“TO BE OR NOT TO BE”
You have a computer (obviously!) and you are writing this long, intricate, important letter to a friend. It has already taken you hours of painstakingly finding the right words to weave the text into one flowing piece of rethoric, and you are about done…when… SUDDENLY? PFFFOOY..!!
“Oh No! The electrical power in the house went off!” A fuse blew and you are sitting in the dark…SCREAMING & BEATING YOUR BREAST!
Because the awful realisation occurred to you…that you never even saved your file under a name, and that you had just de-activated the auto-save function!
“Ooooh Noooo!!!,” you lament!
“WHY AM I SO STUPID! ALL THAT WORK FOR NOTHING!”
Any creation needs to be saved on something for posterity. A famous century old oaktree on photo! A song on vinyl or on CD! A story on paper or on disk! The history of the world written on a scroll, or in a book! A painting on a canvas, on a rock wall! If not, it will be lost and gone for ever. An unrecorded thought! A non-registered winning Lottery ticket!
But what about a life? A soul? Does it have to be recorded as well? Does it have to be registered? Does it have to be saved under some name, on some kind of Medium? Stored in some kind of Repository?
* * *
HOW TO BE SAVED? OR SAVE YOUR SELF?
Throughout the ages there have always been great religious and philosophical controversies on the subject of salvation!
“How can Man be saved”, or… “Can he save himself?”
This question is of course preceeded by another question:
“Are we lost at all?” or “Why do we need salvation and from what?”
A need for Salvation seems to be easier perceived by those of us who feel lost!–But also by those who are looking for a better world, a more perfect existence or a better life just here on Earth.
People searching for salvation come in 2 classes:
Those that believe that they CAN’T save themselves, or
Those that believe that they or Man in general… CAN!Many realise that life and they themselves are not perfect. They figure that somehow, somewhere, real perfection must exist. They either believe that it will come on Earth somewhere in the future, or that it already exists “somehere over the rainbow”… in another realm or another life even. The question is then… “If we can save ourselves, how do we do it?
DO WE HAVE TO…
…study many years?
…wear special clothes?
…go to special buildings?
…go through special motions?
…go through special priests?
…go through special actions?
…go through special confession sessions?
…go through special religious church- or temple-services or rituals?
…Do we have to keep many commandments?
…Do we have to be perfect or good enough?
SOMEHOW…GEORGE FOUND HIMSELF SAVED!
The psychiatrist George G. Ritchie, M.D, was one of the first ones to broadcast his N.D.E.—Near Death Experience—in days when this just wasn’t done.
In an N.D.E., people are clinically dead for a while, without becoming brain-dead! Their spirits float out of their body, enter a tunnel, through which they travel towards a brilliant Light! The warm light turns out to be a Heavenly Being of unconditional Love, which envelops and embraces them! He shows them their life in a fraction of time. Often these people see glimpses of Heaven—in the form of a golden City of light!
Ritchie wrote in his book “Return from tomorrow”, how he, as a 21 year old soldier, during such an N.D.E., emerged out of his body. As a spirit he was met by Jesus Himself! Jesus then took and guided him to observe many spiritual places. Ritchie saw, amongst other scenes, lost or unsaved souls in a disembodied state, living in some spiritual desert regions on the surface of the Earth, which seemed to be certain divisions of hell.
[NOTE: The original words used in the Bible and translated by “hell”, are the “unseen state”: “Hades” in Greek or “Sheol” in Hebrew!”]
Together with Jesus, Ritchie observed these immense masses of spirits ever engaging in verbal abuses, arguing, fighting and committing spiritual semblances of violent acts and sexual perversions with each other, even though they had no longer the bodies for them.
“…that was another of the things baffling me. If I could see Him (Jesus), why couldn’t everyone else? He was too bright for living eyes to look at—that I had realized right away. But surely the living people we passed must somehow sense the love streaming out to them like heat from a mighty fire!And these others, the ones like me who no longer had physical eyes that could be destroyed, how could they help but see the burning Love and Compassion in their midst? How could they miss Someone closer, more brilliant than the noonday sun? Unless….
For the first time it occurred to me to wonder whether something infinitely more important than I ever believed could have happened that day when at age eleven I walked forward to the altar of a church. Was it possible that I, in some real way, had actually been “born again,” as the preacher had said—given new eyes, whether I understood any of it or not?”
What had Ritchie done, that had given him at age eleven these “new eyes”, this state of “been born again”, that view of and connection with Jesus and His unconditional love?
Had he gone to the right church? Had he believed the right doctrine, prayed the right prayer?—Or done the right ceremony? Had he been perfect enough??
It is doubtful whether any such things mattered at all, as he said himself that he had not even understood or believed much about his religious experience, in which he somehow had just gone up to a church altar and somehow had come to or called on Christ!
Nor had he turned out to be very perfect during the “review of his life”, in which Jesus had exposed him to himself as not having shown very much love, nor having done much for Him or for others during his short 21 year life!
Matthew 18:1 At the same time the disciples came unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name… receives me.”
Jesus said that the Kingdom of God was for little children! That those who humble themselves as a little child shall be greatest in the Kingdom of God!
If the Kingdom of God is for little children, then this would mean that you don’t need a long religious education to be saved, nor suffer a long, tedious, difficult, religious practice! Because little children wouldn’t even understand such things! So do you want to be saved? Be simple as a child, and receive Jesus, as He said: (Mark 10:14)
“… Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”
THE “FORBIDDEN QUESTION!”
You might ask, “Well if it is for children, then why do all these religionists get into all these difficult complicated rituals, ceremonies, traditions, life styles in the first place, if we only have to become like little children to enter and belong to God’s Kingdom?”
This is not just a good and simple question, but also a dangerous question!
Over the centuries, many people who were inspired by this simplicity they saw in Christ, asked this question and were murdered for “heresy!” Why? They were murdered because of the obvious answer, whether it was verbalised or not! Because just this question: “Why do you do all these things?”—exposes the BIG LIE of all these things! When you shine light on evil, evil is not gonna like it! Instead, it will violently put out the light… and the lightbearer, so watch out! Because if salvation is really that simple, then all the religious rigmarole is superfluous and unneccesary!
But… those who go through all these motions and traditions and keeping of laws, do not like to admit that all their doing is superfluous, unnecessary and in vain! They rather want you to get under the law with them, so they don’t suffer alone! And thus they will try to legislate righteousness for you, and “Lord” it over you! Some would even rather kill you, than admit that they are involved in useless, futile, superfluous, unnecessary actions!
“WHY DO YOU GO ABOUT TO KILL ME?”
Why did the religious Scribes and Farisees kill Jesus? Because He asked that same “forbidden question” by putting the doorknob on the door of His kind of salvation so low, that it was reachable and attainable for children, simple people and common sinners! And that’s why some would kill Him again, if He lived today!
Now before we dissect the reasoning by which these religionists get so angry,
2 “… that whosoever kills you, will think that he does God service.we have to look deeper, why all these “good religious” people would want to kill you in the first place! Jesus said:
3 “…these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.Jesus asked His enemies: (John 7:19)
“Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keep the law? Why go ye about to kill me? 20 The people answered and said, You have a devil: who goes about to kill you?They got very uncomfortable, as they hadn’t even come to that conclusion yet themselves, although it was already in their hearts. Jesus then told them the true reason why they wanted to kill him:
44 “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning.”
So, the foremost reason they want to kill you for “asking the forbidden question”, is that they don’t know Jesus nor the Father (Who is Love), but rather belong under the control of the devil and therefore cannot hear God’s Word! They do the lust of the Devil to kill.
But then is still the question: “why does the Devil want to kill God’s children who ask “Why do ye do all these things?” The answer is the same as Jesus told the lawyers: (Luke 11:52)
“Woe unto you! For you have taken away the key of knowledge: You entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in, you hindered.The Devil is not interested in entering the Kingdom of God himself, but neither is he interested in anyone else entering in! He wants to keep us from being saved! And so do his religious followers. (Please dont misunderstand us, we are not talking here about the average churchmember who loves the Lord and who needs fellowship for his or her faith!)
In order to keep us from entering God’s Kingdom, he has done the smartest possible thing he could throughout the ages. The devil infiltrated religions, religious leaders, religious doctrines and religious organisations, to stop those who make it so easy for…
“…little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God!”
He will try to enter anybody, to make it difficult for them or others to be saved! Because the Devil does not like other souls to be saved! Satan’s closest followers do not want us to be gathered and saved by Jesus! As Jesus said: (Luke 11:23)
“He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathers not with me… scatters!’So either we gather His sheep together or we scatter them!
MAKING THE WORD OF GOD OF NONE EFFECT
Although the Media are now the greatest culprits in undermining Jesus, the Gospel and the spreading of His words, many young people are much more scattered by the empty ceremonialism, vain traditionalism or dead legalism of dead religions that Jesus never ordered. As He said… (Mark 7:13) (Matthew 15:6-8)
“Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such like things you do!”
“…Thus have you made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people draws nigh unto me with their mouth, and honours me with their lips; but their heart is far from me’.”
What is it, that attracts and gathers the sheep to Jesus and salvation? It’s the heart of Jesus’ religion. And do you know what that is? It is LOVE! As is written:
“God is Love!”It is the love and mercy of Jesus that saves and also keeps us. And who does He love? Only the so-called “good people who are sooo religious?” No! Anyone! But especially the honest sinners, who know they’re no good! As He said to the so-called “righteous” Farisees, the self-righteous religionists of His time, (Matthew 9:13)
“But go ye! And learn what that means, ‘I will have mercy, and not sacrifice’: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”He says in fact that he loves everyone, the whole world, including you! (John 3:16)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten (born) Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
SO WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
You don’t throw a life saver to someone who thinks he can swim! So, first of all, we need to realise, or at least believe by faith, that we’re a sinner! It’s the in-born sinful nature of man to be unable to confess that he is a sinner! We love to think of ourselves as “good” and that “we don’t make such mistakes!” Like St. Peter swore up and down… (Luke 22:33)
“Lord, I am ready to go with you, both into prison, and to death.”But Jesus knew better, how Peter trusted in his own sinful self, and said:
“I tell you, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that you shall thrice deny that you know me.”So, because of our inborn sinful human nature, we automatically and naturally trust very much in our own selves, and we constantly try to prove to ourselves that we are “perhaps not perfect… but pretty good after all!” Ha!
Check out what God says in Romans 3, what He thinks and knows about our so-called righteousness!—You thought you were a little better than the next person, huh?
9 “What then? Are we better than them? No way! For we have before proven to both Jews and Gentiles, that they’re all under sin. 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one! 11 There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. 23 …for ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
Ahem! That’s not a very pretty picture of… you! You think God is talking about somebody else huh! Ha! No sir! That is what He thinks about everybody! Including you and me!
So about the very first step to salvation, is to realise—or at least believe…if you don’t feel or realise it yet—that you’re a sinner! Because why would you need to get saved in the first place, if you’re not lost, drowning or imperfect? If you’re so healthy, why do you need the doctor! If you’re so perfect, why should you need Jesus? Voilá! You can’t really get saved, until you realise that YOU’RE A SINNER!
MEN AND BRETHREN, WHAT SHALL WE DO?
So now that we know that we are also “included under sin”, what do we need to do to be saved?
Many churches and religions quote scriptures not in a graceful, but on the contrary in a very lawful, legalistic way. Although they say they believe in God’s grace, their works and doctrines deny it. They wrest the Scriptures, even the simple ones about salvation! They say it is “not by our own works” and all “by grace”—because they can’t get around the Bible—but somehow they deny that very essence in their teaching.
Like this one church tract we once read, based on Acts 2:37,38
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, have a metanoia (a turn around, a personal Revolution), and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
The tract went then on to explain that…and I quote…
“someone is only saved”—according to this scripture—when he repents (an inward renouncing of your sins); is baptised (through immersion in water!) and receives the gift of the Holy Spirit (by speaking with the gift of tongues).If they didn’t do all that, they certainly were not saved! Thus
Law one: REPENT, or as they call it “to abhor your sins and turn away from them” (Perfectly stop sinning!)
Law two: BE BAPTISED! (Be immersed fully under water!)
Law three: Receive the Holy Ghost.
Law four: Speak in tongues! (to prove that you HAVE the Holy Ghost, to prove that you really ARE saved!)
Law five, Keep all the commandments to stay saved!
No. 5 was not on the tract, but it was in all their other teachings, that if you didn’t sufficiently (?) keep the commandments, you could “lose your salvation”, or perhaps… “you were never saved in the first place”! Especially if you left their church! Instead of Eternal Life… they had Eternal Insecurity!
Well this way of getting saved, sounds to me like getting married as follows:
You appear in church as a perfect bride, head over heels in love with your husband although you never met before. You don’t just say “yes” before the altar, but you make fervent love to the Bridegroom right on the spot! You get immediately pregnant and have the baby right away! But as soon as you only look at other men, your new loving husband gives you a “Bill of divorce” right on the spot, and there somehow never was a baby!
That would be quite a strange wedding and a very short marriage! One that wouldn’t last for sure, as the Opera so aptly puts it, “Donna es mobilé!” Women are fickle! And so is the Bride of Christ!
JUST CALL!—ON THE LORD.
So, how do you get married to Jesus? Jesus explained it in allegory to some worldly woman at a well, when she was interested in His gift of “living water” and Eternal Life! (John 4:15,16)
“The woman said unto him, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come here to draw.’ Jesus said unto her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.”
“Call and come!” Just call your husband! Jesus! Come to Him and say “yes”! The rest will naturally happen, soon after, in the wedding night!
Another most wonderful example of how simple Jesus made salvation, and how little you can do to get it, is written in Luke 23! Thank God for the simple words of Jesus in the New Testament, to the sorry thief on the cross, who obviously had made a few mistakes—haven’t we all—and who had no more time left to prove his “worthiness” by an “ongoing righteous life!” All he did was… call on the Lord!
42 And he said unto Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom’. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto you, Today… you shall be with me in paradise.
Wow! The thief didn’t even say “the right words” or “do all the right things”, for all they say! He just said: “Lord… remember me!”
He wasn’t even “baptised in water yet—through full immersion!” He hadn’t even “proven his repentance by his deeds,” or “totally abhorred his sins!” He didn’t ask for the Holy Spirit! And he obviously didn’t speak in tongues on the cross, to “prove that he had received” the Holy Spirit! Yet, Jesus said,
Some of these self-righteous religionists go so far to prove their doctrine, by saying that that paradise was actually Hell or Hades! See our pages on Heaven, where we get into all that! But we assure you that Jesus did not mean: “Today you shall be with me in Hell! There I will baptize you in water by immersion. There you will have to prove your repentance with good deeds for a while in this purgatory… or you’ll never make it! There you’ll have to receive the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues to prove you’ve received it! And then… maybe…if you faithfully keep all the commandments—the laws of Moses, you will be able to go to Heaven one day!”
Baloney! That would be hell! Not Paradise! But how many people are like that, every day, “in hell”! Because they don’t have a full assurance of their salvation! People, some of whom have actually been saved, don’t have peace, because they don’t know or don’t trust in the simple Words of Jesus, but rather “trust” in some fearful Holiness Church doctrine of “Eternal Insecurity”! Like the train engineer Flannigan, who every time when his locomotive de-railed, sent a wire to his boss:
“off again, on again, gone again!—Flannigan” Ha! Don’t be like Flannigan!
No! Paradise is Paradise! Not Purgatory! The same word used for Heaven in other scriptures! And if it was Hell, then that poor thief was as lost as before he called on the Lord, and the Lord would have deceived Him! And then you and I would be lost as well, and we would still have to perfectly keep the law, in order to make it! Which nobody can! Because it is impossible! That’s why Jesus had to come and make a way, where there was no way!—MERCY!
BELIEVE ON THE LORD
Here is another passage to prove that it’s sooo simple! It’s about the wicked jailor, that held Paul and Silas captive against God’s will. God sent an earthquake, and the chains fell of all the prisoners and all the doors were opened. The jailor was about to commit suicide, but Paul stopped him! (Acts 16:29,31)
“Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, and your house’. (Wow! Even your family?)Only… “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved!” Like John 3:16
“Whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life!”
(Have! Right away!)So be saved! COME to Jesus and BELIEVE on Him like the jailor! And as the thief… CALL on the Lord! As it says (Romans 10:13)
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?”
In other words, if you call on the Lord, you prove your faith just by calling! John 8:24 is another proof that believing on Jesus is enough! Jesus said:
“I said therefore unto you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins.”The opposite of “if ye believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins”, is that…”if you believe that He is the savior, you shall not die in your sins!”
In other words you are saved from the deadly results of sin just by believing that Jesus is your saviour! As it says in John 3:36:
“He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him.
The Word “believe” in the Greek New Testament comes from the Greek word “Pistevo”, which literally means “to drink in!” So “believe” in Jesus, means also “drink in” Jesus! And we can find that principle of receiving Jesus also in John 1:12
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name”
So, if you like to be saved, just come to Jesus! Call on Him! Right now! Believe on Him, as a little child! And receive Him in your life and heart! You can call anyway you like, just like the thief did, just open up to Jesus. He promises to come in when you open your door. In Revelations 3:20 He says:
Look, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
When you open your door for Jesus, He always does the coming in! He always comes into every heart that opens the door when they hear His voice! The voice of His heart of Love through His Words! You can do it right now! Just tell Him…
“Dear Jesus, I come to you! I believe in you! I want you to come into my heart! Please fill me with your Holy Spirit of love and forgive me for my mistakes and sins! And give me your free gift of Eternal Life! In Jesus Name I pray! Amen!”
As you called from your heart, Jesus has now come into your heart! And he promises in His Word in Hebrews 13:5
… I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
When we come to Him and receive Him, He will never leave us! Isn’t that wonderful! Isn’t He wonderful? He loves you! He comes into you and then He never leaves you! He stays with you! Isn’t that love? A Lover that never leaves you! How many times our lovers leave us or… we leave our lovers! Some of us many times! But Jesus says:
John 6:37 All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out.
And as in “donna es mobilé!”, “if we are faithless,” then he says: “He cannot deny himself!” As He also says (even): “I am married to the backslider.”
HOW DO I “KEEP MYSELF SAVED”?
“But”, you say, “OK! Maybe I’m saved now, but I sure have to do something to keep myself saved! To stay saved! How do I stay saved?”
Salvation in God’s Word is likened to a birth!—To being born! John 1:12
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13. Which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God!”
So, as soon as you receive Jesus, you are born of God! You are His baby! John 3:3
3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus said unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto you, You must be born again. 8 The wind blows where it lists, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell whence it comes, and whither it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things?”
So here was “a master of Israel”, a Pharisee religionist, and he didn’t even know about this “earthly thing”, about simple salvation! Perhaps he was saved already, like George Ritchie, but he sure didn’t know it! A Pharisee, a church man! Like sooo many today! Whether saved or unsaved—they both don’t know it!
But you can know! You, who have received Jesus, are born of God! You are now God’s son or daughter! God’s baby! And if you could lose your salvation, it would mean that you could be “un-born” also. Go back in your mother’s belly and disappear!
Are you still your mother’s son today? Of course! Even after you die! And when you are bad… are you still your mother’s baby? Of course! Nothing can change that! Once you are born, you are always born, even if you die you’re still your mother’s baby! Well, similarly… you are also God’s baby! Forever! God does not lose His children!
As Jesus said: “Though he were dead, yet shall he live!” Once you are His Child, you are His child forever! Even if you’re a bad child! And you are! Nobody is perfect! As His Word says in Ephesians 2:8
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.By grace—undeserved mercy—we become His children, not of ourselves, not of our own religious works, our own (SELF)righteousness, our own keeping the commandments, our own being pure and innocent, and bla bla bla!—But by God’s gift so that we cannot glory! As it says in 1 Corinthians 1:29
“That no flesh should glory in His presence.”
Once we get to Heaven, we won’t be able to say that we got There, just because we were “sooo good” and kept all the commandments! NO WAY!! FORGET IT! Salvation is not just God’s gift, but it’s also God’s work, and it can only be received by faith in His undeserved mercy! And even that Faith is His gift! Faith in His enormous love!
“That while we were yet sinners, he died for us…” Already! There’s nothing you can do to get it, except receive it by faith! Did you? Then you are saved! Forever! Hallelujah! See you there! Lots of Love!
Hebrews 10:38 “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back (from faith!), my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”
We are not the club that believes in “drawing back to perdition”, as so many do, drawing back to faith in their own works and their own (self-)righteousness!—Some getting so discouraged, they even draw back all together and quit!
NO! We “believe to the saving of the soul!” in eternal salvation of the soul by faith! We live by faith! We are just (righteous) by faith! We are not just by any self-works!
HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION!
Maybe you wonder,”Why go through all this trouble explaining, that our salvation is purely an Eternal gift of God by grace through faith and that we cannot lose it?” Well it is like asking why “dig so deep to lay a foundation on the rock instead of on the sand to build a house?” (see Matthew 7:24)
Because, if you don’t, the floods will come and the storms will blow, and beat upon your house! And it will go “splat”! It won’t be very safe! That’s why Jesus is called the “Rock of our salvation”! A very firm, trustworthy foundation! You can trust His promises and His love!
But if you build your faith and service to Him and others on the shifting doubtful sands of “Eternal Insecurity”, then you might as well never begin. Why sail away in a sinking ship, or fly away in a leaking balloon? Why preach a Gospel—”the Happy News”—to other lost souls, if we’re not even sure and so happy that our salvation is forever? This is actually one added reason why so few Christians actually preach the Gospel! Because as salesmen, they’re not very much convinced about the safety of their product! They’re not sold on the love of Jesus! Therefore we need to know our foundation to safely build on it! As Paul tried to explain as a wise masterbuilder in I Corinthians 10-15: to watch out, how we build on our foundation. He said:
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds upon this foundation… gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall test every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abides, which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.Our foundation is Jesus, our salvation, Who came into our heart and gave us eternal life. On this fact that we have eternal life and that it really is eternal—meaning that we can’t lose it, we can build for rewards. If we build what God has ordered, our works will last! If you build your own works, they will be burned! But even if the house of your works is fully burned, and you don’t receive any reward in Heaven, it says that “you yourself shall be saved”, even though your foundation will be a bit blackened by the fire! But your salvation cannot burn! It stands forever! Salvation is forever!
Now why is this so important? Two main reasons! One is, that this knowledge gives you peace, and the faith to build up a substantial work of God, that you know will last, if you build according to God’s instructions! In other words, you are not an insecure spiritual orphan, but a reassured Child of God, and you will communicate this faith in His love on to others! Faith rubs off! But SO does FEAR! (Galatians 5:4)
“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.”
The second reason is that you yourself, can now begin to realize for yourself, the Love of God which passes all understanding, and “the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free“! A child who knows he is loved unconditionally, will have faith and peace, even if the Father trains or disciplines him betimes for mistakes! He is sure that Jesus will never throw him out, no matter what he does or doesn’t do! And that is mighty important, not just for physical children, but also for God’s spiritual children! As Paul said in Romans 8:37-39…
“…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
NOTHING can separate us from His salvation, it is forever! Paul believed that Jesus was able to keep his soul, that he had committed unto Him:
12 … I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. When we know that God loves us, then we have the confidence that nothing can separate us from Him and that we are always His children! And that status we can never lose! “Faith that works through love“! His love gives us faith! It gives us righteousness by faith! And this is very important! “The righteousness that is of faith!” And that was Paul’s and our Gospel as well!
IS THERE THEN ANOTHER GOSPEL?
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
Then Paul summarizes this corruption of the Gospel in one verse: Galatians 2:21
“I do not frustrate the GRACE of God: for if righteousness comes by the LAW, then Christ is dead in VAIN.”
Paul said about “the concision”, those who claimed to believe in grace, but did their damnedest to hold on to, and produce their own righteousness by keeping the commandments—the law: (Romans 10:2)
“…I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes. 5 For Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which does those things shall live by them.”
This “righteousness of the law” is the same that many churches preach today.
“Yes”, they say, “We believe that Jesus saved us, but we have to help Him keep us saved, by keeping the Law and doing the commandments. They are never sure of their salvation, as they believe that keeping the commandments “PERFECTS the salvation PROCESS”, so to speak! “the man which does those things shall live by them.” And THÁT IS the righteousness of the law! They DO to be saved! Although mostly they DON’T do! As their religion consists mainly of the things that they don’t do! A religion of Donut’s! “Don’t smoke! Don’t Drink! Don’t Dance! Don’t watch! Don’t do this that and the other!” But DO go to OUR Church!
This righteousness of the law speaks…fearfully! (Imagine a quivering insecure churchian here!)
“Who shall go to Heaven?—He that does the commandments and keeps The law!” And “Who shall descend into the deep?–Hell?—He that doesn’t keep the law! Who breaks it! He can lose his salvation!”
Their righteousness, their salvation comes in doing, in keeping the commandments—the law! Therefore it is not anymore of faith by believing, but of fear by their own works! Paul says: (and watch the stresses!)
6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaks on this wise, Say not in your heart, ‘Who shall ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 Or, ‘Who shall descend into the deep?’ (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what does it say? The word is close to you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. 10 For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
So that proves it once more that believing in your heart, and confessing with your mouth—calling on the Lord—means salvation! Do you see that Paul doesn’t add: “and keeps the commandments!” You believe, because you trust in His Words of love, in His promises! The righteousness which is of faith, is a result of your trusting, not your doing! You are not anymore subject to the law for righteousness! You are free from the law by the body of Christ! Freedom from the law! Free, Free, FREE! Hallelujah!
LIBERTY wherewith Christ has set us FREE!
To repeat the second reason why it is so important to know and believe that your salvation is Eternal. You yourself, can now begin to realize for yourself—and as a result for others too—the “Love of God which passes all understanding”, and “the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free!” A child who knows he is loved unconditionally, will have faith and peace, even if the Father trains & disciplines him betimes for mistakes! And what is this liberty? Let’s hear the Words of Jesus Himself! (John 8:31)
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We are Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how do you say, You shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abides not in the house for ever: but the Son abides ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
So here is Jesus’ promise that when He makes us free, we shall be free in deed, in action! Freedom in action! Paul said that Jesus set us free from the law, and thus from sin! Because, as Paul said:
20 …by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe …”
Because by the law, we know what is sin. And as we were bound by the law, we were bound by sin. An analogy.
Say the religious law says: “steal no cookies”, then, if we are bound under the law, we are under sin when we steal cookies! But if we know that Mum loves us and even told us that if we love her and others we are free from the cookie law—then we believe that she has put those cookies out for those of us who love her and belong to her family. Then we are not subject to the law anymore, but we can take those cookies, inspite of the law—as long as we have faith in her promise and love Mom and others, by not hogging all those cookies for ourselves, but share them with our brothers and sisters! And so likewise… we are not under sin anymore, even if others accuse us of breaking the cookie law and judge us unrighteous!
THE LAW OF LOVE
Likewise, many of the churches, do not believe that they can take the cookies, even though they say they believe that Jesus loves them enough that they are part of His family, but they think they have to prove their love to Jesus by keeping the law. Although Jesus has said that to love God and to love others is all His law and the prophets! Jesus gave us a very clear hands-on-training, on how to apply that law of love, the law of liberty, with His treatment of the Sabbath! Which leads to our next subject!
The Sabbath or the Law of LOVE!
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