The Truth of Christianity and What it Means to be Saved.

The following verses have just captured my attention lately. For the past months, I’ve been contemplating deeply on the truth of Christianity and what it means to be saved. There are so many good people in church. They are the many people who sacrifice to take care of their families and abstain from a lot of the vices of this world. Yet, Jesus plainly states in Matthew 7:21-23:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

It gets to me every time. We can be so religious and pious that we completely miss the mark. Our salvation is not dependent on what we do but rather who we know. The only way to God is through knowing Jesus (John 14:6).

This is what hurts so much as I preach to the many good people I run across on a daily basis. They give to the Red Cross. They attend service Sunday mornings. They don’t curse, drink, or smoke. They treat their wives and families with the utmost care and love. Yet, all of these things by themselves are meaningless without a relationship with Jesus. Being good doesn’t equate to being a Christian!

Consider the words of Paul in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” How many people are working so hard for God that they have neglected spending time with him in prayer and Bible study? How many people think that they are right with God without actually knowing the God they are trying to serve? How many of these people, with the sincerest of intentions, will say to God in that day, “look at all we have done!” only to be met by Jesus saying, “I never knew you”?

So how do we become the Christians God wants us to be? The foundational steps are twofold. First, we need to pray! It is the practice of communion with God and it is the method in which we grow in him. Imagine a marriage where the husband and wife work, contribute, and maintain a household without ever speaking to each other. It is less a marriage and more two separate entities with common interests. This is what happens when a person seeks to do Godly things yet fails to maintain a relationship with God. Second, we need to read the Bible and be obedient to it. Our relationship to God is measured by Scriptural faithfulness. We become spiritual adulterers when we live a life of disobedience to God!

Just to add, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do anything for God or for his Kingdom. It is Christ’s work on the cross and grace that allow us to do good works! As Jesus states in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.In Christ, everything we do is worthwhile to building his church and Kingdom!