By Justin Edwards
It is an absolute fact that you will spend eternity somewhere. There are only 2 options: heaven or hell. Many professed Christians are banking their eternity on what they think they believe. Some might say they will go to heaven because they are a good person. Others might say it is because they are active in church (merely playing the role). Others might say because they pay their tithes, serve the poor, or do any other number of religious deeds they will see the "pearly white gates".
Some think calling themselves a Christian or saying they believe in Jesus seals the deal (contrary to James 2:19), yet never do they open their Bibles (if they own one), conversations about Jesus are taboo, they only pray to God when they need something, Christmas and Easter services are the only times they make it to church, they have no Christian fellowship, truth might be relative and Jesus isn't the only way, or the whole of their life is marked by habitual practice of sin, but they are still Christian because they "believe in their heart".
The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it - Jeremiah 17:9
They are idolaters, for the god they believe is the one they have made up to justify their lifestyle. Their invented god is not the holy, just, righteous, and sovereign Lord God of the Bible, and it is certainly a god that does not save. It is for this reason there will be professing Christians in hell.
Jesus says the Truth will set you free, but nominal Christians are in double bondage for not only are they lost, but they are deceived in thinking they are saved when they are not. It's such a tragedy, especially when they reject any discussion on the matter of genuine salvation. The Bible clearly teaches there is false conversion, and we find these examples in Matthew 13 with the Parables of the soils and of the wheat and tares.
Additionally, the book of 1 John shows the contrasts between genuine faith in Jesus Christ versus those who profess with their mouths they are saved but their life gives no evidence of their faith. They love the world and the things of the world. They say they have fellowship with God, but they walk in darkness and the truth is not in them. They say they love God, but hate their brother. The commandments of God are burdensome to them. They justify their sin or say they have no sin at all. They are not sensitive to their sin. They live according to their sinful nature and have their minds set on that nature's desires. They are not submitted to the law of God, nor can they be. They are slaves to sin. They practice lawlessness, and they remain unrighteous.
Dear friend, when Jesus saves you by the grace of God, you become a new creation, you are given a new nature, you are changed from within, and you will outwardly begin to produce fruit that manifests the characteristics of God. You are a slave of righteousness. You are a slave to Christ! You have died to yourself and have been made alive in Christ. Your life is marked by repentance. Out of love, you seek God, you pursue God, you obey God, you long for Christ, you draw close to Christ, you are sanctified, purified, washed, justified, regenerated, and you will be renewed, conformed, made holy, and transformed. You are born again of the Spirit of God! The sole reason one does not experience change in their life is because there is no repentance. Jesus says in Matthew 13:15,
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their and turn,
So that I should heal them.
There can be no healing without turning, and there can be no turning without hearing and seeing, and there can be no hearing or seeing without seeking. God says in Hebrews 11:6 that He rewards those who diligently seek after Him and that without faith it is impossible to please Him.
Do you find your life not adding up? Do you find a void in your heart that you don't know how to fill? The bad news is you can't fill it, but the good news is that God can! The only thing required of you is surrendering to Jesus Christ through faith in Him, His finished work on the cross, and His bodily resurrection from the dead. This means it is the end of the road for you and your sinful passions and desires. You must give up on yourself and turn to God for He is the only one who can save you. If there is anything you are not willing to give up for God, then you are not ready to receive Him as Lord and Savior of your life. Jesus asked the rich young ruler in Luke 18:18-30 to sell all of his belongings and give them to the poor, and when he realized how high the cost, he turned and walked away in sorrow for he was not willing to forfeit everything he was and everything he had.
It will cost you everything. But isn't everything worth an eternity with Jesus Christ? Are you willing to reject eternity for the riches and cares of this life now? Your religiosity and churchianity, your job, your friends, your parties, your entertainment, your drug of choice, your sexual immorality, your drunken stupors, your fame, your fortune, your lying, and your cheating - are you still willing to let these rule your life instead of the Lord Jesus Christ? Your sin and pride are killing you! This life is nothing but a vapor in the backdrop of eternity. There is no computer known to man that can count the years of infinity. It never ends. It is forever. Trillions times 10 trillions times 100 trillions of years - and yet that is even a vapor.
C.H. Spurgeon spoke of hell:
You and I can never imagine all the depths of hell. Shut out from us by a black veil of darkness, we cannot tell the horrors of that dismal dungeon of lost souls. Happily, the wailings of the damned have never startled us, for a thousand tempests were but a maiden’s whisper, compared with one wail of a damned spirit. It is not possible for us to see the tortures of those souls who dwell eternally within an anguish that knows no alleviation. These eyes would become sightless balls of darkness, if they were permitted for an instant to look into that ghastly shrine of torment. Hell is horrible, for we may say of it, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the horrors which God hath prepared for them that hate him.
We are all running after something. Are you running in vain?
Turn to Jesus Christ in faith and surrender your life to Him today. Tomorrow may not come, and then it will be too late. Which words of Jesus would you rather hear?
Well done, good and faithful servant
I never knew you; depart from Me, you worker of iniquity!Repent, and believe the gospel.
I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day. - Jesus in John 6:35-40