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Jesus is the way,
 the truth, and the life

 

 

BLIND SHEPHERDS

 

 

This writing is about blind shepherds, meaning people who are involved with spiritual matters or who even are employees of the church but who in practice reject Christ, are not believers or do not understand what Christian faith means. We are talking about a system within Christianity that goes against Christ in practice and in doctrine.

   Next, we will study some characteristics of such people. The idea is not to attack anyone; instead, the idea is to study this matter so that people who are lost might come to see their status before God. This way, they will know the truth and be saved, which is God’s will for us.

 

- (1 Tim 2:3,4) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;

4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

CANNOT SAY WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE BELIEVERS. One very common characteristic of a blind shepherd is that they are unable to say for sure whether or not they believe and have been saved. They are unable to give a direct answer because they do not have a personal relationship with God. They usually consider the question unpleasant. They may say that faith is a personal matter and that it is not in their Christian tradition to discuss it, or may give another unclear explanation.

   Renowned Finnish preacher Niilo Yli-Vainio wrote about such people who want to call themselves Christians but who deny faith and assurance. They are the people who are unable to directly answer this question. The essential and most serious aspect of their condition is that they do not seek or want assurance. If one does not want assurance, one will, naturally, not find it.

 

In the course of my spiritual work, I must have asked thousands of people if they were believers. An ordinary sinner admits, “Not yet.” But the convert beats about the bush and does not give a direct answer to a direct question. He wants to be a Christian but he lacks the internal experience. That is why he cannot really even lie properly. He does not want to deny – nor admit – that something in his innermost says that there is not assurance of what they have been talking about. (1)

 

Below is another quote about similar religious people. They may have humility, silence or some other feature of Christian faith but still want to keep everything vague and uncertain. Paul must have been referring to such people when he wrote that there are people "having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." (3 Tim 2:5).

 

This is not always the reason, however: as often the reason is the people themselves. First of all, such people usually reject any clear definitions; they do not like certainty and assurance. They consider religion nice as long as it is weak, uncertain and vague, full of rituals. I am not at all surprised when people are drawn to Roman Catholicism. The weaker and vaguer your religion is, the nicer it is. There is nothing as uncomfortable as clear biblical truths, which demand solutions. This is why such people say, “You are too precise, you are too legalistic. I do not like this one bit. I do believe in the Christian faith but you are too rigid and narrow-minded.“(2)

 

Is disbelief a virtue? There is also another term for a person in the state as described above: disbeliever. This means that the person considers God and His promises in Jesus Christ unreliable and does not think that he can be saved and also given assurance by God. Such a person claims that these things are lies or just ignores them.

   We should understand, however, that God considers disbelief bad. Disbelief shows a human’s reluctant and rebellious mind – a mind fighting against God and claiming that He cannot be trusted. Such a person is opposing God, which is a sin. Let’s study some verses about disbelief and unbelief:

 

- (Hebr 3:12) See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.

 

- (Rew 21:8) But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

 

- (Heb 11:6) And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

 

- (1 John 5:10) JAnyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

 

- (Hebr 4:2) For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.

 

- (Rom 14:23) But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

 

- (2 Kor 13:5) Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you— unless, of course, you fail the test?

 

- (Joh 20:31) But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 

What should a person who considers sinful disbelief to bevirtuous and good do, then?

   Such a person must be humble in front of God and recognise his rebellious nature. He must understand that we all can receive assurance and have faith because Jesus promised that ”he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened”. We can surely trust what Jesus said.

 

- (Matt 7:8) For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.

 

- (John 7:17) If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

 

- (1 Pet 5:6) Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

 

READY IN THE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. One characteristic of a blind shepherd and convert is that he (or she) feels that he is ready in regards to his relationship with God. This can be seen in the following ways:

 

  • God exists in a separate niche in the life of a blind shepherd. This means that such a person has in a way closed off God in an enclosure so that the blind shepherd can ask nice things from God, but the blind shepherd does not allow God to be the ruler of his life.

   Such a blind believer usually cries out God to help with all his might when feeling fear of Hell or death, or faced with great difficulties. However, as soon as life becomes normal, he forgets all about God (Jer 2:27:They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, 'Come and save us!').

 

  • A blind shepherd does not change. A person with dead faith may stay exactly the same year after year: have the same selfish life, the same flaws of character and the same ways of sinning. He does not live for God and Christ at the present; he may live in his past conversion. The worst thing is that he does not even want to change and receive holiness in his life. Therefore, God is naturally unable to influence him. He is not poor in spirit or a person who hungers for righteousness (Matt 5:3,6: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven… Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.). He does not actively search for God.

   When a person has been born again and received a new life in Jesus Christ, his life and character should always change for the better. This is what the verses below suggest. If this is not the case, the person not experiencing change should ask him/herself whether he/she is really a Christian.

 

- (2 Kor 3:18) And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

 

- (Gal 5:22-23) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

 

  • A blind shepherd lacks a new mind given by God. The reason why dead faith does not change a person is that the person has not been saved and received a new mind from God. Change is difficult then.

   True conversion means that the person receives God’s divine nature (2 Pet 1:4 Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature), and the person wants to do what God wishes. As a result, the person starts to hate the sins he/she used to love. C.O. Rosenius wrote about the battle of the flesh and Spirit within us and about how people change in relation to the sins they used to like:

 

A Christian is not just a new person but also an old one. The life of a Christian is divided and crushed by an eternal battle of the flesh and the Spirit within. (...) The most important sign of a pure mind is that the person hates most the sins he or she used to love.

   Many who have not been converted may hate the sins they do not love but hating the sin you love the most proves that your mind is new and pure. When the disciples discussed which of them was the greatest they probably did not hate their egoism. However, when they thought about it, they surely hated it. Peter said, “I don’t know the man!” And then he went out and wept bitterly. (3)

 

  • A blind shepherd does not pray for the salvation of others. A blind shepherd does not care about the salvation of others because he or she is indifferent about his or her own salvation. Paul wrote that he was worried about his people and prayed for them. This is a completely alien idea to a blind shepherd.

 

- (Rom 9:1-3) I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit—

2. I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.

3. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race,

 

- (Rom 10:1) Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.

 

  • A blind shepherd's attitude towards sin is indifferent. One characteristic of blind shepherds is that they are indifferent about sin. Christians may also become indifferent about sin if they distance themselves from God and harden themselves. This is a typical characteristic of blind faith, however. Such people defend their sins, do not want to give them up or may think that God is merciful because of Christ and thus it does not matter how we live. The next quote is about this issue.

 

I will never forget the shock I had when an elder of a congregation told me that a young couple in their congregation had committed the sin of fornication. The young man was called to the elders, and the elders asked him did he not know that he was sinning against God. “Oh, I knew,” was the man’s careless and shameless answer. “However, I also knew that I would only have to confess my sin to God afterwards, and He would forgive me.” What would you call his attitude? It does not exhibit any faith or trust in God; it is contempt of God’s grace. (4)

 

BLIND SHEPHERD DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE SEVERITY OF HIS OR HER STATE.

 

- (Rom 3:19,20) Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.

20. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

 

One characteristic of a blind shepherd is that the law has never made him or her defenceless and guilty before God. The verses above show that the purpose of the law is to make us feel this, but a blind shepherd has never felt it. He or she has never been truly subject to the law of God and does not recognise his or her sins and reluctance towards God. Blind shepherds may compare themselves with others but they fail to understand that they are guilty before God and guilty of the ultimate sin. The greatest command is love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and love your neighbour as yourself, and the ultimate sin is not doing this. Blind shepherds and all of us have committed this sin.

 

The most important is that feeling yourself a sinner does not mean comparing yourself to others. What it means is getting face to face with God’s law. What is God’s law? Thou shall not kill or steal? “I have never done that, and therefore I am not a sinner.” – My friend, this is not the entire God’s law. So what is it, then? It is a two-part commandment: "The first of all the commandments is:, … 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: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. (Mark 12:29-31). Forget about alcoholics and the like, forget about the news about crimes you can read in any newspaper. The true test is this: Do you love God with all your being? If not, you are a sinner. ”For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (5)

 

A characteristic trait of a blind shepherd's spiritual state is complacence, false assurance and self-proclaimed righteousness, and the blind shepherd defending and justifying his or her sins without even wanting to give them up. The blind shepherd has never understood his or her true state: that he or she is actually lost, evil, sinner, not with God and opposing His will. Since the blind shepherd is happy with this state, he or she does not understand that salvation must be sought from the outside, in Jesus and the promises of the Gospel. The blind shepherd ignores these.

   The state of ours can be illustrated with the examples from true life below. They show, in an imperfect way, how noting one’s own state is connected to salvation.

 

  • When one is in a dark room, one cannot see any cobwebs, dust and dirt. Only when one turns the light on can one see these imperfections.

   The same applies to spiritual life. Only when God reveals to us our state – the law shows us our sin – can we become aware of our state.

  • Another example is a person who notices that he has been shipwrecked and can do nothing to save himself. He sees that his only hope is for someone from the outside to save him; someone must help him.

    The same applies to spiritual life. When we see in the light of the law that we cannot save ourselves, that we are lost, that we are under God’s hate and separated from God, help must come from the outside. This means Jesus Christ and the promises about Him in the Gospel.

 

How can one know that one sufficiently feels one’s sins and that the law has fulfilled its task? Is there a limit after which one is surely saved?

   The answer is that it is enough when one no longer feels happy with himself and feels that he cannot find peace until he is saved in Christ. That is all. If we still feel that we get some comfort from ourselves when faced with God or if we feel that we are a little better than others, we are actually not standing in the light of God's law yet. We have not yet seen our actual poor state and how that keeps us separated from God. Awareness of sin does not make a person desperate because of his or her state or make a person find salvation from the outside. C.O. Rosenius wrote about how important it is for people to see their true state:

 

When your awareness of sin is correct, it is never what you want it to be. If it were, you would be comforted by something within you. All such comfort must cease. True conversion means that you are unsatisfied with your own efforts: you feel hard, sure and decadent. Then, you must condemn yourself as godless and cursed. Only then can the blood of Christ take all the credit for your salvation.

   The answer to a person who asks how much in pain about sin he must have is that there is no specific amount. You need to feel so much pain that you cannot live without Christ, that you cannot find peace until you are saved in Him. That is what is required – no more and no less.

   If you think that you must first worry about your sins for a while to believe, you are wrong. Instead, just start to believe in Christ and then follow Him every day, and you will feel sin ever clearer. (6)

 

BLIND SHEPHERDS REJECT THE WORD. A very common characteristic of a blind shepherd is that he or she rejects the word of God. Blind shepherds may read the Bible a lot but when reading, they do not accept that God is what the Scripture says, and only what the Scripture says He is. Such religious people always say the same thing: ”Yes, has God said” (Gen 3:1). Is Jesus really the Son of God? Is He resurrected? Can we talk about true God’s word? Will unrepentant people really end up in eternal damnation?”

   There are countless such questions because blind shepherds refuse to accept the Bible as it is, and instead give their own explanations. They may only accept parts of the Bible they like such as God's love and the ethical teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, but reject teachings about damnation, etc. – even though these are also mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount and in Jesus' teachings. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explained the attitude of blind shepherds and the way they interpret the Bible:

 

The second problem with such people is that they are unable to fully accept the teachings and the authority of the Bible. I believe that this is the ultimate reason. They do not consider the Bible an authority and do not, unconditionally and finally, surrender to the Bible’s teachings. If we approached the Bible like small children, taking it at full face value and letting it talk to us, there would be no such problem. However, such people mix their own ideas with the spiritual truth. Naturally, they claim that they do accept the Bible as a whole but – this is their fatal mistake – they immediately start to edit the message. They accept some thoughts but still want to retain other thoughts and philosophies from their old lives. They mix natural thoughts with spiritual ones. They say that they love the Sermon on the Mount and Chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians. They say that they believe in Christ as the Saviour but they also think that we should not go too far but keep in moderation. This is where editing the message starts. They refuse to accept the Bible as an authority both in sermons and in real life, both in teachings and in relation to the world. “Times have changed,” they say, “and life is not what it used to be. We are now living in the 21st century.” They edit the Bible here and there to suit their ideas. The truth is, however, that the Bible is the word of God and timeless, and since it is the word of God, we must be subject to it and trust God to use His own tools in His own way. (7)

 

The critical attitude towards the Bible mentioned above is closely related to deism. Deism means an ideology where the Bible as the main source of information has been rejected, and the Bible and God have been replaced by the human intellect that is considered the final judge. Deists do not believe that God has notified of Himself in His incarnation or in the Bible; instead, they replace God with human intellect that rejects any issues that feel unlikely: damnation, Heaven, miracles, virgin birth, etc. They consider it impossible that God – if He exists – could have approached men and interfered with the progress of this world. They consider the universe closed from the influence of God because God is not interested in it. They reason that this is why miracles or any other occurrences showing God’s special interest cannot occur. For such people, God is only an architect but not a God acting in history, a lover, a judge and nothing else personal.

   Because of this attitude – because they do not consider the Bible the announcement from God – these people face themselves in it. They consider the Bible proof of man’s religiousness. They do not consider it the word of God but the opinions and ideas of religious people about God, the word of God and spiritual life. They see everything as people’s ideas and opinions about God and spiritual life instead of facing God as He is. The following quote describes this attitude well. The writer was himself overcome by religiousness until he understood what it is all about.

 

I used to believe that Christianity was only a religion among the many religions of the world. Then I met Jesus. It is then that I understood that Christianity is not a religion but God in our world. Everything else was religion, people’s thoughts about God. It was all based on the sinful nature of humans, whereas Christianity was God’s own manifestation in our world, His thoughts about us and His acts on behalf of us.

   Because I was overcome by religiousness, I always read the Bible in a religious manner. It was important for me that the different writers in the Bibles all preached in their own time and had their own thoughts about God. They believed and hoped, thought and pondered things in their own ways and with their own ideas about the truth. Thus, the prophets of the Old Testament had their thoughts about God, Matthew his and Paul his. They were good and pious people. They were close to God and served Him. In all this, they fed my own thoughts about God.

   Once converted, I saw everything in a different light: the words of prophets and apostles became the word of God. They said what God had told them to say. They had no opinions about God: what they said were the ideas about God given to them by the Spirit of God. Thus, their thoughts about God became the thoughts of God, words inspired by God, all centring on Jesus Christ. Firstly and lastly, everything was about Him. (8)

 

BLIND SHEPHERDS LEAD OTHERS ASTRAY.

 

- (Ps 50:16,17) But to the wicked, God says: "What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips?

17. You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you.”

 

- (Rev 3:8) I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

 

One characteristic of blind shepherds is that they do not believe in the Scripture but consider it cheap. They reject the Scripture and do not seek guidance from it; instead, they are forced to rely on other sources, such as their own understanding or public surveys, and they value these more than the words of Jesus or the writings of the Apostles. They consider themselves and survey findings to be a higher authority than the words of Jesus and the Apostles. They consider themselves superior to them and do not heed the Scripture.

   This can be seen in their attitude towards the teachings of the Bible about judgement and damnation, and that homosexuality and other sins will lead to damnation (1 Cor 6:9,10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.) They do not take seriously the numerous warnings given to us about these matters. They reject these warnings either because they do not believe them or because they want to be seen as open-minded. This may occur and has occurred during the election of bishops, for example (in Finland). When listening to such people talk, one soon notices that many of them are not seeking guidance from the Scripture but consider themselves, their own opinions or public opinions more important. As a result, they become blind who lead the blind, as Jesus described the religious leaders of His time – leaders who annulled God’s command and words because of their traditions.

 

- (Matt 15:6-14) And honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have you made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

7  You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

8  This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

9  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

10  And he called the multitude, and said to them, Hear, and understand:

11  Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.

12  Then came his disciples, and said to him, Know you that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?

13  But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up.

14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

 

The most serious problem – assuming that the words of Jesus and the Apostles are true – is that blind shepherds lead others astray and to damnation. This is the inevitable consequence if these 2,000-year old teachings are true and are God’s announcement to us, but people are now teaching otherwise. Such people are responsible for their followers; they are responsible for teaching them the wrong things and thus driving them away from God and the salvation He offers. Let’s study a related quote. It is about a preacher in Hell. Are we similar teachers who do not turn people’s eyes towards God and Christ but away from them?

 

We stopped at yet another pit of fire and brimstone. There was a fairly large man in the pit, and I heard that he was preaching the Gospel! I didn’t ask anything anymore. I just looked at Jesus, amazed, to get an answer, because He always knew what I was thinking. And the Lord answered, “When he was on the earth, he was a preacher of Gospel.”

   I wondered what such a man was doing in Hell. (...) He spread his hands as if holding a book and started to read from it, like from the Bible.

   He read one writing after another, and I thought that this was good. Jesus said to the man, with great love in His voice, "Quiet. Be still.” The man immediately stopped talking and slowly turned to look at Jesus.

   I saw his soul inside his bony figure. He said to Jesus, “Lord, I am preaching the truth now to all people. Now, Lord, I am prepared to go and tell everyone about this place. When I was on the earth, I did not believe in damnation – nor did I believe in Your second coming. I told people what they wanted to hear and changed the truth so that it pleased them. I made my own rules about Heaven, about right and wrong. I led many astray and caused many to abandon Your Holy Word. I caused many to abandon You.”

   “But, Lord, I have changed. Please let me out, and I will do as You want.”

   Jesus said to the preacher,

 

“Not only did you pervert God's Holy Word but you also lied that you did not know the truth. The joys of life were more important to you than the truth. I visited you myself and tried to change you, but you turned your back on me. You went your own ways and held the Devil as your lord. You knew the truth but you did not turn back to me. I was there all the time, waiting for you, calling for you. I wanted you to come back to me but you refused.

   The judgement has now been given.”

 

There was pity in the Lord’s face.

   I knew that if the man had listened to the Saviour calling, he would not be here.

   Jesus spoke again,

 

“You should have told the truth, and you would have turned many to faith with God’s Word. All my Words are true. You knew the way of the Cross. You knew the way of righteousness. You knew you should have spoken the truth. Yet, Satan filled your heart with lies and you turned to sin. You should have sincerely repented, instead of only partly. Now it is too late.” (9)

 

IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE OUTSIDE OF THE GATES. As stated above, it is possible for a person to consider him/herself a Christian and saved but still be outside of salvation and Heaven. Such people may have been raised Christian but have never seen their true state in the light of God’s law, become desperate and thus have not understood what Christ actually means. Or, they may have awakened but never understood the significance of being born again and changing one's mind. Jesus and the Apostles always stressed a change of mind and that you must give your entire life to God unconditionally, but such people may never have understood this. They have not understood that a person who does not repent his sins cannot inherit the kingdom of God (Luke 13, 2–5: Jesus answered, (...) But unless you repent, you too will all perish.)

 

- (Rev 21:5-8) He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

6. He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.

7. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

8. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."

 

- (Rev 22:14, 15) "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.

15. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

 

Another reason for people considering themselves to be Christians even though they are standing outside Heaven and salvation is the wrong kind preaching of Gospel. Many sermons today focus on God’s love – “God loves you as you are" – instead of His righteousness and holiness. People are told that God loves them (which is true, as proven by Jesus’ coming to this world) but they are not told first that He hates sin and that sin keeps us from Him. People are not told about His perfection and holiness, and that they are held accountable for what they have done unless they repent. People are led to believe that they have been saved and are loved by God without ever having stood in the light of God’s law and seen their true state. Therefore, people may consider themselves to be saved even though they are not.

   Let’s study a quote to better understand this. It shows that it is possible for a person to consider him/herself a Christian and saved but still be outside of salvation and Heaven (Matt 7:22,23: Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!') The reason why these people are in this state is surely that they have never repented their sins and deeply wanted to change. They have not allowed God to work in their lives, or maybe they have gradually separated themselves from Him. The vision was received by John Bevere.

 

JOHN BEVERE: I received a breathtaking spiritual vision in prayer. It changed my life and my service work. I saw a large group of people, countless of people, a group so large I had never seen such before. These people were gathered outside the gates of Heaven, waiting to be let in and hear the Master say, ”Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” (Matt 25:34). Instead, they heard Him say, ”Depart from me, you cursed.” I saw their horrible shock, anguish and horror. They actually believed they would go to Heaven because they recognised the faith and Jesus as their Lord. However, they had not understood the true meaning of sin. Even though they wanted to get to Heaven, they lacked a burning desire to be obedient to our Father’s will. (10)

 

TURN TO JESUS

 

We studied above how we can fill our lives with Christianity but still keep Jesus Christ outside of our lives. Many people may be blind shepherds in the sense that they do not want to give up their sins, they may be hard-hearted, arrogant, complacent, or think that everything is fine even though they are actually not with God. They think they serve God and belong to Him but they are far from Him.

   The verses of the Revelation describe such people well. They are not cold or hot but lukewarm, and thus it is much more difficult to reach them than fully sinful people. Sinners know that they are not with God but lukewarm people are not aware of this, and thus it is much more difficult to save them. Jesus is outside of their hearts. Are you such a person?

 

- (Rev 3:14-20) "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.

15. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!

16. So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

17. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

18. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.

20. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

 

So you will not be left outside of the gates of Heaven, repent your rebellious mind and turn to Jesus Christ. He said,

 

- (John 5:39,40) You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me
40.yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

 

- (John 10:9) I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.

 

So, if you have turned to Jesus Christ and asked Him into your life, you have eternal life and you are born again – regardless of your feelings – as the following verses show:

 

- (John 1:12,13) Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

13. children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

 

- (1 John 5:11-13) And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

12. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

13. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

 

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION: Lord, Jesus, I turn to You. I confess that I have sinned against You and have not lived according to Your will. However, I want to turn away from my sins and follow You with all my heart. I also believe that my sins have been forgiven through Your atonement and I have received eternal life through You. I thank You for the salvation that You have given me. Amen.

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

1. Niilo Yli-Vainio: Kristitty vai käännynnäinen, p. 21

2. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Terve usko, Raamatun apu masennukseen (Spiritual Depression. Its Causes and Cure), p. 45

3. C.O. Rosenius: Tie rauhaan (Vägledning till frid), p. 71,72

4. Denis Clark: Herkkäuskoisten harharetket, p. 44

5. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Terve usko, Raamatun apu masennukseen (Spiritual Depression. Its Causes and Cure), p. 30

6. C.O. Rosenius: Tie rauhaan (Vägledning till frid), p. 62

7. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Terve usko, Raamatun apu masennukseen (Spiritual Depression. Its Causes and Cure), p. 45,46 

8. Aksel Valen-Sendstad: Jäähyväiset uskonnolle (FARVEL TIL RELIGIONEN), p. 125,126

9. Mary Baxter: Jumalan ilmoitus kadotuksesta (A Divine Revelation of Hell), p. 37-39

10. John Bevere: Turvapaikka (Under Cover), p. 47,48

 

 

Jari Iivanainen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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