- Does your gathering or assembly teach or infer that a "saved" individual can die engaged in gross sin...let's say adultery....die while doing this, and yet go to heaven?
- Does your congregation or group believe that once a person has been "saved" (typically saying "The Sinner's Prayer" and then being baptized) cannot ever lose his or her salvation?
- Does your congregation or group's pastor, elder, priest or such regularly preach or teach on sin and repentance, or instead focuses on blessings, miracles, signs and wonders?
- Does your church, congregation or assembly steer clear of bringing up sins or sinful conduct in order to keep the peace and maintain harmony?
- Do you hear more sermons on tithing and/or sacrificial giving than on obedience to God's commandments?
- Has or does your spiritual leader or teacher -- including any favorite televangelists -- speak "prophetic words" that have failed to come to pass?
- Does your pastor or elder or leader promote the idea that Christians will be removed (raptured) out of the world prior to the Tribulation or Great Tribulation laid out in the book of Revelation?
Unless you received no training or exposure whatsoever to God's moral standards and commandments (and stayed clear of all church or congregational meetings and even TV, radio & online sermons/teaching), or did but had this eclipsed or negated by doubt, incomplete or bad teaching or something else, you probably are at least nominally aware of the disconnect between God's commandments and moral demands and what most ministers teach and preach and how they and their congregants live. Consider just these 2 verses from 1 Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - Complete Jewish Bible
9 Don’t you know that unrighteous people will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t delude yourselves — people who engage in sex before marriage, who worship idols, who engage in sex after marriage with someone other than their spouse, who engage in active or passive homosexuality, 10 who steal, who are greedy, who get drunk, who assail people with contemptuous language, who rob — none of them will share in the Kingdom of God.
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And also these verses from 1 John 2 - Complete Jewish Bible:
3 The way we can be sure we know him is if we are obeying his commands. 4 Anyone who says, “I know him,” but isn’t obeying his commands is a liar — the truth is not in him. 5 But if someone keeps doing what he says, then truly love for God has been brought to its goal in him. This is how we are sure that we are united with him. 6 A person who claims to be continuing in union with him ought to conduct his life the way he did.
By now you should be thinking that Christianity and especially its American incarnation is off course. If so, you are 100% spot on. The road to the Americanized gospel is a long, winding and torturous one that began when non-Jewish believers and leaders supplanted Jewish ones and proceeded to systematically replace obedience to God's moral commandments with human-made (and largely pagan) rituals, beliefs and practices, biblical grace with convoluted, superficial, and eventually inflated versions, and much more. Today we have houses of worship led by clueless clergy and a passive laity who are banking their salvation and so-called spiritual growth on false teachings and doctrines, insipid motivational sermons and mind-numbing entertainment, tolerance of just about everything God has told believers not to tolerate, topped off with little or no mention of sin much less exhortations to obey God's commandments.
This brings me to a very potent wake up call and antidote: Don Britton's book "The Great Deception of Christianity without Christ" (2019) and the various articles and such posted to his website ChristianMyths.org
In addition, I recommend reading this Charisma magazine article by Mr. Britton: Charisma Magazine
And finally, I would be remiss not to point readers to Mr. Britton's highly informative podcasts at Charisma Podcast Network
Salvation including sanctification is a process and not a single moment consisting of walking an aisle, repeating some version of the Sinner's Prayer, filling out a card or form of some sort, and then living like the rest of the world less a few hours spent in church warming a pew each week or now and then. If this or some version of this is the bill of cheap grace and salvation you were sold on and believe is sufficient to gain admission to heaven following this life, prepare to be disappointed as in....
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in heaven wants. 22 On that Day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we expel demons in your name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in your name?’ 23 Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’[a]
Matthew Chapter 7 - Complete Jewish Bible