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January 31, 1997

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Re: Saying,'They're Not Saved'? Are you Born Again?

Hello Everyone...

Perhaps a note of clarification would be in order.

I realize I have been sending out a lot of stuff lately. The Lord says, "write" ...I write. But I think a little lull is coming. Ok...all together now... "Phew!"

Some of the recent offerings have contained some rather strong "pointed" statements. In amongst everything, there have been generic comments about people being characterized by "XYZ" or teaching "ABC" as being non-Christians or servants of the evil one. This has caused some to ask if, because they believe "MNO" instead of "XYZ" ...does that mean I would say they are not saved?

First of all, let me say this. I am in no position to judge anyone, and do not. I am not God. I do not sit on "the Throne." Furthermore, I do not judge my "fellow-servant." (Rom14:4) God is the One who knows the heart better than we know our own. He is the Judge before Whom we must give account. (Heb 4:13)

Having said that, what about the situation that many of us find ourselves in? A Christian talks with another person whom he does not know. As communication continues, it becomes apparent to the Christian that the other is NOT a Christian. The witness of the Spirit is missing (Rom8:16). When Scripture says that salvation is by "repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts20:21), they believe something else. And they ask, "Are you saying that I'm not a Christian?" I never tell someone, "You are not a Christian." Again...I am not the Judge. But I will point out to them, "Scripture teaches 'ABC' but you believe 'XYZ' and 'this' is what Scripture says about it."

Now, to some of the things that have been written recently. If a person believes the wrong thing about the Rapture, does this automatically damn him to Hell? What about "Eternal Security?" What Bible "translation" should be used...and if I use the wrong one, am I guilty of gross sin? Any other topic? ...you name it.

Let us remember that what gets us to heaven is "repentance toward God, and faith toward Christ." (in a nutshell) Works do not get us there. We cannot buy our way there, even though I have been recently falsely accused of saying so.

The accompanying February article speaks of "believing the same thing." What if we don't? If a person does not believe what Scripture teaches about any given topic? There are several scenarios to consider:

1) The person has not yet been confronted by the Holy Spirit one way or the other with the topic and has not yet come to an understanding. Remember; each person in the "Body" is at a different point in their growth. Nor, does the Holy Spirit teach the same lessons to every person simultaneously. While one person may be learning RIGHT NOW about "Inspiration" another may be learning about "self-control." For many years I wondered about the Rapture, but wallowed around all the views. Then, about 14 years ago it was time for me to learn, and the Holy Spirit showed me FROM SCRIPTURE the Truth of the matter. About a year ago, He opened my eyes to Truth about the "once saved always saved" issue; at which point, several "problem passages" came to Light in my heart. But, the answers came from God's Word...not man or some denomination.

2) However, if a person SUPPOSEDLY "receives instruction" on a matter, and becomes CONVINCED IN HIS HEART about the matter, and it differs from what Scripture teaches, it would be highly suspect WHICH "spirit" he received his teaching from. And, if it wasn't the Holy Spirit(1Cor2:13), then his standing before God is also in question. There is only ONE Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is only going to teach ONE Truth to everyone. (Eph4:4-6)

3) There is also the person who is "deceived." He sincerely desires to know the Truth, but due to lack of maturity and growth, comes to wrong conclusions as he is bombarded from the enemy.

4) And then there's the generic "apostasy" that exists all around us (which is what is referred to most in VW writings). There are teachers who zero in on one piece of false teaching and make it their harp to play upon. They create websites totally devoted to that ONE False Doctrine, to the exclusion of any teaching on any other subject. And, quite often, if you see their testimony, you will see that they came up some "other way."(Jn10:1) Many will claim visions, and all sorts of "miracles." But they have not come via the Cross of Christ...not the one He died on.

In such cases, their OWN WORDS and doctrine condemn them, when compared next to Scripture. So, for me to generically "pronounce them non-Christians" is not my judgement. It comes out of their own "mouth/s."

"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)

Let us remember Satan's cleverness. He appears as an angel of light.(2Cor11:13-15) He will appear as a "fellow-christian." He will know Scripture, possibly better than you do. He will be quite vocal about doctrine. He will attain to positions as pastor/teacher. By all appearances you will think he is a Believer. It will "feel like" he is a Believer, because the enemy knows how to manipulate emotions so that we think a work of his is from the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it takes "time" to ferret out the False from the True. But eventually, little things will "slip" along the way, and it will become apparent.

But, if we don't know God's Word...we will never know. We must feed on God's Word, hide Him in our hearts. Get to know His voice. (Jn10:3) Don't listen to man...but Jesus says, "You follow Me!"

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