Are You a True Follower of Christ?
This morning we read about people who have been influenced by, what I would call the church, and yet never believe. It is not that they had salvation and lost it, for that is not possible (Phil. 1:6). But it is that they never had it to begin with. It is easy for people to grow up in church or simply attend and to have been “enlightened” to the truth of the gospel, to have “tasted the heavenly gift” and even shared in the “Holy Spirit” and yet never be truly born of the Spirit (John 3; Titus 3). It is possible to see the truth of the gospel, to experience what it is like to be around people who are Spirit controlled and yet turn from that and not believe. Remember, there were many people who encountered Jesus and turned and followed him no more (John 6:66). We know that the evidence is not just perseverance (Matt 24:13), but also fruit bearing. Look at the example in vv. 7-8. It states that water comes on the earth and some ground produces fruitful crops that are “useful” and some thorns and thistles and is “worthless.” The ones worthless are burned. So there is a warning, and the warning is this: Make sure you are a true follower of Christ. Make sure that you are genuine and fruit bearing. Make sure you don’t think you are “ok” because you prayed some prayer or were raised in the church. But consider Who you are trusting in for your salvation and see the evidence. Now don’t take “evidence” as “perfection.” But you will have evidence (ie. fruit). So we can say, “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promise.”