EXCUSES & SIGNS OF NOT BEING BORN-AGAIN
|Adam And Eve|
|Cares, Worries, Pleasures|
|Ephesians Chapter 6|
|Excuses & Signs Of Not Being Born-Again|
|New—Life Is A Test|
|Parable Of The Sower|
|Persecutions To Death|
|Satan Deceives Many|
|Satan Deceives The whole World—New|
|Spiritual Warfare Desk|
|Story Of John|
(Subjects in this Section)
2-A REVIEW OF VARIOUS EXCUSES
3-WHAT IS BORN-AGAIN?
4-WHEREFORE BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM-Mt 7:20
6-SIGNS OR FRUITS
7-WE ARE LIVING IN A CHURCH AGE THAT "KNOWEST NOT"
8-WHY WERE YOU BORN? WHY WERE YOU CALLED TO SALVATION?
9-SATAN, WHO IS ALSO CALLED THE DRAGON
Jesus is calling, but will you come? (Excuses people make)
* THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE UNTO A CERTAIN KING, WHICH MADE A MARRIAGE FOR
HIS SON-Mt 22:2.
A KING...SENT FORTH HIS SERVANTS TO CALL THEM THAT WERE BIDDEN TO THE WEDDING: AND THEY WOULD NOT COME. AGAIN, HE SENT FORTH OTHER SERVANTS, SAYING, TELL THEM WHICH ARE BIDDEN, BEHOLD, I HAVE PREPARED MY DINNER: MY OXEN AND MY FATLINGS ARE KILLED, AND ALL THINGS ARE READY: COME UNTO THE MARRIAGE. BUT THEY MADE LIGHT OF IT, AND WENT THEIR WAYS, ONE TO HIS FARM, ANOTHER TO HIS MERCHANDISE: AND THE REMNANT TOOK HIS SERVANTS, AND INTREATED THEM SPITEFULLY, AND SLEW THEM. BUT WHEN THE KING HEARD THEREOF, HE WAS WROTH: AND HE SENT FORTH HIS ARMIES, AND DESTROYED THOSE MURDERERS, AND BURNED UP THEIR CITY. THEN SAITH HE TO HIS SERVANTS, THE WEDDING IS READY, BUT THEY WHICH WERE BIDDEN WERE NOT WORTHY. GO YE THEREFORE INTO THE HIGHWAYS, AND AS MANY AS YE SHALL FIND, BID TO THE MARRIAGE. SO THOSE SERVANTS WENT OUT INTO THE HIGHWAYS, AND GATHERED TOGETHER ALL AS MANY AS THEY FOUND, BOTH BAD AND GOOD: AND THE WEDDING WAS FURNISHED WITH GUESTS-Mt 22:2-10. Many make excuses and refuse to come to the wedding.
These were older people. They owned things. They were comfortable. These were settled down in their ways. These did not even consider the invitation. These did not even make excuses. These appeared to mock and ridicule the invitation. These persecuted and killed God's servants. The older a person is, the harder it is for them to surrender all and follow Jesus. This is also spiritual warfare.
There are three such parables. The other two appear in Lk 14:16-24, and 9:59-62.
SAID HE UNTO HIM, A CERTAIN MAN MADE A GREAT SUPPER, AND BADE MANY: AND
SENT HIS SERVANT AT SUPPER TIME TO SAY TO THEM THAT WERE BIDDEN, COME; FOR ALL
THINGS ARE NOW READY. AND THEY ALL WITH ONE CONSENT BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSE. THE
FIRST SAID UNTO HIM, I HAVE BOUGHT A PIECE OF GROUND, AND I MUST NEEDS GO AND
SEE IT: I PRAY THEE HAVE ME EXCUSED. AND ANOTHER SAID, I HAVE BOUGHT FIVE YOKE
OF OXEN, AND I GO TO PROVE THEM: I PRAY THEE HAVE ME EXCUSED. AND ANOTHER SAID,
I HAVE MARRIED A WIFE, AND THEREFORE I CANNOT COME.
SO THAT SERVANT CAME, AND SHEWED HIS LORD THESE THINGS. THEN THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE BEING ANGRY SAID TO HIS SERVANT, GO OUT QUICKLY INTO THE STREETS AND LANES OF THE CITY, AND BRING IN HITHER THE POOR, AND THE MAIMED, AND THE HALT, AND THE BLIND. AND THE SERVANT SAID, LORD, IT IS DONE AS THOU HAST COMMANDED, AND YET THERE IS ROOM. AND THE LORD SAID UNTO THE SERVANT, GO OUT INTO THE HIGHWAYS AND HEDGES, AND COMPEL THEM TO COME IN, THAT MY HOUSE MAY BE FILLED. FOR I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT NONE OF THOSE MEN WHICH WERE BIDDEN SHALL TASTE OF MY SUPPER-Lk 14:16-24. Many have been invited to the marriage feast also, but they will not come. Spiritual warfare.
These are younger people. They were not as hard as the older people in Mt 22:2-10. They hear the invitation, but they make excuses. They had many plans. They had just bought things. They had just got married themselves. Their whole life was before them, and they did not want to change.
HE SAID UNTO ANOTHER, FOLLOW ME. BUT HE SAID, LORD, SUFFER ME FIRST TO GO AND
BURY MY FATHER. JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR DEAD: BUT GO THOU
AND PREACH THE KINGDOM OF GOD. AND ANOTHER ALSO SAID, LORD, I WILL FOLLOW THEE;
BUT LET ME FIRST GO BID THEM FAREWELL, WHICH ARE AT HOME AT MY HOUSE. AND JESUS
SAID UNTO HIM, NO MAN, HAVING PUT HIS HAND TO THE PLOUGH, AND LOOKING BACK,
IS FIT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD-Lk 9:59-62.
These may be the youngest people. They are not tied down with being comfortable. They are not tied down with many possessions. They are not tied down with having just got married or having just bought things. They hear the invitation to follow Jesus. They did not mock. They did not say no. Yet the first one wanted to hesitate and do something else first. Jesus admonishes him. When Jesus calls to do something, absolutely no excuse is acceptable, not even burying the dead.
The other also wanted to hesitate and go and say farewell to those at his house. Jesus admonishes him that once a person is called to follow Him, he is not to look back. For if a person looks back, rather than ahead to Jesus, he is not fit for the kingdom of God. This is also spiritual warfare.
AND THIS IS THE CONDEMNATION, THAT LIGHT (Jesus, the Word) IS COME INTO THE WORLD, AND MEN "LOVED" DARKNESS (the ways of the world, the ways of Satan, the ways of sin) RATHER THAN LIGHT (Jesus, the Word), BECAUSE THEIR DEEDS WERE EVIL-Jn 3:19. Their mind and heart were set on the things and ways of "this" world, rather than on the world to come. So they did not love the Word of God, which is Jesus.
FOR EVERY ONE THAT DOETH EVIL HATETH THE LIGHT (hateth Godís Word, hateth Jesus), NEITHER COMETH TO THE LIGHT (they will not listen, read, and "do" the Word: the Word is Jesus), LEST HIS DEEDS (the things he does) SHOULD BE REPROVED (should be exposed, made known for what they are-evil)-Jn 3:20.
People that will not come to the "Light," are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears. It is written, YE DO ALWAYS RESIST THE HOLY GHOST-Acts 7:51. Jn 12:48-HE THAT REJECTETH ME, AND RECEIVETH NOT MY WORDS, HATH ONE THAT JUDGETH HIM: THE WORD.
Jesus tells "you" to follow Him. AND HE (Jesus) SAID UNTO ANOTHER, FOLLOW ME. BUT HE SAID, LORD, SUFFER ME "FIRST" TO GO AND BURY MY FATHER. JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, LET THE DEAD BURY "THEIR" DEAD: BUT GO THOU AND PREACH THE KINGDOM OF GOD. AND ANOTHER ALSO SAID, LORD, I WILL FOLLOW THEE; BUT LET ME "FIRST" GO BID THEM FAREWELL, WHICH ARE AT HOME AT MY HOUSE. AND JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, NO MAN, HAVING PUT HIS HAND TO THE PLOUGH, AND LOOKING BACK, IS FIT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD-Lk 9:59-62. Do not take the words of Jesus lightly. A person that says, "I have to do certain things first, before I come to Jesus," is deceived.
A person that says, "I have to clean up my act first," is resisting God. Repent immediately, and come. A person that will not come immediately, is not fit for the kingdom of God. If He calls you, and you do not come, you may never have another chance. You do not know what tomorrow will bring. Satan puts into a personís mind that other things need to be taken care of first, then follow Jesus later. There is a battle that goes on inside a person between truth and error. Satan uses these tactics in unbelievers to keep them from surrendering to Jesus now, and from doing what God wants them to do.
Jesus said, A CERTAIN MAN MADE A GREAT SUPPER, AND BADE (invited) MANY: AND SENT HIS SERVANT AT SUPPER TIME TO SAY TO THEM THAT WERE BIDDEN, COME; FOR ALL THINGS ARE NOW READY. AND THEY "ALL" WITH "ONE" CONSENT BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSE.
Satan uses such things both in the unbeliever and the carnal believer. THE FIRST SAID UNTO HIM, I HAVE BOUGHT A PIECE OF GROUND, AND I MUST NEEDS GO AND SEE IT: I PRAY THEE HAVE ME EXCUSED-Lk 14:16-18. He considered the cares of this life more important than following Jesus. Now, undoubtedly, he had already seen the land before buying it, yet he made an excuse to justify himself. He excused himself, and chose hell rather than heaven.
AND ANOTHER SAID, I HAVE BOUGHT FIVE YOKE OF OXEN, AND I GO TO PROVE THEM: I PRAY THEE HAVE ME EXCUSED-Lk 14:19. This person also made an excuse. Undoubtedly, he had already proven the oxen before he bought them. Thus, he may have just made up an excuse because he did not wish to come to the great supper. The cares of this world were more important to him than eternity with God. God came to prove him, and he failed the test. The other had bought a piece of ground. God wanted to give him a better piece of ground in the city of NEW JERUSALEM. Neither of these people would put aside the love of this world for eternity with God.
AND ANOTHER SAID, I HAVE MARRIED A WIFE, AND THEREFORE I CANNOT COME-Lk 14:20. Jesus was calling this person to marry Him, and come to the marriage supper of the Lamb. It is written, EVERY ONE THAT HATH FORSAKEN HOUSES, OR BRETHREN, OR SISTERS, OR FATHER, OR MOTHER, OR WIFE, OR CHILDREN, OR LANDS, FOR MY NAMEíS SAKE, SHALL RECEIVE AN HUNDREDFOLD, AND SHALL INHERIT EVERLASTING LIFE-Mt 19:29. Nothing should keep a person from following Jesus, not lands, not oxen, not any material possessions, or any job, not even a wife. No care of this world can be as important as a total giving up of oneís self to Jesus. Yet, many put houses, lands, oxen, vehicles, jobs, or brothers, sisters, fathers, or mothers, wives, or children, even numerous cares of this life, before Jesus. Many are called to salvation, but only a few are chosen.
Many are called to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, but the cares, pleasures, lusts, and deceitfulness of riches become as thorns that choke them. They bring no fruit to perfection. What profit is there to gain the whole world, but perish?
SO THAT SERVANT CAME, AND SHEWED HIS LORD THESE THINGS. He showed his lord that he had invited many to come, but they all made excuses, and would not come. THEN THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE BEING ANGRY SAID TO HIS SERVANT, GO OUT QUICKLY INTO THE STREETS AND LANES OF THE CITY, AND BRING IN HITHER THE POOR, AND THE MAIMED, AND THE HALT, AND THE BLIND-Lk 14:21. Will God choose someone else in your place because you are too busy to follow Jesus?
Two had made the statement, I HAVE BOUGHT. Their mind was not on Jesus. It was on prospering in "this" world. All three were looking ahead to the future in "this" world, and not the world to come. All three were blinded and deceived by the things of this life. All three had plans of things "they" wanted to do. None were willing to repent and change direction. None were willing to forsake this world and do the will of God. It is written, Lk 14:33-SO LIKEWISE, WHOSOEVER HE BE OF YOU THAT FORSAKETH NOT ALL THAT HE HATH, HE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE (he cannot be saved). Satan had lied to these people, and they followed Satanís thoughts rather than the Word of God. Satan tells many people you can have the best of this world and have eternal life also. The Scriptures tell us this is not true. The world tells us to gain worldly treasures. The Bible says to give up this world. 1 Jn 2:15-LOVE NOT THE WORLD, NEITHER THE THINGS THAT ARE IN THE WORLD. IF ANY MAN LOVE THE WORLD, THE LOVE OF THE FATHER IS NOT IN HIM. Ja 4:4-KNOW YE NOT THAT THE FRIENDSHIP OF THE WORLD IS ENMITY (hatred) WITH GOD? WHOSOEVER THEREFORE WILL BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD IS THE "ENEMY" OF GOD.
God then invites the poor and the sick, those who are down and out. And these say, "Yes." These people will not allow the things of this world to hinder them from serving God. AND THE SERVANT SAID, LORD, IT IS DONE AS THOU HAST COMMANDED, AND YET THERE IS ROOM. AND THE LORD SAID UNTO THE SERVANT, GO OUT INTO THE HIGHWAYS AND HEDGES, AND COMPEL THEM TO COME IN, THAT MY HOUSE MAY BE FILLED-Lk 14:22,23.
Beware, lest Satan deceive you, and you wither and fall away under the pressure of the cares, pleasures, lusts, or riches of this life. Never let "anything" stop you from following Jesus. For if it does, it becomes an idol. Jesus is to be "your Lord."
And what of all those who made excuses and would not come to the great supper? FOR I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT "NONE" OF THOSE MEN WHICH WERE BIDDEN SHALL TASTE OF MY SUPPER-Lk 14:24. Beware of Satan. We are in a spiritual battle. Your eternal destiny is at stake.
2-A REVIEW OF VARIOUS EXCUSES
NO THOUGHT FOR YOUR
TAKE NO THOUGHT...WHAT YE SHALL EAT
TAKE NO THOUGHT...WHAT YE SHALL DRINK.
TAKE NO THOUGHT...FOR YOUR BODY, WHAT YE SHALL PUT ON.
TAKE NO THOUGHT, SAYING, WHAT SHALL WE EAT?
TAKE NO THOUGHT, SAYING,...WHAT SHALL WE DRINK?
TAKE NO THOUGHT, SAYING,...WHEREWITHAL SHALL WE BE CLOTHED?
TAKE...NO THOUGHT FOR THE MORROW-ref Mt 6:25-34.
HE THAT LOVETH FATHER OR MOTHER MORE THAN ME IS NOT WORTHY OF ME: AND HE THAT LOVETH SON OR DAUGHTER MORE THAN ME IS NOT WORTHY OF ME. AND HE THAT TAKETH NOT HIS CROSS, AND FOLLOWETH AFTER ME, IS NOT WORTHY OF ME. HE THAT FINDETH HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT: AND HE THAT LOSETH HIS LIFE FOR MY SAKE SHALL FIND IT-Mt 10:37-39.
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE UNTO A CERTAIN KING, WHICH MADE A MARRIAGE FOR HIS SON, AND SENT FORTH HIS SERVANTS TO CALL THEM THAT WERE BIDDEN TO THE WEDDING: AND THEY WOULD NOT COME. THEY MADE LIGHT OF IT, AND WENT THEIR WAYS, ONE TO HIS FARM, ANOTHER TO HIS MERCHANDISE:...WHEN THE KING HEARD THEREOF, HE WAS WROTH:...THEN SAITH HE TO HIS SERVANTS, THE WEDDING IS READY, BUT THEY WHICH WERE BIDDEN WERE NOT WORTHY. FOR MANY ARE CALLED, BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN-Mt 22:2,3,5,7,8,14.
God gives us three groups of people. All said, "No" to the invitation God gave them. The first group said they would come, but "first" let me do just one other thing. This first group did not seem so involved in the world, and they considered coming. These may be young adults.
The second group had done something, and they were more resistant to Godís invitation. They had just bought something or had just gotten married. They did not want the Lord to interfere with their worldly plans.
The third group had settled down. They owned lands and merchandise. They were comfortable in this world. They were the most resistant to Godís invitation as THEY MADE LIGHT OF IT. Each time that God calls a person, if they say, "First let me do something else," or if they say, "No," they seem to grow harder toward God. May you not say no to God when He calls "you." This group was probably older than group 1 or 2.
Beware, that your job does not cause you to turn from obeying God. IN THE LATTER DAYS (we are in the latter days now);...YE WILL DO EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, TO PROVOKE HIM TO ANGER THROUGH THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS-Deut 31:29. Beware, that your job does not interfere with you going to church services, Bible studies, and witnessing. Beware, that your job does not hinder you from selling out totally to Jesus. Do not let your job stop you from serving the One who gave you the job, Jesus.
Note some of the words of the people who refused to follow Jesus:
"ME FIRST" TO GO.
LET "ME FIRST" GO BID THEM FAREWELL.
"I HAVE" BOUGHT A PIECE OF GROUND, AND "I MUST" NEEDS GO AND SEE IT... "I HAVE" BOUGHT FIVE YOKE OF OXEN, AND "I GO" TO PROVE THEM.
"I HAVE" MARRIED A WIFE, AND THEREFORE "I CANNOT" COME.
"THEY" WOULD NOT COME. THEY...WENT...ONE TO HIS FARM, ANOTHER TO HIS MERCHANDISE.
Beware of the cares of this world. Beware of the pleasures of this world. Beware of the lusts of other things and the deceitfulness of riches. Satan lies to peopleís minds and tells them that these things are more important than following Jesus "right now."
3-WHAT IS BORN-AGAIN?
Jesus tells us, EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN AGAIN, HE CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD-Jn 3:3. Few people today understand the spiritual principle that Jesus was talking about. The religious leaders in the days of Jesus also had difficulty understanding what Jesus meant. One such person was Nicodemus. He was a Pharisee, A RULER OF THE JEWS-Jn 3:1. NICODEMUS SAITH UNTO HIM (unto Jesus), HOW CAN A MAN BE BORN WHEN HE IS OLD? CAN HE ENTER THE SECOND TIME INTO HIS MOTHERíS WOMB, AND BE BORN? JESUS ANSWERED, VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO THEE, EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN OF WATER AND OF THE SPIRIT, HE CANNOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD. THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE FLESH IS FLESH; AND THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT IS SPIRIT-Jn 3:4-6. Thus, to be born-again is to be BORN OF THE SPIRIT.
Again, the Scriptures show us that Nicodemus could not seem to understand. He said, Jn 3:9,10-HOW CAN THESE THINGS BE? JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO HIM, ART THOU A MASTER OF ISRAEL, AND KNOWEST NOT THESE THINGS? To be born-again is to have three bear witness. AND THERE ARE THREE THAT BEAR WITNESS IN EARTH, THE SPIRIT, AND THE WATER, AND THE BLOOD: AND THESE THREE AGREE IN ONE-1 Jn 5:8. The blood is that of Jesus Christ which cleanses us from all sin. The water is that of being buried with Jesus in baptism, which we are commanded to do after we believe on Jesus Christ and repent of our sins (forsake our sins). The Spirit is the Spirit of God (the Holy Ghost). As it is written, REPENT, AND BE BAPTIZED EVERY ONE OF YOU...AND YE SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST-Acts 2:38. To have the SPIRIT OF GOD DWELL IN YOU-Ro 8:9, is to be BORN OF THE SPIRIT, BORN AGAIN. NOW IF "ANY" MAN HAVE NOT THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, HE IS NONE OF HIS-Ro 8:9. Note the words of Jesus, EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN OF WATER AND OF THE SPIRIT-Jn 3:5. The water of being BURIED WITH HIM (with Jesus) BY BAPTISM-Ro 6:4 comes first, then the word Spirit follows. Godís Word clearly tells us we receive Godís Spirit by "faith." By being baptized by full immersion we "justify God" (or acknowledge that His way is right), BEING BAPTIZED WITH THE BAPTISM OF JOHN. But to refuse water baptism is to reject Jesus and His Word (His counsel). BUT THE PHARISEES AND LAWYERS REJECTED THE COUNSEL OF GOD AGAINST THEMSELVES, BEING NOT BAPTIZED OF HIM-Lk 7:29,30.
Thus, to be born-again is to receive Christ by faith, repent (forsake your sins), and be buried with Jesus by baptism. When we are buried with Jesus in baptism our old sinful nature is to be buried. When we come up out of the water, we are to WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE-Ro 6:4. Jesus took the sins of the world upon Himself. He was crucified and buried. We are crucified and buried in water baptism. We are not to live any longer in sin-ref Ro 6:4. OUR OLD MAN (our old sinful ways) IS CRUCIFIED WITH HIM,...THAT HENCEFORTH WE SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN-Ro 6:6. Once we come out of the water, we are to live UNTO GOD-Ro 6:10. As Col 2:12 tells us, BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM, WHEREIN ALSO YE ARE RISEN WITH HIM THROUGH THE "FAITH" OF THE OPERATION OF GOD, WHO HATH RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD-Col 2:12. As Gal 3:27-tells us, FOR AS MANY OF YOU AS HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST HAVE PUT ON CHRIST.
In past decades, some have tried to force people to be baptized, saying that baptism saved them. Other people when they hear they are to be baptized, did so, yet they still perished to hell. They failed to understand that they "must" have faith in Jesus Christ. They also must repent (forsake their sins). Jesus tells us, EXCEPT YE REPENT, YE SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH-Lk 13:3. One needs to understand that faith, repentance, and baptism go hand in hand. To leave out one is to perish. To put baptism before faith or repentance is of no meaning.
Jesus tells us, VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, EXCEPT YE BE CONVERTED, AND BECOME AS LITTLE CHILDREN, YE SHALL NOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN-Mt 18:3. To be BORN OF THE SPIRIT is to be CONVERTED. Acts 3:19-REPENT YE THEREFORE, AND BE CONVERTED, THAT YOUR SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT. Five more times, the Scriptures mention being converted or we shall perish. Many people claim they are born-again, but they have never been converted. There is no evidence of their life being converted or changed. There is no evidence that they are a new creature or that their mind has been transformed from the way it was.
You see, when we are truly born-again, when we are truly converted, we become a very different person. A conversion or change has taken place. This conversion is lacking in most people that claim they are born-again. Col 3:9,10-SEEING THAT YE HAVE PUT OFF THE OLD MAN WITH HIS DEEDS; AND HAVE PUT ON THE NEW MAN, WHICH IS RENEWED IN KNOWLEDGE AFTER THE IMAGE OF HIM THAT CREATED HIM. A conversion has taken place. A person has become born-again, changed. We put off the old. We put on the new. We no longer practice sin and follow the world. We begin to follow Jesus and look forward to the world to come.
Eph 4:22-THAT YE PUT OFF CONCERNING THE FORMER CONVERSATION THE OLD MAN, WHICH IS CORRUPT ACCORDING TO THE DECEITFUL LUSTS; (24)-AND THAT YE PUT ON THE NEW MAN, WHICH AFTER GOD IS CREATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUE HOLINESS. Again, the Scriptures show us a conversion has taken place as a result of being born-again. A change has taken place in a personís life. The person has put on a new nature. Eph 2:2,3-WHEREIN IN "TIME PAST" (before being born-again and converted) YE WALKED ACCORDING TO THE COURSE OF THIS WORLD, ACCORDING TO THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR, THE SPIRIT THAT NOW WORKETH IN THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE: AMONG WHOM ALSO WE ALL HAD OUR CONVERSATION IN TIMES PAST IN THE LUSTS OF OUR FLESH, FULFILLING THE DESIRES OF THE FLESH AND OF THE MIND; AND WERE "BY NATURE" THE CHILDREN OF WRATH, EVEN AS OTHERS.
As a born-again, converted Christian we MIGHT BE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE, HAVING ESCAPED THE CORRUPTION THAT IS IN THE WORLD THROUGH LUST-2 Pe 1:4. Before being converted, we had a disobedient nature, a nature which wanted to fulfill the desires of the flesh and mind. But once converted, we receive the Holy Spirit, and we begin walking in the footsteps of Jesus. We put on a nature that yields to God and seeks to do His good pleasure. We put off "self," and we put on God.
A born-again, converted Christian is to BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD: BUT BE YE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, THAT YE MAY PROVE WHAT IS THAT GOOD, AND ACCEPTABLE, AND PERFECT, WILL OF GOD-Ro 12:2. A converted Christian has his mind renewed, transformed, changed. His mind is no longer centered on this world. The nature of the transformed mind centers on Jesus, on the Word. The old way of thinking has been replaced with a new way of thinking. For the converted Christian has THE MIND OF CHRIST-1 Cor 2:16. Our old carnal (worldly) self-centered ways of acting and thinking become replaced with a new nature, that may be best summed up in one word, love. Eph 4:23-BE RENEWED IN THE SPIRIT OF YOUR MIND.
THEREFORE IF "ANY" MAN BE IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATURE: OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY; BEHOLD, "ALL" THINGS ARE BECOME NEW-2 Cor 5:17. A born-again, changed Christian has repented and put off the old worldly, sinful, lustful, self-centered, prideful, egotistical ways, and has put on the newóALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW. FOR IN CHRIST JESUS NEITHER CIRCUMCISION AVAILETH ANY THING, NOR UNCIRCUMCISION, BUT A NEW CREATURE-Gal 6:15. To be born-again is to become a new creature, one that is much different than he was.
Such a transformation is impossible by man. Titus 3:5-NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE. Some people get the notion they are born-again, just because they are a good person. Satan has lied to their mind, and they believed it. BUT WE ARE ALL AS AN UNCLEAN THING, AND ALL OUR RIGHTEOUSNESSES ARE AS FILTHY RAGS-Isa 64:6. But thanks be to God who calls us. For with God all things are possible. God gives us His Spirit which indwells inside a converted, born-again Christian. This gives him incredible power to resist sin as he submits to God. GREATER IS HE (Godís Spirit) THAT IS IN YOU, THAN HE (Satan) THAT IS IN THE WORLD-1 Jn 4:4. We are born-again, NOT OF BLOOD, NOR OF THE WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, "BUT OF GOD"-Jn 1:13. The new birth does not come from self-righteousness. It does not come OF THE WILL OF MAN, "BUT OF GOD."
AS NEWBORN BABES, DESIRE THE SINCERE MILK OF THE WORD, THAT YE MAY GROW THEREBY-1 Pe 2:2. The Scriptures are showing us again, that a new birth has taken place. The result of that new birth is that the person desires the SINCERE MILK OF THE WORD. A newly converted Christian is a baby Christian. A baby needs milk to grow. The new Christian has a desire for the Word of God.
The old man produces death. The new man produces life. For when we become born-again, it is written, BUT AS MANY AS RECEIVED HIM, TO THEM GAVE HE POWER TO BECOME THE SONS OF GOD-Jn 1:12.
Once we become a converted, born-again Christian, we have a personal relationship with God. Now, I do not know the President of my country, personally, but his wife does. I know about him, but I do not have a personal relationship with him. Then suppose one day, I get introduced to him, and he tells me, "You can call on me anytime for help." Now, I have a personal relationship with him.
This is the way it is for one who has received Jesus as their Lord and Savior (born-again). He has a personal relationship with Christ. Christ lives inside him and directs his every move as he yields to and obeys the Holy Ghost. As Phili 3:10 tells us, THAT I MAY "KNOW" HIM.
Now, I must caution you. For some think they have a personal relationship with God, but their fruits (their actions) testify that they are following a strangerís voice (the devil). YE KNOW THAT EVERY ONE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS IS BORN OF HIM-1 Jn 2:29. WHOSOEVER DOETH NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GOD, NEITHER HE THAT LOVETH NOT "HIS BROTHER"-1Jn 3:10. BELOVED, LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER: FOR LOVE IS OF GOD; AND EVERY ONE THAT LOVETH IS BORN OF GOD, AND KNOWETH GOD. HE THAT LOVETH NOT KNOWETH NOT GOD; FOR GOD IS LOVE-1Jn 4:7,8. WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST IS BORN OF GOD: AND EVERY ONE THAT LOVETH "HIM" THAT BEGAT LOVETH "HIM ALSO THAT IS BEGOTTEN OF HIM"-1 Jn 5:1. Do you love every single person that is born of God? Do you love with all your heart "all" the born-again, television evangelists? Examine yourself to see if you are truly "in the faith." Do you love all the brothers in Christ, no matter what denomination they are?
WHATSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMETH THE WORLD: AND THIS IS THE VICTORY THAT OVERCOMETH THE WORLD, EVEN OUR FAITH-1 Jn 5:4. Examine yourself to see if you are a converted, born-again Christian, or has the devil misled you into believing a lie? Have you received Christ by faith, repented of your sins, and been baptized by full immersion after you believed? Are you living a life that is surrendered to obeying the Gospel? Are your prayers getting answered, or are they bouncing off the walls? Is your conversation usually centered on Jesus, or on the world when talking to your relatives, friends and fellow workers? Do you follow the Spirit of truth, or the spirit of error?-(ref 1 Jn 4:6). Does the way you live reflect Jesus? Is your #1 concern winning souls?
4-WHEREFORE BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM-Mt 7:20
The Scriptures have shown us that when a person is born-again, he becomes a changed person. There are many things we can look for that can give us an indication whether that change has really taken place or not. Usually, if a person states he has faith, says he has repented, and been baptized as the Bible commands, yet no change has taken place; it is because there is some sin he will not give up, or may not acknowledge there is sin in his life. Listed here are just a few of the many items Godís Word gives us to help us examine ourselves.
WE ARE OF GOD: HE THAT KNOWETH GOD HEARETH US; HE THAT IS NOT OF GOD HEARETH NOT US. HEREBY "KNOW" WE THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, AND THE SPIRIT OF ERROR-1 Jn 4:6. LEAN NOT UNTO THINE OWN UNDERSTANDING-Pv 3:5. BE NOT WISE IN THINE OWN EYES: FEAR THE LORD, AND DEPART FROM EVIL-Pv 3:7.
In order for the conversion to take place, one needs to surrender to Jesus. A person needs to humble himself before Jesus, before Godís Word, and allow Jesus to make changes in his life. A person is not to resist God or Godís Word. Instead, a person is to submit to God, and resist the devil. A born-again Christian is to let Jesus reign over him and deny self. Obey the Bible, not Satanís lies that he puts in your mind. Remember, there is a battle going on for your soul.
1. Repentance means to give up the old, and put on the new. One sign we may look for that a person has become a converted, born-again Christian is he gives up drugs, alcohol, wild parties, smoking, astrology and all willful sin. BUT GOD BE THANKED, THAT YE "WERE" (past tense) THE SERVANTS OF SIN, BUT YE HAVE "OBEYED FROM THE HEART" THAT FORM OF DOCTRINE WHICH WAS DELIVERED YOU (the Bible)-Ro 6:17. NOW YIELD YOUR MEMBERS (your body) SERVANTS TO RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO HOLINESS-Ro 6:19. THERE IS THEREFORE NOW NO CONDEMNATION TO THEM WHICH ARE IN CHRIST JESUS (saved), WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE "FLESH", BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT-Ro 8:1. HE THAT HATH MY COMMANDMENTS, AND KEEPETH THEM, HE IT IS THAT LOVETH ME-Jn 14:21. IF YE LIVE AFTER THE FLESH, YE SHALL DIE-Ro 8:13. KNOW YE NOT THAT YE ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD, AND THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLETH IN YOU? IF ANY MAN DEFILE (causes to wither or destroy) THE TEMPLE OF GOD, HIM SHALL GOD DESTROY-1 Cor 3:16,17.
Astrology is an abomination to God. Do not even look at the horoscopes. LET NOW THE ASTROLOGERS, THE STARGAZERS, THE MONTHLY PROGNOSTICATORS, STAND UP, AND SAVE THEE FROM THESE THINGS THAT SHALL COME UPON THEE. BEHOLD, THEY SHALL BE AS STUBBLE; THE FIRE SHALL BURN THEM-Isa 47:13,14. IF THERE BE FOUND AMONG YOU,...THAT HATH...GONE AND SERVED OTHER GODS, AND WORSHIPPED THEM, EITHER THE SUN, OR MOON, OR ANY OF THE HOST OF HEAVEN (astrology),...AND, BEHOLD, IT BE TRUE,...THAT SUCH ABOMINATION IS WROUGHT IN ISRAEL:...THOU...SHALT STONE THEM WITH STONES, TILL THEY DIE-Deut 17:2-5. Astrology is a form of denying the GOD THAT IS ABOVE-ref Job 31:26-28.
2. Another sign we may look for that a person has become a converted, born-again Christian is he "has" a thirst to read the Bible and to partake of Bible studies to learn of Jesus. If that great desire is lacking, then it is a solid indication that the person has not been converted. He is not truly born-again. AS NEWBORN BABES, "DESIRE" (yearn, intensely crave, long after, earnestly and greatly desire) THE SINCERE (pure) MILK OF THE WORD, THAT YE MAY GROW THEREBY: "IF" SO BE YE HAVE TASTED THAT THE LORD IS GRACIOUS-1 Pe 2:2,3, (if you are really born of the Spirit). As a newborn baby cries and craves milk, so "will" the true converted Christian crave the milk of Godís Word. If the person does not yearn to go to church to hear the Word, does not crave to read his Bible often, and does not earnestly desire Bible studies when they become available to him, then the Word indicates that he has not tasted THAT THE LORD IS GRACIOUS. He is not saved. For the born-again Christian, HIS DELIGHT IS IN THE LAW OF THE LORD (the Bible); AND IN HIS LAW DOTH HE MEDITATE DAY AND NIGHT-Ps 1:2. Mt 11:29-tells us, LEARN OF ME (of Jesus). SURELY AFTER THAT I WAS TURNED, I REPENTED; AND AFTER THAT "I WAS INSTRUCTED", I SMOTE UPON MY THIGH: I WAS ASHAMED, YEA, EVEN CONFOUNDED, BECAUSE I DID BEAR THE REPROACH OF MY YOUTH-Jere 31:19.
3. Another sign we may look for is a change in attitude toward love, toward humility, toward obeying them that have the rule over them, toward letting Jesus reign over them. 1 Jn 3:14-WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE PASSED FROM DEATH UNTO LIFE (a conversion has taken place in the personís life), BECAUSE "WE LOVE" THE BRETHREN. HE THAT LOVETH NOT HIS BROTHER ABIDETH IN DEATH (he is not saved). LET US NOT LOVE IN WORD, NEITHER IN TONGUE; BUT IN DEED AND IN TRUTH. AND HEREBY "WE KNOW" THAT WE ARE OF THE TRUTH-1 Jn 3:18,19.
We are to humble ourselves. EXCEPT YE BE CONVERTED, "AND" BECOME AS LITTLE CHILDREN, YE SHALL NOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. WHOSOEVER THEREFORE SHALL HUMBLE HIMSELF AS THIS LITTLE CHILD, THE SAME IS GREATEST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN-Mt 18:3,4. GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD, BUT GIVETH GRACE UNTO THE HUMBLE-Ja 4:6.
REMEMBER THEM WHICH HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU, WHO HAVE SPOKEN UNTO YOU THE WORD OF GOD: WHOSE FAITH FOLLOW, CONSIDERING THE END OF THEIR CONVERSATION. OBEY THEM THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU, AND SUBMIT YOURSELVES: FOR THEY WATCH FOR YOUR SOULS, AS THEY THAT MUST GIVE ACCOUNT, THAT THEY MAY DO IT WITH JOY, AND NOT WITH GRIEF: FOR THAT IS UNPROFITABLE FOR YOU-Heb 13:7,17. But some will not let Jesus reign over them. BUT THOSE MINE ENEMIES, WHICH WOULD NOT THAT I SHOULD REIGN OVER THEM, BRING HITHER, AND SLAY THEM BEFORE ME-Lk 19:27.
4. Another sign we can look for that indicates a person has been converted, is that they begin attending a Bible teaching church on a regular basis that has a born-again, fruit-bearing pastor whose teaching is in harmony with the Scriptures. Such a church would emphasize repentance and baptism by full immersion. Such a church would believe in exalting the name of Jesus, and teaching "all" the Bible, including prophecy. Such a church would believe in having their people go forth to win the lost to Jesus. Such a church would emphasize prayer and Bible study. And most important, the pastorís life should reflect Jesus. Such a church would love others.
Heb 10:25-NOT FORSAKING THE ASSEMBLING OF OURSELVES TOGETHER, AS THE MANNER OF SOME IS; BUT EXHORTING ONE ANOTHER: AND SO MUCH THE MORE, AS YE SEE THE DAY APPROACHING. A born-again Christian should seek to have daily fellowship. Acts 2:46-AND THEY, CONTINUING DAILY WITH ONE ACCORD IN THE TEMPLE, AND BREAKING BREAD FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE, DID EAT THEIR MEAT WITH GLADNESS AND SINGLENESS OF HEART.
The best time for Satan to tempt us and cause us to fall is when we do not have fellow Christians to help us stand, to help us see if we are going astray. FOR IF THEY FALL, THE ONE WILL LIFT UP HIS FELLOW: BUT WOE TO HIM THAT IS ALONE WHEN HE FALLETH; FOR HE HATH NOT ANOTHER TO HELP HIM UP-Ecc 4:10. In olden times, there were false believers that lived in sin, yet they went to church. Today is the same. WILL YE STEAL, MURDER, AND COMMIT ADULTERY, AND SWEAR FALSELY, AND BURN INCENSE UNTO BAAL, AND WALK AFTER OTHER GODS WHOM YE KNOW NOT; AND COME AND STAND BEFORE ME IN THIS HOUSE, WHICH IS CALLED BY MY NAME...?-Jere 7:9,10.
5. Another sign we can look for that indicates a person has been converted is they tell others that Jesus is their Savior, and they get involved in serving the Lord in some way. The Bible tells us, 1 Pe 3:15-BE READY ALWAYS TO GIVE AN ANSWER TO EVERY MAN THAT ASKETH YOU A REASON OF THE HOPE THAT IS IN YOU WITH MEEKNESS AND FEAR. FOR WITH THE HEART MAN BELIEVETH UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND WITH THE MOUTH CONFESSION IS MADE UNTO SALVATION. FOR THE SCRIPTURE SAITH, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED-Ro 10:10,11. 1 Tim 6:12-tells us, PROFESSED A GOOD PROFESSION BEFORE MANY WITNESSES. Should a person be afraid and refuse to tell others that Jesus is their only hope of salvation, it is a good indication that they have not been converted. However, the fact that someone does confess Jesus does not mean they are saved, for many confess Jesus but will not depart from iniquity.
Eph 2:10-tells us, FOR WE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS UNTO GOOD WORKS, WHICH GOD HATH BEFORE ORDAINED THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM. WHEREFORE BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM-Mt 7:20. FOR AS THE BODY WITHOUT THE SPIRIT IS DEAD, SO FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD ALSO-Ja 2:26.
6. Another sign we may look for is a change in conversation. A personís mind now begins to center on Jesus and the things of the Bible. Using the name of the Lord as a curse word stops. Filthy language stops. For the unsaved, GOD IS NOT IN ALL HIS THOUGHTS-Ps 10:4. THEY ARE OF THE WORLD: THEREFORE SPEAK THEY OF THE WORLD, AND THE WORLD HEARETH THEM. HEREBY "KNOW WE" THE SPIRIT...OF ERROR-1 Jn 4:5,6. HE THAT IS OF THE EARTH IS EARTHLY, AND SPEAKETH OF THE EARTH-Jn 3:31. FOR TO BE CARNALLY (worldly) MINDED IS DEATH...BECAUSE THE CARNAL (worldly) MIND IS ENMITY (hatred) AGAINST GOD...FOR IF YE LIVE AFTER THE FLESH, YE SHALL DIE-Ro 8:6,7,13. (FOR MANY WALK...WHOSE END IS DESTRUCTION, WHOSE GOD IS THEIR BELLY, AND WHOSE GLORY IS IN THEIR SHAME, WHO MIND EARTHLY THINGS.)-Phili 3:18,19.
PUT OFF CONCERNING THE "FORMER CONVERSATION THE OLD MAN, WHICH IS CORRUPT" ACCORDING TO THE "DECEITFUL LUSTS"; AND BE "RENEWED" IN THE SPIRIT OF YOUR MIND; AND...PUT ON THE "NEW MAN," WHICH AFTER GOD IS CREATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUE HOLINESS-Eph 4:22-24. How should the language of the converted, born-again Christian be? MY MOUTH SHALL SHEW FORTH "THY" RIGHTEOUSNESS AND "THY" SALVATION ALL THE DAY-Ps 71:15.
7. Another sign we may look for is a change of attitude toward this world. Our mind and actions should indicate we no longer love this world, but are looking for the world to come. Our attitude should be to stop laying up treasures on this earth, and begin laying up treasures in heaven. LOVE NOT THE WORLD, NEITHER THE THINGS THAT ARE IN THE WORLD. IF ANY MAN LOVE THE WORLD, THE LOVE OF THE FATHER IS NOT IN HIM-1 Jn 2:15. (If any man love the world, he is not saved). YE ADULTERERS AND ADULTERESSES, KNOW YE NOT THAT THE FRIENDSHIP OF THE WORLD IS ENMITY (hatred) WITH GOD? WHOSOEVER THEREFORE WILL BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF GOD-Ja 4:4. FOR GODLY SORROW WORKETH REPENTANCE TO SALVATION "NOT TO BE REPENTED OF": BUT THE SORROW OF THE WORLD WORKETH DEATH-2Cor7:10. KEEP...UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD-Ja 1:27.
LAY NOT UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES UPON EARTH, WHERE MOTH AND RUST DOTH CORRUPT, AND WHERE THIEVES BREAK THROUGH AND STEAL: BUT LAY UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES IN HEAVEN, WHERE NEITHER MOTH NOR RUST DOTH CORRUPT, AND WHERE THIEVES DO NOT BREAK THROUGH NOR STEAL: FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO-Mt 6:19-21. SO LIKEWISE, WHOSOEVER HE BE OF YOU THAT FORSAKETH NOT ALL THAT HE HATH, HE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE-Lk 14:33. Paul writes, I COUNT ALL THINGS BUT LOSS FOR THE EXCELLENCY OF THE "KNOWLEDGE" OF CHRIST JESUS MY LORD: FOR WHOM I HAVE "SUFFERED THE LOSS OF ALL THINGS," AND DO COUNT THEM BUT DUNG, THAT I MAY WIN CHRIST-Phili 3:8.
8. Another sign we may look for that a conversion has taken place is that the newborn Christian begins putting away unsaved friends. The converted, born-again Christian seeks out friends that are also born-again. He is to stop listening to the advice of the unsaved, for their counsel (under the cover of the best intentions) will often lead the new born-again Christian astray.
Now, Godís command to stop fellowshipping with the unsaved, often becomes a stumbling block for many Christians. They are stubborn and rebel against this commandment. They refuse to put away their unsaved friends, boyfriends, and girlfriends, etc. Many Christians have fallen, because they refuse to obey Godís commandments. The unsaved have not the things of God in mind. Your destination, if you are saved, is heaven. Theirs is hell. Your goals are Godís goals. Their goals are "self". Your thoughts are to center on Jesus. Their thoughts are centered on how to fulfill the lusts of this world. Beware of one of Satanís lies: that you should still fellowship with them, so you can win them to Christ. You cannot be a witness for Jesus and live in disobedience to the Bible. Satan may lie to a person to stay in a church that does not follow and obey Jesus Christ. Satan may say, "Stay there, so you can win some to Christ." You are to obey God, not Satanís lies. Testify to your unsaved friends, but do not continue to fellowship with them. BE YE "NOT" UNEQUALLY YOKED TOGETHER WITH UNBELIEVERS: FOR WHAT FELLOWSHIP HATH RIGHTEOUSNESS WITH UNRIGHTEOUSNESS? AND WHAT COMMUNION HATH LIGHT WITH DARKNESS? AND WHAT CONCORD HATH CHRIST WITH BELIAL? OR WHAT PART HATH HE THAT BELIEVETH WITH AN INFIDEL (an unbeliever)? WHEREFORE COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, AND BE YE SEPARATE, SAITH THE LORD, AND TOUCH NOT THE UNCLEAN THING; "AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU"-2 Cor 6:14,15,17. PUT AWAY FROM AMONG YOURSELVES THAT WICKED PERSON-1 Cor 5:13. AND IF ANY MAN OBEY NOT OUR WORD BY THIS EPISTLE, NOTE THAT MAN, AND HAVE NO COMPANY WITH HIM, THAT HE MAY BE ASHAMED-2 Thes 3:14.
BLESSED IS THE MAN THAT WALKETH NOT IN THE COUNSEL OF THE UNGODLY, NOR STANDETH IN THE WAY OF SINNERS, NOR SITTETH IN THE SEAT OF THE SCORNFUL-Ps 1:1.
9. Another sign we may look for that indicates a conversion has taken place is that the new Christian becomes selective in his television viewing and radio listening. The Scriptures tell us not to commit adultery, not to commit murder, etc. How can we read about holiness in the Bible, and then turn right around and watch adultery and murder on television? How can we partake of Godís holiness, yet watch soap operas? YE CANNOT DRINK THE CUP OF THE LORD, AND THE CUP OF DEVILS: YE CANNOT BE PARTAKERS OF THE LORDíS TABLE, AND OF THE TABLE OF DEVILS-1 Cor 10:21. The Bible tells us, I WILL SET NO WICKED THING BEFORE MINE EYES-Ps 101:3. Most of what is on the television is wicked. It includes things which the Bible tells us we are not to do. CEASE, MY SON, TO HEAR THE INSTRUCTION THAT CAUSETH TO ERR FROM THE WORDS OF KNOWLEDGE-Pv 19:27. TURN NOT TO THE RIGHT HAND NOR TO THE LEFT: REMOVE THY FOOT FROM EVIL-Pv 4:27.
10. Another sign we look for is a change in the personís prayer life. The new convert should begin praying over all he drinks and eats. He should begin earnestly seeking the Lord in prayer daily. The new convert should always pray in the name of Jesus Christ. As the new, born-again Christian learns what Godís will is from the Bible, more and more of his prayers should get answered. IN "ALL" THY WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, AND HE SHALL DIRECT THY PATHS. BE NOT WISE IN THINE OWN EYES: FEAR THE LORD, AND DEPART FROM EVIL-Pv 3:6,7. BE CAREFUL FOR NOTHING (not anxious about anything); BUT IN "EVERY THING" BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION "WITH THANKSGIVING" LET YOUR REQUESTS BE MADE KNOWN UNTO GOD-Phili 4:6. And always pray in the name of Jesus. AND WHATSOEVER YE SHALL ASK "IN MY NAME", THAT WILL I DO, THAT THE FATHER MAY BE GLORIFIED IN THE SON-Jn 14:13.
11. Another sign we look for is, does the person fear God? Some people that claim they are born-again may also say they have no fear of God whatsoever. The Scriptures appear to be very clear on this matter. If a person has no fear of God whatsoever, salvation by grace has not appeared to them.
COME AND HEAR, ALL YE THAT FEAR GOD-Ps 66:16. THEN PAUL STOOD UP, AND BECKONING WITH HIS HAND SAID, MEN OF ISRAEL, AND YE THAT FEAR GOD, GIVE AUDIENCE-Acts 13:16. MEN AND BRETHREN, CHILDREN OF THE STOCK OF ABRAHAM, AND WHOSOEVER AMONG YOU FEARETH GOD, "TO YOU" IS THE WORD OF THIS SALVATION SENT-Acts 13:26. The word of salvation "is sent" to whosoever feareth God. HE THAT WALKETH IN HIS UPRIGHTNESS FEARETH THE LORD-Pv 14:2. FEAR NOT THEM WHICH KILL THE BODY, BUT ARE NOT ABLE TO KILL THE SOUL: BUT RATHER FEAR HIM WHICH IS ABLE TO DESTROY BOTH SOUL AND BODY IN HELL-Mt 10:28. Beware of those who teach that we are not to fear God, or who teach that the fear of God as taught by the Scriptures does not mean exactly what it says. WHEREFORE THE LORD SAID, FORASMUCH AS THIS PEOPLE DRAW NEAR ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND WITH THEIR LIPS "DO" HONOR ME, "BUT" HAVE REMOVED THEIR HEART FAR FROM ME, AND THEIR FEAR TOWARD ME IS TAUGHT BY THE "PRECEPT OF MEN"-Isa 29:13. There is a battle going on inside us. It is a battle between truth and error. THE FEAR OF THE LORD TENDETH TO LIFE-Pv 19:23. THE LORD TAKETH PLEASURE IN THEM THAT FEAR HIM-Ps 147:11.
12. Another sign we may look for that a person is a converted, born-again Christian is that he welcomes and loves other born-again Christians that bring him the Word. An "illegitimate son", one who is not really born-again, may reject someone sent by God that comes to them. HE THAT RECEIVETH YOU RECEIVETH ME, AND HE THAT RECEIVETH ME RECEIVETH HIM THAT SENT ME-Mt 10:40. HE THAT HEARETH YOU HEARETH ME; AND HE THAT DESPISETH YOU DESPISETH ME; AND HE THAT DESPISETH ME DESPISETH HIM THAT SENT ME-Lk 10:16. VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU, HE THAT RECEIVETH WHOMSOEVER I SEND RECEIVETH ME; AND HE THAT RECEIVETH ME RECEIVETH HIM THAT SENT ME-Jn 13:20. WE "KNOW" THAT WE HAVE PASSED FROM DEATH UNTO LIFE (been converted), BECAUSE WE LOVE THE BRETHREN. HE THAT LOVETH NOT HIS BROTHER ABIDETH IN DEATH-1 Jn 3:14. IF A MAN SAY, I LOVE GOD, AND HATETH "HIS BROTHER", HE IS A LIAR: FOR HE THAT LOVETH NOT HIS BROTHER WHOM HE HATH SEEN, HOW CAN HE LOVE GOD WHOM HE HATH NOT SEEN? AND THIS COMMANDMENT HAVE WE FROM HIM, THAT HE WHO LOVETH GOD LOVE HIS BROTHER (brother in Christ) ALSO-1 Jn 4:20,21.
13. Another sign we may look for that a person is a converted, born-again Christian is: Are they willing to receive correction from the Word of God? We are to receive correction from the Holy Spirit dealing with us directly with the Word of God. We are also to receive correction from one that God sends. If they refuse, it is a good indication that they are not converted, or they are falling into deceit and sin. CORRECTION IS GRIEVOUS UNTO HIM THAT FORSAKETH THE WAY: AND HE THAT HATETH REPROOF SHALL DIE-Pv 15:10. HEAR INSTRUCTION, AND BE WISE, AND REFUSE IT NOT-Pv 8:33. WE ARE OF GOD: HE THAT KNOWETH GOD HEARETH US; HE THAT IS NOT OF GOD HEARETH NOT US. HEREBY KNOW WE THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, AND THE SPIRIT OF ERROR-1 Jn 4:6. Remember: any correction that is given must always be in harmony with Godís Word.
14. Another sign we may look for that a person has been converted is they forgive people. It is written, THEREFORE IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN LIKENED UNTO A CERTAIN KING, WHICH WOULD TAKE ACCOUNT OF HIS SERVANTS. AND WHEN HE HAD BEGUN TO RECKON, ONE WAS BROUGHT UNTO HIM, WHICH OWED HIM TEN THOUSAND TALENTS. BUT FORASMUCH AS HE HAD NOT TO PAY, HIS LORD COMMANDED HIM TO BE SOLD, AND HIS WIFE, AND CHILDREN, AND ALL THAT HE HAD, AND PAYMENT TO BE MADE. THE SERVANT THEREFORE FELL DOWN, AND WORSHIPPED HIM, SAYING, LORD, HAVE PATIENCE WITH ME, AND I WILL PAY THEE ALL. THEN THE LORD OF THAT SERVANT WAS MOVED WITH COMPASSION, AND LOOSED HIM, AND FORGAVE HIM THE DEBT. BUT THE SAME SERVANT WENT OUT, AND FOUND ONE OF HIS FELLOW SERVANTS, WHICH OWED HIM AN HUNDRED PENCE: AND HE LAID HANDS ON HIM, AND TOOK HIM BY THE THROAT, SAYING, PAY ME THAT THOU OWEST.
AND HIS FELLOW SERVANT FELL DOWN AT HIS FEET, AND BESOUGHT HIM, SAYING, HAVE PATIENCE WITH ME, AND I WILL PAY THEE ALL. AND HE WOULD NOT: BUT WENT AND CAST HIM INTO PRISON, TILL HE SHOULD PAY THE DEBT. SO WHEN HIS FELLOW SERVANTS SAW WHAT WAS DONE, THEY WERE VERY SORRY, AND CAME AND TOLD UNTO THEIR LORD ALL THAT WAS DONE. THEN HIS LORD, AFTER THAT HE HAD CALLED HIM, SAID UNTO HIM, O THOU WICKED SERVANT, I FORGAVE THEE ALL THAT DEBT, BECAUSE THOU DESIREDST ME: SHOULDEST NOT THOU ALSO HAVE HAD COMPASSION ON THY FELLOW SERVANT, EVEN AS I HAD PITY ON THEE? AND HIS LORD WAS WROTH, AND DELIVERED HIM TO THE TORMENTORS, TILL HE SHOULD PAY ALL THAT WAS DUE UNTO HIM. SO LIKEWISE SHALL MY HEAVENLY FATHER DO ALSO UNTO YOU, IF YE FROM YOUR HEARTS FORGIVE NOT EVERY ONE HIS BROTHER THEIR TRESPASSES-Mt 18:23-35.
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Immediately after being baptized, it is not uncommon for a person that has been born-again to have horribly wicked thoughts. These thoughts can make a person believe they are not truly saved. Beware of Satanís lies and tactics. Submit to God, and resist these thoughts. Think on the things of Jesus. As it is written in Phil 4:8, FINALLY, BRETHREN, WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE TRUE, WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE HONEST, WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE JUST, WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE PURE, WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE LOVELY, WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE OF GOOD REPORT; IF THERE BE ANY VIRTUE, AND IF THERE BE ANY PRAISE, THINK ON THESE THINGS.
It is also common after receiving Christ by faith, repenting and being baptized, that the new convert greatly doubts that they are saved. Satan likes to make a person believe they are saved when they are not, so they will not seek for the knowledge of the truth. When a person gets saved, Satan likes to make them believe they are not saved so they might return to their wallowing in the mire (return to sin). The way we stand against Satanís lies in our mind and in our feelings , is by the Word. You stand on Scripture that you are saved. Examine yourself by the Word to see if you are in the faith. Your feelings are not a trust worthy guide, Godís Word is. IF THERE COME ANY UNTO YOU, AND BRING NOT THIS DOCTRINE, RECEIVE HIM NOT INTO YOUR HOUSE, NEITHER BID HIM GOD SPEED-2 Jn 10.
6-SIGNS OR FRUITS
YE SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS. DO MEN GATHER GRAPES OF THORNS, OR FIGS OF THISTLES? EVEN SO EVERY GOOD TREE BRINGETH FORTH GOOD FRUIT; BUT A CORRUPT TREE BRINGETH FORTH EVIL FRUIT. EVERY TREE THAT BRINGETH NOT FORTH GOOD FRUIT IS HEWN DOWN, AND CAST INTO THE FIRE-Mt 7:16,17,19. The Scriptures have shown us that when a person is born-again, he becomes a changed person. There are many things we can look for that can give us an indication if the person has really been converted, or if no conversion has taken place. Usually, if a person states he has faith in Jesus Christ, says he has repented and has been baptized as the Bible commands, yet no change has taken place, it is because there may be some sin he will not give up, or will not acknowledge that there is sin in his life. They may not believe in the Trinity, or they may not believe Jesus Christ is "God in the flesh," from everlasting to everlasting. Listed here are a few of the many items Godís Word gives to help us examine ourselves, to see if we are really saved.
The fourteen signs that indicate a person may be saved can be reversed to show a person may not be saved.
1. Repentance means to give up the old nature: the old ways that are contrary to Godís ways; and put on the new nature: be converted. One sign we can look for that a person has not become a converted, born-again Christian is he does not give up drugs, alcohol, wild parties, smoking, astrology, and all willful sin. WHAT SHALL WE SAY THEN? SHALL WE CONTINUE IN SIN, THAT GRACE MAY ABOUND? GOD FORBID. HOW SHALL WE, THAT ARE DEAD TO SIN, LIVE ANY LONGER THEREIN?-Ro 6:1,2.
2. Another good sign that indicates a person has not become converted is he "does not" thirst to read the Bible and attend Bible studies.
3. Another sign we may look for that indicates a person has not become a converted, born-again Christian is no change in attitude. They do not love other true Christians. They are not humble. They will not let Jesus direct their life. They will not allow Jesus to reign over them. They resist obeying some or all of the Bible.
4. Another sign we may look for that indicates a person may not have become a converted, born-again Christian is they resist attending a good, Bible teaching, soul winning church that emphasizes Jesus Christ, repentance, and baptism by full immersion (buried with Jesus in baptism) after believing on Jesus. The life of the pastor of the church should reflect Jesus. They resist attending on a regular basis.
5. Another sign that may indicate a person is not born-again is they are ashamed of Jesus. They seldom ever speak of Jesus to their friends, relatives, fellow workers, or strangers. They seldom get involved in witnessing and winning the lost to Jesus.
6. Another sign we may look for that indicates a person is not converted is, there is no change in their conversation. Jesus is not in their thoughts or conversation. They may continue on using filthy language. Their conversation centers on "this" world, not the world to come. Their heart is in the lusts, desires, and pleasures of the flesh. They want to "please self." They may be deeply involved in the cares of "this" life or the deceitfulness of riches.
7. Another sign we can look for that may indicate a person is on their way to the second death is they are laying up treasures on this earth. They may love this world and things that are in this world. They are a "friend" of this world. This world seems to have a hold on them like a magnet.
8. Another sign we may look for that a conversion has not taken place is that the person is not willing to put away unsaved friends. He listens to the counsel of the unsaved, and may go out on dates with the unsaved. He gets involved in partnerships with the enemies of the cross. He fellowships with people who may profess they are Christians, but they live in disobedience to the Scriptures.
9. Another indication that a person has not become truly born-again is they do not become selective in their television viewing and what they hear on the radio. Such things as sex on television, soap operas, murder mysteries, witchcraft, and perversion, they may enjoy. They may like hard rock music and music with lyrics about sex and perverted things. They may refuse to turn off perverted videos and pornographic music.
10. Yet another sign that we may look for that can show a person may not be a "new man in Christ Jesus" is their prayers are bouncing off the walls. They may pray in names other than Jesus Christ. They may not pray over their meals at home and even less in public. They do not have a consistent prayer life with Jesus Christ.
11. Another item we may look for that indicates a person is not where they ought to be with the Lord is they do not fear God. Their view of God may not be in accordance with the Scriptures. They may have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. The fear of God they might have could be nothing more than rules taught by men. They may say they love God, but the fear of God may not be before their eyes.
12. Another sign we may look for that indicates a person is not where they ought to be with the Lord is they do not welcome and love other Christians, whose testimony for Jesus is burning brightly. They may reject those sent to them by God. They may profess they love God with their lips, but their actions, their fruits, their deeds, indicate otherwise.
13. Another good indication that a person has not become a converted, born-again Christian is he will not receive correction from a spiritual, born-again Christian that God sends to them. For it is written, CORRECTION IS "GRIEVOUS" UNTO HIM THAT FORSAKETH "THE" WAY-Pv 15:10.
14. Another good indication that a person has not become a converted, born-again Christian is he does not forgive other brethren. It is written, Eph 4:32-AND BE YE KIND ONE TO ANOTHER, TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, EVEN AS GOD FOR CHRISTíS SAKE HATH FORGIVEN YOU.
15. There are many other things that can give us an indication that a person has not become a converted, born-again Christian. Usually, after a person has received Christ by faith, repented, and been baptized, he begins to have doubts he is saved. If no such doubts appear, it may be an indication he is "not" saved.
16. Another indication a person is not born-again is he is sure that Satan cannot deceive him. Anyone that believes he can never be deceived by Satan is already deceived-ref Rev 12:9; Job 20:2,3; 32:18-20; 33:3,4; 38:1,2; 2 Tim 4:10,14.
17. Another indication a person is not born-again is he refuses to acknowledge he is a sinner, or he refuses to acknowledge certain sins he is doing.
It is very common for a person to say, "I feel I am saved. I can feel Jesus inside me." Satan is very cunning. He often makes the unsaved feel they are saved, and the saved feel they are not saved. Examine yourself by Godís Word to see if you are truly a converted, born-again, fruit-bearing Christian. Read and study your Bible diligently, putting away preconceived, denominational teachings, and opening up your heart and mind to God. Fear God. Humble yourself before God. Submit to God. Acknowledge God in all your ways. Ask God what each Scripture means and pray in faith, not wavering. Study to be quiet.
7-WE ARE LIVING IN A CHURCH AGE THAT "KNOWEST NOT"
We are living in a church age that KNOWEST NOT THAT THOU ART WRETCHED, AND MISERABLE, AND POOR, AND BLIND, AND NAKED-Rev 3:17. Beware, that this Scripture does not apply to you. Jere 7:13-I CALLED YOU, BUT YE ANSWERED NOT. THIS IS A NATION THAT OBEYETH NOT THE VOICE OF THE LORD THEIR GOD, NOR RECEIVETH CORRECTION: TRUTH IS PERISHED-Jere 7:28.
8-WHY WERE YOU BORN? WHY WERE YOU CALLED TO SALVATION?
EVERY ONE THAT IS CALLED BY MY NAME...I HAVE CREATED HIM FOR "MY" GLORY-Isa 43:7. TO DO OF "HIS" GOOD PLEASURE-Phili 2:13. TO WALK, EVEN AS HE (Jesus) WALKED-1 Jn 2:6. TO DO...THE WILL OF HIM (God) THAT SENT ME-Jn 6:38. NOT TO PLEASE OURSELVES-Ro 15:1. To DENY HIMSELF, AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS DAILY, AND FOLLOW ME (Jesus)-Lk 9:23. To DEPART FROM INIQUITY-2 Tim 2:19. FOR THY PLEASURE-Rev 4:11. THIS PEOPLE HAVE I FORMED FOR MYSELF; THEY SHALL SHOW FORTH MY PRAISE-Isa 43:21. YE ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, AN HOLY NATION...THAT YE SHOULD SHEW FORTH...PRAISES OF HIM-1 Pe 2:9. FOR WE ARE "HIS" WORKMANSHIP, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS UNTO "GOOD WORKS", WHICH GOD HATH BEFORE "ORDAINED" THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM-Eph 2:10. TO FINISH HIS WORK-Jn 4:34. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Many refuse and say, WE WILL NOT HEARKEN UNTO THEE-Jere 44:16. As God deals with others, they say "yes" to the claims of Christ. They repent and begin a journey of learning obedience to the Lord. THOUGH HE (Jesus) WERE A SON, YET LEARNED HE OBEDIENCE BY THE THINGS WHICH HE SUFFERED-Heb 5:8. As a person walks with Jesus, Satan will try to draw him away.
9-SATAN, WHO IS ALSO CALLED THE DRAGON
Satan, who is also called the dragon, Lucifer, the devil, the serpent, Beelzebub, is the prince of the power of the air-Eph 2:2, and the prince of this world-Jn 14:30. He is the son of the morning-Isa 14:12. He is an accuser, an evil one, a tempter, a destroyer, a spirit. He is your enemy. He wiles, devises, snares, beguiles, seduces, oppresses, resists, blasphemes, deceives, sows tares, hinders, buffets, tempts, persecutes, leads the world astray, masquerades as an angel of light, desires, schemes, provokes, goes to and fro, walks up and down, distorts the Word, and he has not in mind the things of God, but of men. He binds with sickness, enters people, he is a thief, he steals, and he fills peopleís hearts to lie. There is no light in him. He is the power of darkness, and he works in the children of disobedience. Most people unsaved and saved, greatly underestimate Satan. His power to deceive is so great, that Satan has caused most churches to neglect preaching about him; and about sin, hell, repentance, water baptism, being a doer of the Word and not a hearer only, fearing the Lord, serving God, and about being in a spiritual battle.
HE THAT HATH MY COMMANDMENTS, AND "KEEPETH THEM", "HE" IT IS THAT LOVETH ME-Jn 14:21.