A Tract for Nominal Christians

Consider Jesus Christ’s question to you, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord, ‘ and don’t do the things I say?” (Luke 6:46)

Jesus taught that he who sins is a slave to sin and that a slave will not live in the Father’s house forever (John 8:34-35). He also taught that many people who believe that he is Lord will be rejected by him on Judgment Day because they lived in disobedience (Matthew 7:21-23). He told us that on the Last Day those who have done good will be raised to everlasting life and those who have done evil will be raised to everlasting judgment (John 5:28-29). And in the last chapter of the Bible he warned us that when he returns he will pay back each person according to their deeds (Revelation 22:12).

In light of his teaching and his warnings are you ready for the Day of Judgment? Don’t comfort yourself by saying that you have been baptized, or that you are a member of a church, or even that you are a church leader. None of these will save you on that Day when “God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ” and all will “appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (Romans 2:16, 2 Corinthians 5:10).

“But I was born a Christian,” some will say. But that is a lie according to God’s word. The Bible teaches that everyone was born in sin and has lived in sin. For this reason Jesus said, “Unless you are born again you will never see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Maybe you feel relieved when you hear that because you were “born again” in the waters of baptism. But Jesus went onto say, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 5:5). Being baptized is good, but it is not enough to get you to heaven. You must be born again by the Spirit of God; you must receive a new heart with new desires. Since you were born a sinner you can do nothing but sin against God. For this reason you are under the condemnation of God up until this moment. You need God to change you from within so you can live a holy life.

Jesus said that only the pure in heart would see God, and in the book of Hebrews we are taught that we will never see God if we don’t live a holy life (Matthew 5:8, Hebrews 12:14). When someone asked Jesus what we must do to inherit eternal life he answered that we must love the Lord our God with all of our heart soul, mind and strength, and we must love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:25-28). Romans 13:8-10 tells us that if we love God and others we will not break God’s commandments. In fact, 1 John 2:3-4 tells us that if someone says that they know God but don’t obey his commands they are a liar. In the next chapter, 1 John 3:4-9 tells us that anyone who lives in sin is a child of the devil, and that anyone who is born again by God’s Spirit stops sinning against God.

Consider your situation in light of what Hebrews 10:26-27 warns:

For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries.

Don’t imagine that God will somehow overlook your sins. God is holy. He hates sin so much that He created a place of eternal torment for those that practice it. You cannot escape the wrath of God because you were born in a Christian family, because you were baptized or because you faithfully attend church and truly believe Jesus is the Savior of the world. None of this will save you on the Day that God will judge you according to what you have done!

In Romans 3:23 we are taught that the wages of sin is death. This means that what you have sown you will reap. You have sown sin and you will reap death and destruction from a holy God. All your life you have gone to church on Sunday, prayed, heard the teaching of the Bible, sang songs and then went home back into the same sins. Your judgment will be worse than those who have never heard of Christ because you knew he was the Lord but refused to obey his commands. Instead you imagined that you could do what you wanted without any consequences.

Consider what Hebrew 10:28-31 warns:

If anyone disregards Moses’ law, he dies without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know the One who has said, Vengeance belongs to Me, I will repay, and again, The Lord will judge His people. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!

You must do two things to escape the wrath of God that is coming upon you.

  1. You must repent!

Repentance is the decision in your heart to stop sinning and rebelling against a holy God. God is good and you are evil. He is not going to destroy you because he is mean. No, he is very, very good! But that is a problem for you. A good God hates sin and will not tolerate it. But you live in sin. Out of your heart comes many evil things like evil thoughts, immorality, lust, watching pornography, pride, violence, anger, hatred, cursing, drunkenness, drug use, jealousy, lying, stealing, selfishness, hypocrisy, adultery, fornication, etc. You are full of sin! And God hates all of it! He is not evil, you are!

With the decision to turn from sin must come action. You must do whatever you need to do in order to avoid temptation. If certain friends influence you to sin, leave them. It is better to go to heaven without them than go to hell with them. You must take action to leave sin!

  1. You must place your trust in Christ!

Repentance only gets you away from sin, but it doesn’t wash you clean from your sin. You still have a life of sin behind you and a heart filled with sinful desires to get freed from. Only Jesus Christ can forgive your past and change your heart.

You might have believed your whole life that Jesus is the Savior of the world, that is good, but even the demons believe that. You must believe from your heart that Jesus died to wash you clean from your sins. You must believe he did it for you, not just for the world. If you still aren’t sure whether you are going to heaven when you die, then you have not yet believed in Christ. If you truly believed that Jesus died to wash away your sins you would not fear death, but would rejoice that you have eternal life. Place your trust in what he did for you! You must believe in the blood of Jesus Christ!

But Jesus did not just die to wash away your past sins, he also rose from the dead in order to give you a new heart and life. He overcame sin, death and the devil in order to set your free. He said that anyone that sins is a slave to sin and will not go to heaven, but he also said that if he sets you free from sin you will be truly free (John 8:33-35). The decision to turn away from sins must come from your heart, but the power to walk out that decision will come from the Holy Spirit that God will give you the moment you truly trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. You must receive that power by walking out repentance while trusting in Jesus Christ to transform you on the inside.

What sin are you willing to go to hell for?! No sin is worth it! Leave your sins and turn to the holy God. God loves you so much that he sent his Son to die for your redemption, will you love your sin more than such a wonderful God?!

What will you trust to wash away your sins? Do you think going to church, or being a faithful church member can cleanse you of all the evil things you have thought, said and done?! Only the sacrifice of Christ can wash away your sins and only his Holy Spirit can give you a new heart with new desires so you can love God supremely and love others as much as you love yourself.

Flee the wrath of God by turning away from your sins and placing your trust in the Savior!

The Problem (Evangelistic Bible Study – Lesson 1)

The Sinfulness of Man – Part 1

Read and Discuss:

Romans 3:23

All people have sinned. All have rebelled against God and His commands.

Jeremiah 17:9

The problem of sin does not start in people’s actions, but in their heart. God sees the heart is wicked. Even if people can control their actions, their thoughts and desires condemn them.

Genesis 8:21

The sinful desires of people start early in life. It is not something people have to learn to do; though know it naturally. Continue reading “The Problem (Evangelistic Bible Study – Lesson 1)”

The Solution (Evangelistic Bible Study – Lesson 2)

The Cross of Christ – Part 1

Read and Discuss:

Romans 6:23

Our problem is that God is holy, hates sin and will punish it; and that we are sinful, love sin, and so will suffer the eternal wrath of a holy God. Though there is no way for us to solve this problem, God in His great love for His enemies has made a way so that we cannot only escape the wrath of God, but so that we can receive eternal life as well. This gift of forgiveness and eternal life comes through Jesus Christ. Continue reading “The Solution (Evangelistic Bible Study – Lesson 2)”

The Response (Evangelistic Bible Study – Lesson 3)

Repent – Part 1

Read and Discuss:

Luke 13:3, John 5:14

Jesus makes it very clear that we must repent of sin or we will perish. People cannot live self-centered and sinful lives and be followers of Jesus Christ. Continue reading “The Response (Evangelistic Bible Study – Lesson 3)”

A Turkish Testimony (Illustrating Pioneer Missions)

In this post I want to share the salvation testimony of a Central Asian Muslim in order to illustrate my last post concerning Unreached People Groups. Due to the sensitive political and religious nature of the country this brother lives in I have changed his name and left his location unspecified for his safety.

 Soon after Esther and I were married I had a chance to take a trip to Central Asia. We were living in China at the time and had met some leaders of a short-term mission organization. They were interested in expanding their ministry into a particular country in that region. Since I had been living in Asia for several years and was familiar with the customs of that region, our new friends asked me to come along and help them get around.
Continue reading “A Turkish Testimony (Illustrating Pioneer Missions)”

Defining Missions – Where is the Mission Field?

What is mission work? It seems almost too elementary to ask such a question. But when we really look at it, the answer is not what we would expect to find. I think we would all agree that we want our definition of “mission work” to be a biblical one. So let’s consider the common understanding of this subject in light of its biblical origin and see if it stands the test.

We usually define missions as doing Christian work in a foreign country. This is the common understanding of the word in most Christian circles. According to this definition anyone who buys an international plane ticket and travels to a foreign land to do some sort of Christian outreach is involved in mission work. If we take an outreach team from Dallas to Indonesia, or a team to Mexico from San Diego, that also fits under the category of “missions.” We could also say that if someone from Canada moves to Africa, India or the United States of America to do Gospel work, they are involved in missionary outreach. This common definition is basically correct and all the examples we just mentioned deserve to be called mission work. But according to biblical standards it is too limited.
Continue reading “Defining Missions – Where is the Mission Field?”