Eternal Peril

"Is Bob a Christian?"
"He confessed the Lord when he was young, but he doesn't live like it now."
"Do you think he is saved?"
"It says, if you call on the name of the Lord you will be saved (Rom. 10:13)."

The misunderstanding of the doctrine of eternal security is lulling people into eternal peril. It is without question that those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved from the wrath of God, and not even the devil will be able to snatch them out of His hand (John 10:28), but they actually have to call on the name of the Lord and follow Him. It is damnable that some people who call themselves Christians have emptied the name of Jesus of its meaning.

The name of Jesus is not a magical word in the English language or any other language. Incantations with Jesus name in it do not make someone a Christian regardless of how much we hope that it is true. A friend recently recounted a humorous story about when they were younger. They used to ask their friends, "Do you want to live in a mansion when you die? Then repeat after me." Unfortunately, this type of thinking carries on into adulthood for many people.

My parents told me that I confessed the name of the Lord Jesus Christ before I was three years old. This may be true, but when many of three years old I meet are just learning to string sentences together it is hard to believe that there was true faith behind those words. The fact of the matter is that no one knows for certain if someone else is a Christian. Only Jesus knows those who are His and the person themselves to the degree that the Spirit of God is working in their life:
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless indeed you fail to meet the test! (2 Cor. 13:5-6)
Those who call on the name of the Lord are transformed, not because of their own doing, but because of the Spirit of God. It is impossible for this not to happen.
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4) 
But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? (Matt. 12:28-29) 
When you call on the name of the Lord the Spirit of God indwells you, and He is the strong man that is living inside of you. Can the Devil tie up God? Can you tie up God?

Calling on the name of Jesus without following Him is similar to calling for help but then refusing to follow the instructions of the paramedic. The help is not what is desired it is the current situation that is not desired. Calling on the name of Jesus in this sense is just another way to get we want, such as, emotional peace, temporary satisfaction, or social acceptance.

Pragmatically, it does not matter if someone is a Christian or isn't if they are consistently living in sin.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector (Matt. 18:17).
As Christians, we are to treat people according to their fruit (Matt. 7:16). If we don't we may give them the false hope that they are truly saved, instead of making them aware of their eternal peril.


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