"The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesses the habitation of the just."
Have you heard people say, 'once saved, always saved'? What does it mean? Can you continue to sin after you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and still expect to receive eternal life?
8 "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast."
God's Word does tell us that we are saved by His grace, and not by works, but it also tells us many other things about what He expects from us. As a matter of fact, practically the entire Old Testament is God telling us what He expected from the Israelites, and then the Gentiles at the time. We now have the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins, but does that mean we should continue to sin, breaking God's precepts and commandments? God forbid!
Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 5:
18 "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
Will we be called 'the least' or 'great' in the kingdom of heaven?
Still, that doesn't sound too bad, right? At least we are in the kingdom of heaven, right? Nope, wait. There is more!
Hebrews 10:26 is probably familiar to most of us: "For if we go on willfully and deliberately sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice [to atone] for our sins [that is, no further offering to anticipate],"
Seldom, however, do I see the remaining verses, 27 through 30, quoted with v. 26, especially v. 30:
30 “For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine [retribution and the deliverance of justice rest with Me], I will repay [the wrongdoer].” And again, 'The Lord will judge His people.'”
"And again, 'The Lord will judge His people.'" Who are 'His people'? Taking the two verses 26 and 30, as if they are in the same context, the Scripture is referring to the ‘believers’ in Jesus Christ. ‘The knowledge of the truth,’ received in v. 26 comes from the Holy Spirit, which believers can receive only after having accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. John 14:6
Likewise, Romans 14:10-12 tells us that we will ALL (believers) stand before the judgment seat of Christ and confess, and give account of ourselves, to God.
We know that God will have compassion and mercy on whom He chooses. Romans 9:15.
Should we abuse, or take advantage of, God's grace or good favor? God forbid!
1 "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"
Jesus said, Sin No More!
"Afterward Jesus finds him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, you are made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing befall you." John 5:14
“She answered, ‘No one, Lord!’ And Jesus said, ‘I do not condemn you either. Go. From now on sin no more.’” John 8:11
Jesus also said, "For it is not those who merely hear the Law [as it is read aloud] who are just or righteous before God, but it is those who [actually] obey the Law who will be justified [pronounced free of the guilt of sin and declared acceptable to Him]." Romans 2:13
Sin No More!
‘Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matthew 5:18-19 Amen.
Jesus says, Repent or Perish (Luke 13 below)
The definition of 'repent' is not to simply accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. The definition of 'repent' is to turn away from sin!
Likewise, the definition of ‘righteous’ is not to simply accept Jesus Christ either. Would you be surprised to find out that ‘righteous’ means to obey God? Or, Sin No More!
"For it is not those who merely hear the Law [as it is read aloud] who are just or righteous before God, but it is those who [actually] obey the Law who will be justified [pronounced free of the guilt of sin and declared acceptable to Him]." Romans 2:13
The unrighteous, guilty, sinful, sexually immoral, liars, murderers, adulterers, thieves, will not inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Repent or Perish
1 "Just at that time some people came who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate [the governor] had mixed with their sacrifices.
2 Jesus replied to them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans because they have suffered in this way?
3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent [change your old way of thinking, turn from your sinful ways and live changed lives], you will all likewise perish.
4 Or do you assume that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed were worse sinners than all the others who live in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent [change your old way of thinking, turn from your sinful ways and live changed lives], you will all likewise perish.”
Parable of the Fig Tree
6 Then He began telling them this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree that had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it, but did not find any;
7 so he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and have found none. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground [depleting the soil and blocking the sunlight]?’
8 But he replied to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, [just] one more year until I dig around it and put in fertilizer;
9 and if it bears fruit after this, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”
Some Historians note that the Galileans were probably at the Temple offering sacrifices, when Roman Governor Pilate’s soldiers came through and killed them all at the sacrificial altars, thereby mingling their blood with the slain lambs’ blood. Pilate wanted more money from the Temple treasury, but the Jews refused, so Pilate sent men dressed as citizens, and armed with daggers, into the crowds, demanding money, and killing whomever resisted.
The Jews who were reporting this to Jesus in v. 1 above were implying that they were better than the Galileans because they did not die like that. And, v. 4.
Notice that Jesus repeats v. 3 again at v. 5, showing a sense of urgency: "I tell you, no; but unless you repent [change your old way of thinking, turn from your sinful ways and live changed lives], you will all likewise perish.”
Jesus’s answer shows that the Jews who told Him about the Galileans believed that God had permitted them to be killed due to their sins. Jesus was letting them know, in no uncertain terms, that those who died were not necessarily greater sinners, but rather the Jews should themselves repent, turn away from sin, and that if they did not repent, they would all perish as well.
So, considering in context Luke 13:1-5, as well as the 'Parable of the Fig Tree’ which follows Luke 13:6-9, as with much in the Bible, there is a lot of debate about whom the fig tree and the vineyard represent.
Let’s focus on what we do know from the parable. God is looking for fruit on the trees. Surely, He would do the same with His vineyard. He has given us a season to change our lives, before the trees that do not produce fruit are cut down. v. 9. Praise God. Amen.
Again, 'repent,' which Jesus himself tells us to do, means to turn away from sin. Sin No More!
3 "But do you think this, O man, when you judge and condemn those who practice such things, and yet do the same yourself, that you will escape God’s judgment and elude His verdict?
4 Or do you have no regard for the wealth of His kindness and tolerance and patience [in withholding His wrath]? Are you [actually] unaware or ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness leads you to repentance [that is, to change your inner self, your old way of thinking—seek His purpose for your life]?
5 But because of your callous stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are [deliberately] storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed."
14 When Gentiles, who do not have the Law [since it was given only to Jews], do instinctively the things the Law requires [guided only by their conscience], they are a law to themselves, though they do not have the Law.
15 They show that the essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts; and their conscience [their sense of right and wrong, their moral choices] bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or perhaps defending them
16 on that day when, as my gospel proclaims, God will judge the secrets [all the hidden thoughts and concealed sins] of men through Christ Jesus.
Sin No More! 'Lest a worse thing befall you.' John 5:14 above.
"Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death." James 1:15
5 "But because of your callous stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are [deliberately] storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
6 He will pay back to each person according to his deeds [justly, as his deeds deserve]:
7 to those who by persistence in doing good seek [unseen but certain heavenly] glory, honor, and immortality, [He will give the gift of] eternal life.
8 But for those who are selfishly ambitious and self-seeking and disobedient to the truth but responsive to wickedness, [there will be] wrath and indignation.
9 There will be tribulation and anguish [torturing confinement] for every human soul who does [or permits] evil, to the Jew first and also to the Greek,
10 but glory and honor and inner peace [will be given] to everyone who habitually does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
11 For God shows no partiality [no arbitrary favoritism; with Him one person is not more important than another]."
God is very patient with us. He is waiting for us to bear good fruit (our thoughts, words, actions, deeds) in the name of Christ Jesus!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17
"Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you." Revelation 3:3
"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Revelation 22:12
See my blog titled, ‘The Harvest,’ for My Testimony to God’s Power, and how important it is to Wear the Full Armor of God, so you can withstand the wiles of the devil, and pass your ‘test.'
The Time is at Hand.
Jesus is coming like a thief in the night. Are you ready? Who will be left behind?
Bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ! 2 Corinthians 10:5. And, ask and God will show you great and mighty things. Jeremiah 33:3
Hallelujah. Praise God. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.
Faithful and humble servant of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.