“There was a man who had two sons.” Matthew 21:28 (NIV)
Jesus told a parable about a father who tells his two sons to go work in his vineyard. One son says, “No,” but later changes his mind (repents) and goes. The other son says, “I will, sir,” but he doesn’t. The second son’s response is immediate, positive, and polite! Old ladies who saw this clean-cut lad would be very impressed, “He’s such a good boy! Any father would be proud to have a son like that.”
But Jesus quickly punctures that balloon: “But he did not go” (21:30). He said he would go. He intended to go. But he didn’t. When Jesus asks, “Which of the two boys did what his father wanted?” (21:31), the answer is obvious. This is the danger of an empty profession.
If you profess faith, but knowingly continue in sin, you’re in the same position as the son who said, “I will, sir,” but then did not do what his father wanted. Where do you find, in the Bible, people who are saved without it making any difference to their lives? That’s not the gospel.
Saying “yes” to God is of no value if it doesn’t lead to doing what he commands: “Let the wicked forsake his ways and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord and he will have mercy on him.” (Isa. 55:6-7). You cannot pursue wickedness and turn to the Lord. Turning to the Lord is forsaking wickedness.
Are you telling yourself that you are a Christian even though you have sins in your life that you’re unwilling to forsake?