“If you really have been born again, the evidence that your faith is genuine is demonstrated by whether or not you have gone and borne good fruit for the Kingdom of God. If you really know God, you will be serving His purposes and working for His Kingdom. You won’t be able to sit around while the world goes to Hell.” (Living Waters by Brother Yun – Pages 236-237)
Very strong comment by someone who, over the years, has been on the front lines of the growing Church in China and has suffered for his faith and his boldness in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A comment that Christians in North America need to hear and heed. At least the majority of Christians.
Let’s admit it – there are really only a few who are out there witnessing to the lost with their words and actions. Apparently – at least by my observations and most survey results – there are few actively sharing their faith with the lost.
So, in general, the Church needs to heed these words by one who has been through the fire of persecution and pain because of his boldness to reach the lost and teach and equip the new disciples as they enter into this new life of following the Master. He has earned the right to be heard.
We are born again by grace through faith – not of works (Ephesians 2:8-9). But – read verse 10 – God, after we are born again, lets us know the “good works” that He has prepared for us to do. These good works will, of course, line up with His plans to win the lost which is why He came and is the one common feature of all that He does upon the face of the Earth. Luke 19:10 states that Jesus came to “seek and to save the lost”. And Matthew 28:18-20 states that He wants us to share in this work as He sends us out into all the world to preach the Gospel or Good News that He saves. So, everything we do in His name should be a means to an end – the end is to tell people that they are sinners who are in need of a Savior.
Jesus said: “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men“. If you are not fishing – you are not following!
Jesus taught that you you can’t claim to know God yet do nothing to serve Him.
Matthew 25:41-46 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
We need to take His comments seriously. Afterall, He is the Head of the Church and Lord of our lives. It seems from these verses that our deeds are imporant to God. In this parable, people’s eternal destination apparently depended on the fruit of their lives that was expressed through their actions. What mattered here was what they had done because of who they believed in. There should be no such thing as an inactive or non-ministering believer or disciple.
And, the purpose of our serving and ministering is to show people the unconditional love of the God we worship and serve. As we serve others we must remember that we are doing this so that we can verbally share with them the Good News that Jesus saves. It is not simply ministry or loving action for the sake of loving action – the purpose of all we do is to tell people (in words and deeds) that Jesus died for their sins and is offering them forgiveness, a new life, and an eternity and relationship with Him starting right now.
So, a believer is someone who has accepted God’s offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. When we recognized that we are a sinner and, with godly sorrow and repentance, turned away from sin and towards God asking and receiving forgiveness – He gave to us a gift called “eternal life” (Romans 6:23). This gift is defined in John 17:3 as a relationship (an intimate relationship) with God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son. You begin, as a born again believer, to walk out this relationship and every day you come to know more and more of His heart as well as His plans and purposes … which always includes saving the lost as this is His heart.
Thus, it is hard to believe that a person is really in a dynamic and intimate relationship with the Lord (as many say they are) when they are not actively sharing their faith and talking about their relationship with God – and His offer of forgiveness and a new life with others …. inviting them to enter into this ‘new life’ as they have already done. I mean, how can you know God and do nothing? How can you know God and not be sharing your faith (and your Jesus) with others who you know need Him and who, without Him, will go to an eternity in hell separated from God forever? I mean, how can you say you know God and do nothing? How can you?
I don’t believe you can! Which means my other conclusion is that many who declare they are saved and thus in a dynamic relationship with the Living God are not and are sadly self-deceived.