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  • Dr. Bob Phillips, Pastor

Illusions and False Assurance

One of the marks of genuine salvation is that you love the company of those who love the Lord, who love his Word, and who love one another. But a multitude of those who call themselves Christians never even attend their own churches unless it's a special occasion, or it's convenient, or they don't have anything else to do, or they want something from the church, or only when they face a crisis. They are willfully disobedient to the command not to neglect to meet together (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Church membership rolls in America are filled with the names of people who have fallen prey to an illusion, not realizing it will end in eternal damnation. I have spent a large part of my time in the ministry trying (and failing) to get church members to attend the churches where their names are on the roll and often their response is, "Don't worry about me, preacher. I've accepted Jesus." They are among the vast number of those who have been walked down the Romans Road, prayed the "sinner's prayer," and gone away with no real change in their lives. They do, however, possess a false assurance of heaven that will be shattered when they die and wake up in hell.

If I know anything at all it is that Jesus Christ changes a person's life. You cannot call yourself a follower of Jesus if you have not experienced a change at the most fundamental level of your very being. Further, that transformation continues to work itself out over the entire course of your life.

I walked the aisle in a Baptist church when I was eight. The pastor asked me some questions and I must have given the right answers because they dunked me the following Sunday, wet but still lost. It wasn't until five years later that I came to a faith in Christ that changed the whole course of my life. Did I become perfect then? No. I am a terrible sinner. Over the years, just like every other follower of Jesus, I have battled temptation, lust, and sin (often failing, sometimes overcoming). I am hardly what I ought to be, but God's work will go on until the day when I am finally what he created and redeemed me to be.

Have you fallen prey to an illusion that gives you a false assurance of heaven? Look into yourself honestly before you answer.

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