REACTIONS: “Being born again not enough to enter heaven
By ESANEROVO TRINITY AGBODO
This week, we are going to look at some reactions and responses from readers to my last week’s article titled ” Being Born Again Not Enough to Enter Heaven”.
A reader in a chat with me quoted from Psalm 103 8 and 10 in a bid to prove that God does not deal with us according to our sins and iniquities, hence according to him, nothing can stop us from entering Heaven once we are born again. He quoted: “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
My response: The word of God is always correct and that is why God Almighty showed His compassion to humanity by sending Jesus Christ to die for us so that we can have the power to live above sin. So, God’s compassion for us is not to continue in sin but to repent and live holy.
Before Jesus Christ came to pay the supreme price for us to be saved, it was not easy for men to keep the laws, we no longer keep the laws, but the laws live in us through Christ Jesus. So, there are no more struggles to keep the laws once the Holy Spirit lives in you because righteousness will become natural for those who are in Christ. A Dog does not struggle to act like a Dog because the nature of a Dog is inside. In the same vein, once you are in Christ and the Holy Spirit lives in you, you don’t struggle to overcome sin but sin will now smell dirty before you. It is a new nature.
Hence, in line with the scripture he quoted, God did not count our sins against us, else He would not have sent Jesus Christ, but now that Christ has come and gone, God expects us to live above sin.
It is a very serious issue because nobody will enter heaven without holiness and even if it is only one person like Noah that is qualified, God will not go back on His Word.
The Reader quoted again: “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” -Gal. 2:16. He also quoted from the book of Isaiah that “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind, our sins sweep us away- Isaiah 64:6.
My Response: Of course, those statements are for the old man who lived in sin. The new man in Christ should live in righteousness. Our righteousness is in Christ Jesus hence higher than just personal discipline which is called self-righteousness. Also, being justified by faith in Christ means we should live above sin just as Christ lived above sin. If Christ lives in us, sin cannot have dominion over us. Therefore, if sin is still having dominion, then there is still pollution or lack of repentance somewhere in that life.
We can live holy always and move on daily to perfection and this is the plan of God for all humans.
He now asked: “So, how perfect are you?”
My Response: Only God can score us but I try daily to follow God. However, it is not about me but our understanding of the standard of God so that we can judge ourselves whether we are on our way to Heaven or not.
Moving to perfection is leaving the sin you know behind and waiting on the Holy Spirit to guide us to perfection. If we continue to commit the sins we already know about with impunity and the excuse of Grace, it is no longer sin but rebellion against the Word of God. We really need to work on ourselves as Christians because the world is reading us, not the Bible, to either decide to follow Christ or not.
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Some people believe that once you accept Christ, that is all, and whether you live in sin or not does not matter. Please note that accepting Christ as Lord and Savior comes with the responsibility to live holy.
The early Apostles strived to live perfect lives and that is why God worked with them to that extent in great wonders and miracles. Let us also say bye-bye to sin and strive toward perfection.
Our Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 5 from verse 44 to the end of that chapter that we should be perfect even as our Heavenly Father is perfect and that should be the standard.
In fact, the message of Apostle John in the book of 1 John3:9 that whosoever is born of God (Born Again) does not sin should be our standard and I really believe Apostle John lived what he preached and that was why he was beyond human destruction because when he was thrown into a pot of boiling oil, he came out unscathed before he was expelled to the Island of Patmos where he wrote the book of Revelation in the Bible.
In conclusion, let us note that being Born Again is the beginning of the journey of salvation and we need to maintain our holiness to the end to make Heaven. Also, note that the name of a person can be removed from the book of life after being born again if the person does not follow righteousness continuously to the end. Revelation 3:5 says: He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life. Hence the name of the person that does not overcome can be blotted out. So, there is work to be done to overcome sin and remain saved to the end. God bless in Jesus Name.
*Pastor ESANEROVO TRINITY AGBODO is a Contributing Editor with The Trumpet Newspaper and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org or 08075504012*