"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
-- 2 Corinthians 13:5
There are a great many people in hell today who, while they lived upon the earth, presumed with great confidence that they were God's children. They lived and died under the delusion that all was well, when nothing was well. And now they suffer the horrible wrath of God in hell. There are also many who live in peace today, confident that they are born of God, who are strangers to grace. They are religious, zealous, and outwardly righteous. But they are without Christ. And the wrath of God is upon them.
THESE THINGS CONCERN ME! If you honestly think about them, I am sure they will concern you as well.
"`Tis a point I long to know,
Oft it causes anxious thought:
Do I love the Lord, or no?
Am I His, or am I not?"
No one can settle this issue for me, or for you, but the Spirit of God. And he will settle it only by the Word he has given. So I urge you (and myself) to do what he tells us to do.
"EXAMINE YOURSELVES" - We are not to examine one another. And we are not to subject ourselves to the examination of others. If you examine others, you will become hardened in self-righteousness, harsh and judgmental, arrogantly making yourself the standard by which you judge others. If you subject yourself to the examinations of others, you will have nothing but the words and opinions of men as the basis of your faith. Your assurance, if you get any, will be nothing but a temporary, self-righteous confidence, varying with the opinions of the preacher to whom you are listening.
The point of examination is this - "WHETHER YE BE IN THE FAITH." It does not matter when, where, or how you came to be in the faith, or even who was preaching when you believed. It only matters that "ye be in the faith." For most of God's people, conversion is not a climatic experience, but a gradual process. Some, like Saul of Tarsus, have great, climatic experiences. But most are brought to Christ, one faltering step at a time. And even those who have Damascus road experiences must be gently led into the knowledge of Christ by one like Ananias (Acts 9:6-18).Are you, or are you not, now in the faith? That is the only issue of examination. If you are in the faith, you are saved. If you are not, you are lost.
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #786
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 606-236-8235 - Email firstname.lastname@example.org