Sunday, September 18, 2011

How to tell the sheep from the goats

Are you a sheep or a goat?

Christ said that only those who endure (persevere in faith) to the end will be SAVED. It's important for us to remember that fact and believe Him. Do not be fooled. Not everyone who emphatically calls Jesus "Lord!" is, or will be, saved. (Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13)

As we live amongst professers of Christ we shall see whether they show fruits of genuine repentance & love for the Savior (as opposed to being lover of self & the world). The Lord Jesus has given us a good outline for understanding that not all who call upon His Name will be saved. We can make wise & discerning determinations in distinguishing true brothers & sisters from the false in Matthew 7:15-27 & many other passages. The person who professes faith in Christ should be progressively growing in holiness. They should hate sin. (Psa.119:104; Job 1:1; Psa.26:5; 84:10; Prov.8:13; Rom.7:22-24) They will have an unshakeable love of truth. (Jn.14:17; Jn.8:32) They will have a deep love for the Word of God - the Bible  (Psa.119:97 & 103) They should be DO-ers of the Word rather than hearers only. (James 1:22) True brethren will be learning to love their neighbors as themselves, be about their Father's business with the Savior (fishing for men/soul-winning/setting captives free), visiting orphans & widows in their affliction (James 1:27), consider others more highly than themselves (Phil 2:3) & they should exhibit the fruits of the Spirit in greater & greater measure as they mature (Gal 5:22-23). Genuine Christians will be the ones who will be hated & are willing to suffer reproach for His Name. They will DO justice, love kindness, show mercy, and walk humbly with God. (Micah 6:8) They will have an intense longing for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:23-25; 2 Tim.4:8) And there are a LOT more qualities of a true believer in the Bible. We've scratched the surface.

When we look at the characteristics of true believers, we find that only a fraction of those who say they love Jesus are born-again. This is one of the reasons why we must keep preaching Christ & Him crucified, to sinner, saint & professing saints.

It's also why those whom God has gifted as prophet/evangelists are needed in the Body of Christ. Because the tares, goats & bad fish will always be mixed in with the wheat, sheep & good fish. And because the evangelist helps to equip the saints for the works of the ministry of soul-winning.

Examine yourself ... Are you a sheep or a goat?

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