This is message one in a three part series on knowing God’s will for your life. Join us Saturday, September 25th at 5:30p.m. for Westside Christian Fellowship’s first service.
Someone once said, “I don’t worry about what I watch, or listen to, as long as my heart is right.” This is a very dangerous view. Most will admit, however, that this statement is really just an excuse to cross the line when it comes to entertainment. Let’s be honest: Many rationalize watching and listening to very questionable material because we enjoy it.
What we watch and listen to affects the heart; it’s impossible to separate the two. If we would make it our goal to know Christ more personally, we would preach Christ more powerfully. For example, if a preacher fills his mind with worldly pleasures and desires all week and expects the Spirit of God to speak boldly through him from the pulpit, he will be gravely mistaken: “The gratification of the flesh and the fullness of the Spirit do not go hand in hand” (R.A. Torrey). Who he is all week is who he will be when he steps to the pulpit—the passion and conviction of his message is only as strong as the passion and conviction within him. The same is true with you: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). What goes in ultimately comes out.
It’s apparent to me that America has been asleep at the wheel; we can no longer ignore our God-given civic responsibility and the massive impact that politics has on society. Make no mistake about it: America’s leaders play an enormous role in shaping the direction of the country. Our current administration needs to seriously reconsider the direction they are taking us. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked man rules, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2).
Sadly, many in government still support partial-birth abortion, even when the life of the mother is not at risk. Partial-birth abortion is a process where an unborn, often healthy, baby’s body is delivered feet first, often near full term, until only the head remains inside the womb. (The head remains in the womb so that the abortion is not considered murder. Once a baby is fully delivered, his/her life cannot be terminated.) The physician then punctures the back of the child’s skull with a sharp instrument and removes the child’s brains before delivering the dead baby.
I’ve heard both sides of the argument, and only God truly knows a person’s heart, but I can share a few thoughts. One thing is for certain: Salvation is a gift from God that cannot be earned.
One school of thought suggests that salvation cannot be lost, as in losing your car keys, but that it can be left, as in walking away from it. This may be why Jesus spoke of the man who said in his “heart”: My master delays His coming; therefore, I will turn from living a godly life. When the master returned unexpectedly, the servant was banished because he chose to turn from what he knew to be right. In another passage, Jesus said, “You have left your first love,” when speaking to the church in Ephesus (Revelation 2:4). James 5:19-20 adds: If anyone wanders from the truth and someone turns him back, a soul is saved from death. If anything, these Scriptures, and many more, reinforce the fact that we have certain responsibilities. We should never turn from what we know to be right. Jesus encouraged His followers to be watchful, prepared, and ready for His return. Are we watchful? Are we prepared? Are we ready? (See Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 21:34.)