You see, the Bible teaches us there are no do overs. When we die we enter heaven or hell. Therefore if you want to spend eternity in heaven you must make sure you know and do what Jesus Christ reveals. In fact, even Paul warned the Christians at Corinth to examine themselves to make sure they were really in the faith, and not discover too late that they themselves were deceived. [2 Corinthians 13:19]
So how do we do examine ourselves? The apostle John wrote the letter, 1 John and tells us how and why. He says, “These things I have written 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]
So it is clear, the purpose of the first letter of John is for the “assurance of salvation.” John wrote to give proof to the people who claim to be Christians that they actually were saved by offering clear evidences. These truths will prove whether we are alive in God, or as we say, born again. Please make sure you sit down and read the entire letter!
And please notice when you do, you will find that the Bible never says that you are going to heaven because you sincerely believe you are. It does not say you know you are going to heaven because you prayed a little prayer like, “Dear Jesus come into my heart.” Nor does it say you are assured of heaven because your priest, pastor, or grandmother said you were. Instead, John provides seven clear cut evidences of salvation, and today we look at Evidence #2.
Remember, John learned to look deeper, rather than accept a simple testimony from a person who claimed to be a Christian, because Christ taught him to verify salvation by a person’s fruit.
13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.
14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
Jesus continued in verses 21-23 and clearly warned that many, many people would unite with the church and become known to the world as Christians. But, most of these people will be fakes. They would be deceived and sincere, but still, not real. And the only way to know for sure was evidence that existed beyond the surface, way beneath the sheep skins.
Christ insisted that those who broke God’s laws were fake, even if they were popular and even preachers, sincere and spiritual leaders, and even miraculous and famous.
Here’s what Jesus warned. “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ [Matt 7:21-23 (NLT)]
So let’s carefully examine John’s second evidence.
Evidence #2: Have You Turned From Sin?
This begins with our Lord’s words, “Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice] what I tell you?” [Luke 6:46 (AMP)]
The Lord Jesus questioned the people around Him who claimed they believed and would follow Him. He watched what they did. Those who would not practice and live out what he called them to do were not His followers. They were hypocrites and followers in word only, calling Him Lord, but refusing to obey His commands.
John was different, he followed Jesus. He knew what the Lord was demanding. So he states,
“My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin.” [1 John 2:1(NLT)]
The apostle John continues with his blistering statements in his first letter and proclaims clearly from God’s inspired Word that you cannot be a follower of Jesus and live in disobedience. Sinful living is proof of rebellion and spiritual death, but obedient living is proof of eternal life.
This teaching comes directly from Jesus Christ, and John followed Him closely for three years, taking in everything Christ taught. His faith did not end at the death of Jesus, and in fact, it was empowered at His resurrection! So when John demands real change in a person’s life to prove that they are really going to heaven, he received this idea directly from God.
Your personal opinion does not erase God’s Word. Because you prayed a prayer when you were young and “Accepted Jesus” does not prove you are going to heaven. God’s Word determines what is evidence. Do not bet your life on your church’s opinion, your pastor’s opinion, your mom’s opinion, your best friends opinion, or your own opinion. Bet your life on God’s Word.
John presses forward with his proof in 1 John 2:29 (NLT) and declares, “Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.”
He is saying, “If you know (perceive and are sure) that He [Christ] is [absolutely] righteous [conforming to the Father’s will in purpose, thought, and action], you may also know (be sure) that everyone who does righteously [and is therefore in like manner conformed to the divine will] is born (begotten) of Him [God].[1 John 2:29 (AMP)]
There is no mistake here, John demands a new life apart from sin, and this means leaving sin far behind, and only doing what is right, consistently and faithfully. This is not unusual! The U.S. government expects and demands that law abiding citizens do what is right, consistently.
Criminals do not. They live differently, by secretly plotting their crimes. Blatantly they do their own thing and ignore the law or their authorities wishes. They hide their sins! They practice evil by doing what they want.
But true narrow road followers of Jesus, FOLLOW JESUS! They do what He says is right, and refrain from what He says is criminal activity. That is why John presses forward with this evidence of eternal life.
John also says, “Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.” [1 John 3:2-3 (NLT)]
Did you notice John did not say, “SHOULD keep themselves pure.” He said, “WILL keep themselves pure.” That means a true, born again Christian can do this. But, an almost, wishful, believer in Jesus who is not born again, CANNOT obey in this way.
And notice the standard of purity from sin that John demands is “just as he is pure.” JUST LIKE JESUS! Are you screaming out excuses now? “Who can live up to Jesus’ standards, this is impossible.”
Well if you feel this way, hold on, John is not done yet! He explodes with these amazing words. “Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. 5 And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. 6 Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.” [1 John 3:4-6 (NLT)]
He writes, “whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” [1 John 3:4]
And Paul agrees and wrote in Romans, “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” [Romans 6:16 (NLT)] Let that sink into your mind! And next notice the change repentance brings to the saint.
Paul writes, “And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.” [Romans 6:18-20 (NKJV)]
This means that you are either a slave to God or sin, and the hypocrite always sides with freedom from God’s laws, but the saint wants freedom from sin. If you think God gives you freedom from the law, then I have to ask, why would God help us rebel and disobey His commands?
So we know that disobeying and ignoring God’s commandments is lawlessness. Refusing to submit to the law, the commands of the Lord Jesus, is rebellion against God’s authority over you. Just like an American citizen is required to obey the laws of the land or suffer the wrath of the government, men are required to serve the living God.
And it seems there is great confusion today over what Christianity is. False grace is a false doctrine that says that Jesus died to free us from the law of God. But true grace says Jesus died to save us from sin so that we have the new power to more than obey God’s law, but exceed it and easily live righteously!
Jude 1:4 (NLT) states, “I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” The word used here translated “denies” also means contradict. Today many church people contradict Jesus. “Biblical grace means forgiveness and power to overcome sin, not permission to act immorally.” – Bible Background Commentary – The IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament.
“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?‘ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” [Matt 7:21-23]
Well this is why true repentance is an evidence of knowing God! Jesus takes away the sin from a BORN AGAIN, real believer. He did not come to just forgive, He came to remove the domination of sin from inside you.
You are no longer a slave to sin, if you are born again. This is not just forgiveness for your past, it is deliverance for your present and future!
This is the long awaited promise from God given by Ezekiel the prophet, for a totally new life. This is what being born again is all about.
Our great and precious promise is, “… I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.” [Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NLT)]
The promise is not “SHOULD follow my commands,” but “you will keep My judgments and do them.” (NKJ) The proof of a supernatural life is repentance from that old stubborn life of disobedience of God’s commands, and a joyful, full turn to obedience. The responsive heart lives a fully different lifestyle.
This is why John dares to say, “Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin.” This is not possible in human effort or willpower, this is a miracle! But, all those who keep on sinning do not know God. They do not know His salvation. They do not know His forgiveness. We are not just saved from hell. We are saved from sin!
Let’s read this carefully together . [1 John 3:7-10 (NLT)]
7 Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous.
8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.
9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.
10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.
No matter how much tolerance is proclaimed inside and outside the church, DO NOT be deceived. No matter how much grace is preached that is supposed to ALLOW sin to dwell in people’s lives, DO NOT be deceived. “When people keep on sinning,” even if they confess and ask forgiveness over and over everyday, they are NOT saved!
For a short time as they wrestle with repentance, this may happen. But this is not a long extended lifestyle. If your religion is made up of this enslavement to sin, you are not going to heaven, and you DO NOT know God. Those who keep on sinning BELONG TO THE DEVIL.
Christ Jesus destroys, destroys, and destroys this work of the devil in all born again believers.
Paul asks, “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus …” [Romans 6:1-3 (NLT)]
The proof, the evidence, that you have met Jesus, and are God’s own child is simple, you can’t keep on in your old sins. Your new heart stops you. This new grace of the Holy Spirit inside floods you with holy desires, and powerful strength to obey the living God.
So Learn quickly to walk with God. Do not let anyone deceive you. If you are deceived you allow the devil to trick you and dishonor God by disobedience through ignorance.
The child of the devil is a sin machine, no matter what he believes about his eternal end. The child of God is a love machine who sticks with fellow Christians in the local church and fulfills God’s will together with His spiritual family.
You may say hold on, no one is perfect! You are correct. Please think this through with me. Lucifer and the fallen angels were holy servants of God in heaven. They did not have a sin nature, but they did have free will. They chose to rebel because they were not robots.
Adam and Eve were created perfect, without sin natures, but with free will. Robots don’t love or choose good, because they do what they are programmed to do. And God did not create mankind as robots but free agents.
But everything changed when Adam and Eve sinned, and now all mankind is born in the likeness of Adam, as slaves to sin. John knows this, and is revealing how powerful and real the sacrifice of Jesus was on the cross. And the Bible reveals how powerful the grace the Holy Spirit releases inside each born again believer really is.
This is why John says to the born again in 1 John 2:1 (WuestNT) “My little children, these things I am writing to you in order that you may not commit an act of sin. And if anyone commits an act of sin, One who pleads our cause we constantly have facing the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One. And He himself is an expiatory satisfaction for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the whole world.”
This is the huge difference between a true Christian and everyone else, because we are not sin factories anymore. That is why John writes, “But if anyone should sin, we have an Advocate.” “If” is not the same as “since”! Since all the people of the world without Christ are “sin factories”, they constantly sin, rebel, and do acts of wickedness continually ignoring Christ and His commands.
But the born again are not “sin factories” and do not live in the perpetual life of sin and darkness. So “if” a Christian fails and commits a sin, but then asks for forgiveness, and repents… they are restored to life in the Spirit. But you must understand a true believer does not sin because they have to, if they sin it is a choice, an act of outright rebellion or deception and ignorance, NOT slavery.
John clearly says his letter is to help Christians stop committing acts of sin. The truth sets you free! But if we occasionally fail, John promises in 1 John 1:9 (AMP) “If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].”
So let’s make Evidence #2 clear with these final statements from 1 John in chapter 3…
1/ Without Repentance You Are Still Going to Hell!
“He who sins is of the devil, for the devil sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” [1 John 3:8]
2/ Another Evidence of Salvation is Repentance!
“Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” [1 John 3:9]
3/ You Are Either a Child of God or the Devil? Which Are You?
“Here’s how you tell the difference between God’s children and the Devil’s children: The one who won’t practice righteous ways isn’t from God, nor is the one who won’t love brother or sister. A simple test.” 1 John 3:10 (MSG)
The Fake Christian Makes Claims but Does Not Obey!
Remember John states, “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in Him.” [1 John 2:4]
Let me be clear, hypocrites can’t obey! They will scream for love, understanding and a broader mindset. This idea of obedience is too narrow minded to them. Surrendering to the complete control of the Lord Jesus is out of the question, and they have no passion to reach the world for Jesus!
Yes they want to go to heaven. But they actually think religious freedom means liberty from the restricting life of the do’s and don’ts of God’s Word, and falsely believe God saved them without requiring obedience to His commands. Would God free people to sin or free people from sin?
John not only states that those who will not repent are lost but also reminds us again that the first Evidence, “you must love fellow Christians”, is proof also.
4/ Conclusion: Repentance is not optional!
“We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.” [1 John 5:18 ]
Well remember, there are things we can disagree on, but you cannot disagree with the Bible over your salvation and eternal life. Unless you allow the Bible to direct your faith and beliefs you will be lost forever. God so loves you He gave His Word to be clear and concise to prevent you from being confused and miss His gift of eternal life.
If you do not know how to repent and follow Jesus contact us immediately through our website.