We celebrated the birth of our nation this week. It is important to celebrate July 4th to remind us of the cost of our freedoms. This is a good time for us to thank God for our blessings. We need to be thankful for all that is good about America.
God has certainly blessed the land that we call home. We can celebrate the freedom enjoyed by every American. While men and women gave their lives to ensure us of this freedom, we must never take them for granted. We have freedoms not known in many parts of the world.
ARE YOU SAVED?
HOW MUCH IS YOUR SOUL WORTH?
Your soul is the most valuable possession you have. Jesus said: "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26) Your body is the dwelling place for your spirit and soul. When God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, Adam became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7) Your soul departs your body at death. (Genesis 35:18) Your soul will either spend eternity in heaven or hell. (Matthew 10:28) Understanding the value of your soul, you should, with all diligence, make sure of your salvation.
Many people have been deceived into believing they are saved, but in reality, they are lost. Peter wrote: "make your calling and election sure. (2Peter 1:10) When writing to the Corinthians, Paul encouraged each one to "examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove yourselves. Know ye not yourselves how Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobate. (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Jesus' words are even more alarming. "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. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:21-23
In the book of First John, you will discover what it means to be saved. The person who is saved will be encouraged and strengthened. The person who is deceived and lost will be confronted and convicted with the truths of Scripture.
Read a chapter each day from First John for 30 days. You will have read each chapter 6 times in a month. Before you begin your reading each day, ask the Lord to reveal to you if you are truly saved or deceived. Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of your sins. Ask Him to give you spiritual understanding and power to apply His Word to your heart and daily walk. Be honest. Be sincere.
1. Do I believe and understand that God is Holy? verse 5
2. Do I understand what sin is?
3. Have I tried to deceive others by my words rather than my walk with God? verse 6
4. Are there sins in my life that I have not confessed and repented of?
5. Have I been deceiving myself about the sin in my life? verse 8
6. Have I been making God a liar by denying my sin? verse 10
7. Have I honestly confessed and repented of my sin? verse 9
1. Can I honestly say "I know Him because I keep His commandments or am I a liar? verses 3-4
2. Does my walk backup my talk when I say "I know Him? verse 6
3. Do I have a Christ-like love for other Christians? verse 9
4. Do I have hate in my heart for a brother or a sister? If so, it is an evidence of my lost condition? verse 11
5. Do I love the world more than I love God? verses 15-17
6. Do I have a deep conviction in my heart given by the Holy Spirit that "Jesus is the Christ? verse 22
7. Would Jesus find me obedient or would I be ashamed if He should come at this very moment? verse 28
1. Do I desire and pursue a purer life because I believe Jesus is coming again? verses 1-3
2. Is my life characterized by righteous living or sinful living? verses 4-10
3. Do I find myself coming into conflict with the world because of my Christian convictions? verse 13
4. Do I have assurance of my salvation because of my love for my brothers and sisters in Christ? verses 14-15
5. Does the love of Christ move me to help when I see my brothers and sisters in Christ in need? verses 16-17
6. Do my deeds and the practice of truth speak louder of my salvation than my words and tongue? verses 18-19
7. Do I have the assurance of the indwelling Holy Spirit in my life? verse 24
1. Do I have an unshakable faith in the teaching of Scripture that Jesus came in human flesh? verses 1-4
2. Do I have assurance of my salvation because I love others? verse 7
3. Have I really pondered the love of God as Christ died on the cross for my sin? verse 9-10
4. Has the Holy Spirit given me assurance because of the love He has placed in my heart for others? verse 13
6. Do I have love for God? verse 19
7. Do I honestly love God and have no hatred in my heart toward others as He commanded? verses 20-21
1. Do I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God? verse 1
2. Does my belief in God lead me to show my love for God and His children by keeping His commandments? verse 2
3. Do I believe that salvation is in the Person of Jesus alone? verses 12
4. Do I have my prayers answered because I seek to know the mind and will of God and pray accordingly? verses 14-15
5. Do I believe that I have a spiritual responsibility to sinners to pray for them faithfully? verse 16
6. Do I understand that "All unrighteousness is sin, and believe God will judgment me accordingly? verse 17
7. Do I believe Jesus Christ is the only true God and I have denounced all idols in my life? verse 21
Assurance of salvation comes to your heart when you:
1) Have the witness of the Spirit in your life.
2) Have experienced a change in your thinking and behavior.
3) Have a desire to live righteously and please God.
4) Have a love for God and for others that you did not have before.
5) Are obedient to God's Word and will.
6) Are convicted over your sin and you quickly confess and repent.
7) You know when you are in fellowship with God and when that fellowship is broken because of sin.
CELEBRATING OUR FREEDOM
Biblical principles have guided our nation. Those principles are written in our history. They are declared in our monuments. Our biblical principles have separated America from other countries around the world.
We have the responsibility to defend our freedom the Founders of our nation made possible for us. We must defend our freedom not only from the enemies from without but also from the enemies of freedom from within. Because of freedom is being attacked today, Christians should be concerned about our religious freedom.
We need to ease our minds and think of all the things we have to enjoy in America. Exercising our rights will cause us to appreciate those freedoms and be more willing to defend them regardless of the cost.