Are You Connected?
Maybe today there are those of us who think we won't lose what we've gained in Christ, because we feel we have a pretty tight hold of it all. I hope we indeed are holding on tight, but that doesn't mean we can't be coerced by Satan to let go. So perhaps there are also those reading this today who have lost the connection they once had, and maybe they think they are still OK? What does scripture say about this?
There is a false teaching out there that says once we are in Christ that there is nothing we can ever do to fall back outside of Him, but there are numerous scriptures that teach otherwise, yes numerous. We don't have to guess or hope, it's clear. Let's spend just a minute today on just one of those passages 2nd John, all of it for context but particularly verses 7-9.
John here starts this section of his letter by following up his previous comments where he is pleased to find some people still "walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us"... He's talking to those who have not left the truth, indicating obviously that some have left the truth. Can anyone argue that there is no distinction being made by John between those who have NOT left the truth, and those who HAVE? Is there a difference in those "walking in obedience to His commands vs-6, and those who have stopped doing so? John clearly reminds his readers of the command that they love each other, and "walk in obedience to His (God's and Christ's) commands.
John says, "I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist..." (2 John 7) He then gives this warning, "Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for..." (2 John 8) What had they worked for John, what had they gained? Was it not salvation in Christ? Let's get that from verse-9, "Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son." He's saying we can make decisions that place us in a position of not continuing in the teaching of Christ, when we had previously been doing so. If we no longer have God, we lose our connection to Him, we lose what we have gained in Him, our hope of salvation.
As I said earlier, there are those who teach that it is impossible for us to lose Christ, if we have once gained Him. But John talks about those very people who in his day, (and the same would hold true for our day and time) taught that you can't lose God and Christ. "If anyone comes to you and does not bring 'this teaching', do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work." (2 John 10-11). What teaching John? The teaching that we must "walk in obedience to His commands" that we must walk "in the truth" and that we must continue doing so in order to "have the Father and the Son".
It's a nice thought that we can never lose Christ, or lose God and our connection to them, but only man teaches that, not the inspired writers of scripture. The Bible warns us not to listen to such teaching, and for us to stay away from people who teach this error. This warning here in 2 John is one of many warnings from scripture about people who change the words of scripture, who teach false doctrine.
The saved are "in Christ" and here are just a few scriptures that speak to that (2 Cor 5:17, Eph 2:10, 1 Peter 2:9, Romans 8:1, Rom 6:16, Rom 6:23, Rom 12:5, 1 Cor 1:4, 1 Cor 1:30, 1 Cor 15:19, Gal 2:4, Gal 2:16, Gal 3:26, Gal 3:28, Eph 1:3, Eph 1:13, Eph 2:10, Eph 2:13, Phil 1:1, Col 1:2, Col 2:10, Col 2:17, 1 Thes 2:14, 1 Thes 4:16, 1 Tim 1:14, 2 Tim 1:9, 2 Tim 2:10, 2 Tim 3:12, Heb 3:14, 1 Peter 5:14, 1 John 5:20) So anything these scriptures say we gain by being in Christ, would we not forfeit if we no longer have Christ? Read vs-9 again, "Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God..." Can we have salvation if we don't have God?
Those who obey and follow Him are "in Christ". He who "continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son." Those who have chosen to no longer live according to His teachings are warned, "Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for..." So let us all ask ourselves the question today, are we continuing in His teachings? None of us do that perfectly, but His blood cleanses our shortcomings as long as we are walking with Him. But if we quit walking with Him, we stand to lose all we ever gained in our relationship with Him.
1 John 1:9 says, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." That little but all important word "if" means that not walking in the light has us outside fellowship, and we no longer receive the blessings of continual purification for our sin. However, hope is not lost if we have stopped walking in the light, God is willing to restore our position with Him upon our repentance and confession of sin, and our re-dedication to following His will.
Today, are you still connected? Are you like those John is writing to here, people who he is rejoicing with because they are still "walking in the truth". If you have to answer that question with a "no" or "I don't know", then dig into the scriptures for yourself, and do what is necessary so that your salvation is not in jeopardy. As always, we are here to help anybody who asks, we love you. 325-573-0154