Many people would like to believe that all you have to do is believe, or even just say you believe, and then you are saved, but that would be taking Paul out of the context of Paul and certainly out of the context of Christ.
Paul gives us a long list of activities that are meant to give us a clear idea of who to reject or shun:
- 2 Timothy 3:1 ¶ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
- 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
- 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
- 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
- 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
- 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
- 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
- 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
Paul goes on and makes a distinction about those whom he counts as the congregation of Christ.
- 2 Timothy 3:10 ¶ But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
- 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
- 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
- 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
Over and over we are reminded by Christ, and therefore know that Paul, preaching Christ first, must have said the same:
- Matthew 13:41 "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
Matthew 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
How do we know
Paul goes to great lengths to give us lists of characteristics you will not find in the people that truly believe.
- Romans 1:19 "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."
If saying you believe was all that was truly required, why does Paul go into detail about things like:
- Romans 13:7 "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
So if you really love Jesus, then you will work no ill against him. You will Keep the Commandments.
== Footnotes ==
- 3306 ~μένω~ meno \@men’-o\@ a root word; v AV-abide 61, remain 16, dwell 15, continue 11, tarry 9, endure 3, misc 5; 120 1) to remain, abide 2) to wait for, await one
- Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
- Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
- Matthew 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
- Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
- Luke 13:25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
To read more go to "His Holy Church" (HHC) http://www.hisholychurch.org/