I think I shall allow Scripture to speak for itself in this weighty matter, with just a few emphasizing remarks.
[b]2 Peter 3[/b]
[b]9[/b]. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
[b]4[/b]. Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
[b]5[/b]. But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
[b]6[/b]. who will render to each person according to his deeds:
[b]7[/b]. to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
[b]8[/b]. [b][size=xx-small]but to those who are selfishly ambitious[/size] and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.[/b]
I would like to add, that the Laodicean church was a vomitous lukewarm-thing not because of wealth or "mammon" but rather for that same ungodly selfishness!
[b]Acts of the Apostles 17[/b]
[b]30[/b]. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
[b]31[/b]. Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man (Jesus of Nazareth) whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
[b]14[/b]. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
[b]15[/b]. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
[b]16[/b]. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
[b]17[/b]. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
[b]15[/b]. and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."
[b]Acts of the Apostles 2[/b]
[b]38[/b]. Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
[b]Acts of the Apostles 3[/b]
[b]19[/b]. "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
[b]Acts of the Apostles 26[/b]
[b]20[/b]. but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.
[b]37[/b]. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
As it is written, [b]Luke 19[/b]
[b]10[/b]. "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
Are you lost? Jesus is come to save you.
[b]2 Peter 1[/b]
[b]1[/b]. Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
[b]2[/b]. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
[b]3[/b]. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
[b]4[/b]. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
[b]THEREFORE, BECAUSE OF EVERYTHING JUST SAID![/b]
[b]5[/b]. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
[b]6[/b]. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
[b]7[/b]. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
[b]8[/b]. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you [b][u]that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ[/b][/u].
As Jesus declared, [b]John 17[/b]
[b][size=xx-small]3[/b]. [b]And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.[/b][/size]
Again, for emphasis!
[b]8[/b]. [b]For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. [/b]
[b]9[/b]. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
[b]10[/b]. Wherefore the rather, brethren, [b]give diligence to make your calling and election sure[/b]: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
[u][b][size=xx-small]11. For so (in this Way!) an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. [/size][/u][/b]
Amazing Grace! Narrow and straight is the Way that leads to eternal life, yet here in This Way we know that Christ Jesus Himself (Who is the Way) shall ABUNDANTLY minister unto us eternal life in Him!
Truly His commandments are not burdensome! Put thy faith to work, as Jesus said, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent. ([b]John 6:28[/b])"
As John reproves us, [b]1 John 2[/b]
[b]4[/b]. The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
And again, John says, [b]1 John 4[/b]
[b]20[/b]. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
[b]2[/b]. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
[b]10[/b]. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
[b]1 John 4[/b]
[b]16[/b]. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
[b]29[/b]. And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
[b]30[/b]. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
[b]31[/b]. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
[b]32[/b]. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:
[b]33[/b]. And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, [b][size=xx-small]is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices[/b][/size].
As the Prophet Samuel testified, [b]1 Samuel 15[/b]
[b]22[/b]. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
[b]34[/b]. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.
And neither is Jesus far from any one who would call upon His name!
[b]Acts of the Apostles 17[/b]
[b]24[/b]. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
[b]26[/b]. And hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
[b]27[/b]. That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
[b]28[/b]. For in him we live, and move, and have our being.
[b]11[/b]. As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?
[b]21[/b]. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
[b]32[/b]. For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
[b]31[/b]. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
[b]32[/b]. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
[b]33[/b]. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
[b]34[/b]. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
[b]35[/b]. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
[b]36[/b]. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
[b]37[/b]. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
[b]38[/b]. When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
[b]39[/b]. Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
[b]40[/b]. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
[b]41[/b]. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
[b]45[/b]. Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
[b]46[/b]. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Ever heard it said, "Psalms 37:4, Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart"? Well, here is HOW to delight yourselves in the Lord:
[b]13[/b]. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath,
from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him,
not doing thine own ways,
nor finding thine own pleasure,
nor speaking thine own words:
[b]14[/b]. [b][size=xx-small]Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD[/b][/size]; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
[b]Isaiah 58[/b] (and the rest of Isaiah 58, because it is all too good to pass by!)
[b]1[/b]. Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
[b]2[/b]. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.
[b]3[/b]. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.
[b]4[/b]. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
[b]5[/b]. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
[b]6[/b]. Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
[b]7[/b]. Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
[b]8[/b]. Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
[b]9[/b]. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
[b]10[/b]. And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
[b]11[/b]. And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
[b]12[/b]. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
[b]16[/b]. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
[b]17[/b]. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
To put it plainly:
Bad fruit = Bad tree :oops:
Good fruit = Good tree :-D
[b]43[/b]. "For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit.
[b]17[/b]. "So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.
[b]18[/b]. "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.
[b]19[/b]. "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
[b]20[/b]. "So then, you will know them by their fruits.
[b]21[/b]. "Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, [b][size=x-small]but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven [u]will enter[/u].[/b][/size]
[b]4[/b]. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
[b]5[/b]. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
[b]6[/b]. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
[b]7[/b]. That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
[b]8[/b]. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
[b]9[/b]. Not of works, lest any man should boast.
[b]10[/b]. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
(These, the "created in Christ Jesus unto good works", are the fruits that reveal whether the tree is a good or a bad tree.)
Indeed this is not an exhaustive run of Scripture, but a fine sample. Amen!
And, by-the-way, I must say, the transition from Isaiah 58 to 59 to 60 to 61 (where Jesus quotes, "the Spirit of the Lord is upon me ..."), Ah! Beautiful! Amazing Love!