Unfortunately you can’t tell some believers from unbelievers by looking at their lifestyle. It seems many only want to be a Christian on Sundays, and live like the world Monday through Saturday. This raises an important question: Does God care how we live? Does it matter how a Christian lives?
A passage like I Cor 6:9-10 would certainly indicate that it matters. It reads “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (NKJV) Doesn’t that passage make it clear that if we are guilty of such sins, we won’t inherit the kingdom of God, we won’t be saved? And it was written to Christians.
Gal 5:19-21 says about the same thing – “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” So if a Christian commits the sins of adultery or fornication, or becomes a homosexual or a thief, he will not inherit the kingdom of God, he will not be saved.
This idea that a Christian can live any ole way he wants to and still be saved, sometimes called Once Saved Always Saved, is a popular notion. Sam Morris, the Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Stamford, Texas put it this way – “… a Christian’s sins do not condemn his soul. The way a Christian lives, what he says, his character, his conduct, or his attitude toward other people have nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his soul. … All the prayers a man may pray, all the Bibles he may read, all the churches he may belong to, all the services he may attend, all the sermons he may practice, all the debts he may pay, all the ordinances he may observe, all the laws he may keep, all the benevolent acts he may perform will not make his soul one whit safer; and all the sins he may commit from idolatry to murder will not make his soul in any more danger …”
Notice how II Pet 2:20-22 refutes this Once Saved Always Saved position – “For if after they have escaped the pollutions (we’re talking about sin here, not smog) of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” So if a Christian falls back into the sins of the world, he is in a worse condition than if he had never become a Christian to begin with – he becomes lost of course.
One more text that especially shows how very careful we should be about how we live our lives. James 2:10 – “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” This text teaches that even if we are doing most things right, if there is just one sin we refuse to quit, to stop, we are guilty of the whole law. So God does not tolerate the practice of even one sin.
To hear this past Sunday’s Bible Crossfire SiriusXM radio program on this topic, go to: