Because John 3:16 is incomplete. I like to say "incomplete" because of the way that many people who call themselves Christians use it to justify their sinful lives.
Yes, Jesus died for the sins of all men (as told to us in John 3:16), but not all men are saved. Many men, as the Bible shows, are destined to reject Christ, or be rejected by Christ, simply because they never turned away from sin. Many will be rejected by Christ and end up in Hell simply because they proclaimed Christ with their mouths but they never truly had him in their hearts.
They do not have -- and may have never had -- the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, a Christian is not really a Christian. In modern day speak, they would be called a "pretender". The Bible describes false converts as "deceived".
Why are these "false" believers deceived? One reason -- a very important reason -- is that they never had Christ in their heart for any real length of time. More specifically, these false believers never truly turned to God's ways and commands for our lives, as spelled out in the Holy Bible.
In Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, God makes it clear most Christians are NOT SAVED. He also makes it clear that the church has been infiltrated by Satan and that most Christians will not be 'spared the hour of trial', as worded in Revelation 3:10. I believe this means being taken in the rapture of the church (faithful believers "fly away" to Heaven) as God's wrath on the nations takes place.
|Sign of the Times: Revelation 3:16
Interested in reaching out to Christians of half-hearted faith who are not saved? If professional baseball / football stadiums still allow fans to hold up signs, please consider holding up a sign that reads "Revelation 3:16". Christians across America could reach a lot of people with this message in a very short time. This verse gets straight to the point.
So those who aren't spared from the hour of trial will be "left behind' (as the saying goes in many Christian churches) to suffer God's wrath on the nations of the world.
In fact, if you think you're saved, and you're actually not saved – you're playing right into Satan's hands.
How did this happen? How did so many Christians fall from God's grace?
Most of them were never in God's grace to begin with.
You're hearing a gospel message -- just not the correct gospel message -- which is a lot more imposing, and offends a lot of people who prefer their worldly, wicked lives, over God's demands for holiness, purity, and kindness to all people.
When a true follower of Christ walks out of church, this person should have a race in their step – an urge to love God and neighbor, and to overcome sin and obey God's commands, especially when you consider what Jesus said:
Matthew 7:13-14 - "Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it."
Many people who go to church nowawadays are in serious trouble with God, because they don't live lives on the straight and narrow path that leads to Eternal life.
They're following a false gospel, that deceives many Christians into believing that they're saved, if they'll simply say a prayer and "ask Jesus into their hearts".
Unfortunately, it's not that easy, and you won't find that written anywhere in the Bible.
Acts 26:20 - "...I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds."
There it is. That is what Paul taught to the early Christians. Repent and turn to God, and prove your repentance by your deeds.
If Paul was a pastor in your church, that's what he would say.
Later, in a letter to Timothy, Paul summarizes what Jesus Christ's death on the cross means for sinners:
1 Timothy 1:15-16 - Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
|Grace vs. Holiness
The Bible clearly teaches higher standards of Christian living than many of today's churches teach to their congregations.
Today, what we have is a watered down gospel that appeals to today's world - and we end up with a large number of lukewarm Christians (Revelation 3:16) who don't realize that our job is to overcome sin and that God calls his people to holiness.
These lukewarm believers may love God and neighbor, and that's great, but many still live sinful lives, because they go to bed each night believing one thing: That they are forgiven for their sins.
Instead, they should be going to bed believing two things:
1) We are forgiven for our sins
2) Our job is to overcome sin, obey God's commands, conform to the image of Christ, and seek holiness. That's what the Bible teaches.
Most important lesson from this article: God detests lukewarm believers (Rev. 3:16).
To say that the Bible doesn't teach this, means that people are ignoring much of what Jesus, Paul, and the disciples taught. If you refer to the scripture I cite throughout this article, you'll see that yourself. The Bible does talk about God's grace and that's because salvation and eternal life is only made possible by God's grace -- through the Holy Spirit that was given to us when we became believers.
The Holy Spirit enables us to seek obedience to God's commands, and resist the impulses of the flesh, and instead live in the Spirit. But salvation is not an easy ride and there is a lot of testing and trials involved.
To past these tests and trials, takes a strong desire to follow God's will and a commitment to the teachings of the Word of God, as said by Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27.
Lukewarm Christians are in the same boat as Satan worshippers – that boat is going down
1 John 5:18-19 - We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
Throughout the Bible, repent clearly means to turn away from sin; by believing in God, we break the hold that Satan has on us and free ourselves from the wickedness of sin. Ok, so what exactly is sin? What specifically must we repent of?
Matthew 15:18-19 - But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.
Once we are Christians, if we continue to have an unclean heart, we are not truly Christians and according to the Bible have rejected God.
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 - For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
As Christians, do you really think it's ok to have evil thoughts -- thoughts of adultery or sexual immorality -- or to steal, lie, and slander others? Of course not. But what if we ask God to forgive our sins each night in prayer?
Paul said that no 'greedy, impure, or immoral' person will ever inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
God said, I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds(Revelation 2:23) .
Many of these churches are going to suffer God's wrath, for not staying true to God's Word and allowing Satan and his lukewarm doctrines to infiltrate the church and cause Christians to sin.
If you are shaking your head, because you don't agree, please read Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation. If you come back and still don't agree, then you don't agree with the Bible. Because this is what the Bible says.
You have been sold a false gospel by Popular Christianity, that uses verses such as "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" to justify sinning. If you don't realize this right now, this may cost you your salvation, because Christ could rapture the church at any moment, and catch an unsuspecting world by surprise (Matthew 24:37-42).
We are still sinners. But we are forgiven.
The true gospel, on the other hand, says that Christians were sinners -- and that is why Jesus Christ suffered horrible persecution and died on the cross, to pay the penalty to God for our sins. But once born of God, we do not continue to live sinful lives. We repent.
1 John 5:1-4 - Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.
What does it mean to overcome the world? It means that we have overcome sin.
If we love God, we will obey his commands. We will not sin. However, the only way to not sin is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. We know that Jesus lives in us by the 'Spirit he gave us' (1 John 3:24), which is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will enable us to escape sin.
Once we believe in Christ, we are no longer hopeless sinners. We have been freed from sin, and can now follow God's commands -- because to believe in Christ, we must follow God's commands.
John 15:9-11 - As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
Romans 6:22-23 - But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Bible also tells us not to take advantage of God's grace, and to believe we are free to sin simply because we have been forgiven for our sins.
Romans 6:8-19 - ...For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?... You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
The Bible also warns us that Satan has infiltrated churches with false teachings that oversell God's grace – causing Christians to sin – and causing Christians to unknowingly reject Christ.
Jude 1:4 - For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
Beware these teachings. Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation make it clear that there's a lot more than just God's grace that gets us into Heaven. Yes, God's grace wiped away our sins – now, it is up to us to overcome sin, and become worthy of Heaven. Because our deeds, as preached by Paul, confirm or deny the presence of genuine salvation (James 2:14).
Revelation 3:4 - Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.
By now, you should understand what this verse means. Where it says we are a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come -- that means we've received the Holy Spirit, and our new creation is in Christ.
Where it ends with God does not count men's sins against them, we understand that to mean that our past sins are wiped away -- not that we can continue to sin simply because God does not count them against us.
Hebrews 6:4-6 - It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
Yes, Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross.
Now, however, we must repent of our sins and turn to God, and prove our repentance by our deeds. Exactly as Paul said. Paul even made the point that this is something we should strive for:
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 - "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."
1 John 5:18-20 - We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true – even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
Many churches today teach an incomplete Bible, and that is going to cost a lot of Christians there place in the "Little Book" (Revelation 10) on the day the church is raptured and God's judgement of wrath begins on the nations.
Reading the Bible it is clear to me that God's command for our lives is to overcome sin, and we are supposed to pursue this as though pursuing a crown.
Revelation 2:10 - Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.
James 1:12 - Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
However, if you mention this to most Christians today, they will probably freak out and tell you that nobody's perfect, and that we are forgiven for our sins. They say that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins.
And that's all they say. This is what Jesus said:
Who were the Pharisees?
"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in." (Matthew 23:13)
The lesson from the Pharisees' example is that self-righteousness is not actual righteousness, and that God's true people are to live according to all of God's Word, not just certain parts that are most convenient or to one's own liking, which the Pharisees were guilty of. Full article
You will be shocked to find out that not only does God differentiate between Christians who sin and Christians who don't sin, but he calls ALL Christians to be perfect, to love our enemies, and to overcome sin.
Matthew 5:43-48 - "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven... Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
On our own, this would be impossible. How can we love our enemies? How can we be perfect?
That is why God gives us the Holy Spirit.
The job of the Holy Spirit is to guide us in truth and enable us to escape sin. The Holy Spirit imparts on us the righteousness of Christ, and a number of important spiritual traits, the first of which is love (Galatians 5:22). Without the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, we cannot be made righteous, and we cannot escape sin.
Galatians 5:16 - So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
For Christians who still sin, this is what the Bible says:
1 John 2:1-2 - My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
Christians are forgiven for their sins.
But it is clear that we are not supposed to sin.
God searches hearts and minds (Revelation 2:23). From this we know without a doubt that God knows when we are trying to overcome sin. If we sin along the way -- that's ok -- we're forgiven -- as long as we are sincerely trying to overcome sin.
1 John 2:3-6 - We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
So what did Jesus do? Jesus did not sin. Jesus loved God, neighbor, and enemy. So to walk as Jesus did, means we must not sin, and we must love God, neighbor, and enemy.
John 14:15-21 - If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth [the Holy Spirit]. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you... Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father..."
Well, it's working, and mega-church after mega-church has been packing stadiums full of people who think they're hearing the Gospel, and who think they are saved, but unfortunately they're not. They're not hearing anything close to what Jesus taught, and they're not living anything close to how Jesus commanded us to live.
God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. By reading the Bible, and paying careful attention to everything that is said, it's clear that God requires full obedience from Christians. Partial obedience, he sees as rebellion.
That is why he promises to spit the 'lukewarm' church from his mouth in Revelation 3:16. The 'lukewarm' church is in obvious rebellion.
Revelation 3:15-16 - I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Satan knows the Bible. He knows that to keep you from God's grace, all he has to do is make sure you're 'lukewarm'. He has been extremely successful, and that is why so much of Christianity has fallen.
God's judgment is coming shortly. But first, he is going to reward the faithful Christians who have endured and stayed in truth, who have refused to follow false teachings and who have overcome sin and are obedient to all of God's commands. They will be in the 'rapture of the church'. The Christian majority, the followers of what I call Popular Christianity -- will be left behind for God's wrath (Revelation 14:6) on the nations of the world.
Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation are clear on this.
Matthew 25:1-13 is an important parable about the coming 'rapture of the church' – Jesus made it clear that he was coming at a day or time that no one would expect. He will catch the foolish unaware, and turn his back on them for not being prepared.
True believers, of course, will be prepared, because they heed the warning to be on the alert, and to watch for the signs that he said would take place in Matthew 24 and Luke 21.
Luke 21:33-36 - But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.