In both the athletic and military realms there comes a time when the people involved must undergo a self-administered “gut check” in order to determine who has the right stuff and who does not. The same process takes place in the spiritual world. I call this process “the Lord’s heart check which all who call themselves His people must undergo to determine if we love Him and fear Him enough to do His will as expressed in His Holy Bible–His Truth (Jn. 17:17). If we examine our spiritual life honestly and compare it to God’s Truth we can determine whom we are obeying and serving–God or Satan. In that we cannot serve two masters (Mat. 6:24), we belong to, obey and serve one or the other. Our heart check reveals to us the identity of our Lord and Master. This “love check” is part of the self-judging process that must be on-going within everyone who believes himself to part of the Body of Christ–the Church of God (1 Pet. 4:17). If we honestly judge our “walk” (1 Jn. 2:6) relative to God’s Word we will not need to be judged (1 Cor. 11:31). In His first letter to the church at Corinth, the Lord says through the Apostle Paul that many church members were failing to judge themselves according to His Standard. As a result these “sinners saved by grace” were living in sin while believing that they were one with the Lord. In the previous verse (30) Paul notes that, because of their sins, “many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep (have died).” Anyone who doubts the connection between sickness, untimely death and sin should memorize the passage.
At this point I will address another fallacy that Satan has sold to the Institutional Church–that righteousness is impossible due to Adam’s sin and, because of this, Jesus became our righteousness. I ask that those who believe such error turn with me to the following Scriptures which I will briefly summarize: Matthew 25:46–only the righteous will receive eternal life. 1 Pet. 3:12–the eyes of the Lord are on only the righteous. 1 Pet. 4:18–only the righteous will be saved, and they just barely. 1 John 3:7–HE WHO DOES RIGHTGEOUSNESS IS RIGHTGEOUS, EVEN AS HE (JESUS) IS RIGHTGEOUS. Without a correct, Biblical concept of love it is impossible to be righteous. Let us judge ourselves to determine if we are walking in God’s love and are exhibiting righteousness. Only those who do will spend eternity with Him (Mat. 7:13,14).
The self-judging process will be the most important part of our daily lives if we love God and are called to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). The Lord has only one purpose for mankind–to walk in obedience to Him. Such a walk creates righteousness in the life of the walker. In Romans 8:28 we are told that the Holy Spirit works (only) on behalf of those who answer God’s call to righteousness. These are His saints–His Very Elect who will “scarcely be saved” (1 Pet. 4:18). Though many are called, few answer God’s call to walk as Jesus walked (1 Jn. 2:6), to purify themselves as He is pure (1 Jn. 3:3) and to overcome as He overcame (Rev. 3:21). Answering His call is possible only through the love that characterizes God Himself. The Apostle John summarizes the God-love-saint connection in 1 John 4:16: “God is love, and he that dwells in (His) love dwells in God, and God (dwells) in him.” This mutual transposition (God in man and man in God) is possible only if we view God’s concepts (faces) of love from His perspective as recorded in His Truth–His Holy Bible–His only Standard of judgment. This constitutes our “love check.” Let us examine the process.
I will begin the process with a warning: THE BIBLICAL GOD’S CONCEPT OF LOVE IS NOT WHAT THE CHURCH BELIEVES IT TO BE. Great “soul-winning” messages are preached, beautiful alter- calling songs are sung and inspiring books are written about the love of God. The message they deliver is counterfeit–a perverted version of His Truth. The combination of ignorance of God’s Truth and acceptance of church doctrine continues to cause masses of people to accept a counterfeit gospel which leads them to a counterfeit salvation, counterfeit god and counterfeit savior. The Lord, speaking through the Apostle Paul, warned the churches of Galatia about this Satanic deception in his letters to them. In chapter 1 verses 6-9 He warned them (and Catholicism/Protestantism today) that they were hearing, believing and living a lie. He issued the same warning to the church located in Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-20). The seven churches to whom John was instructed to write represented the seven church eras which began on the Day of Pentecost 31 A.D. and will end with the return of Jesus Christ to earth. The final–Laodicean–church era is the one in which we are living today. An honest study of God’s Words to the Laodicean Church will reveal that His characterization of that church body perfectly describes the spiritual condition of Catholicism/Protestantism today. L.J.