One of the most important things that a church can do is to sanctify and cleanse its people with the washing of water by the Word of God. The goal is to present to Jesus a church without spot or wrinkle.
Eph 5:25-27: 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. NKJV
There is a major problem, though. In our church our pastor has told us that in Southern Baptist Churches, that up to 30% of our members are not even Christians! I recently read a report for other denominations that the numbers can be closer to 50%. Jesus Himself tells us in no uncertain terms that this is a real problem.
Matt 7:21-27 "Not everyone who says to Me ,'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' 24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." NKJV
Matt "But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14 "For many are called, but few are chosen." NKJV
Matt 7:13-14 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. NKJV
We need to enter in by the narrow gate, and be absolutely, positively sure of our salvation. Right now we potentially have a problem that some of our people are missing it. Everyone needs to make sure of their covenant with Jesus. For example, I did not accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior until I was 26 years old. In my case I had previously joined a church to keep people from bugging me. From the verses in Matthew there are a lot of people calling Jesus “Lord” that have not turned over their will and heart to Jesus. One source I read said that one source of this problem is that people just read someone else’s salvation prayer without personalizing it, sort of like an actor reading his lines. Jesus tells us that the key is personally confessing Jesus before men from the heart. This is so important that the Bible repeats it.
Matt 10:32-33 "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. NKJV
Luke 12:8-9 "Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God. NKJV
If the government had a penalty of death if you confessed Jesus as your Lord and Savior you would most certainly have to mean it to make that confession. This will be the situation during the Tribulation when the antichrist is in command. Just think for a moment, though, due to the sin in our lives, if we don't reach out to Jesus for His forgiveness , God will have to send us to Hell because of our sins.
Matt 16:24-27 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. NKJV
The key is to publicly confess to others that “Jesus is my Lord and Savior,” and believe that God raised Him from the dead. The Bible says:
Rom 10:9-11: 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. NKJV
This confession is something that has to be from the heart. Also, if Jesus is your Lord you need to obey His commands. There are many more verses in the Bible that talk about confessing Jesus.
John 12:42-43 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. NKJV
1 John 4:1-3; 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. NKJV
2 John 7-8; For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. NKJV
To seal your salvation
you need toconfess to someone else that
“ I believe that Jesus is
MY Lord and Savior, and that God raised Him from the dead.”
This will meet the requirements of Scripture.
Don't forget that when Jesus is your Lord, you do what He tells you to.
The place to start is to read your Bible and obey the commands that God gives
you there. God be with you.
Last changed 8 October 2003