Matt.11:12 – From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.
Are you saved? How do you know? Often times today salvation is portrayed as easy. There is not anything easy about it! How often have you heard these words “Repeat after me” ? Evangelical formulas can’t and don’t save anyone. There is nothing you can do to deserve or earn salvation but there is a requirement. You want to know what that is? You have to want it badly. Casual prayers are really meaningless. In today’s verse Jesus described people pressing into the kingdom of God violently. We only get violent about things that matter. When you see for yourself the value of eternal life and the risk of eternal damnation violence suddenly becomes part of your world. Here is how Adam Clarke describes this statement that the Lord made.
“The tax-gatherers and heathens, whom the scribes and Pharisees think have no right to the kingdom of the Messiah, filled with holy zeal and earnestness, seize at once on the proffered mercy of the Gospel, and so take the kingdom as by force from those learned doctors who claimed for themselves the chiefest places in that kingdom. Christ himself said, The tax-gatherers and harlots go before you into the kingdom of God. He that will take, get possession of the kingdom of righteousness, peace, and spiritual joy, must be in earnest: all hell will oppose him in every step he takes; and if a man be not absolutely determined to give up his sins and evil companions, and have his soul saved at all hazards, and at every expense, he will surely perish everlastingly. This requires a violent earnestness.”
This reminds me of the Jesus movement back in the 1970’s. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1973. No one told me to stop smoking marijuana, or drinking alcohol, or smoking cigarettes, or living an immoral life. When I was converted, repentance was part of the package. Repentance is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Repentance is the violence with which we press into the kingdom. So that brings us back to the original question; are you really saved or did you just repeat some prayer? Repentance is real and the sure sign that Christ is at work in your life.
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