Man contemplating decision which path to take

Today I ran across a young man on the street near my office and felt compelled by the Lord to stop and talk to him. I asked him if he knew Jesus and immediately, without hesitation, he piped up:

“Oh, yes, I know Jesus.”

I asked to clarify, “How do you know Jesus?”

He responded, “He’s my Lord and Savior.” I have been stunned at the number of people that I have had such dialogues with recently, who seem to give me all of the correct answers, and yet at some point in the conversation it becomes evident that they are living in unrepentant sin. While they know the right church answer, it is clear they have no true concept of what it means to follow Christ. While I cannot judge their soul, I at least want to present the truth of God’s Word clearly and allow the Holy Spirit to convict them.

So, still not getting a peace from the Holy Spirit with this particular young man, I pressed further. I shared how I had believed in Jesus most of my life, intellectually. I had also believed on and off at various points that I was saved. I would rededicate my life to Jesus when I would grow weary of my rebellion. That is, until the lusts of my flesh would entice me again, whispering to me from the shadows. This cycle repeated over and over in my life more times than I could count.

In fact, when I truly did give my life to Christ, as I began to pray, I was ashamed how many times I had “dedicated my life to Jesus”. But I knew that I had never really done so with my whole heart. And that day I was so radically changed that I immediately knew that I was a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I shared the verse that changed my life from Matthew chapter 16, “24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Still, he heartily agreed, assuring me he followed Jesus in like manner. But I could see on his face he was growing increasingly uncomfortable. Intending to leave it at that and walk away, a woman passing by interrupted our hearty banter with a greeting to the young man. They were apparently acquaintances. I assumed the young man would continue his walk with his small dog. Frustrated with my current dead-end conversation I turned to the woman and called after her, “Do you know Jesus?” I asked. She spun around with a bewildered look on her face. She said,

“God has only spoken to me twice in my life. Once about a month and a half ago, and then again today (referencing earlier that day).” I meant to ask her what God had spoken to her, but the Holy Spirit led the conversation in a new direction. She quickly added that she had been waiting for her bus for over an hour and a half, and it hadn’t showed. I knew this was a divine appointment. As we begin to talk, the young man joined in with us.

Things took a bit of a turn for him, however, when I brought up my testimony and how I had been set free from transgenderism. He threw his head back a little, as if both offended and caught a little off-guard,

“Well, I’m gay.” He said emphatically. I can’t recall all of the rest of the conversation. But as we talked, I shared how Jesus had not only set me free, but many others as well. He kept repeating emphatically that being gay was who he was, and he couldn’t change. I read to him the following out of 1 Corinthians 6:

Or 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 effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

Convicted by the clear teaching from the scripture, and my personal testimony and that of those I know, he changed his excuse: but I love men. As we talked, it was clear he was choosing homosexuality over Jesus. I was deeply disheartened by the conversation as he stated over and over that he would choose “loving men” over Jesus and over going to heaven.

In that light, remember his response at the beginning: he claimed he knew Jesus as his Lord and Savior. And yet, when faced with the decision of leaving his sin or following Jesus, he chose his sin. It was strangely reminiscent of the rich young ruler Jesus encountered.

“18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. 20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. 22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. 24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!” (Luke 18:18-24).

You see, Jesus knew that there was a part of the rich young ruler that wanted God, or at least to be in His good graces. Having believed he had kept all the commandments from his youth (which is impossible to do perfectly), he probably thought he was pretty good with God. But when Jesus asks him to forsake all to follow Him, the rich young ruler goes away sad. And Jesus let him go. Jesus didn’t chase him, or cheapen the gospel, or water it down. He didn’t lower the bar since the rich young ruler wasn’t willing to climb up to it.

What Jesus calls us to is surrender, to confess and repent (turn away from) of sin, and to forsake all to follow Him. None of this earns salvation, to be clear. These are not works of the flesh. We can do nothing to earn it, it is by grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). Surrender and repentance, rather, are letting go of what we have held on to and trusted in.

The Bible is replete with warnings that we cannot claim to love or follow Jesus and yet live in willfull, unrepentant sin. While all of us will continue to sin daily, we confess and repent and turn from those things. We don’t choose them, we don’t identify with our sin, and we don’t love it. We should abhor sin.

We are to Keep His Commands

John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

John 15:10 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”

1 John 5:2-3 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”

We are to Die to our Flesh

Romans 8:8, 13 “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God…For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”

Romans 13:14 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

We are to live for Christ, Not Our Lusts

Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Ephesians 5:5-7 “5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.”

The story I told in this article is true. I encountered both on the street today by divine appointment from God. Both heard the gospel. Both were offered eternal life. One, the woman, asked how to give her life to Jesus. The other, the young man, like the rich young ruler went away sad.

We are warned over and over in scripture not to be deceived. Friend, brother, sister: Do not be deceived. The Bible is clear that those who live in willful, unrepentant, continual sin, will not inherit the kingdom of God. Fornication (which includes all sexual sin outside of a covenant marriage between one man and one woman) is among those things that are condemned over and over and included in these lists of disqualifications. If you are able to live comfortably in those lifestyles without conviction and repentance, then I ask you the same question: Do you really know Jesus?

“13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it…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. 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? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23).

By Laura Perry

I am a former transgender set free by the resurrecting power of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

9 thoughts on “Do You Really Belong to Jesus?”
  1. Laura Perry’s article ‘Do you really belong to Jesus’ is basically about Lordship Salvation. While it is great that she reversed her transgenderism, she is only saved by believing and not by behaviour and not by keeping the commandments. She is basically a proponent of salvation by faith and works (to prove one is saved). That is Lordship Salvation and is a heresy. Little Richard, who recently died said the same thing. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Dr.+Cucuzza

    1. Declaring Jesus as Lord is not adding works. The works that the Bible is referring to is like the Catholic church teaches, that you must have works of charity along with your belief. I am not as far in the Lordship salvation camp as some. I do believe many are saved not knowing the full extent of what that means. But to However, the Bible is filled with warnings about false converts, that we will know people by their fruit, that the way is narrow and much more. We are told over and over things like this: “5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” (Ephesians 5:5-6). Jesus said several times, if you love me, you will obey my commands.

      I noticed that your email address belongs to a website that promotes horroscopes. You are deceived if you think you can “believe in Jesus” and live however you want. The Bible says even the demons believe and they tremble. If belief is all that is required, how could the demons believe? I implore you to read the Word of God and see that this is the truth.

      1. James 2:19 says,“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and tremble.”

        A simple reading of the passage tells the story. The demons believe there is one God because they’ve seen Him. The Jews also believe there’s one God, and so do the liberal denominations who teach that you don’t have to be born again to be saved, as well as the Lordship Salvation false teachers/preachers who say that one must show works and fruit to prove one’s salvation.

        But believing there’s a God is not sufficient for salvation. It takes the belief that He sent His son to die for us, and that the Son’s death purchased a pardon for our sins that allowed God to grant us eternal life. The Son’s resurrection is proof that we will be resurrected too. Salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone plus nothing ever.

        God didn’t send His Son to save the demons, so all they can look forward to is judgment. That’s why they shudder. It has NOTHING to do with believing in Christ by faith alone. That is not dividing the Word of Truth honestly.

        People who say we have to generate good works to “prove” we’re saved are misinterpreting this verse. True belief will manifest good works of one kind or another eventually and at different times with many believers, but Jesus said that the only work God requires for salvation is to believe in the One He sent (John 6:28-29), and the Bible is clear that our salvation is based on belief alone.John 1:12-13,John 3:16,John 5:24,John 6:40are a few of many examples.

        Sorry but that is the plain Word of God. Any other interpretation will lead one to a scalding, scintillating, excrutiating, eternal Hell at and after the Great White Throne Judgement.

        John 6:28–29 King James Version

        28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?29 Jesus answered and said unto them,This is the work of God,that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

        Nothing else can give assurance that one has escaped hellfire, Gehenna, the Lake of Fire.

        James wasn’t saying we have to perform good works to be saved or as proof of our salvation. He was saying that saving faith will via the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, sealing, manifest itself in good works of one kind or another. The Holy Spirit will lead us to perform acts of kindness toward others out of our gratitude for the free gift of salvation. We via the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Christ) actually do the works …. but we still mus decide AFTER being saved whether to do them. We are not automatons after we are saved but the reason we eventually do good works after being saved is because of Him. Nevertheless, even without works we still belong to Christ by faith in Him after being saved. Why? ……..

        For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Acts 17:28

        When we try to force this by acting in our own strength, whether out of a sense of duty or to win the approval of others, we’re actually doing more harm than good. Jesus said if we remain in Him we can produce much fruit, but apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). Jesus is not talking about salvation, or losing our salvation but about discipleship (sanctification after being saved). Salvation is only about justification.

        Salvation via grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone plus nothing ever is justification before God. Salvation with works after being saved (faith with works … not faith plus works) is justification before men. Have a look at the context of James eg. clothing the poor, feeding the poor , giving the choice seat to the poor. Justification before men as a witness to them. But salvation by faith alone is all that God will only accept ever. see … the laws of hermeneutics for interpreting scripture.

        http://www.messianicassociation.org/ezine19-dc.hermeneutics.htm

        Listening for the prompting of the Holy Spirit and acting as He directs us is our way of saying thanks to the Lord for all He’s done for us. It’s also the only good work we can do that He recognizes as such. Otherwise all the people in the world who do lots of nice things for others but are not believers would have a valid claim against God for refusing to allow them in to His Kingdom.

        Then they asked Him, “What is the work that God requires of us? He answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent”(John 6:28-29).

      2. What about a believer co-habiting with his father’s wife in the book(s) of Corinthians …. what did Paul say about this?

        ” And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.
        For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment, in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 5:2-5 )

        Paul says the man, even if he does not repent is still saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

        Here is Ray Stedman’s take on this, basically that a believer’s behaviour after being saved will not affect his/her salvation. When an unbeliever is saved, Christ died for their past, present and FUTURE sins. Not only that, they have been sealed by the Holy Spirit forever. The scripture says so:

        Ephesians 1:13-14 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession-to the praise of his glory.

        Nowhere does the Bible say that a born again believer, even after salvation, even after sinning/being disobedient could ever be unsealed. A baby putting his/her hand into the hand of a father can never pull it out if the father holds it tight. God the Father will lose none. No believer via grace alone by faith alone in Christ alone can ever pluck themselves out of the Father’s hand. If one has not been saved once and for all, one has not been saved at all ……….

        John 10:28-30 King James Version (KJV) 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.

        Check it out carefully:

        https://www.raystedman.org/new-testament/1-corinthians/scandal-in-the-church

      3. You are doing a fantastic job, Laura. It’s clear you are a serious follower of Christ. Praise God for your conversion, and please say a prayer for the deeper conversion of my wife, Sharon, if you don’t mind. May God bless you and continue to give you courage!

  2. Jude 1:24-25 24To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy- 25to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our LORD, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

  3. The 3 Requirements of Salvation

    “However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.” Romans 4:5
    Notice that the Word of God calls those who do not work for salvation, ‘wicked’ and those who are ‘wicked’ are the ones who have not worked but have trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation. Do they still trust in Christ without works after being saved? Yes. Then they are still ‘wicked’. Notice –
    10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. Luke 17:10 KJV
    When Jesus said that we are unprofitable servants, He did not mean that our service is of no value. Jesus frequently called His disciples to be productive. Rather, He meant that we gain no “bonus points” or merit from our service.
    Again, notice-
    “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:13
    So then-
    “However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.” Romans 4:5
    This small verse above carries a big punch, actually three of them. In its 21 words, we discover the 3 prerequisites of salvation. They are simple and stunning.

    1. You must not work.

    Salvation cannot be achieved. Ever. Not ever. It is not a reward for a life well lived or a paycheck received for hard work done. Those who try to earn the free gift of salvation spit in the face of the Giver, God himself. Salvation is a gift, before being saved, during all the time one is saved and after one is saved. Works, proof of works, ‘transformation’ by works has nothing to do with actually being saved. None of these ever prove one is saved. Only an heretical Lordship Salvationist claims they are. Being saved is 1. being in Christ, 2. Christ being in you, 3. being sealed by the Holy Spirit forever, 4. by means of the Holy Spirit alone. Proof –
    1. Romans 8:1
    “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
    2. Colossians 1:27
    “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”
    3. Ephesians 1:13
    “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
    4. 1 Corinthians 12:3
    “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”

    Eternal life was earned, achieved, and worked for by the only One who deserved it, Jesus Christ. His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, crawl up a hill called Calvary, and slow death on a cross of wood earned our forgiveness. When we try to deserve this free gift based on what we’ve done before, during or after salvation as proof of salvation, or as a transformation proof – we are despising what he’s done on the cross.

    To be saved you must not work. Ever. Not ever.

    2. You must trust God alone.

    Salvation is not earned through good works; it is received through simple faith. When we believe that Jesus died in our place for our sins, we are forgiven forever. Salvation can only be purchased through divine currency, the blood of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 9:22 reminds us “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” Because Jesus’ body and blood were human, he could die for other humans. Because Jesus was God in the flesh, his payment for sins was infinite. Lordship Salvationist, Disciple Salvationists, Works-Righteous Salvationists, Transformational-Proof Salvationists actually h a t e the blood of Christ. They do not like to talk much about it, misrepresent it as His ‘death’ and do not understand it.His blood represents salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. Notice –
    Acts 20:28 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

    Hebrews 9:12 | Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

    Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

    “Sola Fide” (a.k.a. “Faith alone!”) was the battle cry of the Reformation and is still the game changer today. It is the way of trusting vs. the way of trying. It pits the humility that is required by trusting in someone else to save us vs. the pride that erupts from trying to earn this free gift through self-effort or trying to show that it exists because of ‘transformation’. In this battle of belief systems, faith wins.

    You must not work. Ever. Not ever.
    You must trust God.

    3. You must be wicked.

    “However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.” Romans 4:5

    We usually reserve terms like “wicked” for witches, dictators, and murderers. But we are all three wrapped up into one. We conjure up our own idols to serve, dictate our lives by our own rules, and murder people in our minds when we are angry. Believers can and do do this even after being saved. Hence 1 John 1:9 which says:
    8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8,9,10
    The above is being spoken to believers, already saved, born again. If we say we have no sin, have not sinned and/or do not sin, we make God a liar. The ‘transformed’ Lordship Salvationist makes God a liar and is a liar. On Judgement Day at the Great White Throne they will be cast into the Lake of Fire when they hear this (and it IS about ‘works’ before, during or after being saved (‘transformation professions) :
    21Not 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. 22Many 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? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
    On the day you stand before God and give account, he will illuminate every lustful thought, every “white lie,” every selfish deed, and every prideful thought if you are trusting in your works and/or ‘transformation’ to prove your salvation to others.
    What must we do to do the works of God? Believe in Christ.
    What is the will of the Father? Believe in Christ.
    John 6: 28,29 28Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?29Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
    John 6:40 40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    We are wicked, sinful, and selfish to the core, and Jesus came to save sinners just like you and me. If you have a hard time seeing this, just know again that on the day you stand before God and give account, he will illuminate every lustful thought, every “white lie,” every selfish deed, and every prideful thought if you are trusting in your works and/or ‘transformation’ to prove your salvation to others.
    In a flash, you’ll see that your life erupted from motives that found their epicenter in the flames of hellish pride.

    Do you want to be saved? Accept the fact that you are wicked, stop trying to earn your salvation, and put your faith alone in Christ alone.

  4. Dr. Thomas Cucuzza is one of the finest Grace only teachers in the world. Lordship Salvationists, Transformation Salvationists, Discipleship Salvationists really need to hear him. Choose any one to suit your needs as the Holy Spirit leads you. Satan’s greatest ruse is salvation by works, or works/transformation to prove on is saved. One’s absolute Eternal Destiny is at stake.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Dr.+Thomas+Cucuzza+++++transformation+salvation

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