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Are You A Saved Or An Unsaved Believer?

By Mick Alexander
 If Jesus comes for His saints will He take you with Him or if you die tonight will you spend eternity in heaven or hell? Nothing is more important than your eternal future. Churches are full of individuals who know the Bible and believe everything about Jesus but they are not saved … they are ‘unsaved believers.’ Many people within the church say that no one, not even Christians, can stop sinning. Given that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), the issue of sin in a Christian’s life should be looked at closely as we will all soon stand before the Judge of the earth.

If you don’t know the basic Bible message please go to How To Be Saved. Otherwise, read the following carefully to see if you are saved according to God’s standard as outlined in the Bible.

Many are misled into thinking that they are eternally saved because:
1) they said a prayer once, asking Jesus into their heart or
2) they go to a particular church or
3) they pray a lot or
4) ‘so and so’ in their family is a good Christian or
5) their church leader says so or
6) they think they are good enough or
7) they don’t sin that much any more or…

Although some of these things are good, not one, or even all of them, will get you to heaven if you have a sinful lifestyle. Jesus said, “unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:3). Repentance begins when a person has sorrow toward God because of their sin and this leads to a willingness to turn away from all sin and to turn to God for forgiveness (2 Cor 7:10). It is more than a mere change of mind, it is a change of lifestyle; it is more than just being sorry for sins, it is being sorry enough to quit. When anyone repents, God sends His Holy Spirit into their life to give them the power needed to begin a new life (John 1:12-13). Heb 6:1 describes repentance as “repentance from acts that lead to death”. A good picture of what Jesus requires of us is given in the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). After the woman’s accusers left, Jesus told her that He didn’t condemn her either but to go and sin no more. In the same way, when we come to Jesus in repentance, He forgives the sins of our past and commands that we also leave our life of sin.

The Bible makes it clear that we are all sinners and that it is impossible for us to keep ourselves from sin. Romans 8:7 says that “the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s laws, nor can it do so” and Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death” so, left alone, we are all in a hopeless state and face hell. However, no sin is too big for God to handle. In Rom 7:14-25, Paul describes the struggle between man’s sinful nature and God. In the final verses he asks “Who will rescue me from this body of death?” then goes on to answer his own question …“Thanks be to God, Jesus Christ our Lord.” He then describes how the Holy Spirit can keep us from deliberate, habitual sin, “… he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit … for if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die,” that is, be sent to hell (Romans 8:3,4,12). The Holy Spirit can and will deliver a believer from any sin just as 1 John 1:9 says, “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”. Also note Gal 5:16-18. (see the article Paul The Sinner?)

Do you live according to the Spirit and meet God’s righteous requirements?

The Bible lists many sinful lifestyles that will bring God’s condemnation and eternal separation from Him. The list includes lying, lust, pornography, hatred, stealing, idolatry, greed, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy and drunkenness. The Bible says that if anyone hates his brother he is both a liar and a murder and does not have eternal life (1 John 4:20 & 1 John 3:15). (Dictionaries describe hate as a strong or intense dislike). Are you still in sin? If so, please repent now and be saved from His wrath, while you are still able to call on His Name.

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again (John 3:3). That is, we must become a new creation in Christ, born of the Spirit and living by the Spirit. The Bible says “…No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God … anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother” and “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands … The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him … Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” (1 John 3:6-10 and 1 John 2:3-6). Please take careful note that the Bible does not tell us that we must live a perfect, sinless life to be saved. Most Christians will sin occasionally (1 John 2:1-2). Also, a believer may struggle with sin for a time and this struggling shows a repentant heart which will lead to eventual deliverance from that sin (1 John 1:9). However, struggling can’t be compared with deliberately continuing in a sinful way of life. Col 3:5-10 clearly state that God’s wrath is going to come upon all who wilfully sin. Please look at my GodTube video ‘Grieving The Spirit’. Examples of sinful lifestyles are ongoing lying, stealing, drunkenness, sleeping around, use of pornography, bitterness etc. If you read the book of 1 John it will give you a very clear understanding of what ‘born again’ or ‘born of God’ means. Either sin rules a believer’s life or Jesus does (listen to the Psalmist’s cry in Psa 19:12-13).

Are you keeping Jesus’ commands? Are you saved from a corrupt lifestyle or are you an Unsaved Believer?

Remember, you cannot live a sinlessly perfect life but to be saved you must be kept, by the Spirit, from deliberate, habitual sin. (You simply cannot continue to lust or hate or use drugs etc). In living this way you will fulfill Jesus’ commands to love God and love your neighbour. God will cleanse you from any sin that you take to Him in genuine sorrow. The Bible makes this very clear …“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Our heavenly Father dearly loves His children and wants to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.

If you have even the slightest doubt about your salvation, take it to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to show you your heart (Jer 17:9-10). Nothing is too big for God to handle as “all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). The Lord will save you from any sin that you are willing to repent of. However, if you choose to continue in sin then He will allow you to. But remember, “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). Sin may be pleasurable for a little season but hell is eternal.

Please note that nowhere does the Bible say that a Christian can lead a sinful lifestyle. Also, you can’t be half-saved any more than a woman can be half-pregnant. You are either saved or lost, there is no in between. Which are you?

If you’re back-slidden, go to Jesus in repentance and receive Him as your Lord and Saviour to cleanse you from sin and, through the Spirit, to enable you to walk in holiness. Please don’t have confidence in a prayer you said long ago.

A very important point: There is nothing we can do to ‘work’ our way to heaven. Salvation is through repentance and faith in Jesus alone. Through this faith we are forgiven and strengthened to walk in holiness. What God requires of us is to recognise our sin and to let Jesus do the work as 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins … he will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness.” John 6:29 says, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he sent.” The word ‘believe’ means to trust in and continue to trust in. Rom 8:12-13 tells us that we have an obligation to live by the Spirit otherwise we will die. We need to rely on God to keep us day by day because our sinful nature stays with us until the day we die. Please have a look at Perseverance Of The Saints to see that if we don’t follow God’s clear command to “be holy in all you do” (1 Pet 1:15), then we may lose our salvation.

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