John 14:15-17, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
If a man truly loves his wife there should be some evidence to prove it. But if a husband doesn't love his wife, does that mean they are not legally married? No, it doesn't mean that at all. They are still married, even if they don't love each other as they ought. Obviously, one thing has nothing to do with the other. Salvation is the same dear friend. Every believer ought to love Jesus and there should be some evidence of it in our lives. But if that evidence doesn't exist, and we don't love God as we ought, that doesn't mean we are not a child of God.
I love this helpful quote from Pilgrim's Progress author, John Bunyan:
“If you do not put a difference between justification wrought by the man Christ without and sanctification wrought by the Spirit of Christ within, you are not able to divide the Word aright; but contrariwise, you corrupt the Word of God, and cast stumbling blocks before the people.” —John Bunyan (1628-1688)
The only way you'll ever get to Heaven is to believe Jesus did it for you! Whether we love God as we should is not relevant. But wait, doesn't the Bible says that all believers love Jesus? 1st Corinthians 16:22, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.” The Bible simply means that if you are saved, Jesus is precious to you. 1st Peter 2:7, “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,” But is it possible that you can get your priorities wrong, so that your love for the flesh is elevated as a higher priority than your love for Christ? Yes, you know it!
1st John 2:15, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Now, does this Verse in 1st John 2:15 means that a man is not saved if he loves the sinful world. No, it doesn't mean that. Consider Paul's fellowhelper in the ministry, Demas. 2nd Timothy 4:10, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.” Demas loved the world. Does that mean he wasn't saved? No, of course he was saved. Demas just had the wrong priorities in life.
It is important that you understand this truth, so you don't start doubting God's gift of eternal life if you choose to go live in the world in sin. Jesus said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments, but that doesn't mean we aren't saved if we fail to love Christ as we ought. Anytime we choose to sin (and we ALL do), it evidences at the moment that our love for Jesus is not perfect.
Can a man cheat on his wife, but still love her? Yes, of course, but his love is corrupted, not perfect toward her. A man may provide for his wife, love her, care about her, and desire to do good things for her; yet, he may still elevate his lust of the flesh as a higher priority in his life than his love for his wife. The same is true of every believer's relationship with our heavenly Father.
By the way, this is a good time to mention the proper way to discipline children. When a child disobeys his or her parent, the child should feel a broken spirit, knowing that they disappointed Mom and Dad. A child being raised properly will feel remorse because they let down Mom and Dad, not angry because he is getting another spanking. Before any corporal discipline (a discipline method in which a supervising adult deliberately inflicts pain upon a child in response to a child's unacceptable behavior and/or inappropriate language, i.e., spanking), there should be an admission of wrong doing on the part of the child.
If you discipline a child who thinks you are being unfair, you will harden that child's spirit and make them bitter. It is very important that parents establish set rules in a home, and then when violated, have the child admit what they did wrong, and only then chastise them. If a parent has successfully convinced their child that they truly love and care about them, and have built a proper relationship with the child over time, the child should feel sorry and cry because they disappointed the parent, even before any discipline is administered.
By the way, NEVER use your hand to spank a child, lest they fear YOU! Use an appropriate device that won't harm the child physically. Proverbs 13:24, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” The word “betimes” means “at an early age,” while there is still hope. Proverbs 19:18, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” A father emailed me the other day, and said that his 7-year-old son confided in him that he thinks he is a homosexual, has thoughts of murdering his father, and thinks a demon is in his head. I am not kidding!
The father asked for my Christian advice. I kindly responded that I could guarantee one of two things: 1) the boy is enrolled in the Devil's public school system, 2) the boy has been watching garbage on TV. A 7-year-old child doesn't think in such evil ways unless that garbage was put into their mind by someone (wrong influences). I advised him while there is still time to enroll the boy into a Christian school, attend church as a family unit, listening to Bible preaching in the home as a family, and spend time going fishing, playing ball and building the masculine father/son bond. I sent him Pastor Jack Hyles' helpful book titled: "How To Make A Man Out Of A Boy."
But if a child rebels and grows up to break a parent's heart, are they still your child? Of course they are! Likewise, an adopted child of God may rebel against our heavenly Father, yet we are still born-again of the Holy Spirit (John 1:12-13; 1st John 3:24). We see evidence of this in 1st Corinthians 5:1-5, concerning the saved man who was living in a lifestyle of sexual immorality. The Apostle Paul advised the church leadership to confront the man about his open sin, and hopefully he will repent; but if not, Paul said “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1st Corinthians 5:5). There will be many believers who receive no rewards in Heaven, “but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (1st Corinthians 3:15). That is, they barely escaped Hell's fire by faith alone in Jesus, despite have no rewards for service.
1st Corinthians 3:13-16, “Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
This passage conclusively proves that the teaching of “Lordship Salvation” (i.e., Calvinism) is false. Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold gives this accurate definition of Lordship Salvation:
“Lordship is the unsupportable and unbiblical belief, that the performance of good works, the promise of good works, or the evidence of good works, must accompany faith in Christ in order to establish or provide evidence that such faith has resulted in eternal life.” —Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold (a quote from the sermon: “JESUS vs. John MacArthur”)
If Lordship Salvation were true, then the pitiful scenario in 1st Corinthians 3:11 couldn't exist. If such a believer hadn't persevered to faithfully run the race, he wouldn't have made it to Heaven, but HE DID anyway!!!
Salvation becomes ours when we trust Christ to SAVE us. Effective service is ours through OBEDIENCE. Salvation primarily involves the spirit and our eternal destiny; it is a gift (John 5:24). The only way you'll ever get to Heaven is to believe Jesus did it for you! Service involves the body and our present earthly life; it is labor for which rewards are given (Romans 12:1-2; 1st Corinthians 3:8-15; Luke 10:2).
“Nobody goes to Heaven because he is good; you go to Heaven because you know you're bad, and you flee to Jesus Who died to save sinners.” —Pastor Jack Hyles (“God Only Saves Bad People”
Dear reader, if you are saved, how you choose to live as a child of God evidences how much you love your Savior; but it has nothing to do with the fact that you are justified on the sole basis of Christ's sacrifice on the cross, as payment for your sins.
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