Understanding God's Plan for Salvation: A Scriptural Guide

Author: Apostle Kelvin Franklin

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9. Understanding Faith in the Salvation Process

     Many people have no trouble verbally acknowledging a hope of salvation in Jesus Christ. I believe the problem lies in the fact that we do not really understand the fullness of what God is saying in the scriptures. Jews understood the meanings of the word that Jesus and the apostles used in presenting the Gospel.

     Unfortunately, many Christians do not fully understand the word of God. This creates dangerous situations because God says that his people perish for lack of knowledge: HOSEA 4:6. We are encouraged by Paul to study God's word so we might show ourselves approved unto Him: 2 TIMOTHY 2:15. Let's take a deeper look at the word faith since our salvation is built upon our faith in Jesus.

9.1 Faith (Believe) is Required

Hebrews 11:
      6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

     We must have faith in God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. We will never be able to contact God without faith. We must diligently seek him in all things we do.

9.2 What is faith

HEBREWS 11:
     1. Now FAITH is the substance of thing hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
JAMES 2:
     17. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
     20. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
     26. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

     Our faith in Jesus must be alive and active. Faith that does not have works is dead. We must strive to assure that our faith is alive. Many people say that they believe but their actions do not support their claims.

10. The Dangers of Not Understanding/Acting on God's Word

     On any subject, I feel it is just as important to discuss the curses of God, as well as the blessings for acting on his word in faith. We must be sure that we are building on a sound foundation in our heart.

     The bible is written to Christians and to those who would believe in the true and living God. It shows us the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. However, in the midst of the promises, we cannot ignore the many stern warnings that are given to Christians and those who would profess a hope in Christ, but fail to follow his words. Even Jesus alluded to these in many of his parables. All of the epistles of the apostles are laden with them.

     YES, WE CAN BE CERTAIN OF OUR SALVATION, BUT WE CANNOT IGNORE THE WARNING OF THE LOSS OF SALVATION IF WE DO NOT HOLD FIRM TO THE PROMISES OF GOD.

     There are too many for me to allude to them all specifically, so I will give scripture references and highlight some for your own in-depth study of the word of God.

10.1  Not believing in the Heart

     Some people only give God lip service. They say many wonderful things with their mouth, yet they know in their heart that they have not truly committed themselves to the Lord. Here's what the Word has to say about this situation:

MATTHEW 7:
     13. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
     14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
     21. 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.
     22. 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?
     23. And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: depart from me, ye that work iniquity
MATTHEW 15:    
     8. This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.    

     In these scriptures, we can see the danger of not fully accepting (believing on) God in our heart. I believe this is the challenge for each Christian to meet. Notice also that the people referenced in this verse had the power to cast out devils and they prophesied in his name. However, notice in verse 23, Jesus did not say "I DON'T KNOW YOU NOW." He says that "I NEVER KNEW YOU."

     He makes it very clear that not everyone that says Lord, Lord will be in God's kingdom. We must be very sure and certain that we are not just giving God lip service. If we really meant it in our hearts, our actions would show it.

10.2 We must Obey God's Word

ST JOHN 14:
     15. IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.
     21. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
REVELATIONS 22:    
     14. Blessed are they that DO HIS COMMANDMENTS, that they may HAVE RIGHT TO THE TREE OF LIFE, and may enter in through the gates into the city (New Jerusalem).
     15. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

     These scriptures are clear and specific. It's very simple, if we love God, we will keep his commandments. If we keep his commandments, we can enter God's kingdom and eat from the tree of life. Yes, it's just that simple. For example, if I really love my wife (the godly type of Love), I wouldn't abuse her or treat her unkindly. Neither would I do this to my children. We must have this same type of godly love for Christ.

     The world's idea of love, seems to be that it is acceptable to love with the mouth, and then turn around and abuse that person if it will profit us.

     Only God's type of love will qualify us to be called a Christian (Love for the brethren.)

10.3 We Must Abide in Jesus

ST JOHN 15:
     1. I am the vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
     2. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
     6. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and THEY ARE BURNED.
     10. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

     Unless we continue to abide in Jesus and his will (endure,) we will be withered up, cut out of Jesus (the vine,) and cast into the lake of fire (hell, the second death:) REVELATIONS 20:15.

     There is no question that we must abide in Jesus and in God's will. The word of God makes this very clear. Even Jesus had to keep God's commandments.

10.4 We Must Learn to Serve God Acceptably

HEBREWS 12:
     25. SEE THAT YE REFUSE NOT HIM THAT SPEAKETH. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven.
     26. Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
     27. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
     28. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may SERVE GOD ACCEPTABLY WITH REVERENCE AND GODLY FEAR:
     29. For our GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE.

     God is speaking to us today through his word and his Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit wants to lead and guide us, yet many times we refuse to yield to him. He is drawing us to a deeper commitment to the Lord and we continue to fight. If we do not get rooted and grounded in Jesus, we will be shaken when God shakes the heaven and the earth again. Everything that moves will be destroyed: 1 CORINTHIANS 15:58.

     Again, we can see the reference to fire. This refers to hell.

10.5  We Must Deny Ourselves and Follow Jesus

ST MATTHEW 16:
     24. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, IF ANY MAN WILL COME AFTER ME, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS, AND FOLLOW ME.
     25. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
     26. WHAT IS A MAN PROFITED, IF HE SHALL GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD, AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

     Jesus is quite clear in this passage. The way to gain eternal life is to lose our lives in him. We must deny ourselves. We must deny the lust of the flesh. We must take up our cross: to die to self, a living sacrifice (ROMANS 12:1-2) and follow him.

10.6 We Cannot Live In Sin

ROMANS 6:
     1. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
     2. GOD FORBID. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
     12. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof
     16. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
     23. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
     (NOTE: I have pulled a few scriptures from this chapter, but, I highly recommend a study of the entire 6th chapter of ROMANS. It will heighten your understanding in the area concerning sin and its effects.)
GALATIANS 5:
     19. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
     20. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
     21. Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of which I told you in time past, that they which do such things SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

     Paul is quite definite in these scriptures concerning the penalty of sin in our lives. Notice he was talking to the church (Christians) of Galatia, not the world (those who are not saved,) in the last group of scriptures. Some were living sinful lives as many do today, and he was warning them that anyone (one who has professed to accept Christ as well as those who have never accepted him) who lives in sin (as a habit) cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

10.7 Not Growing to Perfection

HEBREWS 6:
     1. Therefore LEAVING THE PRINCIPLES OF THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, let us go on unto perfection; NOT LAYING AGAIN THE FOUNDATION OF REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS, and of faith towards God,
     2. Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgement.
     3. And this will we do, if God permit.
     4. FOR IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THOSE WHO WERE ONCE ENLIGHTENED, AND HAVE TASTED OF THE HEAVENLY GIFT, AND WERE MADE PARTAKERS OF THE HOLY GHOST,
     5. And have tasted the good word of God, and the power of the world to come,
     6. IF THEY SHALL FALL AWAY, TO RENEW THEM AGAIN UNTO REPENTANCE; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
2 PETER 2:
     20. FOR IF AFTER THEY HAVE ESCAPED THE POLLUTIONS OF THE WORLD THROUGH THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
     21. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, AFTER THEY HAVE KNOWN IT, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
     22. But it has happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

     If there was never a danger of this happening, there would be no reason for God to have this warning included in the bible, but, He did. We must go on to perfection. Yes, there is an unpardonable sin: ST MATTHEW 12:25-37. When we reach this point, God will withdraw his Holy Spirit from us, and we will never desire to serve him again. Unless you reach that point (never desiring to serve God again,) you should not worry about this section except to know that it can happen if we fail to heed his other commandments.

     If you notice, the person written about here in Hebrews, has grown to a very high position in Christ before he failed. I believe the key word for us here is to grow on to perfection and to endure to the end.

10.8  Finally, The Parable of the Ten Virgins

2 CORINTHIANS 11:
     2. For I am jealous over you with godly jealously: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste (innocent of unlawful sexual intercourse, celibate, pure in thought and act) VIRGIN to Christ.
St Matthew 25:
     1. Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten VIRGINS, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
     2. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
     3. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them;
     10. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
     11. Afterwards came also the other virgins, saying, LORD, LORD, open to us.
     12. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I KNOW YOU NOT.
     13. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
MATTHEW 7:
     21. 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.
     22. 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?
     23. And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY.

     There are some points that I would like to make in this passage. First, in order to be a virgin, we must be pure. This pureness comes through our righteousness in Jesus Christ. Jesus is preparing us for the wedding feast.

EPHESIANS 5:
     25. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
     26. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
     27. THAT HE MIGHT PRESENT IT TO HIMSELF A GLORIOUS CHURCH, NOT HAVING SPOT, OR WRINKLE, OR ANY SUCH THING; BUT THAT IT SHOULD BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH.

     In the Jewish tradition, the son came and made an engagement with a lady to become his bride (when we accept Jesus, we make a contract with him, an engagement.) He then goes to prepare a house for her.

ST JOHN 14:
     1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
     2. In my Father's house are many MANSIONS: if it were not so, I would have told you. I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU.
     3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:
     1. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

     During this time the bride makes preparation for the wedding. She gets adorned and waits patiently for his return.

2 PETER 1:
     5. And besides this, giving all DILIGENCE, ADD to your FAITH VIRTUE; and to virtue KNOWLEDGE;
     6. And to knowledge TEMPERANCE; and to temperance PATIENCE; and to patience GODLINESS;
     7. And to godliness BROTHERLY KINDNESS; and to brotherly kindness CHARITY.
     8. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST (2 PETER 2:20-22.)
     9. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath FORGOTTEN THAT HE WAS PURGED FROM HIS OLD SINS.
     10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOU CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YE DO THESE THINGS, YE SHALL NEVER FALL:
     11. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

     He comes with his party and blows the trumpet. This is the way that Jesus will make his return for his bride the church.

1 THESSALONIANS 4:
     14. FOR IF WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED AND ROSE AGAIN, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
     15. For this we way unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
     16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven WITH A SHOUT, WITH THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL, AND WITH THE TRUMP OF GOD: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.
     17. Then we which are alive and remain SHALL BE CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS, TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

     All those who are ready go out to meet him and return for the wedding.

REVELATIONS 21:
     1. And I saw a NEW HEAVEN and a NEW EARTH: for the FIRST HEAVEN and the FIRST EARTH were PASSED AWAY; and there was no more sea.
     2. And I John saw the holy city, NEW JERUSALEM, coming down from GOD OUT OF HEAVEN, PREPARED AS A BRIDE ADORNED FOR HER HUSBAND.

     Those who are not ready are left behind. Once the doors to the wedding feast are closed, no one else is admitted. Sounds familiar to our wedding ceremony of today? The marriage is symbolic of God's church: EPHESIANS 5:22-33, REVELATIONS 21-22. Also note that those not having proper wedding garments are cast out: ST MATTHEW 22:1-14, EPHESIANS 5:25-27, 2 PETER 3:10-14, REVELATIONS 3:1-5, REVELATIONS 7:9-17.

     This warning is given very clearly. The only ones who can be classified as a virgin are those who have professed a hope in Christ.

     Look at the words that Jesus says to the foolish virgins, "I KNOW YOU NOT."

 

11. Other Points of Reference for Study

     I recommend an in-depth study of the first three chapters of Revelations. Jesus himself personally dictated these letters to the churches. He was very direct. There where other churches throughout the land at that time, but I believe that he chose these because they represent the seven types of spiritual conditions that a given church can be in. As we think even deeper, we begin to realize that we as individuals are the church because we are the temple of the Holy Ghost: 1 CORINTHIANS 3:16. I am sure that we each will find a condition that gives us an idea of how we stand with the Lord. Jesus gives stern warning to the members of His body, even to the point of blotting their name out of the book of life: REVELATIONS 3:5.

     Yes, I know the word says that NO ONE CAN TAKE US OUT OF GOD'S HAND (ST JOHN 10:27-28,) BUT, I would like to remind you that WE CAN WALK OUT OF GOD'S HAND. He said his sheep know his voice. Many have professed to follow Jesus but they won't listen to him, they don't even know his voice. They won't do what his word says. Are they following Jesus and meeting this requirement?

     Absolutely, no one can take us out of Jesus' hand once we are certain we are in it. For example, no one can make you talk if your vow a vow of silence. If you wanted to, you could resist from talking until death. But, if you chose to talk, your vow of silence is broken. You made your own conscious decision. I also recommend an in-depth study of St John chapter 10. Notice how the sheep follow him. This shows their commitment to Christ as being Lord over their lives.

11.1.  We Will Be Tried By Fire

1 CORINTHIANS 3:
     11. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
     12. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
     13. Every man's work shall be made manifest, for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
     14. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
     15. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; YET SO AS BY FIRE.
     16. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
     17. If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

     I believe that most christians will agree on the understanding of our works being tried in the fire, but, did you notice the end of verse 15. If our works are lost we can still be saved, but we must personally go through the fire. We must be tried in the fire. If our faith and love in Jesus is not genuine, it will be burned up in the fire and we will be destroyed. We are the temple of God, and if we defile his temple, God says very plainly that we will be destroyed.

11.2. Living in Sin Willfully

HEBREWS 10:
     26. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
     27. But a certain fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. (ROMANS 6 Chapter)

     If we continue to sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of truth (this only comes by accepting Jesus) we will reach the place where there is no way to return back to right standing with God: PROVERBS 1:24-33 & 2 PETER 2: 1-22 in particular 20-22.

11.3. False Prophets and Apostles

2 THESSALONIANS 2:
     3. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, EXCEPT THERE COME A FALLING AWAY FIRST, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
     4. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2 Peter 2:1)
1 TIMOTHY 4:
     1. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall DEPART from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
     2. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
     3. Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
MATTHEW 24:
     23. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
     24. For there shall arise FALSE CHRISTS, and FALSE PROPHETS, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect of heaven.
PLEASE REVIEW THE PARABLE IN MATTHEW 24:36-51

     There are many false prophets and apostles entered into the world. If it were possible, they would deceive even the most spiritual christians. If we are truly following God, He will not allow us to be fooled. However, we must take care to be sure that we are not one of those false prophets or apostles.

11.4. A Brief Look At Judas

Think about Judas for a moment. He walked and talked and lived with Christ. He was one of his disciples, however, he was a thief: ST JOHN 12:4-6. He betrayed Christ for thirty pieces of silver: ST MATTHEW 26:14-16, 27:3-4, ACTS 1:16-20, PSALMS 69:21-28, PSALMS 109:8. As you can see, his name was blotted out of the book of the living because he betrayed Jesus: PSALMS 69:28, REVELATIONS 20:15 & 21:27.

11.5. What About Hell

     There are too many warnings in the bible about hell (I highly recommend a study of hell and fire and punishment) and those that will be cast into the fire for us to take our salvation lightly. It shows time after time that there is a great danger in not following the words of God. Let's remember that the bible was not written for the world but for the church. If our salvation was so sure and complete, why is there such a need to follow and obey the word of God. Why does God point out so much punishment for those believers of his that will not adhere to his word. To start read ISAIAH 5:14. Also, read the entire chapter.

     The following is a list of the 53 scriptures containing Hell as found in the King James version of the bible.

DEUTERONOMY 32:22; 2 SAMUEL 22:6; JOB 11:8, 26:6; PSALMS 9:17, 16:10, 18:5, 55:15; 86:13, 116:3, 139:8; PROVERBS 5:5, 7:27, 9:18, 15:11, 15:24, 23:14, 27:20; ISAIAH 5:14, 14:9, 14:15, 28:15, 28:18, 57:9; EZEKIEL 31:16, 31:17, 32:21; 32:27; AMOS 9:2; JONAH 2:2; HABAKKUK 2:5; ST MATTHEW 5:22, 5:29, 10:28, 11:23, 16:18, 18:9, 23:15, 23:33; ST LUKE 10:15, 12:15, 16:23; ACTS 2:27, 2:31; JAMES 3:6; 2 PETER 2:4; REVELATIONS 1:18, 6:8, 20:13, 20:14.

11.6.   Seven Churches of Revelations

      In writing to the seven churches in Revelations, Jesus points out a lot about the church. Yes, there were many churches in the earth at that time but he only wrote to seven of them. Jesus personally dictated the message. I believe that he wrote to seven churches because they represent seven types of spiritual conditions that a church may be in.

     In writing to the church, Jesus himself warns them to do the things that he has commanded. He told them to repent or face the consequences. To the church of Sardis he told them there were only a few which had not defiled their garments and they would be able to walk with him in white since they were worthy.

      Then he makes this bold statement, listen carefully:

REVELATIONS 3:
     5. HE THAT OVERCOMETH, THE SAME SHALL BE CLOTHED IN WHITE RAIMENT (Revelations 7:9-16); AND I WILL NOT BLOT OUT HIS NAME OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE (Revelations 20:12-15), BUT I WILL CONFESS HIS NAME BEFORE MY FATHER, AND BEFORE HIS ANGELS.
REVELATIONS 20:
     15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

     Now, I've documented only a few of the many warnings given to the church. I think they speak very clearly for themselves. They are surely too innumerable to refute and they stand on their own legs and support each other.

12. How to Build Your Salvation on a Firm Foundation

     After Jesus' great sermon on the mount, he summed it up with the following information. It follows directly after Jesus tells his disciples not every one that says Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven. He says straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads unto life, and few there be that finds it. He goes on to say that by our fruits we shall be known. He concludes with this guidance:

ST MATTHEW 7:
     24. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
     25. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock:
     26. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man (remember the virgins,) which built his house upon the sand:
     27. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

     Anyone who hears the words of God, but fails to follow them will eventually fall. The Lord says that it will be a great fall.

     Many people have accepted Christ verbally, but have failed to follow him. They have refuse to study his word. They have decide that they are not going to live by the word of God. And their lives prove this out because there is no fruit in it.

     We must make Jesus Lord of our lives. We must accept and live by as much of God's word as we can.

     When we do this, we are saying that we truly believe that Jesus is Lord. We have made him Lord of our lives. God sees this faith, trust, and action coming from the heart. No, we may not live a perfect life but we are trying, and our lives will bring forth fruit meet for repentance: ST MATTHEW 3:8.

13.  The Process for Strengthening Our Foundation

1 Peter 2:
     2. As NEWBORN BABES, desire the SINCERE MILK OF THE WORD, THAT YE MAY GROW THEREBY:
2 Peter 1:
     5. And besides this, giving all DILIGENCE, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
     6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
     7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
     8. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
     9. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
     10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give DILIGENCE to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
     11. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

     First, we must desire the sincere milk of the word. We need to pray for the Lord to lead us to a place where his word is being taught and preached in pureness and simplicity. We must also begin to read and study the word of God on a personal basis. When we need help, as well as asking others, primarily, we should ask God to reveal the understanding unto us.

JAMES 1:
     5. If any of you lack wisdom, LET HIM ASK OF GOD, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
     6. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
     7. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

     I highly recommend reading the entire book of 2 PETER. A key word throughout this book is DILIGENCE. It shows the critical need for christians to GROW. This process is laid out very plainly.

     Faith is the beginning point. To our faith we must add virtue (conformity to a standard of right, morality.) In other words, there must be a change in our way of life. We must strive to live in accordance with God's entire word (2 CORINTHIANS 5:17.) As we begin doing this, we must study the word (2 TIMOTHY 2:15 & HOSEA 4:6) so that we can begin to receive God's knowledge. To this we must grow in self-control (temperance,) brotherly kindness (ST MATTHEW 25:33-46 parable of sheep and goats,) and charity, which is love (1 CORINTHIANS 13, 1 JOHN entire book, in particular 1 JOHN 3:14.) If we have these things, we will be fruitful in the knowledge of Jesus. If you notice, this encompasses the fruit of the Spirit (GALATIANS 5:22-25.) Also, note that it said fruit and not fruits. If we have the Spirit of God, we will manifest all of those individual characteristics of the Spirit being in our lives.

     If we do these things, we will be granted an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of God.

14.  Scriptures to Build Your Hope On

ST JOHN 3:
     16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
ST MARK 16:
     16. He that BELIEVETH and is BAPTIZED SHALL be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
ACTS 16:
     30. And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
     31. And they said, BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

15.  We Can Be Certain of Our Own Salvation

ST MARK 12:
     28. And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
     29. And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
     30. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
     31. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
     32. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:
     33. And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
     34. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any questions. (1 THESSALONIANS 3:11-13)

     God requires for his children to love him fully. When we begin to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, then we will know that we are not far from the kingdom of God. Loving God should not be a ritual, but, it should be a very real and vital part of our everyday life. Then we too will know that there is only one God.

16.  Final Destination, Heaven

REVELATIONS 21:
     23. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
     24. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
     25. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
     26. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
     27. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: BUT THEY WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE LAMBS BOOK OF LIFE.

     I encourage you to read the final three books of the bible: REVELATIONS, chapters 20-22. You will receive a very descriptive account of what heaven will be like. I think it speaks plainly enough for itself. It is far more beautiful and wonderful than I could ever describe it.  The End.

Copyright 1998 KC Enterprises.  All rights reserved.  No part of this lesson may be reproduced or published without written permission of the authors.   Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, King James Version.

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