What people perceive is usually what they believe, and this is based on what they hear, see and think. However, not all of our perceptions are in fact truth. We all have blind spots where others can perceive things about us and yet we do not perceive or acknowledge these things. For example, when I taught public speaking many of my students used terms such as “you know, like, umm, etc.” constantly when they nervously presented their initial presentations. When I sat down with them to point this out most of them quickly denied that they were doing this until I showed them on video and let them know the hundreds of vocal clauses they used. Once they became aware of this, they hastily worked to eliminate these unneeded clauses from future presentations. It was only after they became aware of the unperceived reality revealing the truth that they could change their perception allowing them to make the necessary adjustments. Therefore, when we change the way we look at things the things we look at change.
This is also true in our walk with Christ. We all perceive spiritual matters, what we believe, based on what we have heard, seen, or thought, but what if we have blind spots based on false perceptions. I know that through the years this has proved out in my life many times. I may have simply placed belief in a sermon or teaching because I placed my faith in the person who shared it and later the Holy Spirit would reveal that my initial perception was wrong. Just as I gave feedback to those students about their misplaced perceptions the Holy Spirit is there to guide, teach, and direct us spiritually if we will take the time to listen. Trying to understand the scriptures purely from an intellectual perspective (from our perspective) all but eliminates our ability to understand spiritual matters by faith. The former, an intellectual perspective, requires cognitive understanding based on human cognitions. The latter, spiritual perspective, demands us to believe things by faith without leaning on our own understanding.
Take for instance, John 10:28 tells us, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand.” Thus, if I have been told to pray a simple “sinner’s prayer” and I will be saved my perception is that I have eternal life. This is in spite of the fact I may not have fully surrendered my life to serve the kingdom of heaven, which is essential for spiritual rebirth (to be born again). Thus, whether I do good or bad things with my life, choose to live for the kingdom or not, or even stop believing in what I first heard I have nothing to worry about. If I place my faith in my perception (which may now be a blind spot), I have nothing to lose or gain. However, 2 Peter 2:20-22 states, “If indeed they have escaped the corruption of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, only to be entangled and overcome by it again, their final condition is worse than it was at first.” This appears to contradict the notion that I have nothing to lose or gain, but based on my false perception I will say, “This does not apply to me because I have eternal salvation. If we are truly born again and serving the kingdom of heaven it is easy to discard this scripture because it does not apply to us. However, for the one who lives a compromised life and lives for this world and not the kingdom not so much.
Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers. Such branches are gathered up, thrown into the fire, and burned” (John 15:1-6). The Lord said we must “remain” in Him. Therefore, what happens if we choose to not remain in Him and walk away from a perceived faith that never really existed? I know that if your perception is, “So what, nothing can happen to me because I can’t lose my salvation,” then it really does not matter.
Would you risk eternal life by believing a perception that may not be true (a blind spot)? If you are not living for the Lord you are living for this world and if you are not serving the kingdom of heaven you are serving the spirit of this world. The point of this message is not whether you can or cannot lose your salvation. Instead, it is whether your view of the reality of your salvation is truth or perception. If you believe you have a personal relationship with the Lord and do not, your soul will be lost forevermore. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness’” (Matthew 7:21-23).
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