Maraca with Bible Verse

Maraca with Bible Verse
1 Timothy 2:5

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"You Are Not Far From the Kingdom of God"

     I really don't have the exact blog space to put this in, but this is the closest one. I hope this will be helpful to you. The reason I am writing this is because I am concerned about people becoming false converts. I don't mean to sound condescending or judgmental, but I care about people.
    There seems to be an epidemic of people who seem to have an understanding of the Gospel and would profess to be Christians, but there is something lacking in their understanding when you continue to ask more questions. And the fruit of salvation seems to be missing.
Here is a story in the Bible, where Jesus was talking to a Scribe. The situation is recorded in Mark 12: 28-25. The Scribe asked Jesus what He thought was the most important commandment. Jesus answered, "To love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength." He also said that you should love your neighbor as yourself. There are no commandment greater than these two. The Scribe agreed. He acknowledged that God is one. He also said that loving God and people were greater than whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. The Scribe had the right idea. He was beginning to understand the Gospel. The lights had come on for him. But he was not there yet. Jesus told him, 'You are not far from the kingdom of God'. The Scribe was not in the kingdom of God. He was close to it though.
   There is a big difference between being close to the kingdom of God and actually being in it. A person may experience being close to the light. God might be working in his heart. The person might have questions about God. He may even be on a 'God quest'.  We sometimes confuse this stage, with the actual stage of receiving the Gospel. If the lights come on for someone concerning the Gospel, it doesn't mean that they are saved yet necessarily! We have to be very careful to not think of that as genuine fruit of repentance and faith in itself.
  People sometimes think they are a Christian because God did a miracle for them. Or they may have had an experience with God, or in a setting where God was moving, but that doesn't mean they have had saving faith activated in their hearts yet.
  I remember hearing a story of a Jewish man who was in our church, whose dad was not a believer. Somehow, by God's grace and mercy, God miraculously healed the father of an illness. He never came to know the Lord though. It would be easy for us to think that since God healed him, it must have meant he was saved, or going to be saved. God works in mysterious ways, for sure, and we don't always understand what He is doing. We just need to be careful to make sure we are in Christ, and proclaim the Gospel to others so they can be in Christ too.

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