Are You Saved or Deceived? Understanding Your Status in the Kingdom of God
In this blog post, we will explore a thought-provoking concept that highlights the importance of understanding our status in the Kingdom of God. As Christians, it is crucial to know whether we are truly saved or deceived. This post will delve into the topic of salvation and provide insights into how we can discern our true status in Christ. Join us as we consider more deeply this critical aspect of our faith.
The Spirit of Indifference
All seasoned missionaries in Italy will have varying disagreements on matters related to the work of missions, but one thing they probably all hold in common is that a prevailing spirit of indifference truly plagues the land. The result is evident as the people seem to care less about the things of God. It’s possible for Italians to have vague beliefs in God and even practice certain religious rituals, like praying to Mary or "saints", while lacking any sound comprehension of salvation or how to lead others to faith.
Man can do all kinds of religious practices in the name of God without even being born of the Spirit of God and without knowing his true status before God. Not so sure? Just read Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards. If we are going to lead others to saving faith in Christ, we must be rightly equipped to understand and explain God’s plan of salvation. If we are going to labor in lands plagued with the spirit of indifference, like Italy for example, it is even more crucial, lest we too become plagued!
How Can You Know You're Saved?
Unfortunately, today it is not uncommon for someone to claim to be a believer but struggle to answer this fundamental question. One reason that likely so few confessing believers evangelize, for example, may be because many are simply false converts… A false convert typically doesn’t have a proper understanding of the Gospel and how to be saved. Naturally, he doesn’t ask others critical questions in order to lead them to Christ, because he himself doesn’t even know how to rightly answer these kinds of questions. His faith is superficial. It is extremely important that we understand salvation not only for ourselves but also for effectively sharing the Gospel with others. Jesus wants us to know whether we are in or out of His Kingdom; whether we are saved or deceived and under condemnation. The important thing to consider is that we can indeed know we are saved as we consider our fruit. God desires us to know.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. - 1 John 5: 13
The apostle John wrote for this very purpose, "that you may know that you have eternal life".
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. - Mt. 7: 15-20
Christ Jesus speaks boldly and clearly that trees (like people) can be recognized by the fruit they produce or not. The good fruit, rightly responding to the word of God, by the grace of God, comes from the transformed heart. It has been changed from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh, from death to life.
To consider the quality and type of our fruit as confessing believers self-evaluation is necessary. The apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians, exhorted them to do a heart evaluation before taking the Lord’s supper. (1 Cor. 11). When the church partakes of the Lord’s supper regularly, it offers to the members of the church a crucial moment to examine their heart. To not take the Lord’s supper is sin. To take it in a wrong manner, without first evaluating your heart before God and the body of Christ, is also sin. One beautiful aspect of the ordinance of the Lord’s supper is that it forces us to “guard our hearts with all diligence” (Pr. 4:23). Sadly, the Lord’s supper in many modern churches has been reduced to something that happens just once or twice per year, rather than every week or even month. Is it any wonder that so many don’t consistently check their hearts?
The practice of heart examination is not only beneficial for personal growth but also essential for effective evangelism. By understanding our true status and relationship with God, we can help others recognize their need for salvation and for a new heart.
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love. - 1 Cor. 16: 13-14
Know Your Status
God desires believers to know their status and whether they are saved or not, whether they are in or out of the Kingdom. In a world where assumptions and religious rituals often replace a true relationship with Christ, let us remember that though salvation is a gift we freely receive (Eph. 2: 8-10), our salvation is naturally accompanied by certain works; deeds of righteousness. The Christian was previously dead in sin and is now alive to God (Rom. 6). Once we are made alive, just like a newborn baby who desires milk, so we desire God’s word; it nourishes our soul.
Consider for a Moment
How is your relationship with sin? Do you tolerate it or do you despise it? If you easily tolerate your sin, it may very well be a sign that you are not yet actually saved.
How is your relationship with God’s word? Do you treasure it and depend upon it for daily life and substance? Or does it not have a primary place in your busy schedule? If you have little time and desire for reading God’s word it may be a sign that you are not saved.
How is your relationship with the bride of Christ? How do you view your relationships, time, and financial resources?
Often these are good indicators as to whether or not you are saved. A true Christian joyfully lives under the Lordship of Christ in all areas of life. A Christian by name only typically lives as if he/she is still the lord of his/her life. How is your walk with the Lord today?
By knowing our true standing with the Lord, we can be empowered to share the Gospel faithfully and help others (wherever they are) to come to Christ for true life. Let us humbly acknowledge the truth that too many are deceived in regards to their own salvation. Let us be sure that we are not deceived, and let us, by the grace of God, be instruments in His hands to bring the life-transforming power of the Gospel to the lost and the lost to Christ. To God alone the glory -- Soli Deo Gloria.
Written by Jesse Schreck | servant of the Lord, founder, director, and missionary church planter with Practical Missions Cohort
This post was created from this highlight of Missions Incorporated, the podcast of PMc. Check it out to hear more!