A Storm is Coming

I am convinced that most every sane person would want to know that they are – if only potentially – in peril. Therefore, I am offering the following for your consideration.

I encourage you to judge this seriously; not just, “Do I believe it?” but, “What am I to do with it?”

I am afraid that many will dismiss this altogether: that “believers” are in peril of disqualification. It is much easier to accept the notion that God would not allow such a thing. However, that is not what the Scriptures tell us.

Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. Romans 11:22

It is difficult to consider both the goodness and severity of God, when His severity has not been adequately explained. Church leaders are hesitant to teach the severity of God when the guy down the street has a more palatable message.

The problem, of course, is the truth doesn’t change with the lack of its teaching. There are conditions that will result in our being cut off; or, as Paul warns the Corinthians, “disqualified”.

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 1Corinthians 9:27

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. 2Corinthians 13:5

Paul took the steps necessary to ensure he would not become disqualified; and he encouraged the same for those under his care. That is my heart for all that will read this article – that you would prayerfully consider the referenced passages. Allow the Holy Spirit to teach, and possibly convict, you.

Do not be afraid. You have not been given a spirit of cowardice, but of love, power and a sound mind. Trust in God’s grace to lead you into all truth. It will make you free.

There are at least twelve ways that born again believers can be disqualified from entering the kingdom of God.

  1. Rejecting God (1Thessalonians 4:3-8).
  2. Burying our talent (Matthew 25:14-30).
  3. Failing to abide in Jesus Christ (John 15:6).
  4. Failing to do the Father’s will (Matthew 7:21-23).
  5. Coming up short on oil (Matthew 25:1-13).
  6. Failing to be diligent (2Peter 1:5-11).
  7. Failing to endure to the end (Matthew 24:13).
  8. Failing to strive to enter the narrow gate (Luke 13:22-28).
  9. Refusing to follow sacrificially (Mark 8:34-35).
  10. Ignoring His commandments (John 14:15).
  11. Refusing to feed, clothe, house and visit (Matthew 25:31-46).
  12. Refusing a love for the truth (2Thessalonians 2:9-10).

Recognizing that many will argue against this from Romans 8:38-39, let me make two brief points: First, I encourage you to read this passage carefully. It may not be saying what you think.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There are many that are loved by God who will not be saved. The ones we prefer to put in this category are those that never begin the salvation process. As we have now seen, salvation is a process that must be completed. We must endure to the end. We must finish the race.

The referenced passages reveal – in the most obvious of ways – that followers of Jesus retain their free will after being reconciled to God and born anew. That free will includes the option – however tragic – to turn our backs and walk away from the love God offers.

Second, every relationship involves the participation of at least two parties. The Scriptures speak volumes regarding God’s commitment to His children. It does not, however, excuse us from our responsibilities to the relationship.

Our salvation is conditional on our response to God. As the passages above make perfectly clear, we are responsible for abiding, obeying, enduring, striving to enter, etc. Our failure in these areas does not reflect negatively on God. He gives us the grace and faith for all He requires.

God does not disqualify us; we disqualify ourselves.

As I bring this to a close, let me encourage you. Salvation is a process to which God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit have committed Themselves; for each one that will humbly surrender, sacrifice and submit to Their work.

Seek with your whole heart. Trust and obey. Feed on the LORD’s faithfulness.

Lastly, I realize this article will raise a number of additional concerns and challenges. I encourage you to examine the Scriptures with mature Christians that challenge your thinking and faith. God speaks in community. Community requires open and loving communication.

We have been silent about the more challenging truths of Scripture for far too long.

Humbly yours and forever His,