I pray that it is my humble and heartfelt intent to write concerning an earnest directive which believers have been given, and that is, to truthfully pass on to those who do not know the Lord, the liberating and glorious facts concerning the means of salvation which the Gospel proclaims. When we consider all which constitutes the doctrine of salvation in the Gospel, it is impossible to disentangle it from the truth about God, the truth about men, the truth about sin, and the truth about Christ.
So often today the word “salvation” is used in very loose terms, ascribing to it many man-centered, phony ideas and fanciful doctrines which sound reasonable and very appealing to man’s conscience and which man readily accepts. Many of these are simply intended to soothe man’s guilty conscience, and leave him with a false comfort that man himself remains the ‘captain of his soul’ and in control of his eternal destiny. However, biblical truth about salvation is that man is not in any position to determine or secure his own salvation, by means of a decision or by applying his will or effort.
One is not likely to hear from the mouths of most preachers, that man is hopelessly unable to choose to follow God, or to decide to allow God into his life. Contrary to what many billboards around our country proclaim, man cannot, and indeed will never want to, turn back to God, unless he has been called to do so by God. Fallen man will not find any reason within himself to want to truly follow God, unless he understands why he would need to, and for spiritually dead man to understand why he would need to, he requires the enlightenment which only the Holy Spirit can bring to his heart. But, that is not what the unbelieving masses want to hear, man’s willful pride simply will not allow him to be convinced of the truth about salvation, and will-worshipping, synergistic and Arminian preachers capitalize on this spiritual deception. This deception is not new to the world, as this synergistic falsehood, ala the Roman Catholic way of salvation, has been with the church since the earliest centuries.
Today, there are as many different varieties of worldly people who call themselves Christians, as there are churches which proclaim hybrid forms of what they call, the Gospel. One hears salvation being described in an almost limitless number of shapes and colours, each one requiring varying degrees of man’s involvement. Innovative and imaginative methods of describing salvation are enthusiastically encouraged and preached from many pulpits, and by many groups of professing Christians. Additionally, entwined within these prescribed methods (misleading doctrines), is the expectation that one is to be tolerant of, and sensitive toward, the different systems of belief and doctrines of other “Christians”. Nowhere does the Bible make provision for religious tolerance, or for variations of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
If one is perceived to be intolerant of another persons’ or groups’ understanding of the means to salvation, irrespective of whether that understanding is even remotely biblical, one is very quickly branded as divisive, judgmental or unloving. If you are a Christian saved by grace alone through faith in Christ, and you have upheld that truth as being the only hope of salvation, how often have you been warned by religious idiots not to “touch God’s anointed” or to “resist God’s work”. If man could actually do that and influence God’s will, then God would not be God; however, man’s pride is a potent adversary to the truth, which blinds men most effectively.
It is often stated in error by those who preach a hybrid form of the Gospel, that truth can, or should, be relative to the understanding of the individual. It is stated as a fact that God allows for a special truth or particular revelation for every different person, and we are being encouraged to gladly accept differing opinions of people concerning God, Jesus Christ, truth and salvation. This damning heresy is known as the post-modern way of thinking, and it provides its proponents with a fake comfort. In this regard, I am referring specifically to essential doctrines of salvation, as opposed to non-essential doctrines. A gospel of tolerance toward individualism, secularism and in support of human rights, is preferred to the biblical Gospel of Truth, because the biblical Gospel is largely exclusive and is therefore regarded as socially unacceptable and “politically incorrect” by post-modern thinkers. Humanism has been carefully and effectively promoted since times gone by the Roman Catholic church and has been carried forward into much of modern Protestantism by the liberal will-worshipping church.
As I have said before, and must continue to say, that truth can only be truth if it is absolute and singular, because if it is not, by definition it cannot be truth. Truth cannot be self-contradicting and still be truth. According to 1 Corinthians 2: 10-13, the Holy Spirit knows the mind of God (verse 11), which He reveals (verse 10) and teaches (verse 13) to those whom He indwells. Those are whom He indwells according to His divine will. It therefore stands to reason that Christians cannot “agree to disagree” on the truth about salvation. However, it is a matter of fact that, as soon as the believer dogmatically advocates the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, the world and the seekers in the world who cling to their self-worth, pride, personal value, indispensable free will and Pharisaical legalism, declare a self-righteous (un)holy war against God’s people.
As soon as allowance is made for the probability of different truths for different people, by necessity it is required that there be a different Jesus, different Saviours for the different people as well. Jesus Christ says in John 14:6 that He is the way, the truth and the life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. Jesus speaks of a singular truth (I am the One Truth), and a singular way (I am the One Way) to heaven.
Salvation from sin is not by deeds of the law, and even those who know this to be a singular biblical truth, need to repeatedly and continuously remind themselves that salvation is not by works of the flesh, in any way at all.
Salvation is not because of, or by way of reformation. Salvation does not come to us because of our decision, repentance, sinless condition or good intentions. Salvation does not come to us through church ordinances, we are not saved by church membership. Salvation is only in Christ the Lord.
Salvation is not to be found anywhere near man’s plans or within man’s purpose, it is found only in the One Perfect Person. Salvation is not in a proposition, it cannot be found at the bottom of a long walk down a church aisle, it cannot be found in confession, it cannot be bought, it cannot be earned, it is not available from a mercy seat, it does not come by way of the prayers of the unbeliever. Salvation is not in being slain in the spirit. Salvation is not imparted by the laying on of hands. Salvation is not found in baptism. Salvation is only in Christ, in His finished work. Salvation is freely granted to those whom God draws to it.
A man does not have salvation until he is drawn to it by God and comes to a living, personal, real, intimate union with Christ our Lord. A man cannot come to this union with Christ by his own decision or deeds, but only by the power of God’s Spirit through faith. A man is not a Christian until he is unified with Christ. A man is not a Christian until he is personally and inseparably joined to Jesus Christ. A man is not a Christian until Christ becomes his life, which happens because of a miracle performed by the Sovereign God. A man is only a Christian if one can find love for Christ in his heart, if one can find the thoughts of Christ in his mind, and if one can find a painful longing for Christ in his soul. The righteousness of Christ placed in a man, by the power of God’s Spirit, according to a decision made by God alone, that is salvation and the hope of glory.
The Holy Spirit convicts a man of sin; the Holy Spirit first empties, then refills and changes the heart of a sinner with truth; the Holy Spirit brings a man to faith in the Son of God. If any man is in Christ and Christ is in any man, that man is a new creature. (2 Cor 5:17) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
So much of today’s false gospel message which is reliant on man’s own will, says that a man’s Christianity can be taken off with his Sunday clothes, but a man who is genuinely saved has Christ living in him as an everlasting fountain springing up into everlasting life. A man who has salvation has been born again. He has been raised up to life out of the spiritual grave. A man who truly has salvation has the very image of the Son of God indelibly tattooed on his heart and that image cannot be removed or improved upon by man’s deeds or efforts.
Sadly, there are not many who preach the truth about salvation, because there are not many who preach the Gospel and the truth about God, sin and Jesus Christ. The truth about God and the true Gospel are not popular with the unsaved world. Biblical truth is in fact highly offensive to the unbeliever, and it will remain so unless God gives to the unbeliever the ability to accept and pursue the truth. Unsaved, natural men do not, and cannot, accept the truth. The natural person cannot and does not seek God (Romans 3:10-12) as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; (11) no one understands; no one seeks for God. (12) All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
Many churches which are overflowing today with huge and growing congregations are filled with people who have not been told the truth about God, His Son, sin and salvation. Where the tradition of a church or man, and the teaching of the Bible are in conflict, tradition is given precedence. This effectively negates the authority of the Word and grants supremacy to the church leadership.
Those churches are overflowing because they are upholding a popular gospel of will-worship and secular humanism, which says that those who think that they want to be saved, simply need to make a decision to choose God. Thereafter they are told to try to live a lawfully good life by trying to be a good person and to stop sinning, which will encourage God to forgive them and accommodate their wishes. Those churches are overflowing because they uphold a god who need not be feared and a god who does not regard sin as severe enough to punish sinners eternally. Those churches are overflowing because they offer to the seekers, a weak, man-centered god, who does not have sufficient wrath, will or power to kill, and who is simply waiting for his human creations to make a decision to join him in his half-empty paradise.
Everybody has a god of some sort, even the atheist does. He may dispute that fact with an impressive intellectual argument, but he cannot deny the fact that he worships his free will and the Satanically construed god of lies. He calls the truth a lie, and believes a lie as being the truth. The atheist holds to his beliefs, and he jealously and conscientiously protects those beliefs, they are his gods.
Some, but not all, who are rich in worldly possessions, fame, talents or cares, more elaborately might even have many gods. Of course, there are also many rich, talented and famous saved Christians. Every religion in the world, ancient or new, offers to their followers an endless variety of feeble gods, all of whom require of man to play some part in proving themselves worthy of salvation and eternal life. Every religion in the world requires of man to help to save himself by means of his decisions, his deeds, his values, his sacrifices or his changes in attitude. Religions are all man centered falsehoods, religions are all antichrist. True Christianity is not a religion. Christianity is the only exception. Christ alone is the only exception.
Salvation and eternal life are only available through knowing the living God. We cannot know someone by saying that we have heard of that person, or by reading a book or Facebook message which that person wrote, as that only enables us to say that we know of that person. We actually have to meet and have a personal relationship with another person to be able to say that we know them. We cannot get to know an Almighty Creator God by our own means. (Rom 9:21) Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? God makes the knowing relationship real for those whom He created for honourable use, and Jesus Christ in us enables that relationship. Those whom God made for dishonourable use cannot know God, for how could they? They would have to supplant God’s will with one of their own, they would have to find another way to God, other than Jesus Christ.
To tell the truth about salvation is to tell the truth about man. We are not going to like what we hear about ourselves. To tell the truth about salvation is to tell the truth about Christ. We are not going to accept what we hear about Christ unless God enables us to. According to human reason, free salvation is simply illogical, surely there must be some catch to the story? Additionally, it is fallen man’s nature to want to retain control and responsibility for his eternal position, almost like he needs to control where and when he will spend his retirement years, because up to this point, man would have been able to control most other aspects of his life. The difference is that, eternal salvation is a state which is beyond the boundaries of this life and far beyond the control of sinful man. Those opposed to God’s Word will dispute these facts.
If we come to an understanding of just how dead we are in sin and how entirely offensive sin is before a Perfectly Holy God, we will understand how hopeless our own situation is. Just maybe then, we will also begin to understand how precious and perfect the sacrifice made by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is. Just maybe then, we will begin to understand how much we need Him and how little we need of ourselves.
Tell the truth about salvation. Give to God the glory for our justification, sanctification and ultimate glorification, or do you think that assuming responsibility and taking credit for that will add to its efficacy? What could it possibly cost to consult Scripture, rather than to propagate some concocted myth about dead men making a decision on behalf of God, or for God, to bring themselves back to eternal life? Consider the consequences of believing a lie about salvation, or relying on your own sinful and filthy self, and hopeless decision-making skills, to determine where you will spend eternity after your physical death. Consider the consequences it could have for others you care about.
Give to God the praise, glory and adoration for doing everything perfectly on our behalf, for making the Perfect and greatest sacrifice on our behalf in order that we can be saved from eternal destruction. By simply placing our trust in His Son, and believing that He has already suffered the punishment, in full, for all sins that we will commit; if we have been granted that faith in Him, He is faithful to never let us fall from His loving grip. The truth is simple, don’t try to make it seem complicated and impressive by muddying and obscuring it by suggesting that man-centered efforts are necessary for our salvation.
For our own sake, or at least for the sake of others, let us put away our undeserved self-confidence and over-inflated pride which sets us up against God, and accept the wonderful fact that we cannot and indeed, need not, try to put finishing touches to the perfect redeeming work of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. We should not try to play down the greatest miracle of all, which is salvation granted freely by the grace of God to us filthy sinners, by adding our interpretation of what we need to do to avail ourselves of His salvation, by suggesting a set of guidelines of “how to” set the wheels of salvation into motion. (Romans 10:17) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Philippians 3:9) and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith–
Don’t fall into the evil trap of telling others to try to do something to impress or to influence God, for Him to take notice of their deeds. God knows the thoughts and deeds of every person since before time itself. God knows intimately, every hair on our heads, every thought we have had, and every thought we will have in the future. Even though all of those thoughts are drenched in iniquity, He is faithful to forgive all sinners whom He calls to faith in His Son, for all every evil thought.
If you proclaim an Arminian type of will worship as the truth about salvation, you are proclaiming a lie and you do not know the truth. If you tell someone to make a decision to follow Christ, and to make Christ the Lord and saviour of his life, when God has not called or enabled that person to follow His Son, you are not telling that person the truth, you are expecting that person to do what only God can do, and to act on behalf of God. That person will follow a false saviour, a god which he imagines to be real, but he will lose his way, because he will not be able to hear the voice of the true Shepherd.
(John 10:25-27) Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
That person will be unable to follow your advice, and Satan will be most willing to provide the seeker with a believable alternative and false experience of salvation. Consider the consequences for others who might be taken with a lie about salvation, while all the time you had the Word of God at your fingertips.
Tell the truth about salvation because … whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Mat 18:6)
Tell the truth about salvation, if you are in Christ. Assure all those who have a yearning to know the Saviour and to follow the Word, that their yearning is a call from God. Tell them the truth about the Gospel, because they need to hear the truth in order to understand and grow in the faith they have received. All those who have been called and have faith in Him, will remain in Christ. Not one will be lost. They will never be separated from the Truth or from God’s people.
They will know that it was you who told them the truth about salvation.
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