In the church today there is much deception because people have been made to believe that their entire consecration is not necessary for them to be followers of Jesus.
Many have never been made to see the degree of hindrance their flesh is having on their spiritual lives.
Most people attend church to learn to be a success in life or ministry, but only a few truly pursue the heart of God.
Charles Finney, the father of modern revivalism, made this piercing statement:
"There is a certain type of Christian that although being constructively involved in the Church and pass off as being very good Christians are useless in revival. I do not mean that they are wicked, but they have a form of piety which has no fire or efficiency and actually repels new believers, and wards off the truth."
True repentance is not what you can get out of God like "your best life now." But it's what God gets out of you, like death to your own plans and desires. At the cross you surrender and die in order to live for Him and His glory.
True repentance leads to obedience of the faith. You cannot be saved without obedience.
"And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him" (Heb. 5:9, NKJV, author's emphasis).
If your motivation is not to please God and obey Him, I must doubt your salvation. Your heart has not been changed. Your conscience has not yet been purged from dead works by the blood of Christ. You are still living for yourself.
The big lie of the Western gospel is "just say this prayer and accept the poor rejected Jesus into your heart."
Or "just confess Jesus and you're in." Make Jesus your Savior but not your Lord. Such deception. He is Lord of all or not at all! This is the greatest delusion in modern Christianity. We tell sinners to accept Jesus and He'll give you peace and joy. He loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. He'll make all your dreams come true.
This concept has filled our churches with false converts and opened up the broad way to destruction for multitudes.
You cannot receive the Holy Spirit until your motivation is to obey Him.
"And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him" (Acts 5:32, author's emphasis).
The foundation of today's church has cracks in it. "Repentance from dead works" and "faith toward God" are not accurately preached.
Or as Paul said it: "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21b).
If we could just fill our churches with true converts and move everyone toward the "obedience of the faith," the churches of Jesus Christ would come alive.
"Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name" (Rom. 1:5, author's emphasis).
As an apostle of Jesus Christ this was Paul's passion.
You must ask yourself why you are serving God. Is it for the blessings and what He can give you out of life, or what you can give back to Him for giving you His life? That's the basic difference between a true and a false conversion.
True repentance leads to obedience and the pursuit of holiness.
"Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14, author's emphasis).
Without holiness you won't see the Lord. Without purity of heart you can't see God.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matt. 5:8).
We must recover the message of true repentance and the cross. The coming storm will sweep many away in the Western church until true repentance, obedience to the faith and holiness are found among us.
Bert Farias' books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and turning away from the truth we are seeing in this hour. Bert's current passion is to promote a culture of the supernatural manifestations and ministries of the Holy Spirit in the church today and to pass it on to the next generation (Passing on the Move of God to the Next Generation). Other materials/resources are available on his website, Holy Fire Ministries. You can also follow him personally on YouTube (Holy Fire Ministries), Facebook or Twitter.