Some people think that teaching “once saved, always saved” gives people a license to do whatever they want. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

I had a friend named Teddy* who was a Christian, but was living a double life. Even though we went to church together and he said God had called him into the ministry, I could see behind the mask he put on in church. We all knew that he had a problem with drinking. To everybody else he was Teddy, but I called him by his real name — “Hypocrite.”

Teddy got away with his sin for a while, but before long, payday came. I can still remember the time my dad had me sit down so he could tell me what had happened. Somehow, Teddy had fallen off a moving train and lost both of his legs. This tragic situation had a sobering effect on him. He became a dedicated soul-winner afterwards — but his new dedication to Christ came at an awful price.

The law of sowing and reaping applies to everybody, saved or unsaved. I believe carnal Christians are judged even worse than unbelievers because they are children of God. If we knew how much God loves us, we would understand why He is sometimes so harsh in the way He deals with us — He loves us so much that He is willing to hurt us to keep us from hurting ourselves even worse. He wants what is best for us, and it breaks His heart when we reject it.

You may try to live anyway you want, but I guarantee you won’t be happy. You must stand before a perfect Judge someday. Wouldn’t you rather have Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” than “You brought dishonor to my name”? Then I encourage you to live like you want to be labeled today.

*The person’s real name has been changed.

You are saved — seek to be like your Savior. — C.H. Spurgeon

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder