In this series I have been showing how God has begun to judge this nation. I fear that if we do not heed His warning signs, then His judgments will get more severe trying to get our attention, till we finally do turn from our wicked ways and turn back to Him.
But to do that, we need to repent.
The problem is that in today's churches where hell, fire and damnation isn't even taught, how can one know about repentance?
How can people repent, when they don’t even know that they are lost.
To be saved, one has to realize that they are lost before they can be saved.
Let me explain.
I ran into someone talking about all the millions of people who are going to heaven.
He said that when the rapture takes place the world will be in utter mass confusion due to the millions upon millions of people that will be missing.
I asked him how does he know that so many people will be taken in the rapture?
He then pointed to all the people who profess themselves being a Christian.
Really? So I asked if Oprah is going to heaven because she professes being a Christian?
Yes he said because she believes in Jesus.
So I asked him if he could show me in scripture where anyone who makes this profession, they will go to heaven.
He of course pointed to John 3:16…
People often point to this and say that they “believe” thus they are going to heaven.
Once they believe they can go do anything they want because all is forgiven and they have their “fire insurance” in hand.
This is one of the major reasons that this nation has not repented.
I mean why repent when you are going to heaven already? You believed, so everything is honky-dory.
Problem is this is not what scripture is saying nor teaching.
Nicodemus And The Fiery Serpent
In John 3 Christ was talking to a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who we learn was a true believer in Jesus.
Nicodemus was a learned man and he knew the scriptures, so Christ talked to him with examples he could understand about salvation.
Christ, using the an example out of the Old Testament, stated the following…
Nicodemus understood this.
We can read the account here in Numbers 21:6-9
He was pointing out to Nicodemus that they (the Israelites) had to realize that they had sinned.
He pointed out that they had to seek repentance for that sin, and then freely accept the gift of healing that God provided.
This is the way that led to life for the Israelites in the wilderness after being bit by the snakes.
Believing is the final point to salvation not the beginning point. One has to realize they are sinners in need of a savior before they can believe upon the savior.
Otherwise who are they sinning against?
The Israelites in the wilderness knew that they were lost and dying. They have been bitten by snakes as a judgment sent by God.
But God being merciful sent a way for them to be saved.
All they had to do is believe and receive the gift of being healed.
They sinned against God, knew they sinned, seeking repentance, then believing they will be saved from death, they accepted the gift of healing by getting up out of their tents and looking (in faith) upon the fiery serpent.
There were also those who did not believe. They did not repent. They laid there in their tents refusing to look upon the fiery serpent and they died because they did not believe.
This is why I say that belief is at the end of the equation, not the beginning.
If one does not realize they are sinners, then why do they need saving? What is the point in believing if one does not realize that they are on the path to Hell?
To be saved, one first needs to realize they are truly lost.
He continues and states that only a FEW will find the way that leads to life. He does not say millions, but he states only a “few there be that find it.”
Now to go on a little further in Matthew 7 we learn that there will be many people who stand before the Lord saying…
What does Christ say to them?
Proper hermeneutics show us that the best way to define scripture is through scripture itself. In regards to “believing” James tells us the following…
What the devils are missing is that they are not repentant. They believe in Christ because they know who Christ is.
We must first realize that we are lost and destined to hell. It is the Holy Spirit that makes this true to us through conviction.
We have all felt the Holy Spirit convicting us at one time or another. It is what we did in that moment that matters.
Did we repent and seek God's forgiveness or did we continue on doing what we were doing and in turn hardening our hearts.
Do you know that there is nothing we need to do to go to hell?
Yep, we are already lost and destined to hell.
Scripture is very clear.
All means all.
But there is more. Because we are sinners, we are destined to death.
The Barna Group ran a survey in 2003 showing that in a national survey of 2033 adults only 4% of adults have a biblical worldview.
God is judging this nation, that is a fact.
We are just blind to that fact because we have hardened our hearts against Him.
We need to realize that if our nation is going to be whole again, we need to turn from our wicked ways, humble ourselves and repent. Then God will heal our land again.
But how can we repent when most do not even realize that they are sinners?
The enemy has done a great job of getting prayer out of school, the 10 commandments, demeaning God, Jesus Christ, God's Word the bible, and Christianity.
Satan has done a good job of removing God from our nation.
God warning Israel states the following…
We need to get back to the ways of the Lord, back to His Word so that our nation can be healed.
Where all that starts is with us Christians. Getting on our knees, humbling ourselves and praying for God's forgiveness. We need to repent before the Lord and ask Him to heal our land again.
Who Do You Serve?
Jesus stated the following…
If you claim the title of “Christian” then take account of yourself this day. Many claim the title, but we read in God’s Word that the title does not get you into heaven.
If you are not 110% sure, then take account of yourself, your very life depends upon it.
By Ray Gano
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