When I first became a Christian, I did all the things “good” Christians did. I taught Sunday school, read my Bible (fairly regularly), attended church almost every weekend and even attended Wednesday night prayer meetings. Outwardly I was fine; inwardly was another matter.
For a number of years there really was little difference in my being between before I was saved and after I was saved. The Lord had many dealings in my life. Eventually I came to meet with the local church. At first I was shocked to see so many people of all ages enjoying the Lord. My concept was that the Lord was to be solemnly worshipped—not enjoyed. This left me somewhat offended and I held back.
What impressed me was the truth released through the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. I noticed that the believers in the local churches were very diligent to learn these truths. The first truth that helped me came from Witness Lee’s messages in the book entitled The Kingdom. In one message Witness Lee was speaking concerning the ten virgins in Matthew 25. My view of this passage was that five were saved and five were unsaved. Witness Lee pointed out three important facts: they were all virgins, they all had lamps (spirits), and all were seeking the bridegroom (Christ). This certainly does not describe an unsaved person.
The fact is that the five foolish were punished because they were not prepared. The fact that Christians who do not live a proper (normal) Christian life and overcome the world will suffer punishment was a real serious lack in my understanding of the Bible. This is why I experienced so little growth. Even though I Corinthians 3:14,15 speaks clearly of the reward and punishment of believers, I never wanted to apply it to myself. The thought of reward and punishment was never taught; only the reward was emphasized. I did not like the thought of Christians being punished, as I could be one of them.
I thank the Lord that He brought me to the local church where I came to realize how much I lacked the truth. This brought in a great revival in me to seek the truth in God’s Word and to learn to live Christ (Philippians 1:21)—the only way to be rewarded in this life! Now my Christian life is not based on being good or doing good things, but on allowing God to work His life into me that I might magnify Him, grow in Him and be brought into maturity.
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