Our Saviour, Jesus, said “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
Consistently, throughout Scripture a division of humanity is presented. We are either for God or against God; we either have everlasting life or are under the wrath of God; we are either in Christ or in our sins.
The natural religious mind sees everyone as being at different stages on one of many roads which lead to God. All that matters is that you are seeking to do your best not to harm anyone else. However, this assumption about how people stand before God is based on a complete lie. Everyone is not headed for heaven. The Bible clearly teaches that there is eternal destruction and there is eternal life. There is a division.
But who is on each side? John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. It is those who believe in Jesus Christ that have everlasting life. The question can then be asked how do we know who is believing in Jesus Christ? It is only God who ultimately knows because He is the only One who knows the heart. As God said to Samuel The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7b). Paul asserts the truth similarly when He says that “The Lord knows those who are his.” (2 Tim 2:19b).
However, Paul adds to the foregoing statement that “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” Yes it is the LORD alone that knows who are His. The lives of those that are His though, must be characterised by a rejection of that which is evil. If someone says that “I am a Christian; I know the LORD” then we have a right to expect that that profession will be substantiated in a Godly life.
Nevertheless, we have to be very careful about these matters; we must remember that human judgement is fallible. You can be fully accepted among the people of God and yet still on the broad road that leads to destruction. Judas was such a person. The fact that the disciples did not immediately point to Judas when the LORD said “the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him!” They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this (Luke 22:21-23). If Judas, a man destined for eternal destruction, could pass himself off as a member of the people of God then it is possible for others to achieve this.
This reminds us that it is not baptism or church membership or our name on a church roll which makes us to be Christian; it is simply faith in Jesus Christ. If there is any list that matters it is that constituted by the Lamb’s book of life. Of the heavenly Jerusalem described in Revelation 21 John says Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Rev.21:27). In contrast Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life, was thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15). The question that matters then is: “Is your name in the Lamb’s book of life?”
In view of this let us be careful to reject all teaching that suggests that life is about doing your best to please God and then seeing what happens in the end. This is the substance of all of the man-made satanically inspired religions that surround us. Many even claim this to be the Christian message. However, the substance of the one true religion which originates with God Himself is that we must believe in His Son to have everlasting life. And if we do not believe we are under the wrath of God? Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them. (John 3:36) is what the Word of God says.
(Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church Newsletter of April 2010)