I had a plan for the topic of today’s blog. I was going to talk to you about balance and figuring out how to prioritize your life (you know, because I’ve got it mastered! please don’t miss the sarcasm.) However, my expertise on balancing it all will have to wait because my heart is heavy.
My heart is burdened for the lost and most specifically the lost who believe they are saved.
Before I write one more word, I need to give 4 disclaimers: 1) I have no authority to judge the state of anyone’s salvation. Salvation is personal between an individual and God despite what I might observe on the outside. 2)My questions are not from a heart of condemnation but a burden and angst for those around me to experience Jesus in a real way–a way that changes everything. 3)My questions are not designed to cause you to doubt your salvation. If you have a relationship with Jesus, you are saved and nothing can cause you lose your salvation. (assurance of the salvation is a totally different post) 4) Salvation is not earned but received freely not because of our good behaviors. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Were They Ever Really Saved?
Follow me for second–I’ve grown up and lived my whole life in the Bible belt. Until most recently, it has been socially expected to be “Christian” in the southern parts of the United States. Boys and girls were baptized or sprinkled in response to the obvious fear by their parents or themselves of burning in hell one day. Salvation was sold as a ticket to heaven. Many of these young men and women have gone no further in a relationship with God leaving me to wonder if they ever began an authentic relationship with God. “Salvation” consisted only of a dunk in a oversized bathtub or a sprinkle of water before they were old enough to remember.
The salvation box was checked by some man on some day in their past. My question, my concern is whether the salvation box has been checked in heaven.
My questions are sparked by men and women I know who would claim salvation yet, there is little or no evidence in their lives of a transformational salvation. How can you experience a true encounter with God and not walk away different?
The prophet Isaiah was allowed a vision of God in His glory and He was overwhelmed by his broken condition.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”–Isaiah 6:5
Seeing and experiencing God produces a change that requires us to long for more Jesus. However, there are countless men and women carrrying a fake ID, if you will. They claim citizenship in God’s Kingdom but they are deceived. (James 1:22)
Why It Really Matters
My burden is brought on because I believe wholeheartedly in the Bible and the reality of a Day of Judgement. I believe and my worldview is shaped by an expectation of the day when we all stand before God and show our ID. Are we true citizens of God’s Kingdom or have we been deceived? Jesus’ warning in Matthew 7 should awaken us. We should live with an urgency and a burden for the those defrauded by a false sense of hope in salvation.
Question: Do you have people in your life who claim salvation through Jesus but your concerned their ID is fake? How have you approached these people? How do you believe we are called to respond?
Added note: Be looking for information about an upcoming online Bible Study where we will take an in-depth look at our identity in Christ and discover how we can live with security of who we are in Christ.