Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Prove yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. —II Corinthians 13:5
I was recently provided with a copy of Paul Washer’s Gospel Assurance and Warnings. I love to read however I am also very wary as I read, taking the Lord’s command to “test all things” quite seriously. ❤ I love his heart and passion for the Lord, and for scripture, you can feel it as you read. There is a very real concern he has for the salvation of so many out there who are being deceived. And yet, as I read, I was a bit saddened at the same time.
We live in an age when claim to have some form of salvation in Christ yet reflect so little of His teachings. The call to repentance has been minimized, and baptism, in Jesus name, if preached at all, in many churches, is treated far too lightly. So many are led to believe that they can say a prayer and belong to Christ. But is it really so simple?
Faith. Salvation. Jesus Christ. These are issues of great importance; especially in a time when we can, without a doubt, know that His return is very near. So many claim to be His yet do not have the full revelation. They do not truly understand the scriptures and apply them in their lives. Sadly many look to a man for confirmation of their own salvation.
As Paul wrote to young Timothy, “The solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His’” (2 Tim. 2:19). Where is the fruit? We are told we shall know them by their fruits. There is so much more to the Lord; there are mysteries within His word that only He can reveal to those who are truly seeking Him. And truly wanting truth.
Jesus is clear in His warnings to us. The gate is small and the way is narrow which leads to life, few there are who find it. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:13–14, 21). Christ is teaching here, showing us, how important it is, for true conversion, to show works. Not works that are our own but works that are done because of His Spirit in us.
The apostle Paul writes in I Corinthians 11:28-30: But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
It is a duty we have as His children, to examine ourselves daily. There is truly no guarantee of salvation except (as my Pastor often says) our feet leaving the ground at the time of the great Rapture of the Church. Until then we need only know that we are daily committing ourselves to our great God; renewing our dedication to putting on the new man. James says, we have not because we ask not (James 4:2). Perhaps we need to ask God for a clean heart before Him, as well as for hope, joy, peace, as we seek to walk ever closer to Him.
The Apostle John wrote an entire chapter to assure God’s people that they are indeed God’s people. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God: that ye may know that ye have eternal life . . .” (1 John 5:13). But this does not mean that once we are saved we are always saved; rather we are not not weary in doing His will in all things. We are to rejoice in the new life which he has given us when we are born again but there is much to do to make sure that we are ready when He returns.
There is much I felt was very worthy reading within this book; rich in scripture there was much that was used to confirm his messages within this book. God’s word is clear, there is One Lord, One faith, One Baptism. (Ephesians 4:5) We need to be baptized in Jesus name; we need to be fully immersed in the water that we can be washed clean (it is our watery grave which we rise from as new creations) and this cannot be avoided. We cannot deny that God’s word is so very full of the need for baptism. Jesus was baptized. If He who was without sin needed to be washed, then so do we.
Let us, as the days of His coming draw nearer, examine and test all things, according to His word. Our Lord is so loving, eager to forgive, full of mercy and grace, to ALL who call on Him and wish to be born again into His Kingdom. But it is not for the faint of heart. There is work to do; there are trials to face. All to show the great glory of God!