"I declare I know no state of soul more dangerous than to imagine we are born again and sanctified by the Holy ghost, because we have picked up a few religious feelings.” J.C. Ryle
It is becoming more clear to me than ever . . . the many who have had a few hard knocks, felt an emotional religious experience, "found God" . . . then have returned to their old life, old ways, general bad habits, living in and as the world does . . . all the same. False conversion . . . . A big problem, and, as Ryle says, one of the most dangerous states of being to be in.
Because such a one . . . has stopped looking, ceased seeking, and sings to themselves "all is well in Zion" . . . and carries on driven by the same old worldly envies and lusts and ambitions as before.
Whereas, we are to be NEW CREATURE in Christ! That old self is to die and a new being to be born again, renewed, regenerated, separated, "peculiar" . . . . "The truth will set you fee" . . . . "It is no longer I who live but Christ Who lives in me" . . . .
OR, is it the same old thing, same old wine in a new bag is all . . . ?
One thing that ought to be happening . . . is a real, un-superficial change in the things you spend your time and thought on since "rebirth." Is it the same old "garbage in, garbage out"? Or is there a new sensitivity? Things that you use to be able to watch, say, listen to, imbibe . . . no longer have the same draw or allure. Oh, out of dumb old habit or a flashing moment of nostalgia you may yet partake of them (ie., certain types of music, art, drink, images, language etc.) again but for a moment, but overall, they don't have the same infatuation or pull that they use to. In fact, now, when you slip or find your self in the old way . . . a fairly quick regret, remorse, REPENTANT heart ensues, and you want to get away from the old scene. No more is there a "taste" for it. "The thrill is gone", to quote an old blues tune . . . .
Not only that, but now, as the Holy Spirit takes lead in your regenerated, sanctified life--[assuming conversion was real and not false conversion]--but you are increasingly attracted to the things of the Spirit and the Word--especially The Word. In fact, you can't get enough! Vain and silly entertainments lose their punch, leaving you hollow and still hungry, whereas you can imbibe The Word and preaching and teaching on the Word all the day long!
Not exaggerating . . . .
All the day long!
If you find that you really don't have much of a taste for topics and teachings Biblical, but only look into when you need an answer to a personal problem . . . well . . . chances are . . . conversion is not so legitimate. Now, the hunger and thirst for righteousness does not always (nor often, it appears) come right away, immediately upon conversion . . . though for some it does. But usually, it develops . . . step by step . . . along the Walk . . . gently, but steadily and surely . . . increasing. The more you learn (in and about The Word) . . . the more you crave to learn and investigate more. Hence the world sees this phenomenon of the "born again Christian" . . . seemingly obsessed with Jesus and the Bible . . . loving and attending fellowship with other Believers (at church or otherwise) . . . going to Bible study once or more additionally through the week, looking up quotes, reading scripture and on and on . . . to the point that such people are considered "religious fanatics" . . . "Jesus freaks" . . . "Bible thumpers" . . . .
But world, you just don't get it . . . .
You see, before . . . we were dead . . . and were drawn to the things of death, of this temporary fallen world, led around by our passions and sins and ignorance, led by others, driven by agendas . . . .
Whereas NOW . . . we have died to all of that. That dead person is no more and a NEW CREATURE stands in his place . . . who is drawn by the Holy Spirit . . . the HOLY Spirit! . . . and not the foul, self-centered, vain, prideful, eternally pointless shiny lights, bubbling flesh pots and seductive sounds . . . of the doomed damned.
Family, job, prestige, health, security, appetites . . . etc., for that old, dead creature . . . all come second now . . . to the knowledge and following . . . of the Cross--the Gospel--and the person of the Savior, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. For REAL! NOT just superficially, then back to all the old ways and habits and allures.
But a real, living change . . . !
So, what to do . . . or, rather, what will you find yourself doing . . . in these days . . . where the culture and news of the day and even many pulpits and book-selling "guests" . . . new "prophets", technological gadgets, searing entertainments . . . etc., . . . are all vying so intensely
for your attention, sun-up through sun-down . . . ?
There is an allotted amount of time to a person's life . . . until God pulls the plug . . . .
How much of that determined and finite time . . . is SPENT . . . on the drivel . . . the dross . . . (however dressed up it might be) of the fallen world? On the devil's amusements?
Enough to drift . . . away from the precious blood shed on Calvary?
Oh, it's no big deal? Day in, day out, reveling and immersing . . . in the putrid, blasphemous slop of the God-hating world? And you call yourself a saint? A Believer?
hmmmmm . . . .