“You reject all who stray from Your decrees, for their deceitfulness is in vain.” -Psalm 119:118
Nominal Christians will not have a share in the Kingdom of God. This group of cultural Christians is to be most pitied. Growing up in the Bible Belt, it is common to see compartmentalized Christianity. It is a place where Sundays are for church and every other day of the week is for living how we see fit. To have one foot in worship and one foot in sin is no worship at all.
Elisabeth Elliot once remarked how her parents were “Seven days a week Christians”, meaning the Lord was their life. His will commanded their everyday. To hear and taste the sweetness of God, to move in the circles of saints and remain unregenerate is tragic. Their lives are in vain. Like Judas, there are tares among the wheat and they will be rejected by God. He cannot stand outward pietism, merely going through the motions to look good for the praise of men. Vain glory is not God glorifying.
This verse serves as a profitable warning for true saints as well, to not remain stagnant, but vigilant, in pursuing God, otherwise we too might become self-deceived. God’s grace is a precious gift not meant to be neglected, abused or taken for granted. Embrace the grace which you receive by faith, and “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” (Philippians 2:12b-13).
Let each saint not give way to ideas of a works based salvation, but faithfully bear fruit as a result of the seed of faith planted and watered in your soul. Practically speaking, persevering as a believer looks like habitual time reading and meditating on God’s Word. It is finding a church home to regularly attend where Scripture is not diminished but upheld as the authoritative words of God. Prayer is like talking with a friend throughout the day. Christians reverence God and take His commands seriously. Christianity isn’t a game, something to entertain us or to make us feel good about ourselves one day a week. It is an all or nothing devotion to the Prince of Peace. Abide in Jesus and your life will not be in vain.
Grace upon grace,
Growing deeper: Hebrews 6