By David J. Stewart
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"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" -2nd Corinthians 13:5
The Word of God cautions us to EXAMINE OURSELVES. The Greek word for "examine" is peirazo, which means, "to test." Hence, God is telling each professed "Christian" to test themselves to determine whether or not they are truly saved, i.e., in the faith. 2nd Corinthians 13:5 makes it clear that those who don't have Jesus Christ living within them are not saved. The Apostle Paul made this clear in Romans 8:9, "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
When a person believes on Jesus Christ for salvation, the Holy Spirit of God comes to indwell that person immediately. This is in sharp contrast to the blasphemous Catholic teaching of confirmation, i.e., the false notion that a priest can pray the Holy Spirit into a person. The Holy Spirit comes into our body at the time of salvation; and not confirmation. The entire matter of confirmation is unbiblical and of the Devil.
How does a person examine one's self to determine whether they have Jesus Christ or just religion? The answer is to compare your beliefs with the Word of God.
Baptismal Regeneration Exposed
One of the biggest damnable heresies today is Baptismal Regeneration, i.e., the lie that a person must be baptized in order to be saved. Nothing could be further from the truth. One of the strongest evidences against Baptismal Regeneration is 1st John 5:13, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life..." The Apostle John states that he wrote his Epistle so that one could KNOW that he is in Christ; YET, John NEVER mentions water baptism—not once!
In fact, John didn't mention baptism in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd John. He didn't mention speaking-in-tongues either. If baptism were critical to salvation, John surely would have mentioned it. The Apostle Paul stated in 1st Corinthians 1:17, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel..." Paul never would have made such a statement if water baptism were required to go to Heaven. So you see, if you are trusting in your baptism to help you go to Heaven, you are actually bound for Hell in your self-righteousness. Please read, What is Baptism?
There is a surge of false conversions all across America today because of a lack of preaching against sin. There can be NO salvation without the Law of God. It is common nowadays to see the most immoral people, who pride themselves in their unrepentant sin, claim to be Christians. One such organization is BALM (Born Again Lesbian Music). Marsha Stevens is no Christian! Homosexuality is a horrible sin, and no genuine Christian would proudly and defiantly claim that God approves of homosexuality. Romans Chapter one plainly condemns homosexuality.
Another apostate group is JC's Girls—on their webpage it states, "Heather Veitch... not a hero...not a leader...just a christian girl." However, it is clear from her website that she is NO Christian! The www.jcsgirls.com website takes you to Heather Veitch's webpage, where she promotes sex escorts, homosexuality, pornography, Sin City, rock music, and everything else unholy in the sex industry. How in the world could The 700 Club endorse this Godless filth??? These are imposters, who have not Jesus Christ.
Many people think the way to be saved is to invite Jesus into your heart or to make a commitment to Jesus. This is NOT Biblical. Just because you ask Jesus into your heart doesn't address the issue of sin. You must realize your guilt, and condemnation by the Law of God to be saved. Jesus cannot save those who come to Him in their self-righteousness. We must do as Romans 4:5 tells us and believe on Him that justifieth THE UNGODLY. You'd be surprised how many people today claim to be a Christian, but don't think they're sinful enough to deserve Hellfire. They haven't yet realize the sinfulness of their sin. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 7:13 that the Bible made his sin appear exceedingly sinful, "...that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful."
Many folks today want Jesus, but they don't want to come to the cross as a Hell deserving sinner. You can't just decide to follow the teachings of Christ to be saved, i.e., a Christian philosophy. Christianity didn't begin as a philosophy; but as a relationship with Jesus Christ, which centered on our sinfulness and woeful need for a Savior. Christianity became a philosophy when it went to Greece. It became an organization when it went to Rome (i.e., the Catholic Church). It became a culture as it spread throughout Europe. And it became a business when it came to America. To 99% of the people today who profess to be "Christian,' Christianity is nothing more than a mere philosophy, organization, cultural lifestyle, or business opportunity. Is it any wonder why God admonishes all of us to EXAMINE OURSELVES, to see whether or not we are in the faith.
There is NO guilt, no remorse, no sorrow over sin today, no conviction, and no desire to repent. This is exactly why the Apostle Paul asked the members of the church at Corinth to examine themselves. A lot of sin had been occurring within the church. This is evidenced throughout the Biblical Book of 1st Corinthians. Everything from fornication (5:1), drunkenness (11:21), idolatry (8:10), strife (1:11), and lawsuits (6:6) were happening in the church. This prompted the Apostle Paul to question their salvation in 2nd Corinthians 13:5.
In a gentlemanly manner, the Apostle Paul simply warns them to examine themselves, whether they be in the faith. Although no self-righteous works are required to be saved (Romans 4:5), there should be some noticeable changes in a person's life AFTER they are saved. This is what James meant when he said, "...shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works" (James 2:18). James was not speaking of salvation by works, which many foolishly claim today.
There is not a more damnable religion in existence than Catholicism (Roman and Orthodox). Roman Catholicism has it's headquarters in Rome (i.e., the Vatican); whereas the Russian Orthodox Church has their own Catholic leadership in Moscow. These two dreaded beasts have led billions of lost souls into Hellfire by their manmade traditions and false doctrines. Catholicism varies considerably from Biblical Christianity in that it requires a person to perform sacraments and good deeds to enter Heaven. In addition, Catholics are required to go THROUGH the Catholic Church by means of water baptism to be saved. This is blasphemy! The Catholic Church arrogantly claims that they are God's sole organization upon the earth. There is NO organization that can save anyone. Salvation is found ONLY is the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6), not in any religion.
Members of the Catholic Church are oblivious to the truth of Ephesians 2:8,9... "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." I have personally witnessed to hundreds of Catholics in my lifetime and nearly all of them were BOASTFUL concerning their own self-righteousness. I witnessed to a Catholic woman last week. I asked her, "What does a person need to do to go to Heaven?" She replied, "Follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. Go to mass. Help others. Live a good life. Keep the Ten Commandments, etc, etc." She never mentioned the blood of Jesus, or faith in Christ." Many people think they are ready for Heaven because they were baptized as an infant. Nothing could be further from the Truth of God's Word. Infant baptism is not taught in the Scriptures. Water baptism never saved anyone, it just got them wet. Salvation is of God, not man.
Do you have Jesus Christ in you, or do you just have religion? Many people today are make-believers, not true believers. Jesus boldly warned the people in Matthew 5:20, "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Oh! Listen friend, except your righteousness shall exceed that of the Pope and the priests, you will be cast into the Lake of Fire at the Great White Throne of Judgment. Most people today have churchianity without Christianity. They have religion without Truth. God's Word is Truth (John 17:17).
The average Catholic is woefully ignorant of the Scriptures. They are taught to trust the priests, and to receive the message of the Pope as if God Himself were speaking. It is utter blasphemy and wickedness! God hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son (Hebrews 1:1-2), i.e., the Word of God (John 1:1-3,14; Revelation 19:13). God does NOT speak through the Pope, or through apparitions of Mary. We have everything we need to know in the Word of God. The Catholic Church has been inventing new doctrines for centuries, and their naive victims have been going to Hell for centuries. Examine yourself—are you a genuine BORN-AGAIN believer?
Turning over a new leaf won't save you! Making a commitment to God, or joining a church, or trying to improve your life, won't save you. Praying a prayer won't save you. Adopting a Christian philosophy won't save you. The only way to be saved is found in Acts 16:30,31, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..." Again in John 6:40 we read, "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."
And of course, John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Do you believe in Jesus? Do you believe that Jesus came to this earth as the Godhead incarnate (1st Timothy 3:16; Colossians 2:9)? Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the ONLY Savior of mankind? Do you realize your guilt, condemnation under the Law of God, and justly deserved punishment in Hellfire? God wants to save you, no matter who you may be (2nd Peter 3:9). It is your choice (Romans 10:13; John 5:40).
Examine yourself now. What are you trusting in to get you to Heaven? Let me tell you what I'm trusting in for salvation—the Lord Jesus Christ, because of the blood He shed for my sins... "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." I am not trusting upon my own self-righteousness to save me; but rather, upon His righteousness... "For he hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2nd Corinthians 5:21). Please read, The Man Who Refuses to Accept the Freeness of Salvation.
If you ADD anything to faith alone in Jesus Christ to get you to Heaven, you WILL go to Hell when you die (Acts 4:10-12; Isaiah 45:22). It's as simple as that. Examine yourself. Are you a child of God? Have you been born again? Many people nowadays claim to be Christians; but are not. Singer, Beyonce Nobles, claims that God has given her permission to dress naked and strip in public. She also claims to be a devout Christian. I serious question her claim of being a Christian. She needs to examine her soul, because she doesn't have Jesus Christ. Being a sinner is one thing, boasting defiantly against the Word of God is another.
I fear that most of the professed Christians in our churches today are simply playing the game, Sunday after Sunday, but they do not have God's salvation. I've seen quite a few people in my lifetime, who only came to church when they were popular, or it was fun and interesting, or it made them feel good about themselves; but then they quit after awhile. 2nd Timothy 4:3 says, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears." America's churches are filled with such phonies, the Joel Osteen crowd, who would never tolerate a Hell, fire, and damnation sermon.
Health, wealth, and prosperity—that's all most people want to hear nowadays. Salvation isn't a prayer, or a religious experience, or a philosophy to be adhered to, or a ceremony, or turning over a new leaf, or dedicating our life to God, or a cultural phenomena—salvation is a supernatural act of Almighty God in response to our faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ, because of the precious blood that He shed for our vile and wicked sins that condemned us to Hellfire. Salvation is of God!
So I say along with the Apostle Paul... examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.
Are You Really A Christian?
How To Go To Heaven