Updated: May 29
There are teachings out there in the world that if one believes, without searching for truth, they can be led in through the wide gate. This is part of the Nicoliatan doctrine that taught that spiritual liberty would allow them to practice idolatry and immorality. Today, it is better known as Universalism.
Believers of this idea hold to the precept that the keeping of any commandments after repentance is earning salvation, a deed which scripture clearly states cannot be achieved by any man. Just say your apologies to God, acknowledge that Yeshua died for your sins, ask for forgiveness, and live however you desire. But is it truly this easy?
Lets be honest, our flesh does not like rules because our flesh wants to be satisfied through immoral lusts. By doing away with any absolute right or wrong, the rules in which one lives by is left up to the individual.
Ephesians 2:8-10, "For by grace you are saved through faith; and not of yourselves, It is a gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Yeshua unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them." He then speaks about being strangers from the covenant of promise and being reconciled to God through Christ.
Ephesians 2:15-18, "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father."
Lets use the definition of enmity and ordinances in verse 15 to break down what was being said and this will help the whole chapter make sense. Enmity: hostile or being opposed. Ordinances: municipal authority. This verse also did not say "commandments and ordinances", but clearly said the commandments that were within the ordinances.
Galatians 2:16-21 says that knowing a man is not justified by works of the law but by faith in Christ. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I am dead to the law that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ. And if righteousness comes through the law then Christ died needlessly.
Galatians 3:2-14 asks, "Have you received the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing of faith?" He that ministers in the faith and works miracles among you, does he do it by works of the law or by faith? Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. Therefore, you that are of faith are the children of Abraham. As many that do the works of the law are under a curse. But no man is justified by the law, for the just shall live by faith. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by being made a curse for us.
Titus 3:4-5: God saved us not on the basis of our deeds but according to His mercy.
Romans 3:20-31: no flesh is justified through the law. The law is knowledge of sin. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Boasting is excluded because we are no longer under the law of works but of faith. He is the God of the Gentiles and of the Jews. "Do we then make the law void through faith? God forbid: Yes, we establish the law."
Romans 11:6: if it is by grace then it is no longer on the basis of works. James 2:14-26, faith without works is dead.
In Romans alone, we have seen scripture that is contradicts the Universal belief of everybody goes to heaven. We read in Romans 3 how we do not make the law void but we establish the law. Meaning that we live by and obey it! We then read in James that faith without works is dead. Any works you do as a Christian is not "earning salvation", it is to show that we have salvation.
In Matthew 15:9, Yeshua said that these people honor me with their lips but their heart is far from me. He continues, "They worship me in vain, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." John 14:15-21, Yeshua says that IF you love him then keep his commandments. And he will pray to the Father and He will send you another comforter. He that has Yeshua's commandments and keeps them are the same that love him. And he that loves Yeshua shall be loved by His Father.
John 15:10-14, says that IF we keep his commandments then we will abide in His love. Whoever does His commandments are His friends.
1 John 2:1-6: IF we sin, then we all have an advocate with the Father. It then goes on to say that we know that we know Him IF we keep his commandments. Whoever says that they know Him and yet, does not keep His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him. 2
John 1:6-9: it is LOVE that we walk after His commandments. Deceivers have come into the world who confess not that Christ has come in the flesh. He who transgresses and has not the doctrine of Christ, has not God.
We have seen several passages that say that we are to keep the Commandments of God. However, IF we should sin (slip up. Not deliberately and willfully sin), then we have an advocate with the Father. For we also read in Hebrews 10:26, that if we continue to willfully sin after we have come to the knowledge of grace, then there remains no more sacrifice for sins.
If you are a backslider, don't panic. God always rejoices and welcomes the prodigal son home. But what this verse is alluding to is that if you continue as you were, an unchanged person living and loving your sin; then you never accepted grace, therefore, you are not truly saved. Because we also know that the saved have redemption for their sins.
Our lack of perfection is no excuse to not continually push forward in resisting the deeds of darkness. We need to struggle and strive daily to become like Christ.
In Romans 7:14-25, Paul had a conflict between his spiritual and fleshly nature. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, we are reminded that there is no temptation that has over taken us that is not common to man. We all struggle with the flesh. We must crucify it daily and put it under us, so that we live by the spirit and not by the flesh.
Matthew 7:13-14, Yeshua says that we should strive to enter in at the strait gate because wide and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many will go in this way but strait and narrow is the way that leads to life and there will be few who find it. Yeshua then goes on to warn about wolves in sheep's clothing before he gives a stern warning in verses 21-23, "Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them: DEPART FROM ME, YOU WORKERS OF INIQUITY."
We see from these sets of verses that even Yeshua said that there would be people who do great works in his name but yet, they will not enter in because their works are without law. This would be impossible if all it took was kneeling at the altar, apologizing, believing and accepting Christ, and then running back off to play on the devil's playground.
In Revelation 3:14-16, Yeshua is writing to the Church of Laodicea and he tells them that because they are not hot or cold but lukewarm, that He will spew them out of his mouth.
We read the parable of the Shepherd dividing his goats from the sheep in Matt 25:31-46. Yeshua says that He will separate the sheep to His right and the goats to His left. He will then invite the sheep to inherit the kingdom prepared for them but to the goats on the left, he will tell them to depart from Him into everlasting fire. Why? Because the goats did not do His Father's will, they did not keep His commandments and the sheep did. He left us with a commandment to love and says that as we do unto others, we do unto Him.
As we look through the new testament, we see that Yeshua told many whom he healed to go their way and sin no more. He wasn't making a suggestion. We read in John 5:1-14 about a man who was by the pool in Bethesda because he was wanting to be healed of the waters but he had no one to help him in. Yeshua healed him and then later found him in the temple and told him to "Sin no more or a worse thing may come unto you." The whole point of repenting is to turn from your sin and become a new creature in Christ.
James 1:13-20 tells us to let no man when he is tempted say that he is tempted of God because God cannot be tempted with evil, nor does he tempt any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when that lust has been conceived, it will bring forth sin. Do not err, every good and perfect gift is from God. Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man is not the righteousness of God.
We then read in verses 21-24, "Wherefore lay apart all unfilthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be you doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own-selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholds himself and straightway forgets what manner of man he was."
Matthew 5:13-20, Yeshua speaks about how we are the salt of the earth. You don't light a candle and put it under a bushel. "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I have not come to destroy but to fulfill." He then goes on to say that, whosoever breaks the least one of these commandments and teaches men to do so, shall be called the least in the kingdom. He who does them and teaches men to do them shall be called great in heaven.
"Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter in to the kingdom of heaven." Then further on in Matthew 5:27-28, Yeshua brings up adultery and says that if you look after a woman to lust you have committed adultery in your heart.
Lets see if new testament scripture agrees that God's commandments are no longer valid?
Matthew 22:36-40: Yeshua is asked what the greatest commandment is and he answers with, "You shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. The second is like unto it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
(When you love God with all your heart, soul and mind, do you have other gods you worship? Do you take idols or use God's name in vain? Is stealing from your neighbor showing love? How about sleeping with their spouse, lying on them, covet what they have, or murder them? Is dishonoring your mother and father showing them love? WOW. Seems like the original ten are still in play just from the two that Christ gave.)
Luke 6:27-36 starts by saying that we should love our enemies. Bless them that curse you and pray for those who despitefully use you. If someone smites you on one cheek, offer to him the other. Give to every man that asks of you and to him that takes away your goods, ask them not again. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you love them who love you then what thank have you. For even the sinners love those who love them. Lend not, hoping to receive, for even sinners lend and hope to receive.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11, "Know you not that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified in the name of Yeshua, and by the spirit of Jehovah."
Galatians 5:19-24, "Now these works of the flesh are made manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I have told you in times past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
Revelation 21:8, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whore-mongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
Romans 1:28-32, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."
James 4:17, "Therefore to him that knows to do good and does it not, to him it is a sin."
We have just read a long list of snares that will separate people from God permanently. We don't go chasing rattlesnakes for good reasons. One is that their venom is deadly, these sins are even more deadly, so how much more ought we to run from them?
1 John 5:2-3, "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." Which are God's commandments?
Yeshua said that he did not come to change the law but to fulfill it. He added that "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law until all be fulfilled." He did not come to do away with the law or commandments but to fulfill prophecy, which by doing, he was able to bring in the Gentiles and offer salvation to all who would believe.
He then said that nothing shall be removed from the law until all be fulfilled. He explained when all was and it was not until he went to the cross. It was until heaven and earth pass away.
A GOD MAN DESIRES
2 Timothy 4:3-4, "The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts they shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables."
1 Corinthians 10:21, "You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils; you cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils."
James 1:18, "A doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways."
Matthew 6:24, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
Proverbs 3:7 says to fear the Lord and depart from evil. Proverbs 8:13 says that the fear of the Lord is to hate sin.
Psalm 97:10 says that if you love the Lord, you will hate evil.
Philippians 2:12 says to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
We need to realize what true repentance is because scripture tells us that after this life is the judgment, Hebrews 9:27.
Luke 18:9-14: Yeshua told a parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. The Pharisee stood in prayer to God and exalted himself, while the Publican stood in prayer to God as being an unworthy sinner. The Publican in his actions was humble. Where as the Pharisee in his actions was not. Yeshua said that in doing so, the Publican was much more justified than the Pharisee.
Romans 10:9-10 says that if we confess with our mouth the Lord Yeshua and shall believe in our hearts that Jehovah raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
Beloved, we need to return to sound doctrine and serve God with fear, knowing that he is the one who can destroy both the body and soul in hell, Matthew 10:28. It is time for the church to come out of the world, which has become like a spiritual Babylon and return to Christ and his commandments.
We read in Proverbs 26:10-11, "The God that formed all things both rewards the fool and rewards transgressors. As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly."
2 Peter 2:22, "But it has happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again;"
This is what we are seeing a lot of today. People returning to their sin and believing in this false teaching of once saved, always saved; while foolishly professing with their mouths that "God knows their hearts and only God can judge them." Scriptures says that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, Hebrew 10:31.
If you truly love God then you delight in his laws and you hate evil. Christ was not nailed to a cross so that we could continue in the lusts of the flesh, the thought is both disrespectful to our savior and to our God. When Christ told people to go and sin no more, he was saying to go back and do better. Do not continue on the path that brought you here.
We can read in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 how we should not be unevenly yoked together with unbelievers. "For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness or what communion has light with darkness?" We must strive to be righteous as he is by doing as he commanded. His blood is there to rescue us if we miss the mark, not if we deliberately and repeatedly miss the mark.
NOT UNDER THE LAW
Galatians 5:16-18: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would. But IF you are lead by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Another idea among some believers is that once they are saved, they are no longer under the law because they walk by the Spirit. This is true only IF you are walking in God's truth and love. If you are deliberately sinning then you are under the law.
Galatians 5:22-23: list all of the fruits of the spirit and then says "against such there is no law".
Galatians 5:19-21: list the deeds of the flesh, then it states that whosever does these things, shall not enter into the kingdom of God.
Verses pertaining to not being under the law, do not mean that once you accept Christ, your willingness to abide in sin does not count against you; it is saying that once you are saved, if you live your life with the fruits of the Spirit then you are not under the law.
However, if you willingly abide in sin, then you are under the law, because those who continue to do the deeds of the flesh, will not enter the kingdom of God.
As always, I recommend that you go back and read the entire chapters that these verses are in. Pray for eyes to see and ears to hear, so that you are not deceived.
You cannot be saved by saying a few words in vain. You must mean it and it must come from your heart. You then must turn from your sins, meaning, lay them down and walk away. You may have to do this repeatedly a few times, but as weeks and months go by, you should find yourselves farther away from your sins, not carrying them.
You should be trying to become more like Christ every day and not trying to hold on to your old self.