Are You Saved?
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What does it mean that Jesus is the light of the world? Let me start by asking you a question: Would you try to clean your house in the dark? You could try, but do you think your house would “pass inspection” with a white glove test?
This is what Jesus meant when He said He is the light of the world. You don’t see the dirt, the layers of sin you’ve accumulated after many years. You think it’s normal, but in God’s sight some of your attitudes reek of discontent, hypocrisy, pride, and a lack of love. “Ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:28). You may think you’re doing fine on your own, but you’re actually in the dark.
The Dead End of Self-Righteousness
You may do all the external trappings of religion. You go to church, you give to missions, you serve on this or that committee, you sing in the choir, etc, etc. But let me tell you, if your heart is not right, these things are repulsive to God (Amos 5:21-24)! Unless you are linked to Jesus, the vine, you can bear no fruit (John 15:1-8). Love should be the motivation for your service (see 1 Corinthians 13). If it’s not, you’d better examine your motives.
When you trust in our own works to save you, you spit in Jesus’ face. Let’s put it like this. Say you did a friend a favor. You went through “Hell and high water” to help them. You kept them from having to go through something really tough, really trying, even life threatening. And you came back after a long time and said “I did that for you.” They just look at you and say, “I could have done it myself. I would have done it better. I didn’t ask for your help.” They throw it back in your face, full of ingratitude. How would you feel? That’s how Jesus feels!
If we’re self-righteous, if we think we’ve checked off all the “right” boxes, Lord, let the spotlight shine in our hearts to reveal the hidden deep-down dark dirty secrets of our hearts. Holy Spirit, expose deeds of evil. Then we will see how truly unworthy we are of God’s love and we will realize how much the greatness of His love is in contrast to the darkness of our unsaved inner man. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
The Only Way to God
When the light of Jesus shines in your heart you see what He is like and you see what you are like. You see the standard you should measure up to. And we all fall short: “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The moment you see Jesus for who He is, the perfect, sinless Lamb of God, is the moment you realize you need a Savior. You need a spiritual heart transplant. You need a new birth.
By faith in Jesus to atone for your wrong attitudes and your wrong actions, you can have a new beginning, a change of heart, a new life. “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). You realize you can’t work your way into heaven. If that were true, then Jesus would not have had to die. “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
A Brand New Life
Once you’ve had this life-changing encounter with Jesus, you will not want to go back to the old ways. A true born-again follower of Jesus has the Holy Spirit dwelling within, bringing new convictions, desires, and strength for living a Christ-like life. Matthew Henry wrote, “The seal of the Holy Spirit in our sanctification, making us new creatures, is the inward evidence of the righteousness of faith.”
When you do the wrong things, it breaks your close fellowship with God, robs you of joy, and sometimes leaves you with unwanted or even terrible consequences. (I believe God wants the best for us and He would desire to spare us from this.) Even so, as a believer, you have this promise: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Confess your sins to God, and ask Jesus to help you do the right things and not do the bad things—the things you know are wrong, the things you’ve been convicted of, either by the law, scripture, or the conscience. “We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them” (1 John 5:18 NLT).
If you go on doing whatever you want, maybe trying to please man, but not trying to please God, you throw the free gift of eternal life back in the face of Jesus Christ. You make a mockery of His sacrifice. You hold Him up to public shame when you say you are His, and yet you live like the Devil. Lord, forbid that we should do that (see Proverbs 15:9 and 21:3).
Make Sure You’re On The Right Path
For those who reject Jesus, who say they don’t need Him, or who say they’d rather serve their own sinful desires, there remains no sacrifice for sins, only a fearful looking forward to a fiery end. If this is so, you will not escape judgment. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:26-31). You’ve been warned.
It’s like those haunted houses at Halloween, but it’s real. Ahead lies death, Hell, and terrors unspeakable. And yet we are given sign posts in the shape of a cross saying, “Go back! Beware!” Continue along this path, the signs say, and it will lead you to eternal death, destruction, and damnation.
Lord, may we escape the fearful judgment that is coming upon the world in the last days (see Jeremiah 6:19). Save us from this evil generation. In Your Son’s name, Almighty Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Please read Romans chapter 6.
“He that keeps the commandment keeps his own soul; but he that despises his ways shall perish.” (Proverbs 19:16, Brenton Septuagint Translation).
“Wherefore we labour, that … we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men …” (2 Corinthians 5:9-11).