In my reading this morning I came across two quotes that have really struck a cord with me. Both are from Leonard Ravenhill.

“The Church used to be a lifeboat rescuing the perishing. Now she is a cruise ship recruiting the promising.”

“If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.”

Both quotes are really self explanatory. The direction that most churches and her pastors are heading towards may need to step back, evaluate their position, and follow God’s guidance.

With that being said I would like to post a quote from my man John Piper, ahem I mean Dr. Piper:

“Are you saying then that a person can lose his salvation?” In other words, if Jesus used the threat of hell to warn about the seriousness of lust, does that mean that a Christian can perish?

This is exactly the same response I got a few years ago when I confronted a man about the adultery he was living in. I tried to understand his situation and I pled with him to return to his wife. Then I said, “You know, Jesus says that if you don’t fight this sin with the kind of seriousness that is willing to gouge out your own eye, you will go to hell and suffer there forever.” As a professing Christian he looked at me in utter disbelief, as though he had never heard anything like this in his life, and said, “You mean you think a person can lose his salvation?”

So I have learned again and again from firsthand experience that there are many professing Christians who have a view of salvation that disconnects it from real life, and that nullifies the threats of the Bible, and puts the sinning person who claims to be a Christian beyond the reach of biblical warnings. I believe this view of the Christian life is comforting thousands who are on the broad way that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13). Jesus said, if you don’t fight lust, you won’t go to heaven. Not that saints always succeed. The issue is that we resolve to fight, not that we succeed flawlessly . . . if we don’t fight lust we lose our soul. The apostle Peter said, “Abstain from fleshly lusts that wage war against the soul (1 Peter 2:11).” The stakes in this war are infinitely higher than in any threat of World War III. The apostle Paul listed “immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed,” then said, “it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come” (Colossians 3:6). And the wrath of God is immeasurably more fearful than the wrath of all the nations put together. In Galatians 5:19 Paul mentions immorality, impurity and sensuality and says, “Those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21).

You know Piper doesn’t sugar coat anything, and I guess that’s one of the reasons I admire him. The above quote really hit home with me. I have been struggling this week with old habits and with being tempted by memories of the way things used to be. I feel like a failure because of it; because I’m still struggling. I guess I thought I had overcome past feelings and temptations, but I realize it’s an internal fight that will last a lifetime. The good news is, my lifetime is only momentary. There will be a day when I won’t struggle anymore, and I will worship Him forever!

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About Chuck Mullis

I am the husband of Valerie and the father of Russell & Hannah. I am a self-employed contractor living in rural North Carolina as well as an ordained Southern Baptist Minister serving Living Water Baptist Church.

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