Do you believe in the Lord?

Richard Wurmbrand, a pastor persecuted in Romania for his faith, observed while in solitary confinement, “Some people believe in God, and others believe that they believe in God.” He wondered to which group he belonged as he faced persecution.
We must be careful to not idolize those who have been or are being persecuted for their faith. We should love them, pray for them, and seek ways to encourage them. We should also learn from them. For as they now are, we may become.
Rev. Wurmbrand, however, does present a challenge to us. Do we believe in the Lord, or do we just believe that we believe? How do we distinguish? Well, here are some things to think about.
• For what are you willing to live and die? Your family, your job, your security in this life? What?
Jesus said this, And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25 “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? (Lk. 9:23-25 NAS)
• And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” 27 And he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Lk. 10:25-27 NAS)
Many people like to emphasize the second of the above commandments. What they fail to understand is that keeping the second commandment does not constitute keeping the first commandment. The first commandment to love God with all one’s being is reiterated in Jesus’ words to follow Him. Therefore, if you pretend to keep the command to love your neighbor without first loving the Lord your God, whatever you do, you will not love your neighbor.
Think not that you can stand before God and say, “I loved my neighbor. Therefore, You must accept me.” Those words will only produce the following response: “”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ (Matt. 7:21-23 NAS)
The question is this: do you believe in the Lord, or do you believe that you believe? If you believe in the Lord, biblically, the Lord will be first in your life. Worshipping Him and loving Him and His people will take precedence over everything else. The fire of persecution tried Richard Wurmbrand’s faith. His hope was in Christ. What about you?
If you do not trust in Christ, you won’t have to worry about the trial of persecution. There will be no persecution for you. For you will die just as you have lived: for yourself. The fire of hell is like the fire of persecution, with this exception: the fire of hell is incomparably worse.

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