Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry


Jesus was very clear that there are only two responses when it comes to one’s
spiritual life and direction in Luke 13:3 & 5, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye
shall all likewise perish.” One must surely repent which means to turn away from the
destructive path of death and destruction. However, to turn from the ways of death
means we are also turning to God in true humility and brokenness after realizing that
there is a great gulf that exists between us and God. We do this to seek the bridge of
Jesus’ redemption that leads us from the ways of death and destruction to eternal life,
knowing in our very being we will perish if we do not change course.

As Christians, we know according to Matthew 7:13 & 14 that the way to eternal life
is narrow; but as I listen to some Christians talk about the matters of life, death, and
eternity, I must admit that if I did not know the truth of the Bible, I would walk away in
either complete delusion, or denial, or confusion about the issue of eternal destination.
Although such matters are rarely discussed, even among the religious groups in order
to avoid sounding too negative, there are very few who bring out the Bible’s many
warnings about those who are unprepared to meet the holy God when they enter
through the door of death.

Sadly, instead of standing distinct in this world, it seems that much of the visible
church has succumbed to a gray environment where there are no absolutes, no real
wrongs or rights, and any such distinctions will be considered wrong, prejudicial, and
intolerable to this present age. Although Hebrew 9:27 is clear that it is appointed for
man to die once, then judgment, it appears that the church must tiptoe around the
matters of righteousness, judgment, and hell so as to keep everyone happy.
Because of the conditioning of our society, certain truths that prove to be liberating
for a troubled soul, are now considered too unloving and negative, and must be avoided
at all costs in order to show a type of tolerance lest the “cultural police” of our times, will
crucify them with their venomous tongues. For example, one of the most liberating
truths for me was when I discovered that I could not be perfect because I was a sinner. I
could not change my status and it was that one revelation that caused me to seek God,
for He alone was the only one who could change my pathetic state. Sadly, some in the
church have let the godless opinions of the wicked push them into morbid corners of
silence that keeps them from sharing the good news. Such an environment would have
left me years ago struggling under the great weight of sin as I remained lost and
hopeless in my sins.

The agenda of these evil people is obvious. If a matter is an abomination to God,
they speak of tolerance that is akin to indifference, even though the land will ultimately
vomit the inhabitants who practice them out with great disgust (Leviticus 18:25). If a
person is a fornicator among the religious, they speak of God’s love so that lost
individuals can comfortably stay in the church while merrily ignoring the judgments of
hell that awaits them. If a person is pagan in practices, they fudge the lines of
righteousness, while emphasizing grace so the rebellious and lawless can be content to
remain in a poisonous mixture that will take their soul captive, while opening wide the
way to perdition. For those who have sins that leave great destruction behind to souls
and relationships, it is referred to as a bad habit, some disease, or the product of the
past instead of the result of wretched attitudes, wrong decisions, and rebellious ways.

I am sure you are getting the message, but such presentations are contrary to
Scripture. Take John the Baptist who instructed the religious people of his time to “flee
the wrath to come” in Matthew 3:7. What about the message of Jesus in Luke 13:3 & 5?
If you do not repent, you will perish in your sin with no recourse but to taste the bitter
dregs of tormenting judgment. What about the warning of Hebrews 10:27 to those who
know better about such matters, “But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery
indignation, which shall devour the adversaries,” along with Hebrews 10:31, “It is a
fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” We also have Jude who wanted to
share the Gospel but admitted in verse three that he had to contend for the faith that
was first delivered to the saint. In Jude 20-25 he makes this statement, “But ye,
beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep
yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto
eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with
fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto
him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the
presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory
and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

I could go on and on, but I am sure the reader will get the idea. I am not trying to
scare anyone into heaven, because scare tactics do not produce a true conversion in a
person’s soul. The purpose of any warning is to bring sobriety to a soul so that that the
hearer can somberly consider a matter in a reasonable way. The truth is, a person
scared out of their mind is not able to weigh matters to reasonably make a sound
decision as to what needs to be done.

However, I can tell you from experience that unless sober truths are presented,
people will see no need to flee God’s wrath and judgment. The reality of my sinful
condition did not insult me; rather, it identified my problem, allowing me to see the
solution so I could receive the precious gift of life. It did not hurt my psyche; rather, it
caused deferred hope to rise out of the ashes of various broken dreams, failures, and
despair to land on the runway of faith.

I was saved in 1976 and I have never regretted my choice to look up and trust the
Lord to save me in just the manner He promised me. He has never let me down,
forsaken me in my struggles, or left me to flounder in the darkness of adversity.
This brings me to the state of things. I can understand why the world goes the way
of the world, but my question is how can those who call themselves Christians come
under the influence of the world to such an extent that they end up being taken out by
the different tides of its lies? The matters of the world put us at odds with God and
reveals we do not possess the love of the Father (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17).

The Bible tells us there is a couple of states in which people perish. As I consider
the seducing, indoctrination techniques of the world, I can see how they can even take a
Christian captive. Granted, we can debate about eternal security, but such a debate is
unprofitable and does not reveal a balanced Scriptural knowledge or spiritual maturity
on the part of believers; rather, it exposes the sin of pride, spiritual immaturity, and
concrete dogma.

The truth is we need to avoid pinnacles of pride, shallow stagnant waters of man-
made doctrines, and allowing ourselves to think more highly of our spiritual life than we
should (Romans 12:3). We need to do as Hebrews 10:25 exhorts us to do, “Not
forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting
one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” I must state this
Scripture is not in reference to simply going to church; rather, it is talking about true
fellowship where people are exhorting—warning, comforting, encouraging, and
upholding others in their walk with the Lord according to His Word.

I have already mentioned the first reason people will perish is because they will not
believe God’s word and repent of their sins and seek His salvation. Granted, some are
putting it off, but today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Some are thinking it is
foolish because in their heart they are saying there is no God (Psalm 14:1). There are
those who think the unseen realm does not exist and the truths of the Bible are obsolete
and do not address our times. Whatever the reason behind their excuse to not believe
and repent, it will become the point of great mocking, torment, and contempt in the end.

The second reason people perish is found in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no
vision, the people perish: but he that keepth the law, happy is he.” It is clear that people
perish because they have no vision past this present world. Another word for “vision” is
revelation. “Revelation” means something has to be unveiled to you before you can see
it, and for Christians that means a spiritual truth has been unveiled by the Holy Spirit.
People operate within three realms. The first realm is that of self. All they can see is
what affects their personal reality, desires, and dreams. To them, past self is nothing but
darkness that represents the condition of their soul that is blinded by a spiritual
darkness so thick that they can’t imagine any other world beyond what they can

The second realm that man operates according to is personal perception.
Personal perception comes down to a person’s reality. Such an individual can’t see
beyond their particular reality that is perverted by shadows of fantasy, shades of wicked
imaginations, and dark clouds of self-serving conclusions. To maintain their own reality,
each one will do all they can to control the narrative of something, including truth. Some
let that which challenges their reality to fall to the wayside, counting it as insignificant,
others mock and shout over it to bury it under a deluge of nonsense, and some violently
rage at it.

The third realm is the world. The world has its own glimmer and glory that deludes
people into selling their souls to possess it, but it is a temporary façade. Behind the
façade is a spiritual vacuum that seduces people into something that sucks the very life
out of them.

The third reason people perish is found in Hosea 4:6. People are destroyed, or
perish, because of lack of spiritual knowledge concerning God and His ways. They are
ignorant of His Person, His work, and His Word. Wherever there is such ignorance,
there are lies, superstition, vain imaginations, and fear. Lies pervert reality, superstition
does away with true faith and discernment, vain imaginations establish and maintain the
environment of idolatry, and fear harbors pride, delusion, and oppression, which proves
to be the opposite of faith and is a form of worship.

It is for this reason that the Apostle Paul contended with those at Mars Hill about who
they were worshipping. He made this statement in Acts 17:23, “For as I passed by, and
beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.” It was clear they did not
know the one true God and failed to realize, “Neither is worshipped with men’s hands,
as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.”
Paul went on to exhort them to “…seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and
find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and
have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his
offspring.” He concluded his exhortation with this warning in Acts 17:30-31, “And the
times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to
repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in
righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained whereof he hath given assurance
unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

Regardless of the reason people are perishing, the warnings surrounding spiritual
destruction will bring men back to what they need to do to be saved and that is to stop
hiding behind the darkness of their soul which is rebellion, and excusing themselves of
their ignorance which is nothing more than unbelief and REPENT or they indeed will