April 24, 2012

the unlost generation

pinned from
I've honestly never been so scared to write a post. My fingers are shaking, and I'm praying like a crazy person.

I've got a great burden- one that was laid on my heart this Saturday night and Sunday morning. I'm crying, because it's so heavy, and so new.

I couldn't sleep Saturday night and after a few hours of tossing and turning, I finally started praying {I know, why am I so daft? Praying works every time!}. That's when God laid it on my heart to pray for a specific group of people.

I'll have to admit, I was strangely apathetic to this kind of person before. I have no idea why {other than sinfulness}, but I've never felt much mercy for the "unlost."

The unlost are those who are lost but think they are safe. People who said the prayer when they were young, and think once saved, always saved. People who don't follow Jesus in any manner of their lives, but truly think they are going to Heaven.

Oh, it hurts to write this. I know so many people like this.

Satan has greatly deceived this generation, and it chills me to even think of how many people might be unlost.

The unlost are in a far worse condition than just the lost- they think they know Jesus, but they don't have a clue that they don't. And if you were to try to tell them, they would immediately dismiss you and cling to their false hope. The preacher told them that if they said the prayer and walked down the aisle, they were saved. Forever. End of story.

But they don't realize that there are no magic words that get you into Heaven. There is no special prayer that opens the door. Eternal life comes from belief in Jesus- and true belief is shown by actions.

When you believe something, you act on it.

If you believe in Jesus- He radically changes your life. The middle ground doesn't exist. You can't have both worlds- the one where you chase money and success and recognition and entertainment and pleasure while you chase Jesus. You can't serve two {or three, or four} masters.

Lukewarm Christianity is not Christianity. And if you feel like you might be lukewarm, you probably are.

God isn't a God of confusion. If you feel alone- like your prayers are hitting a wall; like your prayer life is nonexistent; if you feel like you wish you could know God more but something is stopping you; if you wish you could want to read your Bible or pray; if you think you might be lukewarm- truly and honestly, with all your heart, seek His face. You will know if you are. He won't leave you in the dark.

You might be thinking, how do you know if you're saved? How does anyone actually know?

Oh, sweet friend, God is more real than you'd ever imagine. His Holy Spirit is alive, and I can tell you, you can feel Him. His Spirit is full of power, and truth, and love, and there is no question about it when He enters your heart.

But you have to give it to Him before He will show you that.

The God of Acts is the God of today. His Spirit will change your life like it did those in the book of Acts. Radical, crazy heart change that is so obviously not of yourself.

Living for Jesus- being truly saved- means that you live a life that is growing and changing and bearing fruit.

Bearing fruit is not about how many services you go to, or how many times you teach Sunday school or volunteer at church, or how often you read your Bible. It's easy to measure those things- but they are not where salvation is.

Bearing fruit is about heart change- allowing, begging the Spirit to work in your heart- to bring change, to bring holiness in the form of gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control, love, joy, peace.

That's why it says in Galatians 5:22-23:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
This is hard to say, because there is a Bible-belt delusion that runs rampant in the South. Salvation is not found in a prayer- it's in a life of change that reflects Christ and brings Him glory.

If your life and heart isn't changing, please, please, please, seek Him out. Don't fall for the lie that you are safe- you are not safe unless you know the true and living God. 

If you aren't sure if you know Him, find out. Seek Him with everything you have. Pour out your heart to Him.

His love will radically change your heart- it will break you into a million little pieces.

When you seek Him, you will see yourself for who you truly are- a dreadful sinner.

If you want to know Him, you must repent of your sin. I think the thing that holds so many back from knowing the real and living God is the refusal to repent from their sins.

Repentance is absolutely necessary to experience salvation.

You can't live a life that loves sin or even just self-pleasure. So many of the "good" unlost can't even name a sin they've committed recently. They live a life that is morally good, and they probably even go to church every week. But they live for themselves from Sunday afternoon until the next Sunday morning.

Good morals are not enough. Doing the "right" thing isn't enough. Going to church is not enough.

Whom do you serve? Deep down, in the recesses of your heart, you know the truth. You know if you haven't felt the Holy Spirit. 

Oh, this is so hard to write. I wrestled with it on Saturday night as God made my heart so heavy for the lukewarm in this country. There are so, so many lost souls who don't even know they are lost.

I've never felt such heaviness for people like this. My heart aches for the unlost. 

Oh, God, please bring light to dark places. Let those who have never experienced you see you for who you really ARE. You are unquestionably God, and your mercy has been so great, and your patience has been so unfailing. Thank you for allowing us the chance to repent.

If you think you might be lukewarm- one of the unlost, please email me {mandy  @  biblicalhomemaking.com}. I would love to talk to you, to pray with you and for you, to tell you of ways that the Holy Spirit has been real and alive in my life. I promise He will not leave you if you seek Him with all of your heart. 

Find out for sure- search His Word, ask Him to convict you of your sin that you might see the truth. He will do it. He is an amazing and powerful God. 

Please, please don't wait to know Him. Later might be too late.



If you're searching for more, read John 15:
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
And all of 1 John
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

128 comments:

  1. Hi Mandy! I Have been reading your blog for a couple of months probably and I've never commented. But I couldn't read this post and hear you pour out your heart like that and leave you with nothing. So, thank you for your love and concern for the "unlost". I am thankful God has spoken so clearly to you. I too am in the "Bible Belt" and understand how difficult it is to reach those that have been raised in church...I was one of them. Thankfully, God sought me and redeemed me and restored me 12 years ago and continues to "come down" in my life in so many ways. He is real, He is active. And His motive with us is ALWAYS LOVE! Thanks again for bearing your heart...(I know sometimes when it's God we have no choice but to share it). His words do not return void!

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    1. my heart aches for my 21 year old daughter who is a believer but has through college and a rebellious pleasure seeking heart..become lukewarm choosing impure relationships with men lying and hurtful, condemning words towards me..also my husband who walked out on our family of 4 kids and now lives with his lover..for nearly 2 years while we mourn and hurt, divorce not yet being final. when our son ws having a panic attack i texted him an dhe sid he would pray for him. it broke my heart..God does not hear his prayers..he was no help to my son...i am not trying to be judgmental..i too struggle in my walk w depression and fear and uncertainty, but I know what fruit looks like, and there is none..i soo take your words to heart and will ponder with the Lord, my relationship w Him. I too do not "feel" his presence atm..i am in the midst of crisis..just lost my dd..etc i mourn for my fractured family 2 out of 3 sons re not atheists...I ws the mom of moms..taught them The Word spoke Life over them..yet its ll gone and I am ALONE> i pray continually for Christs healing an redemptive touch . i want to serve Him with my whole heart..i want to be on fire...I think because of my wounds that have left me raw and bleeding , i have to start ll over..in life with god my kids and my life.

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    2. When everything is falling apart around you, look up to the face of Jesus who is looking down at you, I'm sure, with tears in His eyes, for the pain you're going through, saying take my hand precious child, and hold on, yet a little while, and I will be coming in the clouds with the hosts of heaven!

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  2. Thank you for sharing this..... It has been on my heart a lot lately!! He wants ALL of us not a piece.

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  3. Awesome Mandy. I'm thankful He led you to put this into words! I have so many people I want to share this with!

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  4. Amen. Thank you for sharing your heart. You will touch someone in His name. God bless you.

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  5. I'm sure it took a lot of courage (and obviously prayer) to write this post, but thank you for sharing your heart. God has been bringing this same issue to my attention lately and I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees this dangerous trend. I'm new to your blog, but I'm looking forward to reading more from you.

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  6. Needed this. I am a lukewarm Christian. I found your blog today. God has confirmed. I need prayer. Life came so fast. I know I believe and love The Lord. I know that I am out of the will,of God and not being used and grieving the spirit. My heart aches. It is so,hard to get back. Please pray for me and my husband. I thank The Lord for using you as his vessel to send this message to,me and I am sure many others. Add me to your pray list

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    1. I will be praying for you all Linda, I believe God is right there waiting for you to rest in Him and in Him is Safety! May the sweet communion of His Holy Spirit rest, rule, and abide in YOUR life hence now and Forever more! Blessings to you!

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  7. My God you can feel the Heart if God after reading this, I'm so grateful that you opened yourself up and allowed the Spirit of God to unction you to write this! Blessings to you!!

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  8. I get what you are saying. I think you are spot on with most of this article and I thank you and God for having the opportunity to read it. The only thing (sorry to nit pick) I would be cautious on is suggesting contrary to "once saved, always saved." I think I know what you mean because the rest of the post you are saying "if there is no fruit, were you really saved?" But suggesting something contrary to "once saved, always saved" really isn't biblically supported. That would basically mean Christ's initial work (His justification) in you isn't enough to save you always if you go back to a lifestyle of sin. But I understand that if you really did believe in Him, would you really want to sin? Essentially, if you really accepted Christ, you wouldn't love sin. Your heart would feel burdened when you do. Even Billy Graham still sins. It's unfortunately our nature. I liked the article but just needed to share my reservations with suggesting we can lose our salvation. Christ is way too perfect.

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    1. Sinning is not the nature of the born again. When you are born again the Holy Spirit of God comes to live inside of you and you take on the nature of Christ. You are a new creature with a new nature!

      2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

      1 John 3:4-10 "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother."

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    2. That comment she made did not suggest you could "los" your salvation...like you lose your car keys. I hate that term. I don't know anyone who thinks you can "lose" it...they just believe you can "give it up." You may disagree, and that's fine, I Just don't like inaccurate representation.

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  9. I don't think she is saying that believing is not enough, she is saying PRAYING a prayer is not enough. I prayed a prayer when I was 11, because everyone else was doing it! I was even baptized, and considered myself a Christian. But deep down, I knew it wasn't real. It wasn't until I was 29 that God broke down those walls I put up and I met Him face to face. Then I realized I had been deluding myself all that time. Now I do believe in once saved, always saved, but that is if you are truly saved to begin with! Just praying a prayer doesn't save you. Believing does. And when you truly believe, you will have fruit. I think that is the point of this post.

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  10. Mary@Finding Healthy HopeJanuary 29, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Hi, sweet Mandy. :)
    While I have several questions about this post, I am going to prayerfully seek God's help and guidance before fully responding. It's so hard to discuss on the computer. I wish we could sit down over coffee or tea. ;)
    I was wondering if you could please explain what you mean by 'chosen' in your above comment? I believe that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, and that He is all knowing and omnipotent meaning He knows who will and who will not choose Him, but His will is that ALL come to believe on Him. The Bible says that He died once for all sins. He could force us to believe, but He loves us enough to give us that choice, free will.
    I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was seven years old. From that moment on, I had a Heavenly Father that sealed me until the day of redemption. I was His and He was mine.
    For many, many years, I did not live a life that was pleasing to Christ, or one that shewed forth His fruit, but I was definitely still His child, and He my Father.
    I am praying for you today, because I know that this was hard for you to post, and I respect you for that. I hope you don't feel attacked in this, I just truly want to understand.
    Blessings to you.
    Mary

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  11. She's not saying that works save or that "Christ + Morality" saves, but the point is, if you ARE saved your life will shew the evidences of it by the way you live and the fruit you produce. Check out James 2: 14-20. It's not works for salvation, but the evidence of salvation through works. If you're not living for Christ, or producing any kind of spiritual fruit then you need to be examining your heart to see if you really ARE saved. That is her point. GREAT post by the way, Mandy!!!

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  12. thank you for commenting Stacey, but I definitely do not believe any thing you could do saved or unsaved, will get you to Heaven. No morality will ever be good enough. It is only Jesus, absolutely, and totally, He is the only way, the only perfect sacrifice, and it is through His grace that we are chosen for salvation- something we have absolutely nothing to do with.

    Here is what I believe in Ephesians 2: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

    We were saved by grace through faith created in Christ Jesus, not of or by our own works, but those who are chosen and saved are created for good works so that we might be bearers of His light and glory among the nations.

    I believe that a life that is truly saved will bear the fruit of salvation- which is the outward working of the inner heart. A branch that does not bear fruit does not abide in the vine. I believe if there are no visible signs of life in Christ in a person, there is no belief in Him. I hope that helps to clarify.

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  13. I actually don't agree. When I read your post, I see you preaching a salvation of works. Being good does not save. God's sacrifice of His Son does. All I need to do to get eternal life is to believe. There are no other conditions on salvation in the Bible.

    Now, in order to live a life that will be rewarded once I get to Heaven, I most certainly must obey God, and live in intimacy with Him. It is possible to be in Heaven, but not reign with Christ. I want so much more than to just show up!

    I know my point of view will not be popular, and I will be told I'm wrong. But I've done my research, and I am totally confident that we will all be surprised by who is in Heaven when we get there.

    Think of it this way. When does eternal life begin? If you read the scriptures, you will note that it begins at the moment you first believe. How long is eternal life? It doesn't end! It is a gift that will never be taken back!

    Here's another thought. You will always be your Father's daughter, no matter what happens in this life. You can choose to love him, and to be in close fellowship with him. This brings great reward, not only now, but more than likely, when he passes away, he will leave some sort of inheritance.

    If you choose to hate your Father, and not acknowledge the family tie, you are still his flesh and blood. However, you no longer have fellowship with him, and are not blessed by knowing him. When he dies, chances are, there will be nothing left for you.

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    1. Funny how two people can read this post and get opposite interpretations. I felt she was VERY clear that salvation is not works, but a Christian who is genuinely save WILL bear good fruit.. GOOD WORKS do not lead you to salvation, but Salvation leads you to good works. I thought she was very clear!

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    2. I agree with Stacey. This blog is fully wrong in that a prayer is not enough. She forgot to factor in the belief, and when the Holy Spirit comes to live inside you. Don't post such misleading view points. If just confuses people and causes so many to fear that a prayer was truly not enough to save them....You are wrong.

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  14. I definitely don't think she is preaching a salvation of works. I believes she's sharing a salvation that radically changes you life! And that's the salvation that scripture tells! She never says being good saves. In fact, she says the opposite. Morality doesn't save, only Christ.

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  15. But she is saying that believing isn't enough. You have to strive to be perfect to get to Heaven. I think we need to be careful that we don't make the gospel out to be something that it is not. She is saying Christ + Morality saves. That's not what my Bible says.

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    1. The Bible says BELIEVING isn't enough Stacey.
      James 2:19
      "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."
      No one knows that God as real as much as the devil. There is no doubt in his mind...but believing is not salvation. If it were, the devil and 1/3 of the angels would have never been kicked out of Heaven.
      Believing, however, is part of Salvation. You have to believe in God in order to be led to repentence.
      Where did she say that Christ + Morality saves? I guess I missed that part. I saw where she said, "Bearing fruit is not about how many services you go to, or how many times you teach Sunday school or volunteer at church, or how often you read your Bible. It's easy to measure those things- but they are not where salvation is."
      I'm giving you Scripture as to what my Bible, the KJV, says. I'm curious as to what YOUR bible says. Because apparently, you and I are reading from different ones. That will certainly cause differences in belief if we're reading different texts.

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  16. But, Christ without morality isn't Christ-like. The term "Christian" actually means "to be Christ like," "to pattern our lives after His example." The person who sits in a pew on Sunday morning, proclaiming to be a Christian based off of a spoken prayer cannot believe that they can leave on Sunday morning, live as the world throughout the week and return to church the next Sunday, believing that they've truly received Christ. What Mandy is saying is that those who claim to be saved because of a prayer but live an opposing lifestyle were probably never saved to begin with, not that salvation isn't eternal. A truly redeemed person bears fruit, showing that there are signs of change. If there is no evidence of Christ in our lives, it's quite possible that He isn't there. Salvation isn't by works, but true salvation yields a desire to work for Christ.

    "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." James 2:14-26

    A faith in Christ, salvation in Him is followed by deeds. We proclaim our salvation we "go into the world preaching and teaching the gospel (Mark 16:15) through the good works we do for Christ. Our works do not save us but they help us fulfill The Great Commission that Christ instucted us to be mindful of before His ascension.

    I hope this clears up a little. God bless you! :)

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  17. Additionally, I think that people who press the "belief only" don't realize that is it not our belief that saves us, it is God's grace that transforms us to be able to believe. I believe in "grace alone", but it is by God's unmerited favor, and not by our "work" of belief. But the evidence of our transformation will be that belief, and furthermore, our life will exhibit that transformation through obedience to God, adherance to the truth, and love for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

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  18. I wanted to add one more thing... the changes that the Holy Spirit makes in a believer's life might be gradual. It is so hard to find the balance between not discouraging genuine believers, and warning the self-deceived. We are to stir one another up, exhort one another, and find that we will have greater assurance the closer we stay to Christ and the more we obey Him, for that is what He has commanded us to do. I just SO do not want any true Christian to lose hope because of this blog post, thinking, "Well, I can't feel Him!" If you can't, pray, repent, and look away from yourself... to Jesus! That is where hope is! Okay, I'm done... :)

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  19. Thank you for your comment, Anna, I certainly don't mean to portray that true believers never have doubts- I definitely believe that we all do, and we are meant to test ourselves and see if we are in the faith, ever pushing and seeking for life in Christ, that we may be growing in Him. I only meant that if you don't think you've experienced the change of Holy Spirit in your life, you probably haven't. I edited it to clarify.

    I agree that the changes will often be gradual {and sometimes actually come at a later time than we expect},but the bigger picture shows a life of Him increasing, and us decreasing, and I think we will often go through peaks and valleys of life in Him during our journey, and that is completely normal. I hope that helps to clarify. It's hard to say everything in one post. :D

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  20. It isn't by our belief, but we certainly can't be saved if we don't believe ;)

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  21. Joann_rowdy_ava2007January 29, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Love it. Some people pray the prayer, believe with the intellect and not the heart, have absolutely NO sign ever of transformation, and think they are ok. You are telling the truth with love and don't back down:)

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  22. Yes, "the evidence of our transformation will be that belief."

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  23. So refreshing to see a "real" post about the truth of Jesus Christ. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. This is such a passion of my own to risk offending and just tell His truth which really does offend. One more passage of Scripture that was a life changer for me is John 5:39-40 where Jesus chastises us for our diligence in studying the Scriptures but REFUSING to come to Him for life. Oh, it is so true, when you KNOW that you KNOW Him, you can't keep the testimony to yourself ... just like the woman at the well. Many came to know Jesus because of her testimony and we should question our own faith if we don't want to do the same. How can we let Him change us from the inside out and keep it to ourselves!!! Thanks again and don't stop sharing! shirley-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.com

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  24. I really didn't see that either Stacey, though there is quite a bit of unbalance in her post that I see and don't agree with. I just wanted to politely second that I didn't see anywhere in this post where she said believing wasn't enough. On the contrary, I saw that she wanted us to have faith when we confess Jesus as Lord, and THEN because of our faith in Jesus we would be compelled to act differently. I think her point was that if we are not acting differently, perhaps our faith isn't in Jesus, which is a question we can all answer in our hearts.

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  25. domesticblissdiariesJanuary 29, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Mandy - thank you for writing such a courageous post. Judging from previous comments, this post has created quite a stir. I see several people have disagreed with what you have said, maybe because of how you worded things {which easily happens when it comes to conveying a message that has been typed vs talking face to face}. Regardless, I just wanted to encourage you as a fellow sister in Christ, that you are absolutely right. I kept thinking "Amen. Amen. Amen" as I read each word. A life that has genuinely been changed by Christ CANNOT look like those that have not. You WILL be different because Christ has done a transforming work in you. Our works are the "proof" of the faith that we say that we have. To look at it another way, someone who claims to be a Christian but lives in sin without any remorse is no Christian at all.

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  26. Thank you for this! I have seen God working in my life. He has even sent me messages through others when I wanted to give up. Had a guy walk up to me a few years ago (at A and W) whom I did not know but he acted like he knew me. I was there with my family in a deep depression didn't even have my head up at first. I was honestly thinking about suicide even though I knew God would not approve. I thought he was talking to someone behind me. Then he came right up to me and looked right in my eyes. He was a gentleman that had been in a terrible motorcycle accident. Walked with a can and had a bad limp He told me that I had a beautiful heart and to not give up, he kept on repeating it and then he told my husband that he was lucky to have a beautiful wife with a beautiful heart. He had trouble talking but I heard that loud and clear and the story of his life. He had a Bible with him..... This has kept me carrying on through the trials and tribulations of my life. This is what has made me love myself because we must love ourselves in order to love our neighbors.
    I get frustrated and sad when I see a family member that go to our church whom still lives a lifestyle of smoking pot and drinking and think that it is all right with God. This individual said they would not give it up..... Yet, this individuals sit in church on Sundays. I believe that once you accept Christ you may fall a time or two but you get up and he changes your heart to where you will not want to do the things you used to do. Your life should reflect the change and God will not ever be finished with you but there will be evidence along the way. We will never be perfect but we will have God's grace and mercy and not want to make a habit of any sin. He will set us free. "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." John 8:32 It won't even seem worth it and will not be desirable compared to a relationship with Christ. You only want to please God. I do realize that we will all struggle (The Bible is filled with people that were Godly and struggled with themselves) with sin, but we will not want to intentionally sin. As Paul wrote: "I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead I do the very thing I hate." Romans 7:15

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  27. Mandy, I got everything you said. I know that you know too that the only way to get to heaven is to open your heart and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. Sometimes it's hard to put in to words the deep feelings you have and are so easily misunderstood. Keep on loving the Lord and doing his good work by spreading his word and living the life.
    God bless you.

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  28. I didn't read that at all.... accept Christ as your personal savior, ask for forgiveness and try to follow in his image----which can mean many things, including the way your live your life and by your actions....

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  29. We can and are called to be able to definitively say what a "Christian" is by biblical standards. To answer "who decides?" is that God Himself through His Word has already said. There is evidence of new life. No evidence=no new life. Grace alone through faith alone, which is the gift of God, will result in a man walking in newness of life.

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  30. Mandy,
    I admire you and your words....What a post and response it brought. I think God is smiling that so many people stopped and spent time in thought over HIM. Its not for us to dispute what is laid on your heart but to pray it is used to honor and glory His name. Thank you for being so bold in your words and I pray they be used in the way I think you intended them to be. Debra

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  31. Your post came at the perfect time. I've been struggling lately in my walk with Christ. Thank you THANK YOU for this!

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  32. I whole heartily agree!!! I myself have just finished reading Crazy Love...it addresses this very issue of lukewarmness. The scriptures are very clear....so many just arent refreshing their memories or spending time with Gods word. Remember..as God called you to share such a sensative topic, there are many who wont understand, misunderstand, dont want to look in the mirror.....anything said isnt against you....not personally. Gods word thru u will not go out void....I will pray for those hearts who God has prepared to hear and recieve your plea.
    A sister in Christ who stands with you!!!

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  33. And there I agree with you ;) The words and the prayer do not save. Christ saves, but we must believe it in order to be saved!

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  34. Just to add...James 2:17 says "Faith without works is dead" in other words the Lord expects us not just to profess our faith but to live it out in every thing we do. And if we truly believe, our "works" will reflect that belief.

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  35. Heather @ It's A Long StoryJanuary 29, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Mandy, this post it beautiful. Absolutely, honestly, brutally beautiful. My heart aches like yours does for those who go through the motions. Thank you for writing what I'm sure was an incredibly difficult post. It was so obvious that the Holy Spirit is speaking through you. Keep talking!

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  36. There has to more than just belief though doesn't there? James 2:19 says that even the demons believed and shuddered-will they be in heaven because of their belief?

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  37. Jennifer CiarlettaJanuary 29, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Sweet Mandy, you are so bold and brave and I love t that you stepped out in obedience. I have an "unlost" son. He is 21, a fine young man who makes me smile and has the kindest heart in the world. He said a prayer of salvation when he was young. Since his senior year in high school he has chosen not to walk in fellowship with God. He is not bad, not making "bad" decisions but he isn't walking with God as if his very life depended on it. And you can tell. He doesn't lean on the Lord for wisdom in decision making, he doesn't involve the Lord in any area of his life. He tells us he is not atheist or agnostic, he believes in God. He just sees Him differently than we do. My daily prayer is that he will fall to the ever pursuing love of Jesus and be captivated by a love that is just for him. I pray for him constantly. Thankfully, he allows me to share my heart with him. He knows I pray for him. And I believe his heart is starting to turn. I want him to walk in a joy so deep inside he can't fathom life without it. I want the peace that Jesus gives to be a constant companion in his life and for him to know whatever storm comes his way, the Father is FOR HIM. I would give my life for it. It is the reason I pray...to see my boy come to Jesus again. We cannot be shy or fear man's reprisals. Believe that the words you gave will fall on some fertile soil and take root. It is life to those. The the others who disagree, peace and joy be with you. God is bigger than us of we are mistaken. No harm was meant; only life. Blessings. Praying!

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  38. I'm sorry but i don't agree completely. Salvation comes from faith alone. Nothing more. Nothing less. I have learned through my christian walk that conviction is not my job. The Holy Spirit convicts His children for a different reason--to restore fellowship and spiritual productivity.

    We are enslaved to sin. In fact, we cherish some sins. We do not want to let them go. We are quenching the Holy Spirit. We are out of fellowship with God, but never will he lose one of his own. We can not lose our salvation.

    We must caution our tendencies to judge the state of someone's salvation. We are not the judges. I know in my own life i can be spiritual one day and not the next. As a reminder i look at David, a man after God's own heart. He took another man's wife and committed murder. Look at Lot--his life resembles that of a lost person.

    The spiritual person must realize and be constantly aware of the fine line which separated him from the carnal man--a split second decision to sin.

    Keep on keeping on sister.

    The church as a whole needs to stop pointing fingers.

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    1. A born-again christian should never find solace in comparing themselves and identifying with those of the old testament or even with the disciples in the gospels. These people were not born again neither could they be and so if you are identifying with them then there is a problem. Look at the difference in the disciples from the gospels to the rest of the new testament. Their lives were radically changed when they were born again and Holy Ghost baptized!

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    2. If you're "Spiritual" one day, and "not" the next, I would say you were only deceiving yourself on that "Spiritual" day. In my experience, the closer I come to God, the more I realize that I'm not "Spiritual" at all.

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    3. Shelia,
      I disagree with your post n the fact that you say it's a split second decision to sin. The Apostle Paul said Sin shall not have dominion over you.
      Yes! A true christian CAN mess up and sin, but it should not be an everyday habit and if we do sin, we should repent right away and get it under the blood of Jesus.
      What you are referring to as "feeling spiritual one day and not the next" , simply means that you are fighting your carnal, fleshly nature and self. See, our spirit wars against our flesh and vice versa. This is a constant war and it will never go away, as long as we are here on this earth and in our natural bodies. The good news is that we DO NOT walk or live our lives by our feelings, which can be very deceptive. Yes, you can feel the Holy Spirit and its wonderful when you do, but we don't walk and live by our feelings or emotions. The Holy Spirit resides inside a true born again new creation in Christ. But we must learn to stir the spirit up within us. And we must seek for more and be FULL of the Holy Spirit.
      I totally get what the author was saying with her post. TRUE Salvation produces FRUIT and a radical change of heart and mind. It does not ever mean you will not mess up, cause you are human and at some point, it will happen. But we repent, get back up and go on serving the Lord! Salvation is NOT only a matter of repeating a prayer and believing,,,,,, there MUST be a change of heart also! True acceptance of Jesus Christ into your heart, WILL produce a radical change. Some people stop there, and go back to self indulgent lifestyles and back into sin. It's a daily walk. We must learn more about the Lord and his ways and read our Bibles and get into a good bible based church. We MUST keep growing in the Lord and Progressing!
      Works do not save you, but I firmly beleive that works will FOLLOW true Salvation. Jesus will put a desire in your heart to work for his kingdom and reach out to others.
      I believe the author was not trying to be the Holy Spirit, she was merely speaking what the Holy Spirit spoke to her heart. She as obeying the Lord.

      +And I do thank the author for writing this article! I cannot tell you how long this subject and burden has been on my heart too. Too many people believe that Salvation is a beginning and end and its NOT!
      I shared your article on my Facebook page, and prayed it would fall upon the eyes and hearts ready to receive it.
      THANK YOU Mandy for obeying the Lord in this article! I came across is a whole 2 years later and God is STILL using it!!!


      For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

      15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

      16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

      17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

      18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

      19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

      20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

      21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

      22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

      23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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  39. savedbygracealone1January 29, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    So we have to somehow prove that we are saved by our good works?

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  40. savedbygracealone1January 29, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Carrie, "living" for Him is not what He asks you today. God wants you to accept His Son's payment for sin on the cross and trust that as your ONLY way to heaven. Asking Jesus into your heart is NOT the gospel that saves you nor does the Bible tell you to do that to be saved. Trust me. I did that for 38 years until someone showed me the truth. Salvation is a GIFT of God, NOT of works, lest any man should boast Eph 2:8 & 9. It is about accepting God's Son and His death, burial and resurrection as a full and satisfying payment for sin. It's not just believing but trusting God by faith in His son that He did the work for you. Jesus paid our debt in full. That is what we are to believe and it's a life or death belief. Your sin was paid for once and that was on the cross. He died once for sin Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He died for us and we think some how we can be good enough to merit His love by our works? The Bible tells us our good works are filthy rags. Of course good works are what we SHOULD do but that's not what our salvation is based on today. God asks you to put your faith and trust in His Son. If you don't, you are trusting in your own works to save you or keep you saved. It's a gift, not based on what you do but based on what Jesus has already done for you!

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    1. Wow, that is the first time I heard someone else with a similar testimony as mine!I too prayed the sinners prayer for over 20 years never truly understanding the finished work of Christ.It wasn't until I was in a place that I finally began to seek God out, and found myself among a group who was singing and lifting there hands up to the sky, that the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, the song was "Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord" and He did just that!the gospel message I had heard as a young girl finally made sense,Jesus, God's Son, suffered,shed His precious blood,and died to pay for all my sins, past present and future, but he didn't just die, He was ALIVE and I could know Him!That day He became my Lord and Saviour, as I trusted Him with my life, and The Holy Spirit quickened my spirit, giving me eyes to see Jesus high and lifted up, and making me a child of the Most High God,I now had someone to call Abba, Father!!!And He will never leave me nor forsake me!I know this because His Spirit bears witness with my spirit, convicting, comforting, and conforming me.I could go on, and on, and on.... Let's continue to share the Good News, and share what He puts on our hearts, and let the Holy Spirit do His work.Because Jesus Lives!









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  41. savedbygracealone1January 29, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Being a good person won't get anyone into heaven. Being kind, generous, religious, caring, honest only makes you a good person, not a righteous one. If you do not believe that Jesus died for all of your sins, placing them onto His account and in turn placing His righteousness onto your account, and He being raised from the dead fully justifies you in the eyes of God whereby you are declared RIGHTEOUS - all you are is a hell-bound good person.

    Philippians 3:9
    And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

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  42. Joann_rowdy_ava2007January 29, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    ...also, we are His workmanship created for good works. That's not my words-those are HIS. If you have been saved by the grace, mercy, and awesome work of the Lord Jesus Christ, there WILL be a difference between you and the world. AND it is up to you to examine yourself, as someone said earlier. Yes, we are saved by grace, but not cheap grace that allows any and everything and still lays claim to eternal life.

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  43. Great post Mandy!!! This is one of the most important subjects for American Christians to discuss. One thing I must point out to those of you that believe "once saved always saved" is: If you can lose your salvation then you are in big trouble because you could end up without God in eternity, thinking the little sin that has been on your conscience for many years was not worth "giving up" for Christ, because you'll always have your salvation. If you are right in your doctrine then WE (those of us that don't believe that doctrine) certainly have nothing to worry about. Those who believe in "eternal security" should carefully examine the things we say because you have everything to lose if your wrong. I suppose I could write over 100 page book on how our salvation is conditional backed with hundreds of scripture, however I will present only a few strong scriptures that indicate this: 1Co 9:27 but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected. The is the apostle Paul speaking here. The word he used tanslated "rejected" here is "adokimos". It means reprobate. Here is the websters dic. definition for reprobate:

    1. Not enduring proof or trial; not of standard purity or fineness; disallowed; rejected.

    Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them. Jer 6.

    2. Abandoned in sin; lost to virtue or grace.

    They profess that they know God, but in works deny him, being abominable and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate. Titus 1.

    3. Abandoned to error, or in apostasy. 2 Tim 3.

    REP'ROBATE, n. A person abandoned to sin; one lost to virtue and religion.

    I acknowledge myself a reprobate, a villain, a traitor to the king.

    REP'ROBATE, v.t.

    1. To disapprove with detestation or marks of extreme dislike; to disallow; to reject. It expresses more than disapprove or disallow. We disapprove of slight faults and improprieties; we reprobate what is mean or criminal.

    2. In a milder sense, to disallow.

    Such an answer as this, is reprobated and disallowed of in law.

    3. To abandon to wickedness and eternal destruction.

    4. To abandon to his sentence, without hope of pardon.

    This word "adokimos" is used in the following passages of scripture: Rom 1:28/2 Cor 13:5-7/ 2 Tim 3:8/ Tit 1:16.
    All of you who believe in unconditional salvation, please understand that I love you, and speak this out of the deepest desire in my heart to see you abiding in Christ firm unto the end, and to have fellowship with you in eternity. Please consider this question: If Paul could be reprobate, after having the anointing that he had, how is it that we could not?

    Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge (Gr: Epignosis: Full discernment of Christ, being in participation with the knowledge-taken from Complete Word Study Dictionary) of the truth, there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins,
    Heb 10:27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries.

    So we can be in participation with the knowledge of the truth. Then we can sin wilfully against our conscience and be without a sacrifice, truthfully what this verse is expressing. How can we be without a sacrifice for our sins and still have salvation?

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    1. I just hate the term "lose your salvation." Like you "lose your car keys." Salvation can't be misplaced. If someone who is genuinely saved, ask God to take back His gift, that's not "losing your salvation", but "giving it up."

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  44. Joann_rowdy_ava2007January 29, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Of course not...but you WILL bear Godly fruit if you are saved. There WILL be a transformation. You don't have to be concerned about proving anything to your fellow man, but we should be very concerned about bearing fruit before God. The axe is laid at the foot of the tree. Does that not say to us that we'd best be fruit-bearers?

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  45. Hello sister, I also believe that salvation comes through faith, by grace, and I believe that this faith will bring forth fruit as James talked about: Jas 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but have not works? can that faith save him? I think we can make a "dead faith" at times in which we term "belief in Christ" as mere "mental consent of him". James spoke of this: Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself.
    Jas 2:18 Yea, a man will say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith apart from thy works, and I by my works will show thee my faith.
    Jas 2:19 Thou believest that God is one; thou doest well: the demons also believe, and shudder.
    Jas 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is barren?

    When you say we are saved by faith alone, do you mean a faith that brings about Christ's good fruit in our lives, or mental consent and agreement with Christ's testimony? Thank you, my God bless you with his goodness!!

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  46. Mandy, What an amazing post. You have just answered so many questions for me. I am a true believer in Christ, and I try to live for him every second of the day. There are many areas in my life I need to change for Him and every minute of the day is a learning experience for me.

    There are so many people in my life that believe in Christ, and think that that is all that is needed. There are so many others who believe, who go to church, but then 12:30 on Sunday rolls around and it is like they never set foot in church. I sometimes questioned myself if this is enough for them, really? I want so much for my family and friends to go to heaven, to have what I have, but they think that there world is good, that just believing but not really knowing is okay, that it is enough.

    My children just asked Jesus into their hearts on Sunday. I am so proud. But I know that is only one part, that even though they asked Jesus into their hearts, that they now have and need to live for him. My job definitely is not done. But I know that for many it would all end here thinking they have done enough. How can you explain the goodness of having Him in your heart to someone who thinks this "world" is enough and that just believing is "good enough". I too pray for all the unlost.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Grace and peace to you

    Carrie

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  47. You are so right with this. After doing a study on I John, I have become passionately convinced that our churches are filled with people who think they are Christians, and are not. John's three tests: believing the truth, obedience, and love will be how we know we are truly His disciples. The "easy believism" of many feel-good short-term missions trips shakes me to the core. We package these trips in such a way as to allow nominal Christians to minister to the lost in other countries, who then pass on this "prayed the prayer" mentality, and convince and are convinced themselves that they have led many souls to the Lord. All so they can post it on facebook and have moving testimony via powerpoint presentations to the folks back home. Certainly not all of it is like that, but I fear the vast majority is. What a disservice and TRAGEDY to the people in these countries who need to hear the truth. May we always test ourselves and challenge others with the truth.

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    1. "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

      And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
      Matthew 7:22 & 23

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  48. Just one more verse for now: 2Pe 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the last state is become worse with them than the first.
    2Pe 2:21 For it were better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
    I think we all agree here that without Jesus we are condemned to hell, So if it is better for us not to know him then to turn from him after we "have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" how could we possibly still have salvation in this state? If we are worse off following Jesus and then turning back to the world, then if we never followed him at all, how could we still make heaven? certainly even the worse state in heaven is far worse then the best state in hell. Again the Gr. word used for knowledge here is Epignosis (participating in the knowledge if defers from the Gr. Gnosis, which is just to know something) This undoubtedly speaks of a christian who has fallen back into sin and worldliness.

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  49. Joann_rowdy_ava2007January 29, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Exactly, Ben!! I am not sure how all this scripture this can be explained away through the eternal salvation doctrine. Well said.

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    1. What does it matter if a CHRISTIAN living for God believes in eternal salvation or not? The Baptists say the Free Wills and Pentecosts think you can "lose" your Salvation...like you lose your car keys...which is not true (they believe you can "give up" your Salvation, but it's your choice...you can't misplace it). But then they turn around and blame the Baptists in saying that they believe you can get saved and do whatever you want (while this is true for many benchwarmers in the Baptist church, the true Christians in the church will tell you that if you're living for yourself, you were probably never really saved to begin with).

      So if you're saved and backslid, or if you were never really saved to begin with...what does it matter?! That person needs to be SAVED! We need to knock down these denominational divides and focus on the person's soul. The devil uses this for us to bicker with eachother and never win souls for Him. The person is lost, however they got there, we may disagree, but the point is THEY NEED JESUS! Let's focus on that!

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  50. Do you believe that this faith in Christ Philippians 3:9 speaks about will bring about the works of Christ in the ones life who believes?

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  51. Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins. Does this verse says "save his people from the guilt of their sin"? Does it say "from the penalty of their sins"? Or does it say "from their sins"? Brother I press you to read this next passage being honest with the text:
    Joh 8:31 Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples;
    Joh 8:32 and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
    Joh 8:33 They answered unto him, We are Abraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
    Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin.
    Joh 8:35 And the bondservant abideth not in the house for ever: the son abideth for ever.
    Joh 8:36 If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

    These Jews thought Jesus meant "Free men" when he said Free, but Jesus clarified that they were not free when still committing sin. IF Christ has saved us from our sins, and made us free from sin, in which he himself defines this freedom as no longer committing the sin, then how can we say that works will not follow our belief in Christ? Jesus said himself: If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; Certainly we should believe what Jesus says here, after all he is the word made flesh! May God bless you with his goodness!

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  52. savedbygracealone1January 29, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    That is just not true. We are saved by grace Eph 2:8 & 9 and we are sealed unto the day of redemption Eph 4:30. You are confusing Israel's program of law with our program today of grace. The whole book of Galatians is Paul dealing with people refusing to see the change that happened from law to grace. We have received a gift, not of works least any man should boast. If it was salvation by your good works, even just one then you could boast that you were saved by something you did. Jesus didn't go to the cross so you could be good. He went to the cross because He knows you can't and never could. He paid the sin debt in full and only by our faith in what His Son did for us can we know total and utter love and forgiveness.

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  53. Thanks for sharing this, your words are always incouraging! I know a lot of people like this, even in my own family and its sad that they aren't living fully for God. I just hope they will realize their ways before it's too late!

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  54. I just stumbled across your blog, and, wow. Yes. This is something that has been heavy on my heart lately, too, and something I have been talking about with God. When you grow up going to church every Sunday, it's easy to believe that's all there is to it. That, and trying to be a good person. That's how I grew up. But I always took that next step when God revealed it to me, and when, in high school, I encountered people who talked about Jesus like they knew Him and read the Bible outside of church like it was relevant to the rest of the week, I wanted that, too. All it took was seeing other people living that out and loving me and being prepared to give an answer when I asked. Be encouraged: That's all God asks of us. Only He can do the rest!

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  55. Mandy-As a child of God- you have shown that you hear HIS voice and are obedient to it. My brother who is a minister would have many sleepless nights with the same burden on his heart. Reading your post reminded me of the conversations that we had. He was only 19 years old when he made the choice to follow God and do HIS work--What blessings he received-At the time he made his decision, He had a full scholarship to Texas A&M in the engineering Dept. He could not sleep one night in his dorm room and called to inform us that he felt led to go into full-time ministry and become a pastor. To say the least-He had to work 3 jobs in order to pay for his tuition and received a doctorate in Theology from Baylor. He went on numerous mission trips and had such peace by helping so many. Mandy-I know that you are a Make-It-Happen & Happy person-God is smiling because I (who normally does not read or reply to posts) saw yours. I know that by your invitation to pray-talk-share Gods word-will be a blessing to so many. I am asking you to please pray for Selena Perkins to give her comfort in the loss of her beloved Momma. God Bless You and your family on the mission field of East Texas- :)

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  56. I appreciate your willingness to write what's one your heart. It's true that many who think their saved aren't and won't be if they keep holding onto false hope. Christians follow Christ, and following Christ means giving up self and so that we are conformed to His image. We give up our will for His in every aspect of life. Can't attend church and go to Heaven. Have to do the will of the Father like the Lord says in Matthew 7:21

    "Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who DOES the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter."

    We have to do what God wants.

    These are some great sermons about salvation that I encourage any and all to listen to. The podcasts are wonderful and are a huge blessing.

    (Simple Truth About Salvation) http://www.justchristians.com/podcast/mark-roberts/simple-truth-about-salvation/?sort=-pub_date&page=4

    (Truly Transformed) http://www.justchristians.com/podcast/mark-roberts/truly-transformed/?sort=-pub_date&page=5

    (Blessed Assurance) http://www.justchristians.com/podcast/mark-roberts/blessed-assurance/?sort=-pub_date&page=1

    -Narobi

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  57. But if we have to "believe" in order to be saved, that almost makes it sound like a work. The Holy Spirit works repentance and belief in us, responding to the call of Christ, we don't muster belief up on our own, because we are "dead in our sins". Someone who is dead cannot bring themselves to life again. Hence being saved by grace (unmerited favor) through faith, not of ourselves. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    And I agree with Mandy, we can't know each individual's heart, but a life of faith does show itself in some way. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation!"

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  58. I believe that verse in James is referring to a "knowledge" of God, acknowledgment of his existence, a belief that there is a God, not a "saving faith". Hope that helps!

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  59. AMEN!!!! When you say YES to Christ, you are dying to yourself EVERYDAY. You are rejecting the world, renewing your mind to be like Christ.. the more You find Him, the more You know Him.. how can one NOT be transformed by grace? We have so many christians today who are asleep when the battle is above their heads. Jesus is victorious and He chooses us to fight with Him.. in HIM! This is so good.
    It is not by works certainly but when you seek Christ, you bear fruit because He is working within you leading to do "works" but not LIVE by works! to live by FAITH ALONE! When you work, He pours grace and rest upon the burdened and weary. which is why we must keep our lovesick gaze upon Christ.. one look away, we find ourselves lost or lukewarm. OH how I pray that the unlost would awaken their souls to the coming of Christ!!!

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  60. I think you should read the New Testament carefully and see what kind of "works" Christ did. I believe the works that you're talking about is the mindset of the pharisees rather than the works Christ did here on earth or people who serve out of their flesh rather than the Spirit. There are plenty of Christians who work without the heart of Christ even if they "believe" in Christ. When Christ takes over, we bear fruit for He is our root. If you don't bear fruit, He will cut you off. Transformation is vital in our actions and speech when we know Christ intimately. We certainly have to believe first but our works, I like the work serving better.. comes naturally as we know Christ deeply. It becomes.. joyous! Faith without deeds is dead.. and deeds without faith is certainly DEAD-ER!

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  61. I read this post earlier and had to think about some stuff before commenting. Now that I've read the comments, I don't feel like I have much to add to the conversation. I don't know that I agree with everything you said but I think we can all agree the modern day American church has settled in a comfortable place of complacency. We've become the church of Laodicea that the Lord chastised in the book of Revelation. So what are we going to do about it? I think talking about it, bringing it to light, is the first step. So thank you, Mandy, for following the prompting of the Lord and writing this post. We may not all agree but look at what a great discussion you've started here! I just know the Lord is going to bless your obedience!

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  62. Mandy,

    I appreciate your willingness to write what's one your heart. It's true that many who think their saved aren't and won't be if they keep holding onto false hope. Christians follow Christ, and following Christ means giving up self and so that we are conformed to His image. We give up our will for His in every aspect of life. Can't attend church and go to Heaven. Have to do the will of the Father like the Lord says in Matthew 7:21

    "Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who DOES the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter."

    We have to do what God wants.

    These are some great sermons about salvation that I encourage any and all to listen to. The podcasts are wonderful and are a huge blessing.

    (Simple Truth About Salvation) http://www.justchristians.com/...

    (Truly Transformed) http://www.justchristians.com/...

    (Blessed Assurance) http://www.justchristians.com/...

    -Narobi

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  63. However, I do agree with you!! just wanted to share my thoughts :)

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  64. Thank you for your post. I do think you see more of this in the Bible Belt culture. I live on Long Island, NY and it's not popular at all to be a Christian. So you see a lot less lukewarmness. People portray even the word "Christian" as a negative thing so if a person declares they're a Christian, they're usually trying by God's grace to live like a Christian.

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  65. In short i'm simply saying that i believe that there will be people in heaven that have lived years enslaved to sin. I also believe 100% that there will be people that i think are godly people and Christ will say, "Depart from me i never knew you". It's simply grace. Our infinite minds can not comprehend this. We should strive to live in obedience--fruit filled lives, but i believe there will be people in heaven that have struggled with their sinful nature their whole life. We are called to love...if one professes with their mouth they are saved...it's up to us as a church to help them along. I am not a judge. I did not die for their sins. Its not up to me to point my fingers and try to figure out if someone's life reflects what i think a saved person should look like.

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  66. I agree with you in the aspect of people being enslaved to certain sins and still making heaven. If the requirement was that we overcome all sin in our life before being accepted into heaven, then certainly few if any would make it. But to be as Paul who said "I press on towards perfections" should always be our focus as Christians. Jesus gave us a condition of bearing fruit, in order to be not taken away and burned (check Mat 3:10/7:19/Jn15:2-6/lk3:9) , and of course he told HIS DISCIPLES to continue to ABIDE IN HIM, in order to continually bear fruit. I have a question for you: in one instance you said we could never lose our salvation, yet in the other instance you stated you believe that Jesus will say: "Depart from me i never knew you" to certain who called him Lord and actually did many mighty works in his name, including miracles and casting out demons. Jesus said Satan cannot cast out Satan, so this group certainly must of had salvation at one point, but in some area of their life the fell back into being "workers of iniquity". How is it that this group lost their salvation? Unless you believe they never had it in the first place. The only objection I would have if this were the case is why did Jesus not call them out on lying about casting out demons (which they could have only done abiding in him by his authority)? Instead Jesus said they were workers of iniquity. He did not argue with them doing the works, and miracles, and exorcisms in his name, but rather gave them reason for non entrance. Prior to that he said: Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. He did not say "everyone that asks me into their heart" but rather everyone who DOES THE WILL of my father. So Jesus laid down a condition here of "doing the will of the father", which is a continual act done continually through life. A righteous man falls seven times but gets back up. If we fall, there is no sense in condemnation, however we need to confess and continue to fight the good fight of faith and LAY HOLD on the promise of life eternal. Thank you sister for your considerations, I appreciate your time and I pray that the Lord will continue to bless you with all of his goodness, peace, joy, security and happiness in Jesus name. Amen.

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  67. I'm sorry, I forgot to point out in my last comment that I totally agree with the last couple statements you made too: "We are called to love...if one professes with their mouth they are saved...it's up to us as a church to help them along. I am not a judge. I did not die for their sins. Its not up to me to point my fingers and try to figure out if someone's life reflects what i think a saved person should look like."

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    1. I agree. HIS church should encourage believers and unbelievers alike in LOVE. There's no room for judgement in love.

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  68. You rock, preach it sister. God is using you to touch hearts. Thanks for stepping out and telling like it is.

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  69. We say "what about this verse: Joh 10:28 and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. Does not this prove that we are once saved always saved?' Have we forgot to consider the verse before? Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and THEY FOLLOW me: the characteristic of his sheep is that they follow him. What happens when they stop following him? "Disciple" comes from the Greek word Mathetes: learner and follower. But what conditions did Jesus give to being a "disciple"? Joh 8:31 Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; Joh 8:32 and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
    CONDITION: abide in his word. Characteristics that would follow: Knowing the truth, being made free. What is "being made free"? Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin. Joh 8:35 And the bondservant abideth not in the house for ever: the son abideth for ever. Joh 8:36 If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. This verse says to commit sin is to be in bondage to it. If Christ, the Son, has come to make us free, then this implies that we would no longer commit the sin!!! Jesus plainly said if we commit the sin then we are not free from it! Christ came not to only redeem us from the penalty of sin but to redeem us from the sin nature itself, therefore making us free! Read all of Romans Ch 6, Praise God for making us free from the power sin holds in our lives! Yes it is his righteous in us, as we partake of the divine nature, being resurrected in a newness of life, putting away the old man and his selfish works. Is not that the gospel? What were the other conditions Jesus gave for his disciples? Luk 9:23 And he said unto all, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. In order to follow him we must daily take up our cross? What is unconditional about this salvation? Please be honest with yourself, and be honest with God. His words will be our judge when we leave this world.

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  70. savedbygracealone1January 29, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    A Christian is not a good person, they are a saved person. Not because they do something but because of what Christ did for them. Works are not proof of salvation. If you could be good, then Christ died for nothing. He had to die because we could never be good enough!

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  71. Ah, how refreshing. :) I'm new to reading your blog...and, my name is Mandi. Knew I liked you :) I so appreciate this post and hearing your heart. My husband is a youth pastor and we have the GREAT opportunity to work with teenagers at our church. This is a category many, many youth fall into. But not youth alone, I know. Saying the prayer...walking the aisle...but no heart or life change. The bible is very clear that salvation is simple but calls for a changed life. :)
    Thanks for speaking boldly on what is TRUE, sister.

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  72. That does clarify a bit, but I still don't agree 100%. It is not for us to judge, and I think it's a cop out to say that these people didn't "truly believe". Where is the line? Who decides?

    Many people overlook the rewards in Heaven. Heaven itself isn't the reward for a faithful life. Heaven (eternal life) is what you get at the moment you first believe. I do agree that it is possible to say a "sinner's prayer" (which I don't agree with either) and not believe. But I also believe that the quality of our relationship with God while we are here on earth will determine the quality of life and rewards when we get to Heaven. For one who simply believes, but never changes their life, there will still certainly be Heaven. But for those who are faithful, they will RULE with Christ! How exciting is that!

    If you are questioning anything that I believe, feel free to check out http://faithalone.org or anything written by Zane Hodges, Jody Dillow, or Bob Wilkin

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    1. God decides, but I'm not sure where you're getting that it's not our place to judge. That's not in line with Scripture...now certainly we can't judge our brother for having a splinter in his eye when we have a beam in our own eye. I was agreeing with you pretty good until you said, "For one who simply believes, but never changes their life, there will certainly be Heaven." It's just not Biblical:
      "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

      And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

      You see, THEY believed in Jesus. They just didn't want to SERVE Him.

      James 2:19
      "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."

      The devil himself KNOWS better than anyone that God is real! He believes in God. Why did he get cast into Hell?

      You made a lot of statements of what you believe, but I haven't seen any Scripture. In fact, my Scripture shows opposite what you're saying.

      Can you please show me where you're getting this? And please, not from a link from someone else as you posted. You should have said, "If you are questioning anything that I believe, feel free to check out 'this chapter and this verse.'"

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  73. Mandy, this was excellent, so well shared with love and honesty holding hands. It makes me want to get to know you more! I'm also so passionate for the "Christians" who are stuck, the "Christians" who perhaps never got discipled. Who just went about doing what they were told and never got to know God Himself. Who like you said, perhaps don't even have the Spirit in them. Keep sharing your heart girl! ~ Blessings, Amy Alves

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  74. Great post that makes you stop and think. Great comments & discussion. When I first read the post I was kind of taken back, then read the comments, then went back and re-read the post and truly understand what you are saying.

    As far as some of the comments. One of them said something about if you doubt you're a Christian, then you're not one. Or they thought that was what your post had said, even thought it didn't. I know when I was depressed right after my first child was born, I questioned my salvation. At the time we had an old, wise pastor who was teaching at our church. Finally, after weeks and weeks of driving myself crazy I asked him about my questioning my salvation. He simply stated, "if you didn't have, you wouldn't question it." I honestly believe that. Why would Satan waste his time on someone who has no salvation with making them think they didn't?

    Second off, the once saved always saved. I believe that. Of course I was raised southern baptist. A question for those who don't believe in eternal salvation. I assume those who don't believe in eternal salvation think they have to ask forgivenss and get saved each time they commit a sin. (I may be wrong about that belief, so maybe the better question would be what exactly do you believe?)

    But first - there are two types of sin, sins of omission and sins of comission. Sins of omission are sins of not doing, of omitting, that which God commands us to do - not thinking, saying, and doing that which God requires of us in His law. Sins of omission testify of our failure to live up to the standard of God's law, to live the life we should. Sins of commission are sins of doing, of committing, that which God forbids us to do - thinking, saying, and doing that which God forbids in His law. Sins of commission testify of our rebellion against God, our transgressions of His commandments."

    For my question now, if you were out walking down the street and for some reason one minute you passed a stranger and had a nudging of your heart to tell him about Christ. Well, you didn't because you were running late for work. Before you can ask forgivness for that sin of omission a car strikes you and you die instantly. Or what if (your a male) you walk past a woman and think a lustful thought before you can ask forgivness a shoots you and you die instantly. Since you died instantly and can't ask forgiveness for those sins, do you go to hell?

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  75. No, you don't get saved again. You live day by day in the spirit and your sins are covered by the blood. By not believing in the once saved doctrine, all I am saying is that once saved, you CAN be lost if you reject or "crucify the Son of God anew" (scripture, not my words). If you care to research, there are numerous scriptures that speak of people who once knew God but rejected him. Second Peter 2:21 is one of those.
    As for the question, I don't believe that a sovereign God who knows the heart of his child would allow one of his children to die in that manner if he had ought to repent of, do you?

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    1. For anyone looking for your verse:
      Hebrews 6:6
      If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

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  76. I love this post! I grew up believing "once saved, always saved". While I don't like the term "loose your salvation" because I didn't "loose" it, I agree with it. The Bible says over and over again "abound" "maintain" "continue in" (I have scripture for anyone who would like it). One big thing God showed me was concerning eternal/everlasting life. If you automatically received eternal life the moment you asked Christ into your heart you would live forever.... ETERNAL life. We don't receive eternal life until we get to heaven. No, we don't work our way to heaven, but God does expect us to live a life striving to be like Him. James 2 explains this perfectly! "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone". (James 2:14-17 KJV). "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:24, 26 KJV)

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  77. Wow Mandy. Thank you for sharing. Crazy Love by Francis Chan definitely speaks to this same group. I have been listening to some sermons from the book of Romans and in Romans 1: 5 it says we have the grace and apostleship of the Lord Jesus Christ, "to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake (NASB)." My pastor's words really hit hard when he shared that true saving faith is a faith of obedience. Although we believe in salvation through faith alone, this faith, if true saving faith, will be obedient faith and therefore produce fruit.

    You can also see in James that faith is followed by action: James 14:19: "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. (NIV)"

    I believe that one of the greatest misunderstandings in the church today is the idea of grace. The idea is that we extend grace to our brother and sister who prayed the prayer but have no desire to live the life. Yes, grace exists because we are sinners but as Paul states in Romans 6:1-2, "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?" Now, are we to judge this man or woman who prayed the prayer but is not living the life? No, we are to extend mercy. James 2:13 says, "Mercy triumphs over judgment!"

    The best thing we can do for any man or woman is continue to share the basic understanding of the gospel. When they desire to learn more, we share more. We all need to take steps closer to Christ. No matter where we are on the road of spiritual maturity (non-believers, baby Christians, adolescents, etc) we can all continue to learn from the basic gospel (the book of Romans!). If someone has "prayed the prayer" and believes they are a believer then we must continue to encourage them down that path. Lord willing, if they do not already understand then God will allow them to see truth and believe. If they are already Christians then, Lord willing, the desire to grow will flame up inside them and we will see growth. Praise God we are all walking together on this path and can encourage each other and pray for each other as we walk! To God be the glory!

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  78. Such a blessing to read this post. I travel around the country with my husband for his work. We're expecting our first child this Fall and I'm transitioning to being a stay at home mom. I always dreamed of having all of this time to devote to the Lord and spend time in His presence. I only truly met Jesus about 3 years ago. (Grew up in religion, just never knew He wanted to be IN my life) Instead of spending my time with the Lord, I'm spending it watching meaningless TV shows..etc. I have struggled and become basically disappointed in myself and my lack of..well everything Christ-like. I want to know God more, I want to have a prayer life, I want to see things in my life change but for whatever reason its as though I allow the enemy to win day after day. Your post has reminded me why it is the enemy wants me lukewarm. I KNOW what it feels like to be on fire!! I know how quickly He can build things up that have been torn down. I know in His presence I will be made complete and powerful. (Please hear my heart, I believe you understand what I mean by a powerful woman) Thank you for being honest with us. Thank you for helping me take even just one little step towards where I want to be. Lukewarm is more uncomfortable and unsatisfying than having never met Him because I know what I am missing out on. I know there's more and I am determined to have more of Him. Thank you Mandy.

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  79. I can relate to you in so many ways!!

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  80. I just LOVE this, Mandy and I'm so glad that you brought it to light. I was never really introduced to the idea of "once saved always saved" until I moved here, to Tennessee. All of my life, I've known from God's Word and His instruction that we are totally able to fall from grace, to opt out of a fully sold out, Christian lifestyle. I had my first confrontation of this topic whenever John 10:28 was brought up in casual conversation:

    "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand."

    Honestly, up until that point, I hadn't really given the verse much deep thought, as I had others pertaining to salvation. But, after researching it more, I realized that neither had the person who had brought it up. I found that in the argument of "eternal security" those who believe they are saved through a simple phrase only use this verse to justify their idea of salvation. However, upon reading it and studying alternate verses supporting salvation, I found that the verse means something totally different.

    Yes, we are granted with eternal life, a life of bliss with our Savior in Heaven, someday, upon the moment was Ask, Believe and Confess, but, as you wrote above, there is another step. After repentance, there should be a turning away from sin. Although our works do not save us, a true Christian's life shows the evidence of repentance. We cannot whisper the salvation prayer, planning to continue in the lifestyle we live, and expect forgiveness. We aren't called to be perfect, for we're all sinners, but we're called to live as the redeemed: sold out for Christ.

    If the verse is read carefully and properly one will understand that "no one" is pertaining to others ability to pull us from grace. In other words, the blame of our falling from grace or our confusion that we were ever truly "saved" in the first place if our lives bear no fruit can only be cast on ourselves. "No one will snatch them out of my hand..." but we can choose to step out of His hand.

    I commend you for being brave enough to shed light on this topic, as it is one that is danced around in churches today. The evidence of Christ in your life is unmistakeable and I'm so happy to follow your blog as you share the gospel with others. Keep speaking the truth, Mandy. It surely resonates with my heart.

    -Erin

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  81. Mandy,

    You are right about this group in the church today! This must have taken quite a bit of courage to write, and it is a touchy issue that hasn't been closely looked at, but like you, I believe was close to the heart of Jesus. As a sister in Christ, I am very proud you took a stand and chose to write on this matter. I would like to address something that I saw, that I hope will edify you and encourage you to keep proclaiming the gospel.

    I am a little concerned that in your post, you might have sown doubt instead of edifying current believers. I saw this in how you were identifying a lukewarm believer. I think there is a distinction between a lukewarm believer and a person who never legitimately repented of their sins and truly submitted their will to Christ. Jesus makes it clear in Rev 3:16 that a lukewarm believer in short, grosses him out. However, by the rebuke he gives and the fact that he says he disciplines his children, I think even lukewarm believers are still believers. Is there a need for more repentance? Yes. Absolutely. However, I do think they are still part of the kingdom of God.

    Then there are of course the ones who think they can "pray a prayer" but never submit their will to God and never repent of their sins, and they will not see heaven because Jesus will not know them. Matt 7:21-23

    Your quote, "The unlost are those whom are lost but think they are safe." makes me feel like those in my first group would fear for their supreme and excellent security in Christ. I believe that while they have taken advantage of it (haven't we all), they have not lost it. And it seems to me like you are saying they never had it to begin with?

    Maybe we agree in all accounts? Then I am asking for a little more clarification. Maybe we don't? Then I am asking that you would humbly submit my ideas to the Holy Spirit in prayer, and he will lead you to all truths (which is to say, I might be wrong).

    Either way, the meat of this post is important, and though it sounds like it took you to the edge of your courage, let me say again that I am proud of you sister, and could I, I would give you a big hug!

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  82. I don't think that's what she said at all. In fact, she's very clear that being a morally good person, going to church, etc is not enough. It's where you look for your guidance; it's who you serve. The truth is, if we love God as much as we say we do, seek him with all our hearts as we should, it will completely change who we are. It will be evident in the fruit of the Spirit being manifested in us. As that fruit blossoms and grows, it can't help but changes what we do on the outside. Remember, believing isn't enough... even the demons believe that Jesus is God. It's what we do with that belief that shows if we have allowed Him to reign in our hearts and lives.

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  83. domesticblissdiariesJanuary 29, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    James 2:14-26 says that "faith without works is dead". True faith produces works. If you are truly saved, your life will be the proof of that faith. Yes, you will still sin and God's grace will cover that sin. But, someone who said a prayer {mere words} but lives their life however they want, with total disregard to scripture, is not truly a Christian. Also, in John 14:15, Jesus says "if you love me, you WILL keep my commandments." {emphasis mine}.

    I would actually go as far as to say that we will be surprise how many people are NOT in heaven.

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  84. You are so right, Mandy - and unfortunately our churches are filled with lots of dear people who fit that description. Appreciate your heart for them - they are my "mission field" too. Been thinkin' about this ever since you shared it - bless you for being bold and reminding us of those who can be so easily overlooked when it comes to evangelism!

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  85. Somehow I missed this post last week... but I saw your amazing Vlog today and couldn't help but head over here. I've read through pretty much all 77 comments and find some of the chatter very interesting.
    I agree with those that are saying we are saved by grace. However, we must be repenting constantly - not once in a prayer of faith. God is certainly gracious but upon our salvation we are called to continue repenting and to better ourselves unto Christ. To become Christ like in our submission and thankfulness to God for His dieing on the cross.
    There is a great resource for the difference between justification and sanctification at the CARM website
    http://carm.org/justification-and-sanctification It is a great way to discuss that yes we are saved by God's immeasurable grace but our Christian journey does not and should not stop there.
    Thank you for posting with such honesty and boldness in Christ. You are truly an amazing woman of God and I have loved reading your blog over the last year and found your posts to be encouraging and helpful. I admire your courage for posting such a tricky topic but boy oh boy do people need to hear!
    God bless you sister! x Look forward to hearing more from you xx

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  86. Love this. My husband really emphasized this idea for me and it has changed my perspective in many ways. I completely agree with almost everything in your post.

    However, I do take issue with this one sentence: "If you aren't sure, you don't know Him."

    Church history is RIFE with examples of people who struggle with assurance of their salvation, many of whom go on to bear fruit their entire lives. Books have been written to help people with this issue. I have personally struggled with assurance. I've read about these struggles in the Puritans (including in Pilgrim's Progress), in 19th-century Christian authors, and heard about it in modern-day sermons.

    Struggling with assurance of your salvation doesn't mean automatically that you're not saved. It might mean that, but it can also mean that you have a weak faith and that you need to look more to Christ and trust Him for a greater measure of faith. Assurance is a gift from him that is often given in fuller measure to the mature Christian.

    I'll finish with a quote from J.C. Ryle, a 19thcentury pastor: "Walk more closely with God, get nearer to Christ and seek to exchange hope for assurance. Seek to feel the witness of the Spirit more closely and distinctly every year."

    Yes, examine yourself, test yourself, but look to JESUS! Don't wallow in fear and discouragement that you're not a Christian when the cross of Christ and forgiveness are extended to you now... and be thankful and grateful for the hope he has given you as you "seek to exchange hope for assurance."

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  87. I know this post is a week old. I'm not going to getting into agreeing/disagreeing, etc., etc. but rather I want to thank you for this as I get what the post is saying to me. I have been struggling with a few things and God used this post to speak to me about what was bothering me. For me, that' what I needed... listening to God this morning and Him leading me to this post. Do I believe God uses things such as this post, a Bible passage, etc. etc. to help us... most certainly. God talks to us in many ways... are we listening is the thing.

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  88. Hi Mandy, I am not sure how I missed this post but let me say your one BRAVE woman!!! I'm not doing to say if I agree or disagree. Awesome way to get people's attention!

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  89. Thank you so much for your message, I wish that we heard this more in the church today. I have also been reading "Crazy Love". God is calling us to a deeper walk, a more meaningful walk with Him and He desires that love relationship with Himself that we are totally and completely sold out to Him. Keep up the good work, thank you again for speaking truth.

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  90. Stacey I just posted this link and wondered what your thoughts were here. I think this is what Mandy was saying, that we do not just become 'saved' and the buck stops there.

    http://carm.org/justification-and-sanctification

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  91. Wow! Great post. I've been following you for a while but in clicking through your blog, found this....And, oh, how God has been speaking! I "prayed a prayer" years ago and thought it was enough but I didn't cling to the Lord daily. That has changed over the last several years but I still feel as though I can be "hot" one day and "cold" the next. I still make decisions on my own and then ask the Lord to bless them. Ugh! The Lord is still convicting me and working to make me into His likeness. Praise HIM for HIS continual grace and HIS promise to "complete the work" He began. However, I totally believe that many in our pews on Sunday mornings who think they are safe are not. I pray that God would continue to convict my "checklist-performance-based" attempts at earning my own salvation and remind me over and over that my works are for HIS glory alone. Powerful words from God through you in this message. I pray many will at least look in the mirror and ask God to be very clear about their eternal state. HE will be found by those who earnestly seek Him.

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  92. What do you do when you have lost your faith? I want to believe SO BAD. I want to feel that closeness to God like I remember I have. I want it with my entire being but I still feel like there is a brick wall between me and God. I WANT TO BELIEVE but I am saturated with doubt. HELP!

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    1. Hi friend! I know He is not far- go somewhere and talk to Him and pour out your entire heart to Him. Beg him to come and help you and show you what is keeping you from Him so that you can see the light again. Ask Him to give you faith, and to help you believe because your heart is willing but you don't know how to stop doubting. He will answer you- don't stop praying whatever you do- and start reading your Bible- you can start with John, and I have written so much about how to learn about Jesus {which helps you fall in love with HIm} here: http://biblicalhomemaking.blogspot.com/search/label/walking%20through%20the%20gospel

      I'm praying for you, and I know others will be too! Don't stop seeking- He put this desire in you for a reason- do not let it go!! The enemy Satan wants you to doubt and to forget all about it- don't let it go! :) much love to you!!!

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  93. Hi Mandy,
    We have been doing a study at church on Wednesday nights titled Fan or Follower. I think this is exactly what you have written about. Here are some of the questions from the study...Do you simply believe that He exists and love the idea of John 3:16, but keep God tucked away neatly in a box called religion? Or do you make him the Lord of your life? Does He have control over every area of your life? What does following Jesus cost you? Do you love Him like He loves you? Thanks for sharing this post. It is so easy to pray for the lost, but our hearts need to also be broken for the "unlost".

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  94. Hi Mandy! I have just came to this post via your facebook post today :)
    I was "saved" at a very young age. Did I fully understand everything no. Have I always believed yes. I went through trials throughout my young life, and didn't always make the best choices. Long story short...God opened my eyes to something new about 2 yrs. ago. He took the "blinders" the enemy was using to distort my vision off. I began to see how He wanted me to view the world. I guess you could say before the past 2 yrs. I was indeed a lukewarm christian.

    I have done several studies, and reading throughout the bible. I have decided that for me, I believe that when you accept Jesus as your Savior , you are saved. Now , how you choose to live after that is up to you. You can follow God's commandments (love being the most important one), or you can go on living a life of sin. It all comes down to our choices. He loves us so much He gives us free will. He wants us to choose Him.

    I agree you have to be attached to the "vine" to bear good fruit. Have you read "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan? His view opened my eyes to a new way to view God. God isn't this demanding being who punishes you because you sin. He is so amazing ...He loves us so much..He wants the best for us, and until we realize this there is no way we can fully appreciate Him. Like His commandments for example, they are commandments for us to live a full , happy life. Every commandment protects us and teaches us how He wants us to live. He loves us so much , He just wants us to love Him back. And prayer is so powerful. The key though in the end is loving Him. If we love Him, truly love Him, we will have no problem living lives for Him, and bearing good fruit through Him.

    **Sorry if I tend to ramble on..I just feel that it isn't about perfection, it is about His love. My reference in the bible for this is Matthew 22:37-40. I also feel that as we mature and grow in Christ, that is when we produce good fruit. When we are new and fresh to this , we are sensitive, soaking in His word, soaking in His love.

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  95. Thank you so much for having the courage to write this post as I was one of those people who never doubted I was saved (after all, I believed all the right "stuff"), but had no idea what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He was my "mascot" not my SAVIOR. People witnessed to me several times and I reassured them I was a Christian. I looked really good on the outside, but God knew that I was relying on my good works rather than his grace. So thankful that people continued to reach out to me and God opened my eyes to my sin (pride)and my need to repent and turn to him. May God continue to use you in a mighty way to minister to others. Blessings to you :)

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  96. What an interesting topic.

    I think something like this is so personal, that it's difficult (and inappropriate) to judge when a person is saved or not. And we're not supposed to judge at all. If a person has been taught about Jesus and his sacrifice, whether they accept them as their savior or not, it's not on us. It's God's garden. We can help him plant seeds, but I don't think it's for anyone to say what's a weed and what is a flower, (sheep v. goats, etc.) That is for God alone.

    He just said to love Him and love others. None of us are perfect. Not one of all humanity. None of us can judge at all. In spite of the positive feedback above I believe this message is a little off and could cause more harm than good.

    I wanted to speak up about this, but I truly love and enjoy your blog and you are a huge inspiration to me. I think your example as a mother and Christian is outstanding.

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  97. Well said, Mandy! While I am thankful I'm not the Judge, and while I agree that we are not to judge others, the Bible doesn't say that we can't or shouldn't call believers out when necessary. Christians ARE supposed to encourage and correct other Christians (in love, of course - there IS a right and a wrong way). So many use the "remove the plank from your own eye" verse to justify the whole "don't judge me, only God can judge me" thing, but they don't acknowledge the next part of the verse, which says "so that YOU may SEE CLEARLY to REMOVE the plank FROM your BROTHER'S eye." Paul also encourages the believers who are more spiritually mature than others to "restore" those who are not living the way they should, not to mention the fact that there IS spiritual fruit that we as believers (not to mention, the world) CAN see. What's on the inside comes out, and while yes, "God looks at the heart," that verse goes on to say that "man looks at the outside," and I think that means something. Fruit doesn't lie. How many times have we met people who we're surprised to find out are Christians, and how many times have we met people who without them saying a word, we already knew they were in the family? There's something to that. There is such a thing as spiritual growth, and I agree we are all at different points in our walk. But again, Paul said, "you who are spiritual, restore such a one." It's not arrogant or self-righteous to be able to recognize that you may be more spiritually mature than a newer believer, and as more seasoned believers, we need to encourage those who are lukewarm or backslidden, disciple them, pray for them. (So often, I think the church's biggest problem is a lack of discipleship. Jesus didn't say "go and make converts," He said "make disciples.") Christ is coming for a SPOTLESS church, a BLAMELESS one. Jesus Himself said, "narrow is the road" and "few find it." Not only that, but Jesus also said that not everyone who says to Him "Lord, Lord" will enter the Kingdom. Even further, Jesus says if we love Him, we WILL obey Him. Those who are not obeying His instructions...they may THINK they love Him, but if they're not obeying what He commanded and living a life in line with His Word (or at the very least, making a daily effort based on where you're at as a believer, which if they're serious about Christ, should always result in repentance and accompanying growth), then they DO NOT love Him - Jesus said so Himself. We are to live HOLY, SET APART, DEVOTED lives. And while no, our works do not get us into heaven any more than they got us saved, faith without works is DEAD, and because so many Christians have faith without works, the church as a whole has been deemed hypocritical.

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  98. Again, we are all at different points in our walk, and God DOES meet us where we are at in that walk, and there IS grace and forgiveness for Christians who make mistakes (praise the Lord for 1 John 1:9), and His arms are open for ALL who will believe and repent and call on His name. But I agree with Mandy. There IS a heaven to gain and there IS a hell to shun. Yes - Romans 10:9-10 is how you "get saved" - believing with your heart and confessing with your mouth - this is accepting your salvation, and it says you WILL BE SAVED when you do this I do believe it's THAT easy, because the Bible says it is. But part of that is confessing Christ as your LORD. Not just believing in Him, but making Him your LORD. At the same time, "repentance" literally means to stop, turn around, and go the other way. We cannot keep on sinning. We will make mistakes, yes. We will flesh out from time to time, even as seasoned believers. But there comes a point when, if we are really growing with Christ, we "won't sin like we used to," for lack of a better phrase. Christians are not supposed to sin, and if we are saved, we need to act like it. We need to have grace and mercy towards those who are still learning how to do that, but we need to show and teach them how. We cannot keep on sinning. There will be a consequence to that. And while I cannot emphasize enough that I DO NOT BELIEVE WORKS SAVE US, that does not negate the fact that WORKS ARE IMPORTANT. And while God doesn't have any favorites, His Kingdom, in a sense, is based on obedience and reward. I don't know how or what will happen to Christians who live a lukewarm, sinful life throughout their walk with God here on earth. I don't know, and I won't pretend to have any ideas - and as has been said, I'm thankful that I don't know. But I can only assume it's not good. I may not know what "not inheriting the Kingdom" looks like for the Christian, but I do know this: I don't want to find out, and I don't want anyone else to either. We are the called out ones - we need to live like it. :)

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  99. Hello Lady,

    Wonderful to see that you realize that faith is shown by works and obedience.

    Please look into the first steps of obedience... Every instance in the bible of conversion is accompanied by a command for baptism. Foolishness to the world, but commanded by God. Please don't overlook this humble act of simple obedience.

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  100. This really helped me. I realized i was not thinking of myself as a sinner anymore, I kept thinking I was perfect. Thank you for this post and the laundry devotions! Please pray for me, I want to repent and turn to Him.

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    1. I truly believe the Holy Spirit makes us a new creation, and we become more and more like him when he saves us so that we are being made perfect as we walk with Him, but waiting for the day we put off the flesh and stand before Him made new. It's sanctification here, and daily {every single day} I'm clinging to the Gospel that Jesus has forgiven my sins past, present, and future, and that he has paid my debt so that I can stand before Him righteous and clean. It's like daily, I'm putting to death my own flesh through the power of His holy spirit, who lives in me because I believe in the Son who did it before me. :) So I am a sinner saved by the grace of God, being made perfect through faith in the Son of God, praying for the Lord to take my will and make it His. :)

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  101. Keep posting all that God has put on your heart. Expect rejection and persecution. We are living in dark days and God is crying out to the "unlost" through His servants. You are 100% biblically correct when you say that without repentance there is no salvation. Every apostle and prophet of God, and the Lord Jesus all taught it and the gospel is incomplete without it. "Hold fast to what you have and let no man take your crown." "Be faithful until the end and I will give you a crown of life." Thank you for the much needed warning and exhortation, beloved.

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  102. This is one of the best articles written in a very long time. Why? Because most of the church is the unlost. I pray God puts it on our hearts to ache for those we sit next to who don't know Him.

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  103. Wow....Thanks for this post. I am one of those morally good people, and sometimes I hope that it is enough. Pray for me that I want him in my life truly and completely.

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  104. What an amazing post. I didn't go to church growing up or know anything about Jesus. After the worst year of my life, I started praying to God, who I didn't fully believe in at that time, and by His grace was invited to bible study. Three months later, on March 29th last year, I felt the Holy Spirit for the first time in my life and I have never been the same. I think about people I know, who say they were saved at a young age, but they continue to live for themselves. It seems you either hold tight to that faith from a young age and continue growing in it, or you turn away from Him because you never really understood it. If you are "saved" before you can fully understand the gift of salvation, you must come to that understanding when you are old enough to fully grasp it, and I think many people don't. I think many people are baptized at a young age, and then they don't put the effort into really knowing Christ and continuing their relationship with Him. I only feel this way because I know what it feels like to truly accept Christ into your heart as an adult. I think there are lots of Christians out there who are saved when they are young and continue a strong relationship with Christ into adulthood, but I also know that many are deceived into thinking that salvation doesn't go beyond childhood baptism or a prayer. My heart breaks for those who have never really felt the love of Christ. My heart breaks for those who think they understand, but it's clear that they don't. Pride is one of the hardest barriers to break through. I hope people have read your post and really considered where they are at in their faith, because I can see this group all too clearly. Thank you for having the courage to post this.

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