Matthew 7:13, 14,21; 22:14, Luke 13:24
As one reads the above Scriptures there is bound to be puzzlement as to its implications. For so long the Church has made salvation a simple step of believing, repenting and confessing. They pick and choose the easy Scriptures and neglect the “rest of the story”. Because of this simplistic approach many have been lulled into a false sense of security. If God would allow us to humanize ourselves for a moment in Heaven, we would be shocked at how many have not made it. There are many “Christians” today who walk around with no evidence of a spiritual makeover. They confess with their mouth but their heart is far from Him (Matt. 15: 8). Unaware of the total picture of the believer they continue their walk with a false sense of self assurance. Many people today will stand before Jesus one of these days and will be shocked to hear Him say, “I never knew you” (Matt. 7: 23). The greatest mission field today is the “carnal church”. They need to hear the “whole truth and nothing but the truth so help them God”.
I believe there is a progression in the rebirth of the individual. As the Believer begins his road to maturity there must be a continuing decision to move to a position of security in which the Holy Spirit will seal them until the day of redemption. To get to that level we will face challenges that border on life and death. Jesus 40 days of temptation parallels the early stages of Christian growth. He faced testings based on the 3 areas of sin (lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life (I John 2:16). We will be challenged to the very core of our being. We receive God’s provisions, by faith, but the evidence of our acceptance is how we respond to circumstances Satan puts before us. To get to the place where Paul says that nothing would separate him from God (Rom. 8: 39) we have to understand what it is to die to ourselves and live unto God through Jesus Christ (Rom. 6: 11).
The writer to the Hebrews shares with us an example of a number of believers who could have been teachers of spiritual truth but bailed out in their journey for the Kingdom (Heb. 5: 11-6:6). They had slipped so badly that they were in need of starting their spiritual journey all over again. They needed milk (basic teaching). There had been a time when they could have been teaching strong truths (meat) but because they had lost their spiritual ears (Heb. 5:11) they had become “unskilled” in the Word (v.13). In the next chapter we see the blessings of second chance. He acknowledged their weaknesses but exhorted them to forget about the basics of the faith (6:1, 2) and journey on to “perfection” (completeness). Why would he do that? He had just exposed their weakness and then turns around and urges them to leave the basics and move on. I believe he knew their heart and the Truth just needed to resurface. Paul said to Timothy to “stir up” what was within him (II Tim. 1: 7). If these potential teachers would not do this and continued down their road, it could lead to their totally rejecting Christ, and there would be no chance of reestablishing them (Heb. 6: 6).
I believe God will not force anyone into Heaven, but will give you every opportunity to reach the Heavenly goal. God has given us a freedom of choice. We can accept His Son and march toward the Kingdom, accompanied by the Holy Spirit and with the realization that Jesus is interceding for us. But if we make the decision to reject it all, we will fall short of God’s goal for us. Adam and Eve were given the choice to obey God or to do their own thing. Even though Adam walked with God in the Garden, he turned his back on eternal life.
After the Hebrew writer laid it on the line, choose or lose, he stated with assurance, “but beloved, we are persuaded better things of you and things that accompany salvation…” (Heb . 6: 9). I have yet to see an individual totally reject Christ after having tasted of the heavenly gift, but I have seen Christians lose their direction. All they need is someone to help them restore their faith and confidence in the One who loves them so. (Gal . 6: 1)