Is your faith genuine? Is your faith based on what a church says or a true relationship between you and God? The difference between the two means where you spend eternity: with God in heaven or apart from Him in hell. Yes, that’s the brutal reality, like it or not. Paul addresses this in the last chapter of 2 Corinthians…
2 Corinthians 13
This is the third time I am coming to visit you (and as the Scriptures say, “The facts of every case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses”). 2 I have already warned those who had been sinning when I was there on my second visit. Now I again warn them and all others, just as I did before, that next time I will not spare them.
3 I will give you all the proof you want that Christ speaks through me. Christ is not weak when he deals with you; he is powerful among you. 4 Although he was crucified in weakness, he now lives by the power of God. We, too, are weak, just as Christ was, but when we deal with you we will be alive with him and will have God’s power.
5 Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. 6 As you test yourselves, I hope you will recognize that we have not failed the test of apostolic authority.
7 We pray to God that you will not do what is wrong by refusing our correction. I hope we won’t need to demonstrate our authority when we arrive. Do the right thing before we come—even if that makes it look like we have failed to demonstrate our authority. 8 For we cannot oppose the truth, but must always stand for the truth. 9 We are glad to seem weak if it helps show that you are actually strong. We pray that you will become mature.
10 I am writing this to you before I come, hoping that I won’t need to deal severely with you when I do come. For I want to use the authority the Lord has given me to strengthen you, not to tear you down.
Paul’s Final Greetings
11 Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.
12 Greet each other with a sacred kiss. 13 All of God’s people here send you their greetings.
14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.2 Corinthians 13 NLT
Is your faith genuine? Is Christ Jesus in your heart? Are you really a Christian? Friend, you do not become a Christian just by attending a church. You can’t live with one foot in the Kingdom and one foot in the world. It doesn’t work! I know, I’ve been there, done that! It doesn’t work! You think that your sinful life is fun and you don’t want to leave it, but it’s not. It is just leading you to hell. (Oh, and there’s no such thing as purgatory!)
Jesus is the only one that can save you. He is the only person who can forgive your sins and wash you clean. But you need to repent — do a 180 degree turn in your life. STOP SINNING! Submit your life to Jesus and invite him into your heart.
Jesus didn’t suffer and die on the cross so that you could have religion! Jesus wants a 1:1 relationship with YOU!
Get Real with Yourself and God about Your Faith!
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…
Standing for the Truth
Once you have Jesus in your heart — in the form of the Holy Spirit — you’ll have a sense of discernment. You’ll be able to recognize what is the truth and what isn’t. Back in Paul’s day, there were false prophets teaching a fake gospel. Today, we have Satan and his cronies feeding us lies daily in the form of fake news. Just like back then, you can’t believe all you hear, see or read.
That’s where the Holy Spirit comes in. Pray before you respond. Ask the Spirit if it’s the truth. Don’t return evil for evil. We Christians are called to be His Salt and Light in the world. That means standing for the truth.
That means opposing the murder of innocent unborn children just because the child came at an inconvenient time. As a true, born-again Christian, you cannot in your right mind, support anyone who is pro-abortion. Period. No if, ands or buts! Every life is sacred to God created in His image.
This is the last of the bible studies until after Thanksgiving when we’ll be going into the Gospel of Luke for the Advent Season. Then, we’ll continue with Luke’s writings with the The Acts of the Apostles and the story of the birth and growth of the true Christian Church.
For the rest of November, I’ll be delving in to some “Christianese” — you know, that churchy language that people throw around, but don’t really know what it means. We’ll also get into gratitude and I’ll even cover the true History of the Pilgrims. So, subscribe so you don’t miss out!
I’ll close with Paul’s closing…
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.