So my daily burden is for the lost. Lost Christians, that is. The Lord has given me an attention to and burden for Christians who occupy pews, labor in ministries, partake of Easter and Christmas celebrations, yet do not know the Lord. They think they are saved, but they are not.
They think that because they belong to a particular denomination, they're saved. They think that because they prayed a prayer, they're saved. They think that because they are a deacon, they're saved. They think that because they go to church regularly, they're saved.
Many are not.
Jesus said, "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'" "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' (Mt 7:22-23)
I can think of no more of a heartbreaking moment than that. At least Atheists know that they have rejected God. At least those who have heard the Gospel & rejected it know what they have done. False Christians don't know. You see the surprise in their voices in the verse, repeating plaintively, "Lord, Lord..."
Further, Jesus said, "“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Matthew 7:13-14). [emphasis added]
Wait, wait, I found another heartbreaking verse!
"And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’" (Matthew 15:9)
Here, people worship. They think what they are doing is worship. Like the ones who are self-deceived in thinking they are saved by speaking the prophesies, casting out demons and performing miracles, these ones worship. They pray, they bend a knee, they approach an altar, they sing. They even tithe. But it is all IN VAIN. It is empty and hollow, because though their lips profess, their hearts do not possess Jesus.
"Therefore the Lord said:
“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,' (Isaiah 29:13)
Can you imagine a worship so hollowly self-deceiving, for years having done the right thing outwardly, thinking they are saved, and on His Day, He says He doesn't even know them?
Here is Pastor Adrian Rogers's essay (excerpted) on how to tell if you're saved:
"The Lordship Test. Is Jesus Christ the Lord of your life? Jesus said, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46). Here’s a riddle I want to solve for you. On the one hand the Bible says that we know that we’re saved because we keep His commandments (See 1 John 2:3). On the other hand, the Bible teaches us that it is possible to sin (See 1 John 1:8-9). The key word is “keep”. It is the same word used years ago by sailors who navigated by the stars at night. A sailor’s goal was to keep the stars. As a child of God, His commandments are the stars by which you navigate your life. Is keeping His commandments the burning desire of your heart? It is if you’ve met the Christ of Calvary."
"The Fellowship Test. Do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ? The Bible challenges us on several occasions that this is the way we will know we are in Christ (1 John 3:14, 4:20, 5:1). When you get saved, you receive the divine nature of God and the nature of God is love (1 John 4:7). You’re not saved because you love the brethren, you love the brethren because you’re saved. Love is the nature of the Christian because love is the nature of God. If we love the Lord Jesus, it follows as night follows day that we are going to love what Jesus loves."
"The Relationship Test. The question is not, “Did you believe in Jesus Christ?” The question is, rather, “Are you believing Jesus right now?” If you can’t remember when you were saved, that’s okay. 1 John 5:11-12 says, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” Can you say that at this very moment, that you have a personal relationship with Jesus right now?"
Here is John MacArthur's two part sermon series, "Saved or Self-Deceived", a salvation survey to help you check yourself to see if you are in the faith.
I want to see YOU there. I do not want to hear you crying out, "Lord, Lord" but rather I want to hear the Lord say to you "Well done good and faithful servant."