"But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."
1 Timothy 5:8
ESV - 8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
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First, only those who know Jesus and serve Him as their Lord (obey Him) will enter heaven. Matthew 7:21-23, John 3:36, John 17:3, John 5:24, Matthew 5:20. The book of 1 John has many verses that tell who is really saved. Many will call Him Lord, Lord but not go to heaven because they continued to disobey (sin against) God and Jesus never knew them. In Revelation 21:8 a list of people is given of who will go to the lake of fire. "Unbelievers" is only one of the 8 kinds of people who will go there. Liars, cowards, idolaters and immoral people are some of the others. Many people believe " love the sinner and hate the sin" is in the Bible, but that is a statement by the unbeliever Ghandi. God hates sin and sends sinners to hell. The gospel includes repentance from sin and dying to self to walk in newness of life that hates sin and wants to live a changed life to forsake sin. This is the regeneration of the heart that only true believers receive when they surrender their lives to Christ as Lord, Ezekiel 36:25-27 and John 3, to be born again. So I believe that the Word teaches that a husband that does not provide is definitely in danger of hell because unbelievers go to hell. There may be extenuating circumstances that a believer has difficulty providing, but his fervent desire would be to provide and his prayers would be centered on doing that. The Bible has a lot to say about a husband's responsibilities to love his wife as Christ loves the church. Christ provides for believers and He answers the prayers of the righteous. If a husband is not treating his wife as he should, his prayers are not listened to by God, 1 Peter 3:7. If the husband is a true believer, he would see this as sin not to provide and would repent and change direction to do everything possible to provide. This would be a step of sanctification---growing in holiness and walking by the Holy Spirit. There is grace for a believer who was providing for his family and has a failure in this area due to job loss or bad health for instance. He should examine himself to see if there is other sin such as unforgiveness, lying, idolatry, hatred, sexual immorality which is causing him to be out of right relationship with Jesus Christ. He should also go to the elders of the church and ask them to pray for him. The elders will be able to help the husband examine his life to repent and be cleansed. The Bible says that the wise person will always seek wise counsel. The husband has the responsibility to lead the family spiritually too. He should be reading the Bible and praying daily to be equipped to provide spiritually for the family too. Sadly, a lot of people are falsely assured that they are Christians because they made a one-time decision, but that is not the born again life. There is no salvation without repentance, and repentance is not a one-time event for the Christian. The Holy Spirit indwelling convicts a believer of the sin He wants the believer to repent of as the believer is sanctified and growing in holiness. Also, the wife has responsibility for praying for her husband and being his helpmate. She should examine herself too to see where her sins could be impacting her life and her family.
Entrance into hell or heaven is NOT contingent on our conduct on earth. We are all sinners and deserve hell. There is none righteous no not one. Psa. 14:3, Psa. 53:3, Rom. 3:10-12 If one accepts Christ as their savior ALL their sins are cover by Christ’s work on the cross and his time In hell taking our place. He took our rightly deserved punishment to Himself to redeem ALL of mankind. (Heb. 10:10) The question is not how bad have you been, but rather have you repented and accepted God’s free gift, Jesus Christ, the sacrificial lamb of God for your sins. If you have, then ALL your sin is covered by Christ’s blood. As a Christ rejector you are guaranteed a place in the lake of fire, the second death. As a child of God, a true believer, you are assured a place with Christ in entreaty. We don’t do bad things and become sinners. We do bad things because we are sinners. Our conduct after salvation should reflect Christ in us. If it does not we will reap what we sow the same as everyone else and suffer loss or reward, not our place with Christ. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Gal. 6:7-8) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2Corth. 5:10) Deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1Corth. 5:5) Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1Corth. 3:13-15)
These are the words I spoke to my bride during our wedding, "I promise to to be true to you in good times and in bad. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life." With God and the Church as my witnesses, I swore this oath - providing the family's basic needs are implied. Fulfilling an oath brings blessings and neglecting an oath brings curses. So should I decide to not keep my promise, not only is hell a possibility, I also take on the curses for breaking my promise. May God have mercy on my soul.
The answer is No. Were works of righteousness ever a prerequisite for sinners to be saved? Fact is, the sinners that Jesus had come to call were justified by faith (Mark 2:15-17). Likewise, us. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7). Eternal security is therefore God’s gift to those He has drawn by His irresistible grace. God even predestined the elect, that is, He chose us in Him before the foundations of the world (Eph 1:4-11; Rom 1-8). Our preservation to the end is guaranteed by the perfect seal of Christ at Calvary. What then distinguishes the believer from the unbeliever when both sin? Forgiveness. And what can the forgiven boast of himself if he is but a sinner saved by grace, justified by faith and imputed with the righteousness of God? Should morals boast of her earthly good, morals never saved a sinner bound for hell! Even the apostle Paul agonized over his perpetual state of sin: I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. (Rom 7:21-25) Concerning the text, should 'household' refer to one's immediate and extended family, and should failing to provide for them is a violation of a non-negotiable demand that equals the unpardonable sin (which is absurd), then where the saints are since Pentecost is anyone's guess for all have sinned (Rom 3) and violated adjoining laws! And what if a man (or a widow that the preceding verses pertain to), provides for his household via dubious means like a questionable profession, unethical dealings and a compromised lifestyle? Is such a one, clergy or not, righteous still? Also note that the Gospel indicates the Lord's ministry was financed by the goodwill of women (Lk 8:1-3); nor did Jesus provide for his mother and siblings but contrariwise handed John the responsibility of His mother. Jesus, in fulfilling prophecy, left this legacy: He was buried among the transgressors without a penny to His name. Would He condemn those He redeemed who have failed to provide according to an isolated mandate? Give the Lord His due then, the preservation of the saints rests on the laurels of Christ alone: For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous (Rom 5:19). It is Christ alone via His perfect atonement who is able to present a sinner a saint - holy and unblemished - at the Judgment Seat of Christ for an accounting to God and rewards, not condemnation. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior (Jude 24, 25). So, stripped of sacraments, morals and the exhaustive gamut of mortal and venial sins for man to observe, what defines the saint is faith: a believing, saving faith in The Christ of God (Luke 9:20). Should all these sound antinomian (lawless), it is not, because the moral and judicial law needs be for man to survive himself, anarchy and chaos. Shall incest be the next legal vice after gay marriage? God forbid! Consider then the Law of Moses and its elaborate demands that albeit a copy and shadow of the heavenly things (Heb 8) sufficed for Israel and the perpetual Jew. Maranatha!
The context from which the bible is speaking here is not just that a husband should make provisions for his family, but to all believers, both male and female, to take care of the widow and not let them depend on the church.
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