Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living ©
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
(Romans 6:11-14 (NIV))
I am sure that we have all seen people who attend church regularly every Sunday, but once they leave the church building, they act as if they do not know Jesus. They do whatever they want to do and are able to justify it in their mind that since they attend church they are forgiven for whatever they do. The Bible says that these people will have a surprise awaiting them.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
“Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:15-23 (NIV))
If you are truly a disciple of Jesus, then you will desire not to sin. You will want to bear good fruit. Those who attend church but still bear bad fruit are not part of the branch that Jesus has allowed to be grafted into Israel.
Look at it from a worldly perspective. If you were an employer who had someone who constantly created trouble and did bad things against you, what would you do? Think of God doing a performance evaluation on you in which the only questions consisted of whether you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior and whether you are bearing fruit accordingly. Would you be promoted or fired?
Would you be counted as alive in Christ?