Believing Unto Repentance

13934978_315073102159720_8374012953160020712_n“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” – 1 Peter 4:17-18

I am convinced of a truth, that at the day of judgment we will all be surprised and ashamed of how few people actually make it to heaven. Ashamed? Rightfully so for God has given us His all and bankrupt heaven on that dreadful day at Calvary to provide us a simple way of escape. Yet so few truly take it, and fewer still keep it. Surprised however, we should not be. For Jesus Himself told us as much when He said those much quoted but rarely digested fearful words:

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14

Few there be that find it? Jesus continues the passage by warning of those who would come to deny this truth, false prophets, wolves in sheep’s clothing with lies and the blood of God’s flock in their mouth, claiming to speak the word of the Lord. Judge them by their fruits, Jesus says. Examine their works as He will do at the day of judgment before the multitudes of the souls of men and all the host of heaven when nothing that is secret will not be brought to light and God Himself tries the hearts of men. Either into eternal glory or eternal damnation.

Yes, God is watching. Yes God is keeping score. Yes God is judging. Yes few will be found worthy, there lack of true faith, obedience, and submission to God made evident by either their multitude of evil works or their lack of good ones. Few verses illustrate this fearful reality more clearly to me then those of Peter in our opening text.

“what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” – 1 Peter 4:17-18

Why do so few make it in the end? Because most love themselves, their own pleasure, and their own plans and logic more then God and because of the multitude of false prophets (wolves in sheep’s clothing) telling them that they can be so and still go to heaven. Yet Jesus said in Luke 13:5 “unless you repent, ye will all likewise perish“. We are truly saved by faith, but faith alone will not save you from judgment for the scriptures are clear that there is an even greater judgment awaiting for those that believe but did not turn away from their sin.

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” – Hebrews 10:26-31

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” – James 2:19-20

“But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,” – Romans 2:5-8

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” – Revelation 20:12-13

Herein lies the true meaning of the scripture that states, “many are called, but few are chosen“. (Matthew 22:14) Many were called to the marriage supper of the lamb but few were chosen to enter in because they did not have on their wedding garment. In Revelations 19:8 we see that the wedding garment is “the righteousness of the saints“. The door was shut to them because they were not clothed in righteousness. They believed but had not turned away from their sin, nor obeyed the word and will of God. Few were they that did. I choose to lay down my pride and self, submit to the Word and Will of God and be one of the few. Will you?

It may be hard to believe that so many have been deceived into embracing the broad path even though we know that very few truly walk the straight and narrow. Yet Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith clearly tells us so. You must repent, which is more then asking for forgiveness, it’s choosing to abandon sin, turn away from it completely, and believe that God is strong enough that through His power you are able to abstain from willfully walking therein. After all is not God stronger then the devil? Is He not able to overcome this defeated foe? If you do not believe so, then do you truly believe at all? He is either God, to whom all things are possible, are He’s not. Search your heart, what do you truly believe? Never mind what you’ve been told, what do you believe? Do you believe God? Do you believe His Word? Be among the few that truly do, for it is by these few that lives, churches, communities, and even the very world are changed for the glory of God.

“Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” – Luke 13:23-28

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” – Hebrews 12:14-17

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:21-23

“Not every one that saith unto me. Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 7:21

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” – 1 Peter 4:17-18

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