A Christian Should Not – #2
As a Christian, I should not be deceived. The Word of God says, “7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:7-8. The Greek word for “deceived” is planasthe meaning “…to cause to stray, to lead astray, lead aside from the right way…” (p. 514). Paul is writing to Christians, and he is saying that a Christian can be “lead aside from the right way.” Galatians 5:4 states, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Therefore, the teaching of once saved always is not true. A Christian can be lead astray and fall from grace. One can be misled, deceived, from what the Word of God says. Each will give an account of what they believe and obey. One should be concerned what the Word of God says about what they believe. One should not take their preacher nor their parent’s word for it. You and I are to “search the scriptures.” John 5:39.
As a Christian, I should not fear. The Word of God says, “8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8. The Greek word is deilos, meaning fearful; timid; cowardly. In our text, it speaks of Christians who through cowardice [lacking courage] give way under persecutions and apostatize. The fearful are those who for one reason or another are always afraid of the consequences of true service to God. John 4:24. Why this warning? First, to encourage men to keep God’s commandments and enter the city where there is hope. 22:14. Second, to encourage all those who enter to remain faithful till death lest they are turned out of the city and suffer punishment in the eternal hell of fire with all the others.
As a Christian, I should not neglect my salvation. The Word of God says, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” Hebrews 2:1-4. We need to be aware of the fact that questions are asked to bring men to a realization of what they have done. In Genesis 4:9, God questions Cain for the purpose to bring him to a realization of the enormity of the crime he had just committed. Those that asked the questions: “What shall we do?” Acts 2:37, and “Sir, what must I do to be saved? Acts 16:30, were asking for the purpose of obtaining information. Questions were asked to impress on others the value of an item. Matthew 16:26. This question was intended to impress upon man the inestimable value of the soul of man. By this same token, Paul raises the question of Hebrews 2:3, to impress upon our minds the importance of this salvation and the impossibility of escaping if it is neglected. Paul was writing to Christians, not alien sinners! One can fall from grace and be lost! These Christians were being drawn back into Judaism by Judaizing teachers, who sought to turn them back from Christianity to Judaism, from the Gospel of Christ to the Law of Moses. Jesus said, “17 For the law was given by Moses, but [Greek “the”] grace and [Greek “the”] truth came by [Greek “through”] Jesus Christ.” John 1:17. Christians are not under the Law of Moses which includes the Ten Commandants. In Romans 7:1-7 the Holy Spirit states that we are “loosed from,” “free from,” “dead to,” and “delivered from” the law. What law? The law that “had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
Why neglect the “great salvation?” Since God is the designer and Christ is the author, it is great! It saves men from the love, practice, guilt, and punishment of sin. It saves men for a life of service in this world and in the world to come eternal life. The Bible is the Word of God, and it is clear to what one must do to be saved! Only the saved will be in heaven. Examples of those who were saved in the New Testament: Acts 2:14-42; 8:5-13; 8:30-39; 9:17-18, 22:6-16, 26:12-18; 10:34-48; 16:13-15; 16:25-34; 18:8; 19:1-7. One must hear, believe, repent, confess, and be immersed according to these examples! Jesus said, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” John 12:48.
Bobby D. Gayton