2 Peter 1:9-11 ~ “But those who fail to develop in this way are SHORTSIGHTED or BLIND, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.  So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen.  Do these things, and you will never fall away.  Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Today I am trying to stay focused on wanting to pursue righteousness with a passion.  Is it really an option to not pursue moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, patient endurance, Godliness, and brotherly love?  2 Peter 2:9 tells us whoever lacks these qualities are so nearsighted, he or she is blind.  All they can see is the present and near future, but not the eternal.  Isn’t this the tasty part of sin?  It will bring us immediate pleasure.  But the question is, will I regret committing these sins for all of eternity?

If we could see hell for a few seconds, it would change our lives forever.  We wouldn’t be thinking about the temporal gratification the lure of sin brings us.  If we could see Heaven for a few seconds, it would change our lives forever.  The Bible tells us we have no idea how wonderful living with Him in His Kingdom will be!!

The Holy Spirit gives us power to leave specific sins.  We can’t forget that we have been cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus from our old sins (verse 9).  Where does the Bible call a saved man “blind”?  When a person is born again, the Holy Spirit gives us sight.  Before then, we were blind.

2 Peter 2:20-22 says, “And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before.  It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life.  They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.”  And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.”

The people who understood what Jesus did for them and then are entangled in their sin again, they are in worse shape then when they first believed.  Deciding to go back to that sin is a dangerous thing.  So many times we want to reassure people of their salvation, but the Bible says we are to have fruit in our lives.

We are told to make our calling and election sure.  The word “diligent” carries a message of urgency.  Make sure of your salvation!  It doesn’t say “look back at a decision you made” but to “look at the fruit in our lives” and practice these qualities to make sure we are Heaven bound.  Then we can see how the Holy Spirit is changing us.  We want to be 100% sure of our salvation.  Many people believe that once they truly decided to follow Jesus, they can’t lose their salvation.  I believe that too.  But some people who believe this aren’t sure if they are really saved.  The assurance of our salvation is subjective.  We have to be diligent to make our calling and election sure.  If we aren’t living a Godly life and aren’t close to Jesus, we will wonder if we were ever born again.  That is the result of not being diligent to practice these Godly characteristics.  If we never feel the power of the Holy Spirit, how do we know we have Him?

1 John 5:13 “I write these things to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God that you may KNOW you have eternal life.”

Let’s look at this verse in context.  What are “these things”?

1 John  1:6 “So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth.”

1 John 2:4  “If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth.”

1 John 2:9 “If anyone claims, “I am living in light,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness.”

1 John 2:15 “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.”

1 John 3:6 “Anyone who continues to live in Him will not sin.  But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know Him or understand Who He is.”

1 John 3:8 “But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they blong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning.  But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.”

1 John 3:15 “Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart.  And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.”

1 John 3:17 “If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion ~ how can God’s love be in that person?”

1 John 4:7,8 “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God.  Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.”

1 John 4:13 “And God has given us His Spirit as proof that we live in Him and He in us.”

1 John 4:20 “If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?”

1 John 5:4,5 “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.  And who can win this battle against the world?  Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”

1 John 5:13 “I have written this to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God, so that you may KNOW you have eternal life.”

This is why we, if we are born again, we detest the sin in our lives.  This shows us we are really saved.  If we don’t obey, we are liars.  The assurance of our salvation is shaky if we don’t practice these things.  When we do practice these things, we won’t fall (fallen forever).  We all sin.  I sin.  But I, by the grace of God, bounce back.  I come back in repentance to the Lord and our fellowship is restored.  1 Peter 1:7 is a test of genuineness.  When life is tested, do we walk away from God?  Are we steadfast?  If we don’t follow Jesus, we are going to feel insecure.

Many times people will tell us they are born again.  We may wonder.  But when we begin seeing changes in their lives, then we are convinced they are saved.  This is a sign that someone’s salvation is sure.  My concern is that many people believe they are saved and are not, and many people who are saved doubt their salvation.

There have been times when I doubted my salvation.  When I look back at those times I doubted, it was always when I have not been strong in my prayer life, reading the Word, or following Christ closely.  When I am praying fervently, studying the Word, and following Christ, I do not doubt.  How about you?  Have you ever had doubts about your salvation?  Have you noticed, as I have, that it was at those times that you weren’t walking as closely with the Lord as you should have been?

Verse 11 says there will be a grand entrance for those who practice these things diligently!!!  Have you ever thought about the reception you will get when you get to Heaven?  We won’t all be received the same way. But for those who are attentive to keeping the sweet abiding in Christ, there will be A GRAND ENTRANCE!!!  What a promise!!

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