Ezekiel 18:20 "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself."
Isaiah 64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
Galatians 3:11 Now it is evident that no
one is justified before God by the law, for "The righteous shall
live by faith."
1Corinthians 11:27-29 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.
James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe - and shudder!
How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was
declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those
John 10:14 "I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me."
John 10:27-28 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand."
1Cointhians 6:9a Do you not know that the
unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived....
Revelation 20:15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
2Peter 2:1-3 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
Nothing matters more than our eternal destiny. There are a lot of things that we can get "right" in life that do not impact where we will spend eternity. The things that we rely on for our "salvation" may in some ways relate to living a Christian life, or there may be something to them as an idea taken from a particular verse in the Bible, or they may represent opinions held by a large consensus of our peers...but...they may not accurately reflect the teachings of Scripture on the subject of our actual eternal destiny. Consider the following passages from the New Testament:
John 17:1-3 When Jesus had
spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,
"Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may
glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to
give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is
eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ
whom you have sent."
1Jo 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'"
Note that each of these passages above specifically refer to "knowing God." Think about the passage often quoted from Jesus' own lips:
John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
What was it that our Father's love inspired Him to do? HE GAVE US HIS SON! We don't put our faith in "eternal life." Eternal life is a consequence of putting our faith in the Son of God. The Son of God is Jesus, a person. He wants to know us and He wants us to know Him intimately! Certainly faith - faith in the Son of God - is the first step in knowing God. Faith is also the essence of every step we take thereafter in our Christian maturity...as we get to know God better. The object of salvation is "knowing God" as Father and as Friend.
There are so many wonderful discoveries and delightful moments with our Master awaiting us as we walk and talk with Him! We must not allow a counterfeit religiosity or a prideful self-righteousness, or a popular notion about religion soothe us into a false security. We must know God for ourselves!
Settling for something other than a Dynamic, Ongoing, Conversational, LOving Relationship (DOCLOR) with God is dangerous business...indeed, a deadly assumption! Knowing God personally, obediently walking with Him day by day is the context of "salvation." Believing in Jesus is about talking to Him, loving Him, being kind to Him, being patient with Him, trusting Him, being true to Him...knowing Him like a loving child knows their Dad, like having a friend that is closer than a brother.
John 1:10-13 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Do you know Jesus personally? Don't take anybody else's word for it! If you do know Him, you know it. If you don't know Him, you can:
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
The reward for seeking God is knowing God! Think about it!
Whoever keeps his commandments abides in him, and he in them. And by
this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given
Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me."
Ask Father God to forgive you for your presumption. Ask Him to forgive you for your sinful life and your selfish ways. Invite Jesus Christ to come into your heart, to wash your guilt and your fear away. Receive His Holy Spirit into your being, to walk and talk with you; to be your teacher; to be your friend! There is no acceptable alternative. Don't settle for anything less! You will never regret it!
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"Seven Deadly Assumptions" copyright © 2011 by Jerry Johnson. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Copies permitted (without making any changes) for sharing with others.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.