“Yea, Yea, I know all about being a Christian. I became a Christian years ago, but now I just want to do things my own way for a while.”
Have you ever heard such words spoken? Have you ever spoken such words? There’s a lot of focus these days on remembering that God grants us “grace” and through that free gift, we can be forgiven of all our sins, through the blood of Jesus Christ. Hey, even I focus much of my writings on just that topic. I don’t want to water that down, but I do want to cast some light on the opposite side of the coin for a moment. You see, God is a just God; meaning that He treats those who follow Him justly, as well as those who choose to go their own way. What we ask for we receive… If we ask for salvation through His Son, then we are saved. If we choose to go it on our own, we get that, too. What we often don’t understand is that we get what we ask for eternally! Now, let’s muddy the water even more. What happens when a person says they accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, but then choose at a later time to recant it–going their own way? The Bible says if we truly accept Jesus Christ as both Savior, and as Lord, then we will automatically receive the Holy Spirit and begin to change from the inside out. It actually becomes more and more difficult for us to sin as we seek His face. Our consciences are returned to an earlier state where they “warned” us of our transgressions. My understanding of what happens to a person who chooses to leave the Christian path and goes something like this:
1) They truly meant their prayer of salvation, but are temporarily led astray by the devil. God will bring enough destruction into their lives to bring them back–all because of His love. They either return easily, or He keeps turning up the heat until they do.
2) Their profession of faith meant nothing; everything that appeared to be a Christian walk was an act. This being the case, they’re still destined for an eternity in the lake of fire.
“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison [for the gospel] and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you know that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to PERSEVERE so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, ‘He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.’ But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” Hebrews 10:32-39