Sunday, 3 February 2019
PROFESSING VS TRUE BELIEVERS
When life as we know it ends one day, and we meet our Creator, He will ask us one question: “Do I know you?”
As the story goes, there are two groups of believers, those who profess to know God and those who really know and obey Him. Thus we have professing and true believers.
Let us turn to two passages in scriptures, both from the book of Matthew.
False prophets who move in signs and wonders but do not know God:
“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. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
(Matthew 7: 21-23)
Foolish virgins (careless, complacent believers) who called out in vain, “Lord, Lord” but were shut out from the marriage feast (heaven) in the Parable of the Ten Virgins:
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
Here we see two groups of believers, those who profess and possess the real thing (intimate knowledge of God). What is this knowing or rather intimate knowledge of God?
To find out, let’s now turn to the passage about believers as sheep and Jesus as the good shepherd:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me,[a] is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
As we can see, true believers have a relationship with God. God knows them and they, in turn, can hear His voice and follow Him. So we can say, God and true believers have an intimate relationship.
If you are a believer, ask yourself:
Do I seek to know God better every day?
Do I pray, read and study His word?
Do I seek to know His will for my life and then do it?
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
“Seek me and live” (Amos 5:4).
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32).
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:15-18).
Don’t be like the careless and complacent, foolish virgins or the false prophets who have all the bells and whistles of God’s approval but do not have a relationship with God.
Many, desperate to enter heaven, will cry out on judgment day, “Lord, Lord, let me enter” but hear God’s voice of rejection, “I do not know you.”
To have the form of religion without the substance, to profess but not possess the real thing is the greatest tragedy in church today.
“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able” (Luke 13:24).
“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. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14).