Finally, we arrive at the fifth sentence in the passage under consideration. Notice again how it is joined to the others by the beginning word, for:
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels (Mark 8:38).
This again is the person who would not deny himself, but who wished to follow his own agenda, pursuing what the world had to offer, and who thus ultimately lost his life and forfeited his soul. Now he is characterized as one who is ashamed of Christ and His words. His shame, of course, stems from his unbelief. If he had truly believed that Jesus was God’s Son, he certainly would not have been ashamed of Him or His words. But he is a member of an “adulterous and sinful generation,” and Jesus will be ashamed of him when He returns. Clearly, Jesus was not describing a saved person.
What is the conclusion to all of this? The entire passage cannot rightfully be considered to be a call to a more committed life addressed to those who are already on the way to heaven. It is obviously a revealing of the way of salvation by means of comparing those who are truly saved and those who are unsaved. The truly saved believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thus deny themselves for Him, while the unsaved demonstrate no such obedient faith.