"But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God's laws." – Matthew 7 verses 21-23.
Since only coming to know Christ about four years ago, sometimes there are the basic fundamentals I struggle with understanding when it comes to Christian doctrine and what it means to be a true disciple of Christ.
Clearly, the verses above are Jesus indicating that there are true believers of Christ and those who only prophesy in His name, but are not true believers of Christ. To me, it indicates a subject of true faith vs false professions.
It is possible for us not to know God, but is it possible for God not to know us? Especially as indicated in the verses, it seems to apply to those who profess Christ as Lord. Can believers of Christ lose salvation?
To me, what makes a true Christian, is not someone who describes themselves as Christians, because they go to a Christian church, or have been brought up as a Christian or who can easily say they are followers of Christ. Very often people can describe themselves as Christians and yet when the truth in their hearts are revealed, they are mostly self-glorifying, prideful and believe that their own good works alone are enough for salvation.
Sometimes, I fall into the same trap. I feel that as long as I go to church, read my Bible, memorise my verses and sing praises to God, I have gained favour in God and my token to Heaven is guaranteed. As long as I do my good works and continue to do what I believe is righteous, I will be saved.
However, none of us deserves true salvation, or can ever do enough good works to enter heaven. We have all fallen from the grace of God. The good news is that as a true believer of Christ, I have been justified through faith and I have been sanctified and glorified in Christ.
So only through grace and for the glory of God, I as a true disciple of Christ cannot lose my salvation. For it is already said in John 3 verse 16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" and in Acts 16 verse 31, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household".
What does this mean?
What then does it mean in the verses above? In Ephesians 2 verses 8-9, "For by the grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast".
There were people who worked in Jesus' name who were able to preach, heal and perform all kinds of miracles. They build churches, led Jesus' ministries and claim to have a relationship with Jesus. And yet on the day of Judgement, Jesus will send them away and disown their deeds and works. The Lord "never" knew them, nor did they ever truly know Him.
Only God knows what is the truth in their hearts. We may be able to profess to the world that we believe in Christ, but at the end of the day, only God will know who have been the true believers of Christ and who never were.
As a true believer in Christ, I am confident of my salvation in Christ, and I should never need to fear of losing my salvation, for the moment I have truly accepted Christ as my King and Lord, I become part of the chosen elect of God, chosen before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1 verse 4), set apart and sanctified by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 6 verse 11; 2 Timothy 2 verse 21) and justified by faith (Ephesians 2 verses 8-9).
Christ has put all my condemnation away and made me new again, in faith to Christ and not just in my works. I know I can never lose my salvation if I truly believe in Jesus, and the only way I could ever lose my salvation, is if I never had it in the first place.
As a true disciple of Christ, true believers will produce good fruit. I who truly believe in Christ and God who makes all things impossible, possible, have given me the blessed opportunity to be committed to God, to depend on Him, to trust in Him, to believe on Him for righteousness, salvation and eternal life.
This is what will give me entry to God's kingdom, for God already says, "Seek my kingdom first and my righteousness, and all these will be added to you" – Matthew 6 verse 33.
Clarissa Yates is from Singapore but moved to live in Perth, Western Australia in 2008. Clarissa completed a BSc. in Molecular Biology at the University of Western Australia and is now working as a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Western Australia, where she is part of a research team studying therapies for lung cancer.
Clarissa Yates previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/clarissa-yates.html