That Ye May Know Part One

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” I John 5:13

This is probably one of the most misused verses in the Bible today. This verse is often used by “soulwinners” to “give assurance” to someone after “leading them to the Lord”. In another words, a person agrees to a list of facts from the Bible, repeats a prayer and then he or she is “given assurance” with the abovementioned verse.

There are several problems with this flimflam evangelism. As a matter of fact I would say there is not too much of a Biblical element in the whole scheme. I believe the plight of modern day fundamental Christianity can, for the most part, be traced back to our salesman like preaching and soul winning methods. {And we are in a plight in case you didn’t know. One fundamentalist leader said not long ago, “this is Fundamentalism’s finest hour” It may be “fundamentalisms” finest hour but true Biblical Christianity has certainly seen better days. He is just another typical “yes man” doing what yes men do, telling the emperor he is not naked}

We Baptist have been taught how to win “converts” without the Holy Ghost. Many of our churches are filled with people who are religious but lost. Scores of our churches are no different than the cults they rail against. They are made up of deceived people who have accepted another gospel and another Christ. The late missionary James Stewart said, “So great has been the perversion that many congregations are astounded when they hear the true Gospel of the lordship of Christ. They believe that we are preaching a new gospel.” They may have the name Baptist and carry a King James Bible but many of them have never been born again.

They have been “given assurance” by their pastor or their mother or by the date written in the front of their Bible. I fear that many professing Christians have assurance but it is often a false assurance. This is the reason that many of our churches are so worldly. {The reason many churches are going to the world for instructions is that worldlings must be entertained. In the words of Spurgeon you feed sheep but entertain goats} Many CINO’S {Christians In Name Only} do not have the Holy Ghost. Their spouse or parents or their preacher is the one who tries to keep them on the straight and narrow.

Regrettably, it has been found out the hard way that you cannot keep dogs and hogs from reverting back to their old ways. It is because they do not have a new nature. There is no struggle within. There may be a struggle with their preacher or their parents or maybe even their conscience but they only have one nature. They know nothing of the struggle that the Apostle Paul talks about in Romans chapter seven. They do not say with Paul “O wretched man that I am!” They know nothing of putting off the old man and his deeds and putting on the new man. They know nothing of a contrite heart or a repentant spirit.

I read an excellent illustration once. You can take a cat and throw it into a hog pen and that cat will do everything in its power to get out. A cat will not be happy in a hog pen. Its one desire will be to get out as soon as possible and once it is out it will concentrate on getting itself clean again. That is a cat’s nature. By the same token you can take a hog and give it a bath. You can scrub it and spray it with perfume and tie a pink ribbon around its neck. But if it gets near a hog pen its one desire will be to jump back in the mire and wallow in the filth. That is the nature of a hog. That is why God’s Word says; “But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” II Peter 2:22

Christians may “fall” into sin but like the cat they will not be comfortable there and they will eventually be looking for a way out and they will also be remorseful for the time they wasted there. You can’t make a cat behave like a hog nor can you make a hog behave like a cat. They are two different critters with two different natures and sooner or later their true nature will be revealed.

Many professing Christians are like the washed up hog. If their preacher or their parents or maybe their spouse can keep them in line they, like the hog, can put on a pretty good show for a long time. The reason many Independent Fundamental Baptist pastors are called dictators is because it takes a dictator to keep a pack of hogs from running back to the hog pen. They have to micromanage every area of their people’s lives. Many professing Christians do not have the Holy Ghost to convict them when they watch things they shouldn’t or when they say things that are wrong or are dishonest in their business dealings. But it is sad to say even though they may not have the Holy Spirit …many of them do have “assurance”

I am glad the Bible says we can know. The Apostle John wrote the Epistle of I John that we may know that we have eternal life. If you would like to have true Biblical assurance I suggest you begin by reading John’s epistle and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to your heart if you are truly saved. John’s epistle gives us many “things” or “tests”; I would like to list several of them.

A true Christian will walk in the light not in darkness. {I John1:5-7}

A true Christian will keep His commandments. {I John 2:3-4, 3:24, 5:2-3}

A true Christian will want to walk as Christ walked. {I John 2:6}

A true Christian will love the brethren. {I John 2:9-10, 3:10-16, 4:7, 11, 20-21}

A true Christian will not love the world nor the things in the world. {I John 2:15-17}

A true Christian will do {practice} righteousness. {I John 2:29,  3:7-10}

A true Christian will have a desire to be pure and holy. {I John 3:3}

A true Christian will not practice sin. {I John 3:5-10, 5:18}

A true Christian will confess that Jesus is the Son of God. {I John 4:15}

A true Christian will overcome the world. {I John 5:4-5}

A true Christian will have the witness of the Spirit. {I John 5:10}

 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” I John 5:13

A true Christian will have some fruit.

The things listed below are not the fruit of the Spirit. Any unbeliever with some degree of self discipline could perform these things {and many often do}.

Carrying a King James Bible

Dressing a certain way

Not going to movies

Not using tobacco or alcohol

Homeschooling

Praying

Going to church three times a week

Getting rid of the TV

Soul winning

Keeping the Sabbath

Not listening to worldly music

I am certain these may be good standards to live by but they are not the fruit of the Spirit. As one man said many years ago, Trusting in religious duties is a sure way, though a cleaner way to hell.”

But the Word of God says;

“…The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”

One way assurance can be attained is by examining the fruit or “things” in our lives. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” James called these things or fruit, works. “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”

Do you see this fruit in your life?

Brother Shawn

Advertisements
This entry was posted in assurance and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s