By Femi Aribisala

Christians say we are saved. But Jesus says we are not. He puts salvation as the final bus stop, saying: “He who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22). But Christians proclaim their salvation at the beginning.

Inevitably, Christians are in for a big surprise. Jesus says: “The last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.” (Matthew 20:16).  Today, Christians are the first who are now destined prophetically to be last.

This means we will be flabbergasted when we finally discover that many non-Christians that we have held in outright contempt end up in the kingdom of heaven, while we ourselves are cast out. 

God says ominously through Hosea: “It shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there it shall be said to them, ‘You are sons of the living God.’” (Hosea 1:10).

Jesus, our Saviour, confirms this. He says: “Many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:11-12).   

Even though today, Christians are now the sons of the kingdom destined by prophecy to be cast into outer darkness, we still refuse to get the message. This is because Christianity is now a faith where people listen to Nicodemus pastors and not even to Jesus Christ.

So, Jesus says to Christians: “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

Believe the prophets

But No! We persist in building our houses on the sand, instead of the rock of the word of Christ. Jesus says: “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!” (Luke 24:25).

The prophets say we should not think our churches are temples of God. Therefore, God did not send Jeremiah to unbelievers. He sent him to the “Christians” of his day. God told Jeremiah to stand at the gate of the temple and make a proclamation in the hearing of all those coming to church:

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.  Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.’” (Jeremiah 7:3-4).

Don’t think because you go to church every Sunday that means you are going to heaven. Don’t think because you read your bible and pray every day that means you are going to heaven. Don’t think because you pay tithes and give offerings that means you are going to heaven. 

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Jeremiah stood by the door of the church, and he gave a message different from the one the pastor had prepared for the service. He did not say “peace, peace, when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 8:11). He did not give a false prophecy that “all shall be well.” He did not tell the people: “there will be no road accidents involving the saints of God this year.”  He did not say: “Get ready, get ready to be blessed.”

Instead, Jeremiah called the people to repentance and warned them about the impending judgment of God:

“Do you really think that you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and worship Baal and all of those new gods of yours, and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, ‘We are saved!’- only to go right back to all these evil things again?  Is my Temple but a den of robbers in your eyes? For I see all the evil going on in there. ‘Go to Shiloh, the city I first honoured with my name, and see what I did to her because of all the wickedness of my people Israel.  And now,’ says the Lord, ‘I will do the same thing here because of all this evil you have done.’” (Jeremiah 7:9-13).

Believe Jesus

The word of the prophet is timeless, therefore, Jesus repeated it. He went into the refurbished temple and drove out all those who bought and sold there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of the dove-sellers.  He then quoted Jeremiah: “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” (Matthew 21:13).

Jesus prophesied that the temple would be destroyed again. He said to His disciples: “Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (Matthew 24:2).

This prophecy came to pass with dramatic effect in AD 70 when the Romans destroyed the temple. Nevertheless, pastors, bishops, and general overseers continue to build cathedrals and lull Christians into a false sense of security. The churches today remain a den of thieves where people come to double their tithes and offerings, foolishly believing that they are already saved.

Final quest

But we must be instructed by the word of God and not by deceitful wishful thinking. Paul says: “Let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.” (1 Thessalonians 5:8).

Since the bible talks of salvation as our hope, it means that we are yet to be saved.  Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he falls. (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Take a look at another scripture. Paul writes to the Romans: “It is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” (Romans13:11).

Our salvation is nearer but yet to be accomplished. A Christian is not saved but on the way to salvation. That is why Paul wrote to the Philippians: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13).

If our salvation were already accomplished, why would we need to work it out? Paul says furthermore: “We were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (Romans 8:24-25).

Our salvation is of the soul. It entails the renewal of our hearts and minds. Therefore, it comes only at the end of our journey. Accordingly, Peter writes about Jesus: “who having not seen (we) love. Though now (we) do not see Him, yet believing, (we) rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of (our) faith- the salvation of (our) souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9).

As long as we wrongly believe that we are entirely saved by merely answering an altar call, we are going to ensure that we are not saved.  As long as we continue to take it for granted that we are heaven-bound, we are going to guarantee that we are disqualified.

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