It’s a very sad day in the life of the church, for a person to die in good standing with the local church, but be out of fellowship with the Lord…
A person can actually die, being an active member of a local church, being a tither, being a full time ministry participant, being a preacher, being a deacon, being an usher, being a missionary, and even being a Sunday school teacher, BUT STILL GO TO HELL!
That really shouldn’t be says the Lord, but “I see it Sunday after Sunday.” “I see people checking off the box called going to church, and I see them going through their religious rituals, traditions, and motions, while giving the outward appearance to man that they’re saved, but I know they’re not! I know they’re NOT because I truly do know their heart!”
As I heard the Lord speaking this word to me, it resonated with me because I used to be that guy. I joined the church at a very young age, but I didn’t really get saved or born again. I didn’t realize this util SIXTEEN years later. It didn’t register at the time and I didn’t see that there was a spiritual disconnect because I was doing church on a regular basis, I was singing in the choir, I was leading devotion service, I was ushering a little bit, I was going to Sunday school every Sunday, and I was doing everything else that church members do, BUT I WASN’T BORN AGAIN!
Look at this PICTURE!!
Had I died within that SIXTEEN year window of time in my life, there would have been a funeral, there would have been some Heavenly words spoken on my behalf by the Eulogist because I wasn’t a hardened criminal or known murderer, my body would have been committed, (ashes to ashes and dust to dust), and people would have been left with the presumption that I went on to live with Jesus, ALL BECAUSE OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP!
But Jesus and I know, beyond any shadow of doubt, that would NOT have been an accurate picture!
Why NOT? Because the heart is what really matters…
“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”..Romans 10:8-13..
Beloved, we’ve got the confession part down pat, but what we miss is the fact that the heart is what really speaks to the Lord. Sure we can check off the boxes of church membership and religion before man, but the Lord looks to see what our heart is saying!
“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again…John 3:1-7..
With all of that being said: Question: “Where do you really stand with the Lord? NOT with your local church, but where do you really stand with the Lord?