Learning, Loving, Living
By Dave Stewart

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” —John 14:15

       Many churchgoers learn about Christ, and then fail in life, because they never develop a loving relationship with the Lord. Likewise, many Bible college students learn in seminary all about the things of God, but utterly fail when they get into the ministry, because they never developed a strong personal relationship with God. There is nothing more important in this world, next to our salvation, than to develop a personal walk with God.

In Luke 8:14 Jesus spoke of some believers who are choked by the cares and riches of this world . . . “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.” This describes most believers today. They go to church and play the religious game, but they never lead anyone to the Lord or accomplish anything for Heaven. They go to church because it's fun, musical, entertaining, and a time to fellowship; but they couldn't care less about getting lost souls saved. They know a lot about the Bible, but their life is destitute of any souls won to Christ.

Very few believers love the Lord more than this present world. The Apostle Paul said concerning Demas in 2nd Timothy 4:10, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.” Most churchgoers today are phonies, singing for the Lord on Sunday and playing Blues in the nightclub on Friday night. This is apostasy! America's churches are filled with insincere people who follow Christ from afar as Peter did. They put on a good show in church, but then live for the Devil the rest of the week. They've never developed a personal walk with a holy God, that hates sin and demands for believers to, “come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord” (2nd Corinthians 6:17).

It was David who said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). Oh, that believers today would love the Lord and refuse to regard (i.e., give our regards to) iniquity. God wants us to hate evil (Psalm 97:10). Jesus hated iniquity (Hebrews 1:9). Few believers today hate sin, because there's not enough preaching in our churches today concerning eternal punishment.

Here is an excellent quote from the mighty man of God, Dr. Lee Roberson, concerning eternal punishment . . .

“Somebody says, 'The thought of Hell is so horrible.' Well, my friend, so is cancer, so is tuberculosis, so is the grave. Someone said, 'I believe sin ought to be punished, but not for eternity.' That's your view, not God's.

Again another says, 'I don't believe in the wrath of God.' Then you don't believe your Bible. The Bible says the wrath of God abideth on the one who doesn't believe in Jesus Christ. He is lost forever.

Now, these things come to us out of the Word of God. The teaching of eternal punishment should give us a hatred for sin. We ought to hate sin. The reason we have changed so much in this day in all of our churches is that we are not hearing much on this subject. Therefore, we endorse sin. We engage in sin. We camouflage the sin in our lives and allow things to go by, instead of hating sin as God wants us to hate sin . . .

The teaching of eternal punishment should give us a passion for the souls of men.”

SOURCE: Dr. Lee Roberson, from the book, Disturbing Questions... Solid Answers, chapter 16, pgs. 196-198; copyright, Sword of the Lord publishers, 1978.

If preachers today would address the subject of eternal punishment more often, then people would be more aware of the consequences of sin, and hate it so.

We are living in times of woeful apostasy when churchgoers refuse to endure sound doctrine . . . “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” (2nd Timothy 4:3). Few churchgoers are saved nowadays. Of those who are genuinely born-again, few love the Lord enough to go soulwinning and live righteously to please God. Jesus said that those believers who have “an honest and good heart” will go soulwinning and bear fruit if they are patient (Luke 8:15). Amen!

"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."
—2nd Thessalonians 1:8

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