I have been a Christian for 45 years. God has opened quite a few doors in my life. I have not always taken the opportunity to walk through some of those -doors. Why? Because of my lack of self-confidence. I have served as:
- Pastor Intern (2 Years)
- Associate Pastor (1 year)
- Interim Senior Pastor (4 months)
- Church Security Guard (8 months)
- Advisor to the Senior Pastor (5 months)
The last two positions I held at the same time in the Church (I even had a Doctorate in Ministry). As a Maverick I have held some strong convictions concerning the organized church they could not accept. When interviewed I would respond, “If you (the church) are going to treat this relationship as an employee / employer relationship I am not interested. If you are interested if I have a Calling of God on my life and want to hire me, I am interested!
The Church or fellowship is not a business organization. The Church is a living organism. The Senior Pastor is not one who is charge! Jesus was the servant of all, although he was the Lord of all. Jesus clearly said:
Real leadership springs not from saying, ‘I am in charge!’ but, ‘How can I serve you?’ When that is in place, people will follow a leader through hell and high water. Jesus refused the role of the manager or C.E.O. behind a big desk. The passage states it clearly: the ruler is “over” those he leads. But the servant is “among” we cannot be servant-leaders if our position or role or our own attitude tends to lift us above others and makes a distinction between us and the rest of the people of God. Holding to this conviction gave me little opportunity to enter the ministry full time.
As I grew up in my faith I thought it was ignorant to argue about “Once Saved Always Saved” Vs. “Losing One’s Salvation.” I have never wondered from my faith or flirted with leaving my faith. Why? Because, Lord Jesus would not let me. Again, He would not let me! God would discipline and chastise me every time I made a movement in the wrong direction.
I have talked with thousands of men and women who walked away from their Christian faith. I have always asked: “If they felt the discipline or chastising of God when they walked away? The answer was always surprisingly “NO!” Because they said and I quote: “God gave them the free will to believe and free will to leave.” End quote. The problem? They were never a Christian or at best “almost a Christian!” How can I make such a statement? Because of Hebrew 12:6-8 says:
V. 6 “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
V. 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
V. 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.”
It’s very clear God disciplines and chastises EVERY one of his children. If not they are not his children but illegitimate children. What I would call “almost Christian.”
Some Who Claim to Be Christians Will Be Lost
Perhaps a good place to begin is with the observation that not everyone who claims to be a Christian will be saved. We have this on pretty good authority — that of Jesus Christ himself:
The biblical position simply cannot be reduced to the claim that “everyone in our church or religion is saved!.” In fact, I fully expect that some of the members of our churches are going to get an especially severe punishment in Hell! The reason for this is that God will judge people based on what they know. I am not here (at the moment) going talk much about the Doctrine of Hell. For those who have not made a conversion to Jesus Christ. Well, “hell is a truth found out too late!” We have many in the church that have never met the risen Jesus. They may have asked Jesus to be a personal savior for a personal problem. Let me be clear: Jesus does not want to be a personal savior for a personal problem. Jesus wants to be Lord of our entire life.
The lie that rules the world: “We are creatures not responsible to a Creator!” The mark of a Christian is not ones confession of faith (confession saves no one), a Child of God bears good fruit in their lives! Matthew 7:19-20 says: “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.