I bet you made a resolution this year saying you were going to better yourself and try to go to church more often. You just don't realize yet, that its not church that saves you from going to hell. You might not even believe in hell, no matter what the Bible says about it. Regardless, you want to go back to church again because it's "the right thing" to do. You say that it makes you feel good when you go. But, you're going for yourself, or your spouse, or your family members who go 'religiously', even though they live like hell too from day to day. It's too bad that church doesn't make you right with God either, because every hypocrite that goes wouldn't have a care in the world. You might even be looking for a church where they let you dress however you want. Even the girls there dress like they're going to the club. The preacher sure does! He's cool too. He has a cool hair style, and wears the same shirt you bought from Aeropostle, so you know he's hip. Hip to how to get you to trust him. What a snake..
One thing is for sure though, you prayed a little prayer one day and "accepted Jesus into your heart". Or wrsenyet, you said "yes" as the preacher prayed a little prayer for you. Well, here's a little wake up call for you, my friend.. I implore you to read "What does it mean to be saved?" if you have not. I pray that you trust the Spirit of God to lead the way.
One of my BFF's (best forgiven friends), in this entire world is Ivey Connerly aka IV Hisson. He has a song on his 'Justice System' album feat. Big Phil, called "You say.." It talks about people who believe they are Christians, and it exposes what they hide behind or cling to rather than Jesus. People believe they are saved because of a little prayer they said or didn't say, while the preacher prayed it for them while they bowed their heads in church. There was never a real change in their life, and they haven't a clue. They say their a Christian but they live in the flesh with no sorrow over their own sin. They are Christian on Sunday, or so they think, because they go to church and then live like hell through the rest of the week. This is carnality. It's not possible to be Christian and carnal. That's why I wrote Carnal Christian in italics to begin the post. The Bible says in Romans chapter 8,
7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.Do you honestly think that if you were living carnally or in the flesh, that you are truly saved from the wrath of God? If you are living life to please yourself and remain with the same old friends doing the same old things then you are likely fooling yourself, because you are a false convert. The Apostle John says that a person with the mind on worldly things rather than holy things, doen't have the love of the Father in him - 1John 2:15-16
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life[a]—is not from the Father but is from the world.The mark of a true Christian and proof that the gospel has changed that person and they are being sanctified, set apart and growing closer to Jesus is the simple fact that they are living holy. When you live holy, you make it a point to get the worldly things out of your life. You purge yourself of all the corruption in your life, in thought and deed. You confess your sins daily to Jesus, in prayer. You call on the Holy Spirit to fill you and give you discernment to know His word. You read His word and you pray to God. Most of all, you're grieved by your sin so you ask God for the gift of repentance. The God given ability to turn from sin, deny yourself, and honor God with what is left of your life. Be a living scrifice, holy and acceptable to him. Both Paul and Peter tell us to strive to be Holy.
PAUL says in Romans 12:
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] 2 Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[d]PETER says in his first epistle:
13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action,[a] and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
You could argue that Christ's imputed righteousness upon you makes you holy or righteous in the eyes of the Lord, and I would agree, because that is in the word. 2Cor 5:21.
That's not what I'm talking about here. Those who are truly saved, do indeed have His imputed righteousness, and will see the kingdom of heaven (Romans 8:1). I want you to search yourself though, and if the Holy Spirit is within you, you would want to be honest with yourself and committed to Jesus. Truly believing as in James 1:21-22 and crying out to God, thru prayer, begging for mercy and the gift of repentance...turning from self towards Jesus.
In conclusion, I leave you with two passages combined together. I would love you to be certain of your salvation. Turn from sin, which means to repent, and live holy to the glory of God. Read the Bible, and do what it says.
18 w Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, x mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But y if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For z to this you have been called, y because Christ also suffered for you, a leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 b He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 c When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, d but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 e He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we f might die to sin and g live to righteousness. h By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For i you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to j the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 26 For d if we go on sinning deliberately e after receiving the knowledge of the truth, f there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 g but a fearful expectation of judgment, and h a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 iAnyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy jon the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one k who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned l the blood of the covenant m by which he was sanctified, and has n outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, o “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, p “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 q It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.