Christians by and large have misunderstood this thing, this concept, we call “salvation.” “Believe in the LORD Jesus and you shall be saved” we regurgitate to unbelievers as we paraphrase Romans 10:9. So now Christians sit by and watch as those more serious about their religion begin to destroy and overtake the civilization they built over the past two millennia. Of course, it isn’t a very pretty or moral civilization anymore for the Christians who built it thought that they needed to merely “believe” in Jesus and everything would be alright. Afterall Jesus forgave them for all their sins, they thought, and so it didn’t much matter to them if they kept on sinning.
No, it didn’t matter when as colonial “Christian” powers they invaded lands not theirs and raped and destroyed all indigenous peoples, plundering their goods as they went. No, it didn’t matter when, after they had conquered and subjagated lands and kingdoms, they began to indulge in every sin of the flesh one could imagine. It didn’t even matter when their governments began to tell them that they could not worship Christ in the public square and that their children could not pray to their God in the public schools. The schools were free and their Christian religion wasn’t really that important, was it?
The multitude of Christians view their religion simply as a matter of faith, a faith that only means they believe that Jesus died for their sins. This is not the faith that Jesus, the apostles, or the Old Testament prophets taught. Faith for them was always a matter of coming into the perfect character of God Himself. He taught this concept from the very beginning, saying:
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be you perfect. (Genesis 17:1 KJ2000)
And whosoever offers a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in cattle or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish in it. (Leviticus 22:21 KJ2000)
You shall be perfect with the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 18:13 KJ2000)
But you shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shall you have: that your days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD your God gives you. (Deuteronomy 25:15 KJ2000)
Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day. (1 Kings 8:61 KJ2000)
And you, Solomon my son, know you the God of your father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts: if you seek him, he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. (1 Chronicles 28:9 KJ2000)
My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walks in a perfect way, he shall serve me. (Psalms 101:6 KJ2000)
Of course, we think, we Christians are far more enlightened than those ancient Jews who lived under the Law. Christ has annulled the Law, we say, and thus we no longer must live under the weight of its tyrannous restraints. Consequently we abandoned morality in many of our churches and even now ordain to the ministry those whom Moses taught were worthy of death. You see, we Christians are far more enlightened than Israel of old!
Yet, truth teaches exactly the opposite of modern day Christianity. Jesus and Paul, like Moses and David, preached that only that which is perfect may come into the presence of God. And what, please tell me, is salvation if it is not coming into the ever-dwelling presence of God? “Oh,” you say, “salvation is eternal life. We have eternal life by faith in Jesus.” To which I answer, why would we want eternal life if we remained steeped in our rebellion to God and our gross sins? Would such eternal life be worth living? No, a thousand times, NO! Jesus admonished, “Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48 KJ2000) For it is only in such perfection that we will find eternal life a blessing and not the curse of unbearable hell….