Belief and Trembling?

You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. (James 2:19) What makes us any different than the demons? As a matter of fact…even the demons who are destined to be tortured in Hell know enough to shudder at the belief in the Most High God. So, how do we know that our belief is a belief that leads to salvation? How are we different than the demons? How can we be saved from being burned in the fire of Hell? The “church” today paints a “wide gate” picture of salvation…that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ will be saved. They believe that no matter what people do, if they believe in Jesus, they will go to Heaven…They pervert the Scripture of Romans  10:10, “For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Don’t the demons meet those requirements as well? We know from James 2:19 they believe. Don’t they confess that Jesus is Lord…Mark 5:7, “and shouting with a loud voice, he said , “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore you by God, do not torment me!” So if this is what we are basing our salvation on…that gives us faith that is equal to that of the demons…who are still going to Hell…….so what is the difference?

Jeremiah 6:16 says, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls.'” Jesus Himself tells us what we must do to become his disciple, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Therefore, salt is good; but if salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 14:26-35) Our belief…our faith must move us to obedience and action. We must be willing to forsake all and count the cost to become true disciples of, not just travelers with our Lord and Savior. Godly faith requires action…Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being of itself. (James 2:17) Jesus died to give us a faith that works obedience in us (Romans 1:5). True faith begins and ends with obedience…obedience to God’s commands, carrying out God’s commands through His power, the way He tells us to do them. We must be willing to submit to God’s righteousness and forsake man’s “religious” ways. In Matthew 7:21-27, Jesus is speaking to believers when he says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me you who practice lawlessness.’ Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall.” 

I know that I for one, do not want to be one whom the Son of the Most High God declares that He never knew me. I want to be “diligent to present myself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) I want to be “diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless”. (2 Peter 2:14) I want to “diligently keep the commandments of the Lord my God, and His testimonies and His statutes which He has commanded me.” (Deuteronomy 6:17). I want to “diligently take heed to myself to love the Lord my God.” (Joshua 23:11). My prayer for you is that you will find the saving kind of faith…greater than the faith of the demons…faith that changes you, faith that makes you obedient to God’s ways. Faith that doesn’t change you, doesn’t change your destination.

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