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 ARE YOU REALLY SAVED?
  


ARE YOU REALLY SAVED?
 Modern Christianity has fallen away from God!  Most of the
organized church system has wandered so far from the truth that it
refuses to even listen to the truth.  The apostle Paul warned us that
this would happen.  He said:

     "For the time will come when they will not endure sound
      doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will
      accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own
      desires; and will turn away their ears from THE TRUTH..."
                         2 Timothy 4:3 NAS

The Psalmist defines "the truth":

     "…and THY LAW is THE TRUTH."
                                       Psalms 119:142 KJV

  In both the business world and the religious world the formula for
success has become: "Give the people whatever they want!"  The
people do not want the truth, they want their ears tickled with
"smooth things". Therefore it has been unpopular for the churches to
teach that we must obey God's law and give up our lives on this
earth to the service of Jesus Christ.  It may be unpopular, but that is
exactly what Jesus asked for, our life and nothing less.  He said:

     "...but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the
        gospel's, the same shall save it."
                         Mark 8:35 KJV

  He gave us no options; we must surrender this lifetime to Him, no
matter what it may cost! The first act of our surrender is to obey
God's law, just as Jesus said:

     "...but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."
                         Matthew 19:17 KJV

  Sadly, many who have turned to Jesus for salvation have been led
away from obedience to the Ten Commandments by false teachers
who tell them that they may remain a "carnal" Christian (one who
disobeys God's commandments) and yet still receive eternal life.

       All who accept that lie will be lost!


  IS THE CARNAL CHRISTIAN A BELIEVER?

  Many professing Christians have been persuaded to believe they
have received eternal life despite their ongoing bondage to sin.
They are told they are born again children of God and saved
forever the moment they say:  "I believe in Jesus and receive Him
as my Savior."  Their teachers offer this verse as proof of the
sinner's instant salvation:

     "He who believes in the Son has eternal life;"

However, the rest of that verse is seldom quoted:

     "…but he who does not OBEY the Son shall not see life,
         but the WRATH OF GOD abides on him."
                         John 3:36 NAS

  They are being told that they do not have to obey, the only
requirement is that they "believe."  Yet the apostle Paul said that
the mind that will not subject itself to the law of God is a carnal
(sinful) mind and hostile toward God.  He wrote:

     "...the CARNAL MIND is enmity [hostile] against God:
          for it IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE LAW OF GOD,"
                         Romans 8:7 KJV

  Is it possible that a person will inherit eternal life even if that
person is hostile toward God and will not obey His law?  All major
denominations now say: "YES!", the carnal person will still be saved
if he "believes."  The apostle Paul says "NO!":

     "For to be carnally minded is death;"
                         Romans 8:6 KJV

  This devastating doctrine of "The saved (but still carnal)
Christian" has been firmly established in our churches because the
meaning of the word believe is not always clear. The only true
definition of what it  means to "believe" is the scriptural one found
in John 3:36 (see above).

     Examine it carefully and you will see that
       ONLY THOSE WHO OBEY TRULY BELIEVE.

THE PROOF!  (John 3:36)

     IF:       One who believes in the Son has eternal life,

     AND:      One who does not obey shall not see life,

     THEN:     The one who does not obey, does not believe.

     For it is clear that the one who shall not see life, could not
possibly have eternal life. Scripture does not allow any one who
will not obey to be counted a "believer."  Thus any church that
considers a willfully disobedient person to have eternal life is
teaching a fatal error.  One may be willfully disobedient or a
believer, but not both.

"THE CARNAL CHRISTIAN" IS SATAN'S LIE

  Satan's lie ("the carnal Christian") is carefully designed to soothe
the conscience of those who seek the easy way.  You may be sure
that all who profess it to be an option are deceived to some degree.
Paul did not teach that we had a third choice; quite to the contrary he
said:

  1."For if you live according to the flesh YOU WILL DIE,  but

  2. if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body
      YOU WILL LIVE."  Romans 8:13 RSV

  In the New Testament, just as in the Old Testament, there are only
two choices:  death or life - sin or righteousness.  Paul gave no
hope to the sinful man when he said:

  "You are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which
leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness."
                         Romans 6:16 RSV

In his letter to the Galatians, verse 5:19, Paul described the deeds
of the flesh (our sinful nature) and then went on to make the
requirement for the cleansing of the flesh absolutely clear.

     "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus
         have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."
                         Galatians 5:24 NAS

  Please stop and take note of the past tense that Paul used.  The
apostle did not say they will crucify the flesh, he did not say that
they had a choice or that it would be done for them.  He said they
had already crucified the flesh.

  Those who truly belong to Christ Jesus - those who are "His" -
have already crucified their own sinful nature.  Therefore, by that
verse those who are seeking God have an infallible measuring stick
within themselves.  They have only to look at their own lifestyle to
see where they stand with God.  If they have not yet totally
committed themselves to put to death the deeds of the body
through obedience to God's law, they do not yet "belong" to Jesus.
No one can deceive you, nor can you deceive yourself if you
measure by the Ten Commandments.

  The strategy of Satan in the modern church has been to make
people believe that they have eternal life the moment they accept
Jesus as their personal Savior.  (A very easy path indeed!)  The act
of receiving Jesus does bring joy to the heart; however, it reveals
that they now have the right (or power) to become a child of God.
(born-again) They now have the gift of faith from God which
enables them to surrender this life to God. (If they will!)  The
apostle John showed us the process of salvation when he wrote this
verse:

   "But as many as RECEIVED Him, to them He gave the right TO
    BECOME children of God..."  (born-again) John 1:12 NAS

Jesus said:

     "…the way is narrow that leads to life,
           and FEW are those who find it."
                         Matthew 7:14 NAS

  The first step on that narrow path to life is to repent of our sin and
accept (receive) Jesus as our Savior.  The next step is to accept
Jesus as our LORD and surrender all of our heart, our soul, our
strength and our mind to serve Him forever.  The mark of a servant
is that he obeys the commandments of his Master.

SALVATION WITHOUT OBEDIENCE??

  How would you answer these four questions concerning your
relationship with God?
                                                      Yes       No
     1.        Do I truly love God           ____      ____

     2.        Does God know me?        ____      ____

     3.        Do I abide in God?           ____      ____

     4.        Do I really know God?     ____      ____

  According to the New Testament these questions can only be
answered "yes" by one who is keeping the commandments of God.
I certainly would not expect the reader to believe this statement
without ample proof.  To find that proof, let us examine God's
word .

     1.        Do I truly love God?

THE TEACHING OF JESUS:

  As our Lord was teaching in Jerusalem, one of the Pharisees who
was trained in the law of Moses, approached Jesus and attempted
to test Him with this question:

     "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

Jesus said to him:

     "What is written in the Law?  How do you read?"

The lawyer responded from the books of Deuteronomy and
Leviticus:
     "You shall LOVE the Lord your God
         with all your heart
           and with all your soul
             and with all your strength
               and with all your mind;
                 and your neighbor as yourself."

Jesus agreed with him and said:
     "DO THIS and you will live."
                         Luke 10:25 RSV

             (Deuteronomy 6:5 - Love God)
             (Leviticus 19:18  - Love your neighbor)

  In 1st Corinthians 13:4 Paul teaches how we are to love our
neighbor, but how does one love a God whom we cannot even see?
It is just at this point that many are led astray from the truth.

THE SCRIPTURES DEFINE HOW TO "LOVE GOD".

     "For this is the LOVE of God,
     that we keep His commandments."
                         1 John 5:3 RSV

     "He who has my commandments
     and keeps them he it is who LOVES Me."
                         John 14:21 RSV

     "If you LOVE Me,
     you will keep My commandments."
                         John 14:15 RSV

  The word of God is clear.  There can be no possible
misunderstanding by those who are willing to hear the truth.  The
LOVE that God asks of us, is that we KEEP HIS
COMMANDMENTS!

  The practical result of obedience to God's law is that we will
finally overcome sin.  It is this battle to conquer sin which tests our
faith.

  James teaches that only those whose faith has been tested and
approved will receive the crown of (eternal) life.  He wrote:

     "Blessed is a man who preserves under trial;
     for once he has been approved, he will
     receive the crown of life, which the Lord
     has promised to those who LOVE Him."
                         James 1:12 NAS

  James is saying that those who are approved and receive the
"crown of  life" are those who LOVE the Lord; and Jesus said that
those who LOVE Him are those who KEEP His commandments.

                   CAN YOU KEEP GOD'S COMMANDMENTS
                               IF YOU ARE BREAKING THEM?


     2.        Does God know me?

THE TEACHING OF JESUS:

  As He was teaching the "Sermon on the Mount", Jesus warned His
disciples that even though someone may say "Jesus is Lord" and
manifests a "spiritual gift", these things are not proof of Salvation.

Rather, it is only the one who does the will of God who will enter
the Kingdom of God.

     "Not every one who says to me, "Lord, Lord" shall enter the
      Kingdom of Heaven, but he who DOES THE WILL of My
      Father who is in heaven.

     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?"

     And I will declare to them,

     "I never KNEW you depart from Me you EVILDOERS."
                         Matthew 7:21 RSV
 

THE SCRIPTURES DEFINE WHOM GOD "KNOWS":

     "But if one LOVES God, one is KNOWN by Him."
                         1 Corinthians 8:3 RSV

     "He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who
      LOVES me."  John 14:21 RSV

     "The Lord KNOWETH them that are HIS."
                         2 Timothy 2:19 KJV

        ["And they that ARE CHRIST'S have crucified the flesh
           with the affections and lusts."    Galatians 5:24]

  God knows all men, but only a few are "known" by the Lord in
the Biblical sense, that is, as Adam "knew" Eve.  To be "known by
God" represents the spiritual union of Jesus with his people.  (The
Bridegroom and His bride.)  Those who say "Lord, Lord" yet
continue to willfully sin have never experienced this union.  Thus
Jesus will say to the EVILDOERS: "Depart from me..."

Who are the "EVILDOERS"?  This word comes from the Greek
"Anomia" which means illegality or violation of the law and
generally wickedness.  The apostle John used the same word
"Anomia" to give us a clear definition of what true "sin" is.  He
said:

     "...sin is the transgression of the law."     John 3:4 KJV
                       ------ Anomia------------

  Therefore, a literal translation of what Jesus is going to declare to
the  EVILDOERS who say "Lord, Lord," is this:

 "I never KNEW you, depart from Me you that transgress the  law

"ANOMIAN" IN TODAY'S CHURCH.

  Another revealing use of the word "anomia" is recorded in
Matthew's gospel. During the Olivet discourse, as Jesus was
speaking to the men who were to become His apostles, He foretold
of the conditions that would exist near the end times.  He said:

         "And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many.

         And because lawlessness  (Anomia) is increased

         most people's LOVE will grow cold."
                                               Matthew 24:11 NAS
 
  As you look about your world, your church, and perhaps even
yourself, do you recognize any of the conditions that Jesus said
would come to pass?

 1.  Many false teachers will arise (within the church) to lead the
     people astray.
 2.  And lawlessness (transgression of the law) will increase
 3.  And LOVE (the keeping of the commandments) will grow 
      cold.

 
 IS THIS "LEGALISM"?

  NO!  Satan, the father of lies, has enticed man to disobey God's
commands from the beginning of creation.  The charge of "legalism"
against those who teach obedience to the law of God is just another
one of Satan's deceptions.  It is not a "work of the flesh" to obey
the commandments unless you are depending on your obedience to earn
forgiveness (justification).  On the other hand, a willing obedience
to God's moral law is the scriptural evidence of a true saving faith.
James challenged the brethren to show him the reality of their faith
without also showing him their works of faith.  He asked them:

"What use is it my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but has no
 works?    Can that faith save him?"
                         James 2:14 NAS

  It is clear that "Faith without works is dead," yet it is also clear
that no man can earn forgiveness by doing good works, for we are
justified (forgiven) through our faith in a living Christ.  However,
if a man accepts Jesus as both his personal Savior and LORD, that
man will surely obey Him and keep His commandments, no matter
what it may cost. If we do not obey Him, He is not our Lord.

  Through our obedience Jesus cleanses us from the doing of sin
(sanctification).  First the law sends us to Jesus Christ for
justification (forgiveness), and then Jesus sends us back to the law
for sanctification (cleansing) by the Holy Spirit.  Paul warned that if we
wish to see the Lord, we MUST go through the process of
sanctification.

  "Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without
which  NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD:"
                                                    Hebrews 12:14 ASV

  Without the light of God's law to expose his sins, a man walks in
desperate darkness, for he must depend upon his own heart to decide
what is good or evil.  The prophet Jeremiah said:  "The heart of man
is deceitful above all things," and the Proverbs teach that:  "All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes."  Therefore, if we do not have a permanent standard (carved in stone) by which to measure sin, we will always deceive ourselves.

  In these "latter days," many teachers who claim to speak for God
have turned away from the law of God.  It has become more popular
to obey their "inner voice" than the voice that spoke from Mount
Sinai. However, the true test of a teacher's "spirit" is found in the
book of Jeremiah. God said:

     "But if they had stood in my council, then they would have
      proclaimed MY WORDS to My people,

     And they would have TURNED THEM from their evil way
     and from the evil of their doings."
                         Jeremiah 23:22 RSV

Those who speak by the "Spirit of Christ" will always teach others to
immediately and completely cease from committing sin.  They will
always proclaim "HIS WORDS."

 WHICH WORDS ARE "HIS WORDS"?

  When Jesus faced the temptations in the wilderness, he declared to
Satan:
     "It is written,
               Man shall not live by bread alone,
               but by every WORD that
               proceeds from the mouth of God."
                         Matthew 4:4 RSV

  Our Lord was quoting from the book of Deuteronomy (8:3).  When
that verse is considered in context you can see that it clearly refers
to the keeping of God's commandments:

     (8:1)     "All the commandments which I command thee this day
               shall ye observe to do, THAT YE  MAY LIVE,

     (8:2)     "And thou shalt remember all the way which  the Lord thy
                God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to
                 humble thee, and to prove  (test) thee, to know what
                 was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest KEEP HIS
                 COMMANDMENTS, or not.

(8:3)    "And He humbled thee...and fed thee with manna...that he  might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, 

         but by every WORD THAT PROCEEDETH OUT
         OF THE MOUTH OF THE LORD DOTH MAN LIVE."

(8:6)          "Therefore thou shalt KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS
                   of the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, and to fear
                   Him."

  Both Jesus and the book of Jeremiah are referring to the same
"WORDS," those that proceeded from the mouth of God on Mount
Sinai; the Ten Commandments!

  If there is still any doubt in your  mind, think about this: The English
word "Commandment" is translated from the Hebrew "dabar" which
means: "a word."  Therefore that which was carved in stone forever
were the Ten "dabars" (words) of God.

  Legalism?  No, I think not, unless Jesus, the prophets and the
apostles were all legalists. Now let us return to the four questions.

 
  3.        Do I abide in God?

THE TEACHING OF JESUS:

  At the Last Supper, Jesus taught His disciples about our spiritual
relationship with Him. Our Lord used the branch and the vine to
illustrate our complete dependence upon Him.  He explained that the
branch can bear no fruit without the constant flow of life from the
vine.  Jesus said to them:

     "I am the vine, you are the branches.
     He who ABIDES in Me, and I in him,
     he it is that bears much fruit..."

     "If a man does not ABIDE in Me,
     he is cast forth as a branch and withers;
     and the branches are gathered, thrown into
     the fire and BURNED."
                         John 15:5 RSV

ABIDE is from the Greek "Meno."  It means to remain in, to stay, to
dwell.

THE SCRIPTURES DEFINE HOW TO "ABIDE" IN GOD:

     "All who keep His commandments ABIDE in Him, and He in
       them."
                         1 John 3:24 RSV

     "If you keep My commandments  you will ABIDE in My Love."
                         John 15:10 RSV

  The church of today is empty of true spiritual strength and bears
little resemblance to the church of the first century because it
refuses to ABIDE in God.  The scriptures plainly teach that the Father
promises to answer only the prayers of those who ABIDE in Him and
obey His law:

     "If you ABIDE in Me,
     and My WORDS abide in you,
     ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you."
                         John 15:7 RSV

     "And we receive from Him whatever we ask,
     because we KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS."
                         1 John 3:22 RSV

     "If one turns away his ear from hearing THE LAW,
     even his prayer is an abomination."
                         Proverbs 28:9 RSV

  A thousand may pray until their knees are bloody, but if they are not
keeping His commandments, God says their prayer is an abomination
to Him.  Yet the prayers of only one man who abides in Him can
change the lives and circumstances of many:

     "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
                         James 5:16 KJV

     "Little children, let no one deceive you.  He who does right, is
      righteous."        1 John 3:7 RSV

  God's word is painfully clear.  If one does not keep His
commandments, one does not ABIDE in Him.  If one does not
ABIDE in Him, God does not answer his prayer; and he will become
like the withered branch, cast forth, thrown into the fire and burned. 
  
     4.        Do I really know God?

THE TEACHING OF JESUS:

After the Last Supper, Jesus was praying to the Father and spoke
these words:

     "And this is eternal life,
     that they KNOW Thee, the only true God,
     and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent."
                         John 17:3 RSV

THE SCRIPTURES DEFINE WHO "KNOWS" GOD:

     "And by this we may be sure
      that we KNOW Him, If we KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS."

     "He who says "I KNOW Him"  but disobeys His commandments
      is a liar, and the truth is not in him."

     "No one who ABIDES in Him sins;  no one who sins has either
      seen Him or KNOWN Him."
                         1 John 2:3 - 2:4 - 3:6 RSV

  God's word is indeed a piercing sword.  The apostle John is saying
that if you are not able to keep His commandments, you do not yet
know God. And Jesus said if you do not know God, you will not
have eternal life.

 These are hard words to hear, especially for those who would prefer
to have their "ears tickled."  Many thousands of words have been
spent in vain trying to twist these icy clear verses.  Many thousands
of hours have been wasted trying to prove that these simple verses do
not mean what they say.  Yet their unshakeable truth is our protection,
 for we cannot be deceived if we will but listen and accept what they declare:

       "THOSE WHO TRULY KNOW GOD,
                       KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS." 

  DISCIPLES - BEWARE!

The New Testament often uses the "wolf" as a symbol of false
teachers. Please take heed for among your own selves there are many
friendly and even affectionate "wolves."  The church is their hunting
ground, and there they prey upon the true flock of God.  Paul warned
us of these "wolves in sheep's clothing."  He said:

     "I know that after my departure fierce wolves will
     come in among you, not sparing the flock; and
     from among your own selves will arise men speaking
     perverse things, to draw the disciples after them."
                         Acts 20:29 RSV

  The warning Paul gave to the Ephesian elders is relevant today, for
Satan has not changed his methods or his tools.  The sad thing is that
many deceived elders and pastors think they are truly working for
God by teaching against His law.  The law of God protects the "little
flock" like a high fence.  The Ten commandments keep the false
prophets out and the disciples within.  The light from the law exposes
both false doctrines and false teachers.   Therefore, the wolves
must try to knock down the fence, so they may lure the sheep out
into the world, where they become easy prey.

  Many of these false teachers say:  "Jesus is Lord" yet they have
become unsuspecting servants of Satan, the "great deceiver."  Here
are some of the distortions they use to undermine the law of God:

     "No one ever kept the commandments perfectly."

     "Jesus has fulfilled the law for us."

     "We are not under the law."

     "The law is only for the Jews."

These twistings of scripture are simply excuses for sin; pleasant
words for itching ears.

  One very deceptive lie being taught by some is that we are indeed to
"obey the commandments" but not the Ten Commandments.  They
say that the New Testament commandments we are to keep are:
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart...and your
neighbor as yourself."  (See Matthew 22:37)

  Jesus did say that these were the most important commandments
(precepts) in the Old Testament, because they compressed all the
teachings of the Law and the prophets into two thoughts.  But was
He really giving us "new" commandments?  Let us take a closer
look...

Our Lord was quoting from the book of Deuteronomy:

     "Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God is one LORD; and you shall
      love the LORD your  God with all your heart, and with all your
      soul, and with all your might.  And these  WORDS which I
      command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall
      teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them
      when you sit in your house,  and when you walk by the way, and
      when you lie down, and when you rise."
                         Deuteronomy 6:4 RSV

The whole 6th chapter of Deuteronomy is about obedience to the
TEN WORDS of God, which Moses had just finished reading to the
people of Israel.  In both the Old Testament and the New, we are
taught to love God by keeping His commandments.

                 "For this is the love of God,
                   THAT WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS."

                                 1 John 5:3 RSV
 
WHICH COMMANDMENTS?

  When Jesus was asked this direct question:

     "What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?"

Jesus gave the man this direct answer:

     "Keep the commandments."

When the man asked:  "Which" commandments, Jesus quoted from
the Ten Commandments and  added:  "love your neighbor as your
self." 
(see Matthew 19:17)

  Our Lord has never revoked the law that He himself gave us.  The
scriptures teach that it could only have been through Jesus that those Ten WORDS were written upon the tablets of stone over 3,400 years ago:

     "All things were made through Him,  and without Him was not
      anything made that was made."
                         John 1:3 RSV

     "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and FOREVER."
                         Hebrews 13:8 KJV

  If there is any doubt in your mind which commandments we are to
obey, Jesus Himself pointed specifically to the Fifth commandment
and called it both the COMMANDMENT of God and the WORD of
God (not Moses) when he rebuked the Pharisees and the Scribes for
teaching that it was all right not to provide for one's parents if the money was given to the temple as an offering.  Jesus said:

     "And why do you transgress the COMMANDMENT OF GOD
     for the sake of your tradition?
"
                         Matthew 15:3 RSV

     "Thus have ye made the COMMANDMENT OF GOD
     of none effect by your tradition."

                         Matthew 15:6 KJV

     "Making the WORD OF GOD
     of none effect through your tradition..."

                         Mark 7:13 KJV
 

Jesus did not condemn the Pharisees for keeping the law, but for
disregarding it.  His contempt for all those who are "teaching for
doctrines the commandments of men" has never changed.  In Mark's
version of this incident Jesus added:

     "You nicely set aside the COMMANDMENT
     OF GOD in order to keep your tradition."

                         Mark 7:9 NAS

  As it was then, so it is now.  If we would enter life we must trust
only God's word, and turn away from the "leaven" of the modern
Pharisees; those religious leaders who would teach us to set aside the commandments of God and follow their "new" traditions.

  Beware of those who smile and say:  "Oh yes, we should try to keep
God's commandments, but if you don't - well, you are still saved by
grace."  That is a LIE!  If you have grace you are able to do what
God has commanded you to do.
 

THE "NEW" TRADITION

  Satan's greatest accomplishment has been to get the "church" to set
aside God's Sabbath day.  He has caused many to disobey God by
doing away with the Fourth Commandment.  Please, don't listen to
him!  The seventh day Sabbath stands forever, just like the stone on
which it was carved by the finger of God.  You may search the
scriptures end to end and you will not find one verse that says that
the Sabbath was ever changed from the seventh to the first day of the
week.  Nor one verse that says the requirement to keep the Sabbath
has been canceled.

  We can clearly see where God commanded us to "Remember the
sabbath day." (Exodus 20:8)  Where did God change it?  Since there
is no scriptural authority for disregarding the Sabbath then it could
only have been changed by the tradition of man! There were TEN
commandments given by the very mouth of God for all to hear that
day on Mount Sinai. There are still ten.  If you are not keeping the
Sabbath then you are breaking God's law. 

BUT WE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW!

There has always been confusion sown into the church about Paul's
position on the Ten Commandments.  Peter warned us that unlearned and
unstable men would twist the teachings of Paul. (2 Peter 3:15f)  The
apostle Paul himself settled the matter for all time.  He said:

     "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing,
     but what matters is THE KEEPING OF THE
     COMMANDMENTS OF GOD."

                                          1 Corinthians 7:19 NAS

     "Do we then overthrow the law by this faith?  By no means!
     On the contrary, WE UPHOLD THE LAW."

                                         Romans 3:31 RSV

  Therefore, knowing that God's word cannot possibly contradict itself
we can be sure that when Paul said:  "we are not under the law," he
did not mean that we are no longer required to keep God's
commandments.

IF YOU WOULD ENTER LIFE..."

  I know that many of you who are reading this are still saying:
"legalism" or "Phariseeism" or perhaps, "No! Never!  Salvation is all
by grace.  I am not to do anything." Friends, to you I can only let
God's word speak:

     "...he who DOES NOT OBEY the Son shall not see life, but
         THE WRATH OF GOD RESTS UPON HIM."

                         John 3:36 RSV

  Surely all would agree that to obey the Son would require us to "do"
something.  That "something" is the total surrender of our self-life
in obedience to God.  Through that obedience we "work out our
salvation (from sin) with fear and trembling."  When we repent of sin
and surrender our lives to Jesus Christ in faith, God puts His Holy
Spirit into us and by His strength and grace we are enabled to walk
the narrow way that leads to life.

As Jesus spoke to his disciples following the sermon on the Mount,
he warned them of the difficulties they would face along that "narrow
way." He said:

  "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way EASY
  that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are MANY.

  For the gate is narrow and the way is HARD that leads to [eternal]
life,   AND THOSE WHO FIND IT ARE FEW."

                         Matthew 7:13 RSV

  All who are seeking the way that leads to life; please listen to the
words of Jesus as he spoke to the "Rich Young Ruler."  Try to
imagine yourself to be the young (and very religious) man who
sought out the Lord on the hot and dusty road to Jerusalem.  You
approach the Master and ask him: "Teacher, what must I do to inherit
eternal life?"

Look into the eyes of the Son of God, as He says to you:

     "IF YOU WOULD ENTER LIFE,
        KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS.
"
                         Matthew 19:17 RSV

  Our Lord Jesus is the same "yesterday, and today, and forever."  He
did not have one plan of salvation for that young man and another for
you. Will you listen to the theologians of the world (who don't even
agree with each other) or will you let the simple clear words of Jesus
decide the issue?

  If this message bothers you, and you go to your Pastor or counselor
for advice, I suggest you ask him this question: Do you keep the Ten
commandments?  (including the Sabbath?) If he says "No," remember
this verse:

     "The one who says, "I have come to Know Him,"
     and does not keep His commandments, is a liar,
     [false] and the truth is not in him."
                        1 John 2:4 NAS

  Let God's word alone guide your way.  Do not trust someone
because of their position, or good deeds, or pleasing personality.
Instead test them by the pure and simple teachings of the Bible.  The
truth will set you free, but a liar can deceive you!

  The Bible teaches that God's message to Man is very simple.  It has
never changed.  It is this:

                  "FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS:
                        FOR THIS IS THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN."

Ecclesiastes 12:14 KJV
 
 
 

 

 

 

 


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