When it comes to stocks and bonds, the market continually makes the trader/investor an offer.
If you say no, it just comes right back with another offer.
If you say no again, it just comes right back with yet another one, and so on, and so on, ad infinitum.
And that’s EXACTLY how it is with temptation/trials for a Christian.
Our flesh (James 1:14) “offers” us a temptation, an opportunity to sin (i.e., to choose SIN and the Devil OVER Christ and the cross in that moment).
If we say no, it just comes back with another offer.
If we say no again, it just comes back with yet another one, and so on, and so on, ad infinitum – UNTIL we leave this world and are in heaven with Christ, “where neither moth nor rust destroys” (Matthew 6:19-20).
The key is to KEEP RESISTING (1 Peter 5:9), knowing – and being motivated by the fact – that “the one who ENDURES TO THE END, he shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)
To end where we began with an analogy to the stock market… that’s why an overall “chart” of DECREASING sin, INCREASING righteousness is indeed one of the biblical PROOFS of genuine salvation, that someone is truly saved and not only “knows” the Lord but (infinitely more importantly) IS KNOWN BY the Lord.
- “But now that you have come to know God, or rather to BE KNOWN BY God…” (Galatians 4:9)
- “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 [the key word here; note that He DOESN’T use the word “commit”] lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:22-23)
- “And by THIS we KNOW that we have come to know Him [i.e., be known by Him], if we KEEP [i.e., practice!] HIS COMMANDMENTS. The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does NOT keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is NOT in him; BUT WHOEVER keeps [i.e., practices!] His word, in him the love of God has TRULY been perfected. By this we KNOW that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him out himself to walk [practice!] in the same manner as He walked.” (1 John 2:3-6)
- “EVERYONE who PRACTICES [there’s that word/concept again!] sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins [i.e., PRACTICES sin]; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices [there’s that word yet again!] righteousness IS righteous, JUST AS He is righteous [more on this in a minute]; the one who practices [there’s that word yet again!] sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God [i.e., Jesus] appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil. NO ONE who is born of God PRACTICES sin [there’s that word yet again! He couldn’t have been and the Bible couldn’t be ANY CLEARER in the matter!], BECAUSE His seed abides in him; and he CANNOT [practice] sin, BECAUSE he is born of God. By this the children of God [i.e., saved] and the children of the devil [i.e., unsaved] are OBVIOUS: anyone who does not practice [told ya that’s the key word =] righteousness is not of God…” (1 John 3:4-10)
Yes, the KEY word is “practice”, but in “second place” would be “because” and praise the Lord He included that word, too. You see, it totally takes away any “pressure” to perform in the Christian life because THAT is and can ONLY be accomplished BY CHRIST, as clearly explained in one of my “life verse” couplets which I’ll leave you with for now: “Therefore, if ANY man [i.e., person] IS in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things [i.e., practices, habits, affections, perspectives] have come. He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, THAT we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:17,21) And THAT, my friends, perfectly explains 1 John 3:5-10.
What a blessing and help and comfort and confidence that God graciously gave us in the Bible, which serves as a MIRROR for us to look into and see our TRUE spiritual state (James 1:22-27) so that we needn’t go through life with ANY DOUBT about whether or not we are truly saved. We DON’T have to wait until the next life (eternity) to find out (good thing, because then it’s TOO LATE) – no, we can KNOW with TOTAL AND COMPLETE CONFIDENCE in THIS life exactly where we’ll be spending the next, where we’ll be spending all eternity. This is THE MOST IMPORTANT MATTER IN ALL OF LIFE, nothing else EVEN COMES CLOSE. Which is why the Bible urges us to REGULARLY LOOK into that mirror, to MAKE SURE.
- “TEST YOURSELVES to SEE if you are in the faith; EXAMINE YOURSELVES!” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
- “Therefore, brethren, be ALL THE MORE DILIGENT to MAKE CERTAIN about His calling and choosing you [i.e., your salvation]; for as long as you practice [there’s that word YET AGAIN, amazing!] these things, you will never stumble” (2 Peter 1:10)
God, via the Bible – and by extension, I – DON’T say that to cause anyone to doubt but JUST THE OPPOSITE, to REMOVE any and all doubt about it.
Eternity demands nothing less.
I have ZERO power or ability to save anyone (including myself). None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Because that’s ENTIRELY the work of the Holy Spirit through the Bible, the Gospel, the “message concerning Christ” as Romans 10:17 puts it. But you know what I CAN do? I can make as many people as possible AWARE of this pressing, most-crucial-of-them-all-by-far matter. While I’d personally LOVE for as many people as possible to join me and Christians throughout the ages in Heaven some day, to spend all eternity there with our precious and victorious Lord, the aforementioned Matthew 7:13-23 makes it crystal clear that the majority of people won’t, but I at least don’t want them to leave this life and slip into eternity without opening their eyes widely about this matter, and if they reject the truth then sobeit, that’s between them and God, that’s not just “above my pay grade” it’s out of my realm altogether, but making them AWARE of this truth is not, and indeed I’ve committed the rest of my earthly life to that very thing, under the umbrella and rubric of the work and ministry of the Bible in general and Bible memory in specific.
In other words, I’d prefer that every person accepted the truth and thus received all of the related and indescribable benefits and reward, but I at least want – and have the ability – to make them AWARE of that option. Because the saddest and scariest thought of them all is how many millions and indeed billions of people have indeed NOT REALIZED these things until it was too late, until they had already entered a fiery and tortuous eternity which will know no end or respite or reversal.
No, THIS LIFE is the time to resolve one’s eternal destiny. Or as 2 Corinthians 6:2 puts is, “NOW is ‘the acceptable time,’ behold, NOW is ‘the day of salvation.'”
May it be so.
It’s very true that I can’t save anyone, but I CAN and would be thrilled to provide whatever information you might seek in this matter, simply use the form below but instead of entering “not spam” in the filter box, please enter “salvation” and any questions or comments you might have then click that red button and it’ll be my honor to respond just as quickly as possible.
Because NOTHING in this life is so important as resolving one’s destiny vis-a-vis the life to come. And my goal is to help as many people as possible remove all doubt. For the rest of their lives.
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