Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
According to this verse, true Christians not only believe in God, but know Him. Not all who claim to know God actually do.
James 2:19 “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
If false prophets are rejected by Jesus, how much more will those who outright deny Him.
Matthew 10:13 “but whoever denies me [Jesus] before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
People who abandon their faith prove they never knew and loved Jesus. According to the evangelical pastors I’ve polled, about 40% of evangelical church members are only Christians in profession, but not in possession.
To explain to others why Jesus is necessary for salvation, get you copy of Why Jesus in the sidebar.
Luke 13:3 “Repent, or you will likewise perish.”
Repent means “to turn away from.” We are to turn away from sin, have genuine contrition, and commit to stop sinning with God’s help. For example, what if a wife discovered her husband was having an affair and he pleaded for forgiveness, but after some time he began to beg her to let him resume his affair? Is this repentance? No, this is anti-repentance. If he were truly repentant, he would have wished the affair never happened and would do everything possible to restore his relationship with his wife because of his love for her. So repenting to God is to be truly sorrowful for our sins, turn away from doing them, and live for God instead of our sinful appetites.
Hebrews 10:26-29 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
James 2:10 “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”
When a person stands before a judge in court, the judge is not trying to figure out how good a person is but how guilty an person is. One violation of law requires the judge to declare guilt and a punishment. It is similar with God. Just one violation of His law determines us as guilty in the same way as if we broke all the laws. Good human judges cannot be bribed and neither can God.
Deuteronomy 10:17 “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.”
A good human judge does not overlook punishment and neither does God.
Proverbs 11:21 “Be sure of this, God will not let the guilty go unpunished.”
But you say, “I’m so good (self-righteous).” Many criminals don’t think they are bad people either. But it does not matter – it only matters what the judge thinks. What does God think of our good works?
Isaiah 64:6 “…all our righteous acts are like filthy rags…”
It is not our goodness that saves us but God’s goodness and grace.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”
For a more detailed explanation why goodness does not save, read the first lesson of Why Jesus available in the sidebar for free.