Wednesday, February 26, 2020

What Salvation?

“Salvation comes from the LORD.” Jonah 2:9 

Salvation is the work of God. He alone restores the soul that is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1 NKJV), and it is only God who keeps the soul in its spiritual life. He is both “the Alpha and the Omega” (Revelation 1:8). “Salvation comes from the LORD.” If I am prayerful, God has made me prayerful. If I have spiritual graces, they were God’s gifts to me. If I hold on in a consistent life, it is because God holds me with His hand. I do nothing whatsoever toward my own preservation, except what God himself has first done in me. Whatever goodness I have, it is from the Lord alone. Whenever I sin, that is my own doing—but whenever I act correctly, that is wholly and completely from God. If I have fought off a spiritual enemy, the Lord strengthened my arm. Do I live a consecrated life before other people? “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20 ESV). Am I pure? I did not cleanse myself; God’s Holy Spirit sanctifies me. Am I separated from the world? It is due to God’s discipline for my good. Do I grow in knowledge? The great Instructor teaches me. All my beautiful jewels were fashioned by the heavenly Artist. I find in God all that I want; I find in myself nothing but sin and misery. “He alone is my rock and my salvation” (Psalm 62:2 ESV). Do I feed on the Word? That Word would not be food for me unless the Lord had made it food for my soul and helped me to feed on it. Do I live on the manna that comes down from heaven? What is that manna but Jesus Christ himself, whose body and blood I eat and drink (Matthew 26:26–28)? Am I continually receiving fresh strength? Where do I get my might? My help comes from heaven’s hills—without Jesus, I can do nothing. As a branch cannot bear fruit unless it remains in the vine, neither can I unless I abide in Him (John 15:5). What Jonah learned in the great deep, let me learn this morning in my quiet room: “Salvation comes from the LORD.” C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

There are some who read such things as this and consider it foolishness. Some make fun of those who believe in a diety. Making such statements like its nothing but people wasting their time.  Or worse. 

What's interesting to note is mocking God or the need for a right relationship with Jesus in a modern 'land flowing with milk and honey' is where this mostly happens. 

As was shown last year in a rant caught on video by a semi-well known reporter, the mainstream media firmly believes its their job to tell us what to think.  They believe it's up to them to shape our thoughts for the day on people and events.  It had obviously escaped their notice of the warning from Scripture that causing someone to stumble is inherently dangerous. 

So what's the truth?  Truth is this. If the Bible was nothing but a collection of old stories and fairy tales, if following what it says was a worthless joke on the reader of it. If all of it was a lie...then explain a few things to me. 

Why have people and are people being put to death for turning to the truth it speaks of?  Why? Why is it so influential that a group of people would permanently declare a war against it?  If it's nothing to take seriously, why are people hunted down even today for becoming Christians and being murdered by their own family?

That's the truth that the mainstream media will not tell you.  Those murders happen all over the world, not just in countries outside the United States.  They will never be reported as such within the United States but it happens here too.

What is it about a life in Christ that provokes such things?  To know that answer requires reading the book.  Jesus said beforehand that if the world hated Him they would hate you too on account of Him.  He mentioned examples of what would happen to those who might turn from sin to a new life in Christ.  That a man's enemies will be members of his own house.  Sometimes truth indeed is harder than a lie to believe. 

This world is under attack at the Spiritual level.  It's a war every single day.  Jesus said if we come to Him for Salvation we should expect tribulations. It's all worth it but to expect it.  He will always be glorified by our obedience.  Our following Him isn't a death sentence.  It's a life sentence. We finally learn how to live upon coming to Jesus for Salvation.  

Death no longer has any power over us. Jesus conquered sin, death and the grave in His death, burial and resurrection.  A firm truth that all those outside of Christianity cannot fathom.  Scripture says that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who refuse to believe.  Which is why everything from mocking to full-on hatred exists towards it.  The whole spectrum exists to those who refuse to believe in Christ. That He loved them enough to die for them and provide a way to be saved for all who believe.  That spectrum starts with a simple unbelief to raging hatred. Interestingly in Scripture, at the final judgment, that same spectrum now is weeping...those who simply refused to gnashing of teeth...that full-on hatred.  

Salvation is nothing to fear.  Once someone is saved, that is, who truly comes to Christ to receive His free gift of Salvation, they cannot lose it. 

Permanently adopted into the family of God.  Jim Elliott "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."  Which looks to be from Matthew and John. John 12:25 "He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal." And ""He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 10:39.

Salvation in Christ is so much more than a decision but it's still the most important one we ever can make.  

The outcome is more than we can ever realize in its importance.  To be among those who refuse means joining those who will spend eternity in Hell.  Jesus painted a very graphic intense visual of Hell.  Read Luke 16:19-31
 “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and *saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ But Abraham *said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

My dear reader, my friend from wherever you reside, please understand that a life with Christ only begins here.  In a moment in the twinkling of an eye, you, as a believer would be with Jesus.  Death no longer has any power over you.  Living for Jesus is a whole new way to really experience life.  Not without challenges but never alone.  It may be dangerous in the world in which you live but it's still worth it. Those stories in the Bible aren't fiction they are fact.  That same God is who is alive in you when you become a child of God in Christ Jesus. 

Salvation is so much more than this world offers.  It's to fully recieve the love of God in our own person.  It's to share that with others.  We are safe in Him regardless of our circumstances in life. 

Come...and believe...the offer still stands...

If you haven't read about Romans Road online.  If you found this blog you can find that too. Jesus loved you enough to die in your place.  Isn't it worth it to find out why?

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