you must be saved
We are a “doing” people. “What do you do?” It’s one of the first questions we’re asked when we meet someone… We qualify others and ourselves by our doing.
Take a look at the negative side of qualifying…sin. We qualify our goodness by the sins we refrain from doing. “I don’t hate, kill, steal… I don’t lie, drink, cheat.” We don’t do those things; therefore, we reason that we are good.
But God looks at it another way. It’s not the things we abstain from doing that determines righteousness; it’s the Person we find identity in. “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans10:9).
Being saved means being free from the due punishment of our sin that separates us from Holy God. Salvation is the free gift of grace from God. Jesus took the punishment of our deserved death for the sin nature we inherited. That sin nature is a heart issue, and it exalts our own understanding above the infinite wisdom of God. Left unchecked, this nature within us produces; it gives clear evidence of the reality of the heart.
“Eli’s sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:12).
Keep in mind that Eli was a priest and his sons were with him in the house of worship. But, we understand that being in church doesn’t make you holy!
God qualified the wickedness of Eli’s sons not on their sins committed but on their omission of one key character trait: THEY HAD NO REGARD FOR THE LORD. Do we get that? It’s a heart issue, an inability to esteem the Lord and revere His holiness over any personal preference or popular opinion.
Ouch. I’ve gone my own way according to my understanding. I’ve applied reason to overrule the Word of the Lord that came through Scriptural truth or His gentle voice’s leading. I’ve followed along with popular opinion. It is in those moments that I, too, have had no regard for the Lord. I dismissed His infinite wisdom; in essence, I said, “No thanks. I’ll just stick to my way of doing things.”
What is to become of the one who, like Eli’s sons, associates with the holy things of God but has no regard for the Lord?
Two different things could happen. One, the Holy Spirit conviction of his heart’s sinful state in light of the sovereign love, goodness, and justice of the Lord can lead him to repentance, and he is made new in his heart. He is reborn of the Holy Spirit and reconnected to the Father. He connects to the heart of God through the daily discipleship that follows his acceptance of forgiveness and life in Christ.
Or, he continues his own way in a lifestyle that has no regard for God. The gravity of such a state is the fact that this life comes to an end, and at that time, we will stand face to face with our Maker and Judge. What a prime opportunity, some think, to get things right with God. It doesn’t work like that, though.
“The righteous must live by faith.” It doesn’t take faith to believe in God and follow Him when you see Him face to face. No, on that day, the mercy seat will be closed off, and the individual’s heart at the finality of his temporal life will determine his eternal destination. Having known and followed the Lord Jesus Christ while living, we will go into His Presence for all eternity. However, if there was no regard for the Lord, we will be eternally separated from God. Completely separated. No light, no comfort, no love, no physical touch, no fragrance, no refreshing, no rest, no fulfillment, no joy, no children, no companionship, no purpose… no escape.
Jesus did not mince words when he described this day of reckoning that will come to pass. He said at that time, MANY will attempt to make things right with God. They will pull the card, “I associated myself with holy things!” But Jesus will reply simply, “But in your heart, you had no regard for the Lord. From here on out, you are eternally separated from my goodness” (Paraphrase of Matthew 7:22-23).
What will your eternal outcome be? If you are unsure, you can know definitely today. You can ask God to forgive you for not regarding Him as Lord. Tell Him that you want to begin a lifestyle of trusting him through knowing Him. Ask Him to lead you to His truth so that you may be a true representation of His goodness. Ask Him for the power to always choose His infinite wisdom over your own understanding. Thank Him for the promise of His Presence with you all the days of your life.
If you are making a decision to be identified in Jesus Christ today, I would love to hear from you and to welcome you personally to the family of God.