I write today making the assumption that many who read this column might well attend a church and would gladly tell people they are Christians.
I hope also that there are those who are reading this article out of interest, and maybe because you would like to know more about God, life and death and of course the future.
Let me first appeal to those who say they are Christians.
There are Christians who say they are because they go to church, believe in God, even know all about Jesus and his death on the cross.
They read their Bibles and say their prayers.
If so then I would like you to remember that the Word of God teaches that a Christian’s salvation is by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, and not by works lest anyone should boast. Therefore I hope you know this and know that your only way of being justified at the judgment is because you know your only hope is in what Jesus has done for you, living a perfect life for you and also dying and bearing the punishment for you. That is true saving faith.
Now let me address those who say they agree that salvation is by faith alone.
You know all about God and his Son Jesus, and you say you have faith in him. Nevertheless you do not worship God with other Christians, you do not seek to live a holy life, you maybe continue in sinful behaviour, and you have no desire to give your time or talents to help and show love to others, all of these good works. Well also the Word of God has something to say to you also; we read it in the epistle of James, where he says that your faith by itself without works is dead and worthless.
Yes, salvation is a result of the Grace of God alone, through faith in Jesus Christ alone, but that faith alone is never void of good works. It is a fruit of the spirit that now lives in the believer, a new heart has been given and a new life proceeds.
So what’s my point, reader? If you say you believe in God but have no desire to seek forgiveness in Christ, then your end is not good. If you say you believe in God, even Jesus, and yet have no desire to change your lifestyle and seek to stop engaging in sinful behaviour, or attend worship with God’s people and show God’s love towards others, then again the Word of God also calls you to examine yourselves as your end also doesn’t look good.
Because a man, woman and child can be saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone, nevertheless true saving faith is never alone but always brings forth good works. It is a justifying faith that works.
Is it important or am I being too old fashioned? Yes, it’s eternally important, as for old fashioned, not modern enough for a church, well listen to these words from Christ Himself, “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.
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 then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’