"Does that mean once we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour we're forever saved?" I asked an elderly Pastor.
"No!" came the emphatic response.
"What happens is that at the very instant you accept Christ, you denounce Satan as the ruler of your life and Christ becomes the new ruler. You denounce your sinful nature and accept to live a life of holiness. This is just the beginning of a lifelong process of 'cleansing' and 'retaining your salvation'.
(“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed -- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence -- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” -Phil. 2:12, 13).
It means that even when you've accepted Christ, there are many areas of your body which still need to be worked out! Very much like a tank with leaks at the bottom, every time God fills you up with Good things, the bad things inside of you, like leaks in the tank, drain you of the good things!
"What then is the way to plug all the leaks?", I asked earnestly.
"When a person knows his body and mind have been 'used for doing evil' in the past, the best thing for him/her to do is to approach the elders of the church and seek for deliverance in every area of your life.
- Maintain a close, personal, intimate walk with Jesus.
- Stay in open and accountable relationships with mature brothers and sisters.
- Ask the Lord to send you opportunities to minister to others".
The words of the Lord Jesus are not always comfortable. They are always true, but not always comfortable. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that not everybody who claims to be a Christian will enter the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 7:21. Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.)
Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'