? Sensitive spots. Coming to church (or being around true Christians) becomes difficult because issues become very sensitive. “I’m out of here.” True disciples have a hunger for the truth. Unsaved are bothered by convictions or anything that goes against their own pride and self-worth.
- Do you find overt discussions about spiritual intensities disquieting or even or aggravating? If in a conversation with someone who is talking about the Lord, you don’t like it – want to talk about something else, gets on your nerves. You don’t want to hear about it.
- Do you battle a critical spirit toward people who appear devoted to Christ? Are you secretly arguing about the Bible or people who profess it? When the worship team is singing, are you critical about the musical, etc. “She’s so phony.” You’re skeptical & critical of professing Christians.
- False Disciples Don’t Remain in Christ – :35 “Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.” – Once saved, always saved, if you’re truly saved – time will tell. 1 John 2: 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” Don’t want it, will not tolerate it long.
- Eventually, the false disciple will walk away, defects. Reality, the true spiritual condition is revealed and you’ll know they really haven’t been saved.
No growing pattern (freedom & righteousness) equals no assurance that you are saved.
Some churches are filled with the unsaved because the church isn’t using enough truth – shallow teaching that makes you feel good. This doesn’t set you free and sort out the wheat from the weeds.
If the Son makes you free, you will be truly free.
Series “Free At Last”, CD “Are you Saved?” by James MacDonald www.walkintheword.com