First John 3:6
No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
Are You Different?
I have witnessed people who profess to be Christians, yet they live a lifestyle that is anything but that of a Christian. One friend in particular uses vulgar language and profanity, watches X- and R-rated movies, and has occasions of drunkenness. I asked him what he thought of Matthew 7:21-23, where Jesus said that many will say to Him, “Lord, Lord,” yet He says, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” What terrifying words those will be someday. I reminded him that Jesus said that our life will produce fruits that prove our regeneration by the Spirit of God (John 15). He says that he knows Christ, but I say that it’s not so much whether you say you know Him, but whether He says I know you. Jesus said, “Many will say” to Him on that day, indicating that many believed that they were saved when they actually weren’t. He didn’t say few will say, but many. I think my friend is deceived.
A Relationship not Religion
I wonder how many just have a form of religion but don’t actually have a relationship with Christ. It’s not about religion, but about having a personal relationship with God. Some have a form of godliness, but they are actually denying the power of God in their lives (2 Tim 3:5-7). John writes that no one who claims to be born again will continue to live a lifestyle of sin (1 John 3:9). They think they’re a pretty good person, but the truth is that none of us are good (Rom 3:1) and we all fall short of God’s glory. It seems hard to reconcile that they’ve been saved by watching their lifestyle, and it may even be obvious who has been born of God and who hasn’t, who are the children of God and who are still children of the Devil (1 John 3:1).
Loving Your Brother or Sister
If your religion has not changed your behavior, then maybe you should change your religion. Anyone who claims to be a child of God will love their brother or sister. No one can claim to be a child of God and hate or have unjust anger at his or her brother or sister (1 John 3:15). Jesus sees hate as being equal to murder in the heart (Matt 5:21-22). Loving your brother or sister is evidence that you are a believer in Christ, just as anyone who hates their brother or sister is evidently not a Christian (1 John 4:2).
A Closing Prayer
Holy Father, please forgive me where I fall short of Your righteousness, and please show me where I do not love my brother or sister as I ought. My heart is so deceitful that I might not even realize that by my hating or holding unjust anger toward someone or others, I might be murdering them in my heart. Please help me to know You better and to have a more personal relationship with You so that I can love others as You first loved us (1 John 4:19) and so that on the day of Your return, You won’t tell me, “Depart from Me, I never knew you” (Matt 7:23), but instead will say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your Master” (Matt 25:23). I pray this in the strong name of Jesus Christ.
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