February 22, 2016

Your vote does not count

When it comes to assuring someone of their salvation, don't do it.

That is the job of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16).

At the judgment seat you, and I, will not be the ones telling anyone to enter heaven.

Jesus does that (Matthew 7:23).

Imagine convincing someone that they are saved, and then watching them stand before Jesus, only to hear him say to them, "Depart from me, for I never knew you."

The horrible tradition of membership in churches lends itself to telling people, "You're saved!" and giving them the false belief that all is well, when maybe, and most likely, all is not well.

In most churches, a vote is taken to affirm that all agree that the aisle walker is indeed a Christian.

(Have you ever seen anyone voted down?)

And after the vote, existing members file by extending the "right hand of fellowship" to the new member welcoming them to the church, affirming to the newbie that they are indeed saved.

The "right hand of fellowship" concept is found in Galatians 2:8-10.

Peter, James, and John extended it to Paul after they saw his work for the kingdom, and after they heard him expound on the gospel message, and after they knew that he was generous to the poor.

We are told that the church leaders "recognized" that grace had been given to Paul.

Recognizing grace in someone takes time.

It involves observing zeal for the gospel message in that saved soul.

It takes knowing of their endless good deeds, and unconditional love for all.

Those things are not observed in a walk down an aisle.

Recognizing grace does not mean that someone has taken a new member's class.

It is not known when someone can give pat answers to easy questions.

A three-year-old can spout memorized answers to posed questions.

A great deception has occurred, and is occurring.

Churches, for the expediency of gaining new members, and for the sake of the budget, are leading people to believe that being saved is easy, and that joining the church is similar to joining a club.

How many would "join" the (club) church if told, "Come and die."

That's not exactly a feel-good message is it?

Sadly, many who claim to be saved want the feel-good message, and many live like the world seeking ease at every turn, and desiring entertainment, and always more, while shunning God's ways.

Christianity is about dying to self, and persecution, and hating the things of the world.

It's about turning the other cheek, and patience, and submission.

It's about walking the narrow road, and not the wide highway ever again.

In I Corinthians 5:9-13, we see that elders are to watch the behavior of those who claim to be saved.

In contrast to convincing people that they are saved, elders are to identify fakers.

These individuals are to be confronted, and asked to repent.

If they won't, or don't, then they are to be put out of the church until they truly repent, and are saved.

Many are deceived.

Don't assure anyone of their salvation.

Why would you need to do that anyway?

Those who know God, know that they know him.

One does not meet the Creator,
       and have all their sins washed from their soul,
             and have a flood of grace applied to their heart,
                     and have all things become new, 
                         and not know it!

One meets God in repentance, not by walking an aisle, or because they say certain words.

No one votes anyone into the body of Christ.

When it comes to salvation, let's get real, and be honest.

Your vote does not count.

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