Biblical Audio Commentary – The Heart of Faith

Biblical Audio Commentary – The Heart of Faith




At the heart of faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is fear and reverence in Almighty God, or the lack of it.  To have true believing loyalty, one must approach God with the understanding stated in Luke 12:5:

“But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!”

We know that unbelievers certainly don’t see or experience God in this way.  The question is: Where do many people in the church who are saved stand on this issue despite the warning of Jesus?

This absence of fear and reverence is evidenced all the way back to the Garden when the serpent asked Eve in Genesis 3:1: “Did God really say?”  Right there we see that this spiritual entity had Daddy issues, so to speak.  His problem from the beginning was that he saw no distinction between himself and his Creator.  If we can use the human terms: as the vessel, he saw himself as equal or superior to the potter.

This kind of attitude for unbelieving humanity results in such a question like Pontius Pilate asked Jesus in Luke 18:38: “What is truth?”  It leads to the next obvious question/statement: “Who is this Yahweh – this God – of which you speak?”  By denying the fear and reverence of the Living God, it brings Him down to our level, while simultaneously lifting ourselves up in pride and arrogance – displaying our own egotistic, and extremely sinful, nature

Yet, what a mistake this is!  Note what Moses said in Deuteronomy 5:26:

For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of fire as we have, and has still lived?

As ominously, here is what Hebrews 10:31 says in this regard:

 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

But despite these warnings, the world couldn’t care less.  It denies Christ because it despises God.

Where the problem really sets in is when the church takes a ho-hum attitude and treats God as an accessory, or as Ray Comfort once said, as a Divine Butler (The Way of the Master – Season 3 – Episode 5 –

“We can’t do such things and click our fingers and expect God to come running like some sort of divine butler. As a nation like Israel of old, we are like an adulteress wife. And there can be no reconciliation without genuine repentance. It is not enough to acknowledge God with our lips but at the same time deny his divine power and authority in our lives. As our creator, God demands total surrender to his will. The first and greatest Commandment is to love him with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. To fail to do so and at the same time give ourselves to sin is asking for God’s judgment. This is something our forefathers knew and proclaimed. Even insurance companies got it right. If there is a tornado, a flood, a drought or an earthquake, they call it “an act of God.” “

Let’s be honest.  How many true Christians, i.e. those who are actually saved, live in fear and reverence of the Lord so as to obey Him, rather than follow their own desires to live in and for the world and the things of the flesh?

Are most people in the church who meet the actual definition of Christian (as opposed to those whom I call ChINOs, i.e. Christian in Name Only) really acting as the Bride of Christ who is keeping herself pure for her beloved Bridegroom?  If not, as I’ve questioned recently regarding the church’s lack of preparation and living for the world versus viewing it as an alien place, might there be consequences for this?

If those who are supposed to come before the Lord in fear and reverence fail to do so, what does that say about their purity as Christ’s Bride?  Will God take steps to rectify this problem when the time of the Rapture with the following Tribulation comes about?  I’ve suggested He just might.  Obviously, I can’t say for sure in a dogmatic way, but this possibility should be a warning to those in Christ but not living for Christ.  Sadly, few in that situation will either hear or heed such counsel.

The best we can do between now and when Jesus mercifully returns for His faithful followers is for ourselves to obediently do all that He commanded.  The world is dying.  The church is rapidly falling away to greater apostasy.  Can some still be saved before that fateful and glorious day when Christ calls us home?

We can only try to warn them.  When we do our job, it pleases the Lord.  Shouldn’t we all want to do that?

4 Responses to “Biblical Audio Commentary – The Heart of Faith”

  1. Reply RobinL

    Salvation is not a parlor trick. If you are saved and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, you can not comfortably live in any kind of ongoing sin and rebellion. Therefore, most people who claim to be saved simply are not. They have gone through the motions, believing they’ve checked the proverbial Jesus Boxes and have therefore met the criteria the world (Satan) tells them is required.
    I was once like this myself, in fact, all of us were before we truly came to saving faith. (Just as there is no such thing as being a little bit pregnant, there is no such thing as being a little bit saved.) Check out Barna’s most recent survey that says only 4% of professing Christians hold a biblical world view….translation, only 4% of professing Christians are truly saved. This is not a surprise to God, He told us the world would be like this when Jesus called His Church to Himself.
    Yesterday I had an interaction with a friend I’ve known for 12 years who claims to love the Lord. He has a drinking problem and he is living with his girlfriend. He was lamenting the state of our fallen world and I told him for the umpteenth time that these are prophesied signs warning us that Jesus is coming SOON!!! He said “I am starting to think you’re right. I’ve got to get my (adult) kids saved.” I said, “Listen, you have got to LIVE your talk if you want your kids to take you seriously. Please, marry your girlfriend ASAP. Grab her and go find a justice of the peace and get married right now! Stop living a life of open rebellion. This is for your benefit as well as hers. THEN talk to your kids about Jesus. Until you do that, they won’t listen to you.” I pointed him to 1 Cor. 6:9-11 and said that this is the worst time in human history to be playing fast and loose with the Lord. I told him I was saying these things in love (and he knew that in his heart and thanked me).
    We have to call people out in a loving but direct way, urging them to genuinely fear the Lord. Obedience and humility are the best ways to recognize true saving faith. None of us are anything close to perfect but we are continually repentant and truly battle against our flesh and the powers of darkness.
    We can’t know who is saved, or will be saved before the Rapture. That’s the Lord’s domain alone and I am grateful for it. But we can warn and encourage CHino’s in true love, and we MUST do it. Time is short.

  2. Reply Linda E

    Gary, I’ve been thinking about something quite a bit lately. As the Barna study confirms, and alluded to in Robin’s comments above, belief in a Biblical worldview is dropping like a rock. Barring a tremendous revival, it doesn’t seem like there will be many true believers at the time of the Rapture and so not many people will be raptured. So if not many people are gone, how can the Rapture be an world shaking event, as many prophecy scholars indicate? Maybe to the loved ones of those who are gone, but as we’ve seen with the “pandemic” experience, most folks are quite happy to accept what they’re told by worldly authorities. Second part of my question, how can the Rapture which may not have been very disruptive, trigger a great Revival. This seems to be what many prophecy scholars believe, or hope anyway. Love your website, Gary.

    • Reply Gary Ritter

      Good questions, Linda. I’ve pondered these things myself. What’s somewhat helpful is to put Q #1 in absolute terms. Let’s assume that 4% is the final number of true Christians in the US. What does that mean? There are upwards of 330,000,000 million people in America. That means some 13,000,000+ people would disappear in the Rapture. That’s still a fairly sizable number. In times past, it would have certainly been a greater percentage, but of fewer people. If there was a point where there were 250,000,000 Americans, of which 8% were true believers, the number Raptured would have been 20,000,000. That would definitely have more impact. I guess we have to leave it to God to raise a fear-factor or something regarding the ones who do disappear. I’m sure He’ll make people aware that SOMETHING big happened and cause plenty of disruption.

      For Q #2 this goes to my discussion of the potential Partial Rapture which I’ve communicated the last couple months. People hate this idea that not all Christians would be Raptured, but in my thinking there are enough Scriptures to question that idea, re: the Parable of the Wicked Servant, etc. I know a full Rapture of actual born-again believers makes people feel good, but there are a lot who fit that category who simply are not living for the Lord. They may be saved but He is an accessory and not their Lord. That spells trouble in my book.

      If this is the case that these people are left behind, consider what the impact of the Rapture of those whom they know followed hard after God would be. I think a whole lot of them would be in a serious repentance mode and that would also raise up many others who had never made a firm commitment to Christ but had been acquainted with Him. This could lead to a great revival, yet one that would soon be persecuted. It could also really explain why so many martyrs are before the throne in heaven – they’ve been cut off from the world – probably in some respects to their great relief.

      With questions like this, we can really only speculate. I think it’ll all be resolved pretty soon however!

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