“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matt. 7:20-23
Was there ever a time in your life that you trusted Jesus as your Personal Saviour from sin, death and an eternity in Hell? Do you know 100% for sure that you are going to heaven? Have you merely been convinced just to pray after someone and repeat these words to be saved? In some circles that is it; then the individual is sent on their way thinking they are saved from an eternity in hellfire. Some churches and groups believe the only requirement is to say these ‘magic’ words, but what does the Bible say? If we look at the first words of John the Baptist in Matthew 3:2, he called for repentance. If we look at the first words of Jesus, He called for repentance in Matthew 4:17. All the disciples and apostles knew that repentance was required for salvation. If this is the case, then should we not look at our own lives and ask, are there works meet for repentance in my life? Is there fruit in my life that proves to others around me that all things have become new? I believed that Jesus died on the cross for me, but did I repent? Did I turn away from that very thing, sin, that Jesus gave His life to pay for on the cross? Now, before you get worried, please do not misunderstand me. I am not talking about a works based salvation; the Bible clearly teaches that all our works are as filthy rags, so our ‘good’ works will not save us. Also, it also does not mean we have ‘sinless perfection’, as some falsely teach. No, what I am talking about is fruits meet for repentance; proof of the change in your heart and life.
“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:” Matt. 3:8
I want to challenge you folks who are saved: I mean those of you who have attended church all your life and those of you who work in ministry sharing the gospel or even those in the pulpit. Perhaps, I am talking to a Sunday school teacher, or a deacon, a father, or simply that church member who comes every Sunday morning, rain or shine: are you walking in obedience to Him in His Word? My question to you is: are you truly saved according to scripture? Do you know for sure? Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” So, how can you possibly know for sure? By your fruits. I pray you will not just stop reading here and continue on, this message is for you.
Reading and Heeding
According to my Bible, it is clear that the characters I read about loved and feared God’s Word. I look at David; even though the sword was against his house all of his days, he loved God’s Word and revered it. He spoke of God’s Word throughout in the Psalms; in 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”; Psalm 12:6, “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.”; in Psalm 56:10, he worshipped God’s Word, “In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word.”, only to name a few. David then taught these things to his son. Solomon, in his wisdom wrote, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” Prov. 30:5. God’s prophets heeded God’s Word; “And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.” 1 Sam.3:1. Even God’s enemies, the Egyptians, feared God’s Word, “He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses:” Exod. 9:20. We see throughout scripture that God’s Word is to be heeded.
Did you know that reading and heeding God’s Word is required as fruit to prove your salvation? Yes, you are saved by Jesus’ shed blood, but the fruit is a love of God’s Word. Notice the following verse:
“He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” John 8:47
In this verse, we find Jesus rebuking the Pharisees in the temple as they gathered to accuse Him and tempt Him. Jesus was clearly addressing the unbelievers and contrasted them with those who are believers, those who love God’s Word. May I ask you again? Are you truly saved? This scripture is one of the true tests: are you hearing God’s Words? God’s Words are found in your KJV Bible. If you are not reading them, then you are not hearing God’s Words. If you are truly saved, you will yearn for these words. You will hold them close and bind them as frontlets between thine eyes. You will want to remember them as you go through your day. I submit, you will wake up with the knowledge from the Holy Spirit that you cannot go on that day without His Word. If this is not the case in your life, you had better check for a pulse! The second part of the verse says if you do not hear God’s words, you are not of God. If you are not of God, you are just like these unbelieving Pharisees, lost and on your way to Hell. Do you need to repent and rededicate your life to Jesus? Then, walk in obedience to Him, reading and heeding His Word each day.
“And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
This very well known passage of scripture illustrates in a parable that there are those who got the message, but their lack of fruit proved the truth about them. In this parable, the seed is the Word of God. The ground where the seed falls is the unsaved person receiving the seed. There are three examples given here of those that heard the Word, but did not bear fruit. Birds came, shallow earth caused them to burnout, and thorns choked out the Word causing the seeds not to grow. Jesus explained to His disciples: the first example is one that heard the Word and stuck with it for a while, but fell away without receiving the Word; and the next, when the trials and tribulations of the Christian life prevailed, they went their own way; and the third, “and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” There are those who think they are safe, but without the proof of the fruit have been deceived into a false sense of security. However, there was the other that fell into good ground and brought forth fruit and even much fruit! I asked you, are you truly saved? Are you bearing fruit today? Are you hearing God’s Word and doing it? The Bible says, “if you love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15
Not of Us
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” 1 John 2:19
Sadly, there are those that are, “not of us”. I know there would be those who may want to ask me, who do you think you are? My dear friends, I did not write this, this is God’s Word. I wish I could soften it up a little to make it more palatable, but that has been going on for far too long by far too many. It is time to face the facts of God’s Word. This may cause some distress to think that there are those of your church family and friends who walked with us, but no longer. It may be even more distressing to think of the possibility that there are those walking among us who we think are saved, but actually are not. There are those who, because they did not walk in accordance to God’s Word are, in fact, not saved and never were. This is distressing, because it would seem for the few that get saved these days that we look like we are going backward. Now, I understand that you cannot become unsaved, but this verse illustrates in a very powerful way that we must continue in the faith once delivered unto the saints. We must work out our salvation.
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” II Cor.13:5
Again, this does not mean we are working to get saved. We are working and toiling to bring forth the harvest to glorify our Lord and Saviour. Our beginning text clearly shows there will be those who are surprised and shocked at the Great White Throne at the end of time who thought they were saved, but were not. They will be surprised, because they thought they were saved by their prophesying, their casting out of devils, and their wonderful works. In fact, the Great Judge is heard to say, “I never knew you.” Never?? Never. And then, the Just Judge will have to say those final and crushing words, “depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”; the words that seal their eternal fate.
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46
Finally, I ask you: Are you truly saved according to God’s Word? Is it worth it to continue living the way you are? After taking prayerful inventory in your life, are you unsure in any way? Do you examine yourself regularly and keep your account short with God? Are you living in God’s Word, because if you are not reading God’s Word regularly the scriptures say that you are not of God and you may be, “not of us”, as John said; you may not truly be saved. Ask God to look inside you and report your need and then repent and be sure. Turn from your apostasy and rededicate your life to the true and living God! There are many who will claim they heard the Word, but that is not enough. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and then, go and walk in newness of life in repentance from sin. Do you know those who once walked with us, but have gone the way of perdition? The question must be asked whether they were ever saved. We can only be responsible for ourselves and our relationship to God. If you are not walking with Him, my dear friend, make sure of it today! ~R.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Rev. 3:20
Remi Fernhout © 2014