Steadfast and Immovable

God's grace be yours in Christ Jesus our Lord!

We find ourselves today three weeks beyond our celebration of Easter. The proclamation, “He is risen, He is risen indeed” is still the message we proclaim in our hearts and in our lives.  If this message is the heart of the Christian Gospel, and it is, then how is it that so many who name the name of Jesus as Savior deny the truth of His resurrection?

Sadly, there are many who pervert the truth of the Gospel beginning with the resurrection. It is easy in our modern scientific age to believe only the things which are readily seen and provable. We have witnessed in recent months the absolute rewriting of history. From the motivation of our nation’s Founding Fathers, to the work that was done to free slaves and declare all men equal, all the way to the rejection of basic fundamental biology, we are rewriting history and I dare say reality to suit our own fancy.

In our day and age, it is not just the physical resurrection of Jesus, which is denied, but the reality of salvation by grace through faith in the blood He shed up on the cross! The vast majority of people in our nation believe that all religions lead to the same point. You can be a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Muslim, or simply a spiritual person, and the God of heaven will accept you as you are. In other words, Jesus is A way of salvation but not THE way of salvation.

Here is a startling truth you probably have not heard. America used to be the strongest Christian nation in the world. Today The United States is listed in the middle of the pack. With barely 71% of the residents of our nation at least nominally claiming Christianity, we are barely ahead of Russia which boasts 65% of its residents as Christians. The vast majority of the nations which comprise modern day Europe stand equal to Russia in percentages of Christians.  How is it that a country with decades of persecution of Christians, and Communism as a way of life, now stands almost equal with the United states on the number of Christians present in their country? How could this happen? Who is responsible?

The answer to these two questions is no doubt frustrating. How could this happen? Because Christians allowed it to happen! Who is responsible? The Christians of our nation in the past two generations who did nothing as our morals and values were eroding.  We have no one to blame but ourselves because we have failed to be the people God has called us to be in this world.

When they took prayer out of schools we cried “woe is us” but did nothing. When they rammed evolution down the throats of our children, we told them to just write the correct answers on the test, that the teachers wanted to hear. We did not make our objections known or voice our disgust with public education. We see the same thing happening today all around our nation with the transgender, gay pride agenda. There is now a new effort to attack retail stores who do not provide a gender neutral toy aisle for children. What's next? Are there any limits which are unapproachable?  Sadly no!

In our day and age even, faithful Christians have grown complacent, and believe that no matter what, our salvation is OK. We can basically do whatever we want and show up in church on Sunday and all is good. Sin runs rampant in our lives and the lives of our children, and we just turn a blind eye to it and believe in our hearts that God does the same. I'm sorry if this offends you but if you are choosing sin in your life over God, then your faith is in vain, and you will spend eternity in hell. Is that a little harsh? Do you think I'm judging? Do I have no right to say this? Well, the truth is I'm not the one saying it. I will stand on what God says and if that offends you, then pull up your big boy panties and get over it. Get your life right with God and live according to the faith you proclaim and then you can have assurance for your salvation.

Listen to the words given to us in Scripture which do place a condition upon our salvation.

Hebrews 3:14 For we have become participants in Christ if we hold firmly until the end the reality that we had at the start.

2 Peter 3:17 Therefore, dear friends, since you know this in advance, be on your guard, so that you are not led away by the error of lawless people and fall from your own stable position.

Colossians 2:6   Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

Hebrews 3:6 But Christ was faithful as a Son over his household. And we are that household if we hold on to our confidence and the hope in which we boast.

What is understood to be the opposite of these passages? If we do not do as God has commanded then we do not have the blessings that God offers. If we do not hold on firmly, if we are led astray, if we do not walk in him, if we fail to hold on to what we have received, then we are lost.  

The book of James is often given a bad name because he speaks so much about Christian works. It is James who says faith without works is dead. He goes on to say show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works.  James is not preaching works salvation. He is simply stating that where true faith is present in the heart it will be reflected in the life. And if the life does not reflect faith in Jesus Christ then do not be deceived your faith is false.

The apostle Paul tells us today clearly what we are to do as the people of God in the world today. He says, Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58

We do not want our labor to be in vain. It should be the desire of every Christian that their life be a reflection of Jesus and the truth they have received about the love of God and the forgiveness He is one for us upon the cross. The life of a Christian is a life lived for the glory of God and not for self. Any other way of life reveals the deception and leads not to the gates of glory but to the judgment of God.

May we be ready to examine our lives, and our own hearts, and clearly see the truth that has been entrusted to us and hold on to it in faith that we may find our confidence in Christ.

In Christ,
Pastor Russ

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