“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)
You can talk, as they say, until you’re blue in the face, some of them will continue until their dying breath to not listen.
I speak here today in this short, poorly written letter about those that it can be very difficult to discern whether or not they are saved, whether or not these individuals are your brothers and sisters in Christ. How do you respond to someone who truly seems saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ that is adamant about baptism being necessary for salvation, that profess a faith in Jesus Christ as Lord that seems almost unquestionable but refuses to judge anyone in any matter.
What about those that believe that we must still follow the law, or at least the ten commandments, as proof of our salvation, or that church attendance is a requirement, that tithing still applies to New Testament believers.
The foundation of a person’s salvation rests entirely upon belief in what the Word of God says about the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, that salvation is by grace through faith, but if that person you are speaking to will not accept this unalterable, unquestionable truth, then there is no foundation to build upon, they are resting on sinking sand. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:” (Matt. 7:24)
The rock is Jesus Christ and Him crucified, that is the foundation, all must be built from there on it or it will not stand. That foundation our opening verse speaks of is destroyed by a lack of Scriptural knowledge, by a lack of wisdom and understanding, by not hearing and believing the truth when it is clearly presented. Anything beyond the grace of God is work, and when it comes to our salvation, no work that we do is acceptable, it is a gift, and gifts cannot be earned.
After we are justified, our works matter, in fact, they matter a great deal. None of the crowns spoken of in the Scriptures are handed out to unprofitable servants, there are rewards for trusting, those who have applied themselves to the lifting up of the name of the Lord Jesus, who have given their lives to the glory of God will hear, “Well done though good and faithful servant.” The real question of this short letter is this, these who have been mentioned earlier, are they truly saved, or are they deceived?
How does one explain to someone the truth when they continuously deny that truth, how are we to treat those who say, for instance, that if one is not baptized, they will go to hell, no matter how much they loved, served and honored the Lord with their life. Would that truly be an acceptance of the shed blood of the Savior as the only means to their salvation? Have they not in fact said that His sacrifice on the cross was not sufficient for their salvation?
What of the one who says that after our salvation we must still obey the law, what does that make of the grace of God? How do we approach the one that believes that we are still to give ten percent, or explain to them that the Gentiles were never under the law in the first place?
If the foundation is not built on grace, if it is not built upon the blood of Jesus Christ as the only means of salvation, then whatever it is built on will not stand.
If you cannot help them to understand these foundational truths, they will never grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord as they have been meant to, all their obedience will never amount to what it could have been. Are they saved? That is for God to know, in this area we cannot judge, but we should question them, as long as they will listen. “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:” (Prov. 6:23)