1. Pastors twist Philippians 1:6 to give Sinning Churchgoers FALSE assurance

Many Christians say although they continue to sin, they have confidence God will finish His good work in them. They claim salvation is not by THEIR efforts or THEIR work, but rather by GOD completing the good work in them. But does the Bible say God will finish a good work in you even as you continue to disobey Him? Philippians 1:6 says, "Being confident of this very thing, that he [God] which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ…" Pastors preach this verse out of context to give sinning churchgoers false assurance; that they need not worry because God will do all the necessary work to get to heaven. The problem is this verse is not addressed to religious hypocrites who continue in sin, rather it is addressed to true saints in Christ Jesus who obey God’s call to purify themselves of sin. Church leaders say the only thing you need to do is joyfully praise and thank God while He finishes the good work in you, however, Jesus said you must strive to enter heaven, and you will be judged for heaven or hell according to your works.

2. God will NOT hear Prayer of unrepentant SINNERS

Philippians 1:6 it says, "Being confident of this very thing, that he [God] which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ…" The day of Jesus Christ refers to when Lord Jesus Christ will come to raise and rapture His people. This verse says God will perform or do the work until the day of Jesus Christ, but it specifies God will only do this in those He has begun a good work in. So, who does God begin a good work in? Let’s start with whose prayer does God even hear. Pastors deceive you to believe God is waiting and willing to receive any filthy sinner who calls on Him. They say God hates the sin but loves the sinner. Famous preacher Billy Graham spread this deception by saying Jesus calls sinners to come just as they are. But Jesus never called sinners to come to God just as they are. Jesus called sinners to repent—that is, to turn away from sin and sin no more. God will not even hear the prayer of sinners. In John 9:31 the blind man Jesus healed spoke this truth, "Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth." Apostle Peter confirms this in 1 Peter 3:11-12, "Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." God hears the prayer of the righteous—those who obey His commandments to do good. God only keeps His ears open to His true worshippers, and true worship of God is obeying His will to live a holy, righteous life. So, God is not listening to the prayer of churchgoers who praise and thank Him while continuing to sin.

3. Truly REPENTANT Sinners bring proper WORKS

If God will not even hear the prayer of sinners, He certainly will not start any good work in those who keep sinning. His ears are open to the prayer of a repentant sinner. To truly repent is NOT just feeling sorry, privately asking God to forgive you, and then sinning again. Deceiving pastors say your works and your deeds are irrelevant, but to even obey Jesus’s first teaching—to repent— requires YOU do something. When Pharisees and Sadducees came for water baptism, John the Baptist said to them in Matthew 3:7-10, "…O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." There are 2 key points in these verses. First, true repentance is coming to God with a broken heart and contrite spirit with the proper fruit, the proper deeds, the proper work. In Acts 26:20, Apostle Paul said he preached to all, "…that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance." Bringing "works meet for repentance" is making right your prior wrongs against others, and then not doing such things again. Second, bringing good fruits of obeying God in your life matters from beginning to end. Do not presume you a child of God because you follow family and church tradition. On Judgement Day, every person who did not bring forth good fruit of obeying Jesus’s commandments will be cast in the Lake of Fire. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, "..when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord..." The gospel is what Jesus preached we must do to inherit Heaven. Scripture says Lord Jesus Christ will punish with everlasting flaming fire those who do not obey His gospel. Before preaching the gospel, Jesus first preached repent. So, first truly repent with proper fruit, then obey the commandments Jesus preached so God will begin His good work in you.

4. God draws close to those who FIRST draw close to Him

Bearing the good fruit God requires for Heaven is impossible to do of your own strength, willpower, or intellect. We need God to perform His work in us. And we need Him to bless us with His spirit, grace, and power to enable us to overcome sin. On the surface it may seem unfair that you will be judged for Hell or Heaven depending on whether God did the necessary work to bear good fruit. Is it your fault if God did not do the needed work in you to overcome sin? The short answer is yes—it is YOUR fault. God does not randomly choose some people to do His saving work in to take to Heaven, and randomly reject others for Hell. Biblical truth is God will be a righteous Judge who rewards every soul according to their own work. For God to do His work in you, you must do the work He requires. For God to draw close to you, you must draw close to Him by cleansing yourself of sin. James 4:8 says, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." You cannot choose to be close to God and continue in the filth of sin. If you purify yourself with single-minded focus, then God will draw close and do His good work in you.

A farmer needs sunlight, rainfall, and fresh air for a fruitful harvest. Without those elements (that are not in the farmer’s control) it is impossible to have a successful harvest. So, should the farmer not work, simply wish and pray for sunshine and rain, and expect a bountiful harvest? That would be foolish. The farmer must till the ground, plant the seeds, weed the field, chase out pests—without his effort there will be NO fruit to reap. Is it pride for him to say a fruitful harvest requires HIS hard work? No—so also, it is not pride or self-righteousness to say you must work to cleanse your heart to be saved from sin. You cannot obtain salvation without God’s work, BUT God only works in those who are working out their own salvation with fear and trembling. If you do not do your part, God will not take part in you.

5. God performs work IF you STRIVE to Obey Him

God performs His saving work in those who strive. Luke 13:23-27 says, "Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he [Jesus] said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity." When asked if only a few will be saved, Jesus answers "strive to enter..the strait gate." The 2 key words here are "strive" and "strait." A strait gate is a narrow, tight entry space. To get in you must squeeze and fight through. To strive is not just casual work, it is struggling with great effort to achieve something. Striving to enter the strait gate of heaven is doing intense work to be free of sin. As Lord Jesus Christ said in Revelation 22:12,14 "…I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be…Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Going to Heaven or Hell will be according to YOUR work of obeying or disobeying God’s commandments, so strive to obey. Jesus said many will want to enter Heaven, but will not be able, because they are workers of iniquity. Deceiving pastors say inheriting Heaven is not of your work or your effort, and instead spew empty cliches such as ‘come as you are,’ ‘fall at Jesus’s feet,’ and ‘cling to the cross.’ Those who follow these deceivers will say they ate, drank, and lived in God’s presence, and were in the place where God’s Word was taught; but Lord Jesus Christ will deny knowing them and tell them to get out.

6. God BEGINS good work in SAINTS who PURIFY of Sin

Preachers take Philippians 1:6 out of context to give false assurance that work of obeying is not needed for salvation or Heaven, but this letter is not addressed to sinning churchgoers. At the beginning of Philippians 1:1 Apostle Paul addresses his letter to "to all the saints in Christ Jesus." Who are the saints in Christ Jesus? Ephesians 5:3-5 says, "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." Saints are those who strive to purify themselves of sin to inherit God’s kingdom. Apostle Paul exhorts the saints to be completely free of sin. Fornication is engaging in sex outside of marriage to satisfy sexual desire, uncleanness is other sexual immorality, and covetousness is greatly desiring someone else’s belongings to be yours; Apostle Paul says these sins should not even once be associated with those becoming saints.

He also advises avoiding foolish talk and jokes, but rather give thanks to God. This is like the hard-working farmer thanking God for providing sunshine and rain as he anticipates a fruitful harvest. Present day Christian leaders do not bother exhorting churchgoers that out of bound sexual and worldly lusts can result in losing Heaven. Instead, they tell sinning churchgoers to happily praise and thank God for salvation. This is like a lazy farmer who never works giving thanks to God and presuming he will receive an abundant harvest—that is foolish deception as no harvest will come. Flattering God with words of thanks and praise will not convince God to work in you. Obedience will draw God to work in you to bear the required fruit for Heaven. Romans 6:17-18, 22-23 says, "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness…But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death…" Do you know why you thank God? The reason to thank God is deliverance from being a servant of sin. Do not be deceived to confidently thank God while you continue in sin, because the consequence of sin is spiritual death and eternal torment in the Lake of Fire. Apostle Paul said deliverance happens by obeying from the heart the doctrine of Jesus; only then will you be freed from sin to become a servant of righteousness. The proof is fruit of holiness, and the reward for bearing such fruit is eternity in Heaven.

7. IN Christ Jesus are SANCTIFIED creatures with Fruit of Righteousness

Transformation of a servant of sin to a servant of righteousness is the good work that is done to saints IN Christ Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Those who are in Christ Jesus become new creatures, their prior sinful flesh nature is put to death, and they now live and walk in obedience to the holy spirit. Christ Jesus is not the man Jesus who was crucified over 2000 years ago, Christ Jesus is resurrected Lord Jesus Christ who is now God, and here to deliver us from committing sin. Acts 3:26 says, "Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." Are you in Christ Jesus who blesses by turning you away from iniquity, or are you in Satan’s deception which gives you another Jesus that blesses with worldly glory as you continue to sin? 1 Corinthians 1:2 says, "…to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…" Sanctification is separation from sin. The mark of a saint in Christ Jesus is not growing in church activity participation of potlucks, prayer meetings and Christmas programs, the mark of being in Christ Jesus is purification from the filth of sin.

Philippians 1:6 says, "Being confident of this very thing, that he [God] which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ…" How to know if God has begun a good work in you to perform until the day of Christ? What is the proof? Apostle Paul tells us a few verses later in Phillipians 1:10-11, "…that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God." If we truly connect to Lord Jesus Christ, if we are truly in Christ Jesus, the proof is works, deeds, fruits of righteousness and holiness. Deceiving servants of Satan will exhort you to praise and glorify God with words, songs, and tithes even as you continue to sin. True servants of God exhort you to praise and glorify God with proof of fruits of righteousness and truth. Ephesians 5:6-10 says, "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord." Do you partake of false teacher’s deception that Heaven does not require your effort, your work, your obedience? Or do you partake of the truth that came by Jesus and His apostles that you must obey God’s word with proof by fruit, work, deed? John 15:5-6 Jesus says, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." It is true that without God’s work in us, salvation and Heaven are impossible. But it is also true that God will not begin or finish His good work in religious hypocrites who continue to sin. Abide in Christ Jesus by obeying His doctrine and humbling asking Him to deliver you from sin.