There are some who think that because they said a magical prayer they are free to go on living however they want. To them Jesus is some kind of insurance package. They accepted him as Saviour but never as Lord. They take the deal of eternity but do whatever they want here. But it doesn't work that way. Jesus is far from an insurance policy. He must be Saviour and Lord, which means our desire is to live as he lived, to be controlled by the Spirit, to live a life that brings him glory.
A couple of days ago I was writing about how we are holy in God's sight, without blemish and free from accusation. Regardless of how you feel, you are covered by God's grace. That is a hard thing for us to accept because we want to beat ourselves up for our failures but God has this attitude where he picks us up, dusts us off and tells us to get on with it. But there is an "if" to this thing that Jesus does for us:
But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. (Colossians 1:22-23)
You see that, right? IF you continue in your faith. Can you imagine running a 12 hour marathon and giving up with a mile to go? All that training; all that time; all that effort, wasted. I think anyone who has trained that long and hard is going to make every effort to complete the race. Many Christians don't.
They don't because they were not established and firm. They called themselves Christian, went through all the motions but they set aside the Word because they didn't have time; they worshiped only at church; they never involved Jesus in anything of any importance in their life. So when the winds of trial and destruction hit, they had no root and were blown away.
Or, because they did not maintain a great relationship with Jesus, neglecting him and leaving him aside, over time their faith was worn away.I little here, a little there. They started changing their mind on things. Sin began to take control and cloud their mind until they were lost again in the depravity of sin. We think it can't happen, but when we do not stay connected to the vine, failing to remain established and firm, it is amazing how quickly we change.
This is very important in this age we are living. Things are changing quickly. Values are evaporating before our eyes. What was once considered sin is not acceptable and what once was acceptable is sin. What once was wrong in this world is right and what was right is wrong. In four short years the public opinion of Americans has flip flopped on homosexuality. Where the majority of people saw this as wrong, today the majority now sees it as right. Just one small example of hundreds of values that are changing.
If you are not established and firm in your faith, standing on the Word of God, possessed and controlled by the Spirit, madly in love with Jesus with a desire to obey, then you will be swept away in the changing tide. You will be sidelined from your faith and will soon be lost, failing to finish the race. We cannot afford to neglect our relationship with Jesus in these darkening days. We need to get as close as we can, increasing our faith, not decreasing. We have to be sure of where we stand and refuse to move as long as we are standing on the Rock, Jesus Christ.
Many will claim to follow him while doing what they want. Many will try to use the Word to win the case for their selfishness. Many will try to convince others that sin is no longer sin to excuse their own attitude. They will approve of other people's sin so they can be free to sin as well. They want both eternal salvation and to live a selfish existence here, but it doesn't work that way. We need to pay attention to the "if's" in the Word of God.