Today I’m full of fire and brimstone. Let me preface what I’ve prepared here by saying that my leanings are more Calvanist then Armenian. A brief summary of my understanding of the basic difference between Calvanist and Armenian theology would be that a Calvanist generally believes that salvation is in the hands of God alone and can’t be “lost” while an Armenian would say that salvation is a choice made by man and man is capable of turning his back on it. I think the truth lies fundamentally in both stances, which we’ll discuss that later, but I do believe fundamentally that I’m not capable of “saving myself”.

Going to a basically Calvanist church the issue that has me worried is that we can come to the conclusion that we are saved and now we don’t need to “worry” about it. The problem is that Jesus didn’t really feel like that. The Pharisees are the cautionary tale. They felt confident in their salvation too. They along with the Romans, crucified Jesus in their confidence. What if we are the Pharisees?

I don’t think the Armenians totally have it wrong, which a staunch Calvanist would say is heresy, but let’s look at what Jesus has said:

Matt 7:71-27 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

The punch line is that calling yourself a Christian (or even driving out demons in his name) and going to church on Sunday does not assure your salvation.
Jesus says we’ll be separated based on our behavior:

Matt 25:41-46 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

So what Jesus do we worship? Do we worship Buddy Christ from the movie Dogma? Maybe we like the Universal Sky Fairy that my old pastor in Seattle would talk about being so popular- the Hippy Jesus that’s about [cue hippy voice] looooovvvvve maaaaaannnnn…
Or do we also worship the Jesus that returns with a sword coming out of his mouth and robes dipped in blood. The Warrior King:

Revelation 19:11-16 11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”[a] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

That’s a Jesus to fear and Prov 1:7: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Or are we idolators that worship food, porn, pop stars, sex, alcohol, money, our lives, our jobs, our families, etc. Jesus again:

Luke12:49-53 49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

If there are things in our lives that impair our relationship with Jesus, then we may be worshiping idols and falsely assuring ourselves of our salvation and calling ourselves Christians. We may be lukewarm Christians ready to be spit out (Revelation 3:16). At the day of judgment we may be found to be goats crying out “Lord Lord” and getting no response.

Published in: on November 19, 2010 at 7:55 pm  Comments (1)