How often is there conflict on Sunday morning and during the drive to church? Then when you get to the church, you are all smiles as if everything is good. How often do you feel like staying home or sleeping in on a Sunday morning? Do you or know someone who prefers to stay home and attend a zoom church or TV church? I ask these questions because they reveal the unseen war against the church and God’s people. We don’t know we are in a spiritual battle, but we are. Satan hates God and God’s children and works to destroy the church and separate God’s children. The devil’s destruction has been happening since the church began.
Act 8:3 tells us that “Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.” Many places around the world cannot openly worship God and attend a church service. Many Christians are languishing in prison because of their faith. Remember to pray for them. We, in America, still have the freedom to worship God and attend church, but for how long? Can you see the beginnings of the war on Christianity and the church in America?
What if someone barges into your house and puts you in prison for your faith? Would your faith hold strong? Revelations 2:10 states, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Honestly look into your heart. Will you be faithful if you should face persecution?
Satan’s Unseen Deception of Eternal Security
Ask God to help you examine your beliefs about eternal security and church attendance. Jeremiah 17:9-10 states, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 10’I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.’” God knows all your thoughts and beliefs; ask Him to show you the truth. Do you believe that saying a salvation prayer is your ticket to heaven, and you can continue to live as you please? The salvation prayer is the birth of your faith. After receiving Jesus Christ’s forgiveness for your sins, you need to grow your faith. Your faith increases when you read the Bible, pray at all times to exercise your faith, share your faith to strengthen it, and go to a Bible-teaching church to reinforce your faith?
The following truths are hard, but ask God to give you understanding. Matthew 7:21 states, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Are you obeying the Word of God, which is His written will? Matthew 10:32-33 states, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” Are you sharing your faith and telling others about Jesus and what He did for you? Also, Revelations 3:5 states, “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.” Yes, God can blot your name out. Only those who conquer persecution and the unseen battles of deception and temptations by the power of Jesus Christ will enter heaven. Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14) For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” I wrote my book called “Fighting Unseen Battles” to help everyone find the narrow gate and endure.
The Apostle Paul tells the Philippian church in Philippians 2:12, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Also, 1Peter 1:17-19 states, “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” To work out your salvation or conduct yourselves with fear means to forsake evil and do good through God’s divine power. Working out your salvation with fear begins with a salvation prayer.
Satan’s Unseen Deception of Church Attendance
Many people who grew up in the church believe they are going to heaven. My neighbor told me that he went to a children’s Bible School, and he thinks he is going to heaven and does not have to do anything else. Some Pastors think they are going to heaven because they know theology. Ask yourself, “When I stand before God, and He were to ask me, “Why should I let you into My heaven?” What would you say? Does the Bible say going to church makes you a child of God? Does the Bible say that being born into a Christian family or having a grandfather who was a preacher make you a child of God? John 1:12-13 states, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Does regular church attendance guarantee an entrance to heaven? Since I am writing to a Christian audience, I hope you know the right answer. Surprisingly, many church people don’t get the answer right. Some people say they are good, so God will let them into heaven. They think they are going to heaven because they are better than most Christians. Romans 3:23-25 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.” And others said they don’t know but hope that God will let them in because He loves all humanity and would throw no one into hell. Can you see the deception that Satan puts in people’s minds?
Satan wants to prevent us from being a follower of Jesus Christ. The devil also does not want us to obey His commands, namely, to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love others. Mark 12:30-31 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Do you love God and spend time with Him in His word and in prayer? Do you love the people in the church?
Again, I could have written a lot more, but I believe you understand that there is an unseen war of deception against God’s people. Many people are deceived into thinking they are guaranteed entrance into heaven based on faulty beliefs. I understand some verses say the Holy Spirit guarantees our inheritance, but guarantees are based on conditions. Ephesians 1:13-14 is conditioned on believing until you receive your inheritance from God. So if you stop believing and live a wicked lifestyle, you forfeit your inheritance. Hebrews 12:1 states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Find the condition in Romans 8:16-17 “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” No one wants to suffer.
In the end times, there will be a great falling away because of deception and suffering. Resolve in your heart today that you will not fall away and begin today to do the will of God found in the Word of God. Hebrews 3:12 states, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.”
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