With the unsaved, we still have a fighting chance at winning them over to Christ through the Gospel. But with the misguided, head-strong, so-called Sunday-morning-"Christian" (who is living anything but a Christian lifestyle) who has been Pope-ishly declared to be a Christian by some fool preaching a false Gospel, that is a tough egg to crack. These highly religious, superficially moral, self-rightoues individuals look at holiness and judge it to be "legalism." Despite everything the Bible has to say about the Christian and the Christian life, these people deny it all, "having a form of godliness but denying its power," and still have the audacity to call themselves Christians, claiming that they supposedly "love Jesus." What was it that Jesus said? Oh, yeah! "If you love me, you will obey my commandments."
These so-called "Christians" lead very non-Christian-like lifestyles, hiding behind the cross as if God were their alibi. I am sorry, but the Bible makes it pretty clear that we are to "pursue...the sanctification [holiness] without which no one will see the Lord." These are not mere suggestions, my friends; these are commandments from the Lord Jesus. You do not have the option to obey or disobey them. Jesus made it clear that "he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter" the kingdom of heaven. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification [holiness]."
Do these people not read their Bibles? Do they not see what is written on the pages? It puts me in mind of those passages that state, "seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand." It also puts me in mind of the words of Charles Spurgeon, who said, "There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write 'damnation' with your fingers." Seriously, what are we to do with passages that challenge us to "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?" How about passages that urge us to "be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble"? What about passages that encourage us to "consider yourselves dead unto sin" because "if you are living according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live"? Does the Bible say these things just for the sake of saying them? Or does it actually mean what it says and say what it means?
A mental assent to the facts and evidence of Jesus does not equal saving faith; it equals a one-way trip to Hell on a greased pole. A personal relationship with Christ does not consist of one claiming to "believe" in Him and nothing more. A genuine personal relationship with the Lord is evidenced by a person's continual forsaking of sin and repenting of sin found in their life, their life of prayer (our communication to God), their reading of God's Word (God's communication to us), and in a genuine seeking of the living Lord. If a person does not seek the Lord, there is nothing personal about that person's so-called "relationship." Try claiming a personal relationship with your wife or children when you know nothing of them other than their name and do not bother to pursue them in order to know them.
"But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul."
"I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me."
"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God."
"If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." That means that "as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him." It means to "bear fruit in keeping with repentance." So "walk in a manner worthy of the Lord," "worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory," "worthy of the calling with which you have been called," "[conducting] yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ," because "like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behaviour; because it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'"
Keep this in mind: "If it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?" The Bible offers us no assurance of salvation if we are living in habitual sin: "Everyone who habitually practices sin also habitually practices lawlessness; and sin in lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him continues to sin; no one who continues to sin has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who habitually practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God habitually practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not habitually practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother."
Let us read our Bibles and believe what they say; and if what we read frightens us, let us pray to God for Him to change us and to comfort us. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" because "It is a frightful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Amen.