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Jack Hyles 1985
I .What Is Salvation?
2. Regeneration and Salvation
3. Conversion and Salvation
4. Imputation at Salvation
5. Work Out Your Own Salvation!
6. Eternal Life
7. Salvation and the Law
8. Salvation is More than Being Saved!
9. Election at Salvation
10. The Great Hindrance to Salvation
11. Lordship Salvation
12. God’s Three Great Loves
14. The Salvation of a Nation
15. So Great Salvation!
16. My Saviour Is Also My Friend!
17. Why Hell?
18. The Simplicity of Salvation
MEET THE AUTHOR
Jack Hyles began preaching at the age of 19 and has pastored for over 37 years. These pastorates include churches that varied in membership from 19 to over 72,000. All of these pastorates, other than the present one, were in the state of Texas: First, the Marris Chapel Baptist Church of Bogata, Texas; then to the Grange Hall Baptist Church in Marshall, Texas; from there to
the Southside Baptist Church of Henderson, Texas; and then to the Miller Road Baptist Church of Garland, Texas. He pastored the Miller Road Baptist Church for over 7 years and saw this church, under the Lord, grow from a membership of 19 to over 4,000. It was from the Miller Road Baptist Church that he was called to his present pastorate at the First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana.
Dr. Hyles has been Pastor of the First Baptist Church since August,
1959. This church has a membership of over 72,000 and has averaged for the past 7 years over 23,000 conversions and 7,000 baptisms per year. For many years the church has been acclaimed to have the “World’s Largest Sunday School.” During Dr. Hyles’ ministry the First Baptist Church has increased in property evaluation to over $26,000,000.
Besides his position as Pastor, Dr. Hyles is Founder-Chancellor of Hyles-Anderson Schools, which enrolled over 3500 students last year. The schools are operated by the First Baptist Church and are housed in separate facilities away from the church property. Dr. Hyles has served as President of the Baptist Bible College in Denver, Colorado.
Dr. Hyles is the author of 35 books and pamphlets, exceeding over
8 million copies in sales. One long-play record by Dr. Hyles is alsi available, “Let’s Go Soul Winning” (awarded by the Evangelical Filr Foundation an Oscar as the outstanding talk record of 1967), as well a many tape-recorded sermons.
Dr. Hyles’ experience covers numerous evangelistic campaigns Bible Conferences, etc. He has preached in virtually every state of th Union and in many foreign countries. His annual Pastors’ Schoc attracts thousands of preachers from every state and many foreigi countries.
What Is Salvation?
God made man for a purpose. That purpose was that He might have a race peculiarly made for His praise and glory and honor and that that race might seek to do only His will. Man chose not to fulfill that purpose when he believed the evil one, and he fell from his lofty estate of Edenic bliss and fellowship with God. Now man has fallen, but God still wants to salvage him. Basically, that is what salvation issalvation is a salvaging. Now this salvaging is twofold. When a person is born again, his spirit is salvaged. ‘Mere is more, however, to salvation (salvaging) than being born again. God also wants to salvage our lives. Ephesians 2: 10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
We have in our church a man who is educable slow. He is unable to hold a regular job so he goes from garbage can to garbage can and from roadside to roadside trying to find aluminum and tin. When he finds it, he salvages it. However, it is not salvaged when it is simply pulled from the garbage or from the roadside. To be sure, it is no longer in the garbage, and it is saved from the garbage, but it is not totally salvaged until it is recycled and used again. When inan fell, he became dung. His righteousness became filthy rags. Salvation’s plan was made, but that plan is twofold. The first step in that plan is the salvaging of the spirit of man when man puts his faith in the finished work of Christ. After that salvaging, however, there remains another salvaging (salvation) and that is when man is recycled in order that he
10 SALVATION IS MORF-1 THAN BEING SAVED
may once again fulfill his original purpose just as the tin and the aluminum that are recycled.
Hence, salvation is salvaging everything that is possible. Hebrews 2:3, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him.” The word “neglect” could also be translated “not completing” or “not totally salvaged.” The book of Hebrews was written to Hebrew Christians; it was not written to the unsaved. Hence, Hebrews 2:3 was written to the saved, not to the unsaved. The average preacher who preaches from this passage and the average teacher who teaches therefrom teach that this Scripture tells us that if we neglect being saved, we will not escape the wrath and the judgment of God. Tbough one who teaches that from this Scripture does not do it an injustice, he does not teach the primary truth that God intended for this passage. God is talking here about saved people neglecting their own salvation. It is not primarily talking about the salvaging from the garbage can; it is talking about the salvaging to the recycling. God is saying that He will punish us if we do not let our salvation be complete. Salvation from Hell and to eternal life is totally of Christ, but God wants more than our souls salvaged; He wants our lives salvaged.
We have four children. When our oldest daughter, Becky, was a senior in high school, I bought her a Hammond organ. I told her that the organ was hers as a gift, but that she should not neglect it. She should practice. She should keep it polished and dusted. The organ was saved to her, but it was not yet saved for its purpose. Its purpose was not just to belong to Becky It was more than that. It was both to belong to Becky and be used by Becky for the glory of God.
When our youngest daughter, Cindy, was seven years old, I bought her a beautiful bicycle, Two weeks after I bought it, I found it in the snow. I reminded her that the bicycle was hers, but that she was neglecting it.
God is telling us here that salvation is ours; that is, the salvation of the spirit is by grace through faith, but God wants us recycled so that we may once again fulfill the purpose of our creation. We are saved by
WHAT JS SALVATION? I I
grace through faith from the garbage can. Ephesians 2:8, 9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” We are saved to recyc) 1 ng. Ephesians 2: 10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” The purpose of our being saved from the garbage can is that we may be recycled.
Now don’t misunderstand me. If all God does is save us from the garbage can, He is pleased. He does not want us to go to Hell. He wants us to be saved from sin and born again, but His full desire for us is that once we are saved from the garbage can we be totally recycled so once again we can fulfill the purpose of His creating us.
Because of this, soul winning is far more than we think. We equate soul winning with telling someone how to have his name written in Heaven and how to be saved from Hell and to know he is going to Heaven when he dies. This is soul winning, but it is not all of soul winning. If salvation is more than being saved from Hell, then soul winning is more than leading people to be saved from Hell.
Matthew 28:19, 20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” You will notice we have both forms of soul winning mentioned here. We have pulling people from the garbage can. We also have “teaching them to observe all things,” which means we are also to lead them to be recycled.
John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it to you.” Here we are to bear fruit; that is, save them from the garbage can. Our fruit should remain; that is, get them recycled.
James 5:19, 20, “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and
12 SALVATION IS MORE THAN BEING SAVED
shall hide a multitude of sins.” This is talking mainly about recycling. This is talking about a brother who is saved from Hell but who has not been recycled for his original purpose. When we win him to Christ, we are soull winning. When we win himfor Christ, we are soul winning.
Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” It mentions “he that winneth souls is wise.” He that wins souls to salvation from the garbage can is wise. He that wins souls from the garbage can to the recycling is wiser.
Daniel 12:3, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Here we are told that we are to turn men to righteousness. There are two righteousnesses. One is imputed righteousness which is the righteousness of Christ which is given us at the new birth. The second is the righteousness that we are to live in our lives. The first righteousness has to do with the salvation from the garbage can. The second righteousness has to do with the salvation of recycling.
Psalm 142:4, “1 looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.” This is not the cry of a man who has never been saved begging for someone to care for his soul in being born again. This is a born again man pleading for someone to care for his soul in helping him to get recycled. It is care for his saved soul for which he yearns.
Ezekiel 34:16, “1 will seek that which was lost, and bring a ami that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick …. “‘Ibis is as much soul winning as the person who goes out with the Roman Road plan of salvation and leads someone to Christ.
There are those who never lead people to Christ. They never snatch anyone from the garbage can. They feet their special calling is to lead them to recycling. This is only half their job and they are not totally obeying the Great Commission or the plan of God. On the other hand, there are those who spend all their time plucking folks from the
WHAT IS SALVATION? 13
garbage can and never work to get them recycled. These are not complete soul winners either, for they are only doing half of the Great Commission and leading folks to a salvation that is only a part of what God had in mind in His total plan.
May I ask you, reader, “Are you a soul winner?” Remember that a soul winner is a salvager–one who leads a sinner to choose Christ and one who leads a saint to choose the will of God, the work of God and the plan of God.
The lost man is free to choose good, but he cannot do what he chooses because he is lost. He may admire goodness, choose to do goodness, but he will not do goodness, for even his righteousness is as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” All he can do is choose Christ. Now that he has chosen Christ, not only can he choose to do good, but he can do good. Philippians 4:13, “1 can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Now good is available to him, but he needs a soul winner to lead him to choose the good over the bad, and be recycled.
The first part of soul winning is the choosing of Christ so that the choosing of good will be possible and that good will be available. The second part of soul winning is leading the Christian to choose the good that he now can do since he has chosen Christ. He used to hate the penalty of sin; now he hates sin. He has been delivered from the garbage can of inability to do good. Now he must be delivered to the recycling of the choosing to do the good that is now within his reach because he has chosen Christ.
This means that God not only wants the sinner to come to Christ; He wants the Christian to come to usefulness. He not only wants the soul winner to lead folks from Hell and to Heaven by faith in Christ, but He wants the soul winner to continue his soul winning by leading the Christian to choose to be recycled that he might once again be used for the purpose for which God made him. This is salvation!
Regeneration and Salvation
John 3:7, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” John 1:11, 12, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. 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.” I Peter 1:23, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, Which liveth and abideth for ever.” James 1: 18, “Of His own will begat He us with the Word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” Titus 3:1-5, “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man-, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
The word “regeneration” means “to be gened again.” We were born the first time of physical genes; we were born the second time of spiritual genes. We were born the first time of earthly parental genes; we were born the second time of divine genes. This is exactly what is meant in John 3:5, 7, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot
REGENERATION AND SAivNrION 15
enter into the kingdom of God. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” In verse 7 when It Says, “Ye must be born again,” the Greek word is the same word used for genes. It means, “You must be gened again.” It matters not how good the natural man becomes; he has not been gened right. He may Improve himself, get baptized, take communion, join the church, and reform himself, but he remains a natural man because that which was born was born of natural genes. ‘Ibis is why he cannot understand the things of God. I Corinthians 2:14, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
These new genes must be born from God. John 1:11, 12, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. 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.” Mom and Dad’s genes won’t do; we must be gened from God. The word “born” in this passage comes from the root word which means “gened.” The first time we are born of temporal genes. If we live forever, we must be born of eternal genes. John 3:7, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” God is saying here that the Eternal must gene you if you have eternal life. The Beginning must gene you. That which always was must gene you. The same root word is found in John 1: 1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Revelation 22:13, “1 am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” The old nature cannot live forever because it is born of natural genes. It comes from its earthly parents. For one to be born again he must be gened from above by eternal genes.
What are these genes? They are the Word of God. James 1: 18, “Of His own will begat He us with the Word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” The word “begat” comes from the same word, gened. We are gened by the Word of God. I Peter
1:23, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, Which liveth and abideth for ever.” Once again we have the same word. We must be gened by something
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that is eternal. That means something that was and always will be. This is the Word of God. The Word of God was not written when it was penned by holy men of old. It always was! Psalm 119:89, “For ever,
0 Lord, Thy Word is settled in Heaven.” Someone has said that the Word of God was not penned by man; it was already penned in Heaven before there ever was a man, but we must go far beyond that. There never was a time when there was no Word of God! The Word of God always was and always will be! To this extent, if my genes always were and always will be, then my salvation always was and always will be. My genes are eternal; so my life that they brought to me is eternal. ‘Me genes then are the Word of God, Which is the precious seed of Psalm
126:5, 6, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Now this incorruptible seed gives incorruptible life. I John 3:9, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” The seed was never born, so it cannot die. The life it brings was never born, so it cannot die. According to the duration of the seed is the duration of the life. How foolish it is for one to think that he can have an eternal life by improving a temporal life! Just as the first birth, which is a natural one brought by natural genes, brings forth a life that is natural and not eternal, even so the second birth, which is brought by eternal genes, brings forth a life that is eternal, but in order for it to be eternal, it must be incorruptible! It is folly for one to think that a life brought by corruptible seed can bring an incorruptible eternal life. ‘Mat life that is in me that was born of my mother and father on September 25, 1926, can sin because it was brought forth by corruptible seed; that is, corruptible genes. Hence, it can die. ‘Mat life which was born in me in August of 1937 cannot sin because it came from incorruptible seed; that is, incorruptible genes. Hence, it cannot die. Eternal life cannot spring from corruptible seed, and nothing that one can do to the life born of corruptible seed can make it incorruptible and thereby eternal, nor can that which is done by corruptible seed nullify that which was wrought by incorruptible seed, and a life that
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sprang from incorruptible seed cannot be nullified by a life that springs from corruptible seed, which means the deeds of the natural man cannot stop the life of the spiritual man. In other words, just as man can do nothing to be saved, he can do nothing to be unsaved. Just as the deeds of the flesh cannot bring about the new life, neither can the deeds of the flesh nullify the new life. It can fight against the new nature, as Paul mentions in Romans 7, but it cannot destroy the new nature, for the new nature comes from incorruptible seed which is eternal and brings forth an incorruptible life, which is eternal, that cannot perish. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
This is why salvation cannot be of works. Physical genes can turn over a new leaf. Physical genes can join a church. Physical genes can reforrn, but physical genes cannot cause a new birth that brings a life that is eternal. Eternal life must come from eternal genes. Spiritual life must come from spiritual genes. ‘Mis life is wrought when these spiritual genes, which we call the Word of God, make contact with faith. At that moment we are re-gened or regenerated. A new nature has been born in us that can never sin and thereby can never die. ‘Mis new nature wrought by the genes of God, that is, the Word of God, enters into a conflict with the old nature wrought by the genes of our parents. This war continues, but will of necessity end in victory for the eternal when the old nature reveals finally the weakness of its genes and succumbs to death. However, since that which is in us is greater than that which is in the world, the new nature may have supremacy over the old nature in any given instance or conflict with the old.
‘Mis should compel the child of God who wants to win others to Christ to use the Word of God. It is not our arguing or our reasoning, nor our personality, brilliance or cleverness that gets people bom again. It is the Word of God (that is, the genes of God) which begets sinners. This is the reason that the Bible reminds us that people would not believe just because one rose from the dead. Sad stories are fine. Good testimonies are splendid, but people are not re-gened by good testimonies; they are re-gened by the Word of God. Because of this it
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must be used, it must be preached, it must be taught, it must be teamed, it must be memorized, it must be spread, it must be known. Yes, we must go. Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Yes, we must weep. Psalm 126:5, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Yes, we must preach. Mark
16:15, “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Yes, we must teach. Matthew 28:20, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” However, all of this is in vain unless we use seed, which is the Word of God. Psalm 126:6, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” When we use that seed, that is the genes of God, we are using that which can give life and in response to faith, will give life, a life that cannot die, that must live forever, that is incorruptible, that is eternal because it is bom and conceived of incorruptible seed and has been re-gened or regenerated!
Conversion and Salvation
Isaiah 1:26, “And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.” Isaiah 6:9, “And He said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.” Luke
22:31, 32, “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” James 5:19, 20, “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”
The word “conversion” means “to turn around,” “to change direction,” “a change of purpose.” In summary, it means “turning around the use of something. *onversion then would be “the outward manifestation of regeneration.” Regeneration means “re-gening” or “being born of new genes.” Conversion then would become the outward change brought about by regeneration. It is God Who places in us the new nature and re-genes or regenerates us. Just as the good Samaritan took the wounded man to the inn and commissioned the host to care for him, even so upon regeneration the newborn Christian is to place himself in a New Testament church so that church and the Christians therein can be used by the Holy Spirit for the converting of a life that was used for self to be used for others, that was lived in sin to
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be lived in righteousness, and that was producing works of the flesh to produce the fruit of the Spirit.
Conversion then is the work of the church and its members as they are led by the Holy Spirit to change the life and work of one who has been regenerated.
Redemption is a work of God the Son. Regeneration is the work of God the Holy Spirit. Justification is the ork of God the Father as He declares the sinner righteous in the Sonzonversion then becomes the work of the church as we change the use and purpose of a life.
One block from the First Baptist Church of Hammond there is a building that was occupied for many years by a nightclub. It advertised all kinds of unrighteousness, even to that of nude dancing. For years our people would go to the sidewalk in front of this club witnessing and passing out Gospel tracts. After several years the nightclub closed. We never knew why it closed until one day I received a call from an eastern state. The caller was a gentleman who informed me that he had previously been the owner of the aforementioned nightclub. He told me how that for a number of years he had hated our people because they had bothered him so much with Gospel tracts and with their attempts to try to tell him about the Saviour. He then proceeded to tell me that one night he went home and told his wife that he felt like those people from First Baptist were getting to him. He then said, “Pastor Hyles, they did get to me. I gave my life to God, closed the nightclub, and I wanted to call you to tell you that I am now preaching the Gospel and will be licensed to preach in a few days. I wanted to thank you and your people for being consistent witnesses and for what they have meant to my life.”
Shortly thereafter the First Baptist Church purchased the nightclub building. Upon purchase it was ours. ‘Me price was paid, the deal was consummated and the building changed ownership. However, the building had not yet been converted. It had the same bar, the same furnishings and the same decor. It was purchased. It was redeemed. It was owned by the church, but now it must be converted in order that it might be used for another purpose. As soon as it was redeemed, or purchased, and as soon as it changed ownership, work was begun by
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our people in order that it might be converted to use for God, Had we purchased it and left it as it was, it would not be converted. Neither could we go in and convert it before it was purchased. The converting
s of the building would not have made it ours. It would have made ‘ 4ji
_)t guilty of criminal offense. The purchasing of the building d Id not convert it. First the price had to be paid, then the deal was consum-
10_ mated, the title then changed hands, and then the workmen entered to change its use and convert It to use for God.
Now there are many Christians who are saved but not converted. They have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ but their feet do not walk in new ways; their tongues do not speak a new language; their minds do not dwell on spiritual things. They are saved,’ but they are carnal. I Corinthians 3:1-3, “And 1, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
So regeneration is not a result of conversion; conversion follows regeneration. Conversion does not bring salvation. At salvation, conversion is supposed to begin.
Notice James 5:19, “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him,” and especially take note of the words,
11 any of you” and “convert him.” Notice who gets converted-any of you. This is talking about God’s people becoming convened and it is also God’s people who do the converting. We often ask each other, “How many conversions did you have last Sunday morning?” What we mean is, “How many regenerations did you have last Sunday morning?” Now it would not be a serious mistake for one to use the
,word “conversion” in that manner, but in the strictest Bible sense,
11 conversion” happens to God’s people after they are saved, and it is done by God’s people.
In the aforementioned building used for a nightclub, the buyer didn’t do the converting. When the buyer purchased the building,
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workers were sent in to take out the bar and other things that had been used for evil purposes.
Conversion, then, is a gradual process as believers convert new and weak Christians. Please do not misunderstand. Salvation is not a gradual process! Salvation and conversion are not synonymous!
Luke 22:31, 32, “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Peter had been converted for a long time, but Jesus knew of his denial. He was saying, “Peter, your tongue is soon going to be used for evil. When it happens, it will be converted later and be used again at Pentecost for Me.” He was saying, “Peter, your feet are soon to take you out of My will for the purpose of wrong use, but you will be converted, and your feet will walk again in My will and be used for Me.” He was saying, “Peter, you will soon warm your body by the Devil’s fire, but your body will be converted and be used again for My glory. When it is, strengthen the brethren.” This is very interesting. Our Lord was saying, “Peter, as soon as you are converted, then start working at the task of converting others.” Hence, the converted becomes a converter.
Now notice John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you.” Especially note the words, “fruit should remain.” The Saviour was simply telling us that we are to be soul winners and that as soon as we win someone to Christ, we are to convert them. They are the fruit, but the fruit should be cared for properly in order that it may be converted or remain.
In World War 11, 1 became a paratrooper. I was a member of the
82nd Airborne Division, Special Troops Battalion, Parachute Maintenance Company In jump school and in the early days of my jumping, we jumped from airplanes that were called C46′s and C47′s. Later on we jumped from C82′s, which we called in those days, “the flying boxcar.” Several years after my discharge from the Army, I was flying from Natchez, Mississippi, to Dallas, Texas, on a Delta Air-
CONVE-IRSION AND SAIAWFION 23
lines commercial flight. The plane looked strangely fanu I iar to me. so I inquired of the stewardess concerning the type of plane we were flying. She said, “This is a DC3.- I told her that it reminded me very much of the old C46′s and C47′s from which I used tojunip. She then informed me that that is exactly what we were flying. She told me that Delta Airlines had purchased some C46′s and had converted them for commercial use and called them DC3′s. Here was a plane that had been used for war. It had been purchased and converted that it might be used for peaceful purposes. ‘Me old uncomfortable seats had been taken out and nice plush ones had replaced them. The interior of the plane, as well as its exterior, had been completely changed in order that that which had been used for war might now be used for peace. The stewardess called this “conversion.” Now ‘If Delta Airlines had converted the plane before purchasing it, it would not have been lawful. Likewise, for the child of God to attempt to be saved by his good works is against the law of God. First comes the purchasing, the ownership, the redemption. Then comes the conversion. When the plane was purchased by Delta Airlines, was it converted’? Of course not. When it was declared officially the property of Delta Airlines, was it converted? Of course not. Conversion was done by a group of workmen who were commissioned to convert that which had been purchased. Human instruments went into the plane and carried out the will and obeyed the orders of the purchaser in changing the plane from destructive purposes to constructive ones.
So it is with salvation. We were purchased by the precious blood of Christ, regenerated by the Holy Spirit and Justified by a declaration from God the Father that we are now righteous in His sight, not because of our righteousness but by the righteousness of Christ which was imputed to us by our acceptance of Him. Romans 10:2, 3, “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 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.” Upon our acceptance of Christ, human instruments are commissioned to help us become converted. This is what Ananias did to Saul of Tarsus. ‘Mis is
24 SALVATION IS MORE THAN BEING SAVED
what Nathan did to David. This is what church members are to do to each other, whether it be to a new convert or to a brother or sister overtaken by a fault.
This means there are degrees of conversion. It takes more to convert one who has been in the depths of sin than it does to convert a little child who is being reared in a Christian home and has just received Christ as Saviour. Once again, remember that we are talking about conversion, not salvation. There are no degrees of salvation, but there are degrees of conversion.
During the 26 years that I have been Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, we have purchased many businesses and dwellings to be used for the Lord’s work. We purchased the building owned by the Estee Sleep Shop. It is now used for our Junior I Department. We purchased the Reliable Furniture Company It is now used as a rescue mission. We purchased the Selfer Furniture Company This five-story building is now being used for Sunday school departments and classes. We purchased the Berey Brothers Department Store and now use the building for our Spami sh Department. We purchased the Style Furniture Store. ‘Me buildings were demolished and the property is now being used for parking. We purchased the Werth Furniture Store. It is now being used for our Pathfinder Department and our Sunbeam Department, which is the ministry with our educable slow. We purchased the Hammond Drapery Company, which is now a youth center and is also used for our Blind Department. We have recently purchased the Huisenga Fur and Gift Shop, and it is being converted at this time to be used for God’s work. The same is true for the Elks Lodge building. We purchased the Stoltz Drug Store. It is now used as an auditorium for the preaching of the Gospel in the Spanish language. We purchased the Gene’s Restaurant. It houses our Deaf Department. We purchased the Temple Diner and tore it down in order that we might enlarge our auditorium. We purchased the Minas Parking Garage and now use it for church parking. In addition to these buildings we have purchased a beauty shop, an optometrist’s office, a tailor shop, a hatchery, a nightclub, a storage building, two apartment houses and several dwellings. All of these have been converted from
CONVERSION AND SALVATION 25
secular use or even sinful use to spiritual use. It was inuch easier to convert the apartment house than it was to convert the nightclub. It was easier to convert a dwelling than it was a building owned by a lodge, but in every case, as soon as the building was purchased and the deed was transferred, we started the process of conversion.
Psalm 19:7, “The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” Here we find that conversion is brought about as we use the Word of God. The new convert needs more than Christian fellowship. He needs more than class parties. He needs the Word of God’ We must be reminded constantly that all God has ever done, He has done by His Word. Ten times in the early part of Genesis we find the words, “And God said,” followed later by the words, “And it was so.” The sun, the great light to rule the day, was created and placed in the heavens by the Word of God. Ile moon, the lesser light to rule the night, was placed by the Word of God. The stars that shine like heavenly chandeliers to make the evening to be a great cathedral were placed in their sockets by the Word of God. ‘Me redwood tree of northern California stands as a Samson of the forest because of the Word of God. God painted the deserts of Arizona by His Word and dropped the lakes of Minnesota like 10,000 teardrops of deity by the Word of God. He carved the gorges by the Word of God and raised the mountain peaks like Egyptian pyramids covered by whipped cream by the Word of God. He placed the pine trees standing tall and stately like the heavenly steeple rising above an earthly sanctuary by the Word of God. ‘Me rivers pour into the ocean at the command of the Word of God, and the ocean receives the waters from the higher elevation by the Word of God. The scent of the gardenia was sprayed by the Word of God. The loveliness of the rose was made by the Word of God. Everything that God has ever done has been done by His Word. When the Lord Jesus was tempted by the evil one, He resisted by the Word of God. When He comes again to put down the Anti-Christ, He will put him down by the Spirit of His mouth; that is, the Word of God. If parents are to convert children, If Sunday school teachers are to convert class
26 SALVATION IS MORt- THAN BEING SAVED
members, if pastors are to convert parishioners, if churches are to convert new converts, it must be done by the Word of God.
Psalm 51:13, “Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.” David in this psalm is repenting of his sin following the rebuke he received from Nathan. David is praying in this psalm, which is called a penitential psalm. It is a psalm of repentance and confession of sin and of pleading with God for restoration. One of the arguments that he uses in asking God for forgiveness is that if he is forgiven, he can help convert people. ‘Mere are so many of God’s people who need David’s help, his encouragement, his strength and his teaching, but first David must be converted. He is saved but not converted. For some time now he has been used as an instrument of evil. Now he must be used as an instrument of righteousness. He pleads with God to forgive him in order that he might be converted; in order that he might be used to convert others.
In summary, let us look at God’s divine order. First, the unsaved man must have the facts of salvation as found in the Word of God. He needs the precious seed of the Word of God. Psalm 126:5, 6, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Following the facts comes faith. ne unsaved man puts his faith in Christ. Ephesians 2:8,
9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Then comes the redemption; the price of Calvary becomes valid and we are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus. Then comes regeneration. Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” This is synonymous with the new birth. John 3:5, 7, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” The Father then justifies us, declares us righteous because we are dressed in the
CONVERSION AND SALVATION 27
righteousness of Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justired by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now the purchase is completed. ‘Me sinner has becorne a saint. His name is written in Heaven. God then gives His Word to the New Testament church and says, “In the power of My Spirit, by the use of My Word, convert him so that lips that once were used to curse Me may be converted to praise Me, so that eyes which were once used for evil can now be used for the reading of the Word of God, so that ears that once heard that which was wrong may now hear that which is right, so that a heart that once was filled with unholy motives can be filled with holy ones, so that a mind that was once used for evil thoughts may be used for constructive thoughts and plans in the work of God, so that feet that were swift to shed blood may now be made beautiful because they transport us to places of usefulness in the will of God.” Oh, people of God, not only have we a message to proclaim concerning being bom again, but there is a job to be done for those who are born again in order that they may be converted as well as regenerated, redeemed and Justified.
The story is told about an old man who lived in a run-down shack on a large piece of ground in a beautiful neighborhood. Not only was his house run-down and in obnoxious condition, but his lot was filled with weeds and debris. He lived in filth in a neighborhood that housed the affluent and wealthy Neighbors came to plead with him to clean up his yard and his shack. All of their efforts failed. The Health Department threatened to have him evicted, but he continued to live there in his little run-down shack on a piece of property that was grown over with weeds in a beautiful part of town.
One day one of the neighbors organized a campaign to raise enough money that the neighborhood might purchase his property. A large amount of money was raised and a committee was appointed to go to the old man and make him an unbelievable offer for his house and land. This offer was many times its worth. To their delight, the old man agreed to sell and a date of closing was set. On that date the committee came with their attorney to close the deal. They showed
28 SALVATION IS MORE THAN BEING SAVED
him where to sign, but before he signed he looked up at the buyers and said, “Have you noticed anything?”
They said, “No, what?”
He replied with disappointment, for he had fixed up the old place! He told them how he had cleaned and dusted. He had straightened the furniture and done some modest repairing. He told them how disappointed he was that they had not noticed and that he hoped that his improvements in the old shack would enable them to enjoy it more when they moved in. Of course, the neighbors pitifully replied that they did not intend to move into the house but rather to change it totally and transform it that it might be a credit to the neighborhood.
There are thousands of people who are trying to improve the property of their lives before redemption. ‘Me first thing to do is receive Christ as Saviour and then be baptized and then unite with a New Testament church so that they might begin the process of being converted as the church in the power of the Holy Spirit and with the Word of God helps the new Christians or the fallen Christians to grow in grace so that their members might be used not as instruments of unrighteousness, but rather instruments of righteousness so that they may not only be saved but also converted!
Imputation at Salvation
First came the light. Then the firmament. The waters above were divided from the waters beneath. ‘Men God lit the starry host of the night-the great light to rule the day; the lesser light to rule the night. Then God made the stars also. This was followed by the fish of the sea to populate the watery world beneath, and then came all the tribes of the animal kingdom, after which God was ready for man. He made man in His own image in the likeness of the eternal Godhead.
It was marvelous. Every tree that grew was pleasant to the eyes. Rivers hunted for the ocean as they flowed peaceably through verdant valleys. Every sound was symphonic and every scene was lovely There was no war to palsy the heart, nor was there illness to cause man to fear appending death. The leaf never withered. The wind never howled. There was no frost to cause a chill, no perspiration humidified the brow, and no profanity placed a curse upon the ear. There was no heat, no cold, no weariness. There was no tempest to smite the blossom. Man had not learned to sigh or weep. The rose trembled not at the chill of a frost. Man did not know guilt, and feathered choirs provided melodious harmony for his enjoyment.
Yet something was missing! Man hungered for a kindred spirit to share with him the beauties of Edenic bliss. There was no one to whom he could say, “Isn’t that a beautiful rose? Can you smell the fragrance of the gardenia? Look what a beautiful sunset! Aren’t the blossoms lovely this morning?” He was hungry for a kindred spirit with whom he could share the loveliness of paradise.
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There she comes-God’s satisfaction for his appetite, God’s fulfillment of his desire, God’s creation for his happiness. There she isdressed in all the beauty a human being could possess. Every gesture was filled with dignity, perfection was stamped upon her. Heaven was on her countenance. Love was her fragrance. Eden was transformed as the morning stars sang together and the sons of God shouted for joy.
There they are-man and his helpmeet, man and his completer. Man is now one. Together they shared the beauties of Eden. Garlands of flowers covered their path. Orchards yielded their fruit daily They strolled through gardens that bloomed perpetually They could not define sorrow nor heartache nor grief nor loneliness nor sadness nor depression. They had never seen a funeral or a hospital or an accident. They knew not the definition of a germ. They had never seen a tear nor a furrowed brow nor a wrinkled face nor a moistened eye nor a stooped shoulder nor palsied hands nor a weary back. They had never known of a deaf ear or a blind eye or leukemia or cancer or a bad cold. It was marvelous!
All this time the Lord Jesus was continuing to enjoy fellowship with the Father. Of this He spoke in John 17:5, “And now, 0 Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” Four living creatures sang His praises constantly The sun obeyed His voice. The moon bowed at His command, and the stars waited His orders. He was always in the presence of the Father while angels ministered to Him and planets sang His praises. Multitudes of heavenly creatures adored Him. Trumpets played upon His every arrival and sabers glistened as He walked the golden streets. What blessedness-perfect union in Heaven and perfect union in that other heaven called earth!
Then one day a groan was heard! Something had happened on earth! Ruin had visited and blighted the world. Man had listened to the evil one and a race had fallen. A curse has fallen upon man. He is ashamed of his nakedness. Woman must bear children in sorrow and travail. The winds will how], the frost will chill, serpents will hiss and spread deadly venom. Roses suddenly have thorns, and gentle animals have become ferocious. Man has learned to perspire. The tree has
MPUTNI-ION AT SAI-VNI-ION 31
learned to shed its leaves. The grass has learned to die. The rose has learned to bear thorns. The blossom has learned to be sinitten by a tempest. The wind has learned to chill. and man has learned to die, but worst of all, man can no longer fellowship with his Creator’ ne justice of God causes Him to sever fellowship with man. Thejustice of God said, “The soul that sinneth shall surely die,” but the mercy of God said, -I wish there were some way I could have t’ellowship with man restored.” The justice of God said, -The wages of sin is death,” while the mercy of God said, A love him and miss him so much. ” The justice of God said, “Sin, when it is finished, brin,-eth forth death,” but the mercy of God said, “ForGod so loved the world.” How can His mercy and justice be reconciled’? In only one way-Heaven’s Crown Prince must come to earth! He must live a perfect life. He must fulfill and fill-full the law. Then He must go to the cross and bear the curse of mankind. ‘Me Sinless must become sin. ‘Me Righteous must become unrighteous. God must become man. Perfection must bear the marks of imperfection. Strength must become weak. He Who was rich must become poor. All this He does and more.
He flees to a virgin’s womb. He is born in Bethlehem’s manger. He lives among men and walks on earth for 33 years. There Was DO welcome. The only open door was a bam door. He was born in another man’s stable. He ate at another man’s table. He rode another man’s beast. He slept on another man’s pillow, cruised in another man’s boat and was buried in another man’s tomb.
He went to Calvary and became sin. The King of kings had no throne but a cross. He had no crown but a crown of thorns. He had no sceptor but a borrowed walking stick and no royal robe but a soldier’s overcoat. He had no subjects but a jeering mob. All of this was because He wanted to be able to satisfy the mercy and justice of the Father. He cried, “It is finished!” after having paid it all. He was buried for 72 hours and rose from the dead. Now He can offer salvation to fallen man. Justice and mercy have kissed each other in lovely reconciliation. The fellowship that man enjoyed with God in the Garden of Eden and that God enjoyed with man In paradise can be restored if man will accept God’s plan.
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Upon the acceptance of God’s plan, God imputes to man the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ; and God, Who cannot fellowship with unrighteousness, sees man clothed in the righteousness of His dear Son. Romans 10: 1-4, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 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. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
Man cannot earn that righteousness, for he has sinned. The only hope he has for righteousness is that he receive the righteousness of Christ purchased for him on Calvaryll-man has his choice-to trust his own righteousness and spend eternity in Hell or to trust the righteousness of Christ, which in response to his faith will be imputed unto him, and then spend eternity in Heaven. This is called “imputation in salvation.”
To understand it better, get a piece of paper and a pencil or pen. Write your name at the top and then list under your name some of your sins. Perhaps you will list lying, hatred, envy, malice, vindication, revenge or maybe even some of those sins that we call “bad ones.” Now something must be done with those sins, or there is no hope!
Let us suppose that you decide immediately to cease from those sins. Ah, that’s wonderful, but you still have the past ones on the paper, don’t you? Turning over a new leaf does nothing to atone for your past sins. They are still there on the paper, aren’t they?
Let us suppose that you decide not only to turn from your sins but you decide from now on to do righteous deeds. List some of them on the paper under your sins-perhaps clothing the cold, buying shoes for those whose feet are bare, feeding the hungry, being kind to everybody, loving our enemies, etc. Add your own righteous deeds to the list. Now look up at the top of the paper. Are your sins still there? They certainly are. You are still in debt. The Bible still says, -fbe wages of sin is death,” and nothing has been done to erase the sins. You have added righteousness. You have even stopped adding sins, but
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staring you in the face is that original list of sins for which there must be atonement!
Let us suppose that you join the church. Write below your list of righteous deeds, “church membership,” but you will notice that the sins are still there! You can add baptism, you can add communion, you can even add church work, but the account is still unsettled.
“Oh,” you say, “I understand. We are saved by faith.”
Now that is true only if the object of the faith is the proper one. Faith that there is a God, faith in deity, faith in mankind, etc. will not settle the account.
How shall we account for those sins? Write at the bottom of the list, “Calvary.” It was there where Jesus bore your sins in His body and paid your penalty. Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” You have now trusted Him as your Saviour. He has charged the sins at the top of the list to His own account and has paid for them in full. So, scratch off the sins. That is what He does when we trust Him. Hence, there are no more sins on your record. You are now righteous; not because of what you did or have done but because of what He did. Romans 5:19, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.” Immediately upon your acceptance of Christ and your faith in His finished work of Calvary, God declares you justified; that is, He declares that you are as righteous as Christ because Christ became as unrighteous as you. Romans 3:24, “Being j ustified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Your faith allowed you to receive, and you received because you believed. Faith removed the stone so that God could get to you the whole package.
Now that His righteousness has been imputed unto you, that takes care of the past. His righteousness has been imputed to you and you are dressed in His righteousness alone, but how about the future? Will there not be other sins? What will happen to them? Romans 4:8, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” To a person in Christ dressed in His righteousness, God will not impute
34 SALVATION IS MORE THAN BEING SAVED
sin. Satan, the accuser, may come to God and say, “Did you see that sin that Hyles committed?”
God says, “Yes, I did.” Satan says, “Then impute it.” God says, “I will not!”
Satan says, “Why?”
God says, “It has already been imputed. It has been placed on the record of My Son, and I will not impute sin to those who are in Chri st. ”
In review, let us see the order: (1) Sin. (2) Sin recorded. (3) Jesus became sin. (4) Jesus paid for sin. (5) Man believes it is true. (6) Man receives Christ and His payment for sin. (7) Calvary is made valid. (8) Man’s sins are covered. (9) Man is justified in the sight of God. (10) God will impute no sin to him.
The big question is the sin question. Something must be done with the sins of man before fellowship with God can be restored. The only way to solve the sin question is to solve the Son question. When one receives the Son, the Son receives his sin and the sinner receives the righteousness of God and stands before God now and forever fighteous because he is clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ that has been imputed to man in response to man’s faith and reception of Jesus.
Work Out Your Own Salvation!
Philippians 2:12, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Psalm 51:12, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit.”
We learned in a previous chapter that there are two parts to salvation (salvaging). Perhaps it would be better to say there are two salvations-the salvation of the soul and the salvation of the life, or as the previous chapter emphasized, the salvation from the garbage can and the salvation to the recycling. The first is what David was talking about in Psalm 51:12. Notice the words, “‘My salvation.”The second is the one that is mentioned in Philippians 2:12. Notice the words,
11 work out your own salvation.” Notice, I am not commanded to work out God’s salvation, for I cannot do that. I am, however, commanded to work out my own. I have no part in the salvation of my soul; I do have a part in the salvation of my life.
God reminds me that His salvation is not of works. (Ephesians 2:8,
9) However, immediately He tells me that I was created in Christ Jesus unto good works. (Ephesians 2: 10) This coincides with Philippians
2:12 which admonishes me to work out my own salvation. This means
36 SALVATION IS MORE THAN BEING SAVED
His salvaging is not of works and my salvaging largely depends upon my works.
Notice the following conclusions:
1. His salvation is all His work.
2. My own salvation includes my works.
3. Good works are preparedfor me. Ephesians 2: 10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Notice that the works were foreordained that I should do them.
4. 1 am His work.
5. Then I am His work being preparedfor my work, which is being preparedfor me. Not only is God preparing me for my work, but He is preparing my work for me. He prepared me to be Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. While He was preparing me, He was preparing my work; that is, the church and the people, for me. So I am His work in that He saved me and salvaged me from Hell and ruin. At the same time, I am being prepared for my work while my work is being prepared for me.
6. That means that we are the work, we do the work, and we are the work’s work. This means that all the churches I pastored before becoming Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond were preparing me for the First Baptist Church, and all the time He was preparing me for the church, He was using other pastors at the First Baptist Church to prepare the people for me. In other words, I am to do my work and I am my work’s work. I do not know what tomorrow holds, but I do know that God is preparing good works for me to do. I also know that God is preparing me for the good work that He is preparing for me. Hence, the good work will both be and do a good work, as He prepares my work, I am to prepare for it. That means I am to be there so I can do it when I see it. ‘Ibis means that any good work I see that is needed which crosses my path was put there for me. I must see it when it crosses my path and must be ready and be able to do it. I must not depend on my works for the salvation of my soul, but I must give myself constantly to the working out of my own salvation; that is, the salvaging of my life. It is His business to salvage me from the
WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION! 37
garbage can. It is my business to do my part in working to see that I am salvaged in recycling so that I may once again do that for which He made me.
When the average person thinks of eternal life, the first thing that would enter into his mind is endless life. Certainly endless life is included in eternal life, but there is far more than endlessness to eternal life. It is not only endless, but it is boundless. In His intercessory prayer in John 17, Jesus said in verse 3, “And this is life eternal, that they should know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent.” So eternal life is endless life, but it is infinitely more than that. This passage is not saying that you must know Him to get eternal life. It is saying that knowing Him is eternal life. ‘Ibis eternal life is received by faith in Him. It is more than endless. It could be called “of the ages,” not just “long continuation”;
0 means “life all the way on, all the way back, all the way up and all the way down.” ‘Me Apostle Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not 1, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Then eternal life is more than duration or longevity. It is also a quality of life. It is losing the NOW in the ALWAYS. Eternal life not only describes longevity, but it describes quality. It is living now in the always. When Jesus was tempted, the Devil attacked him with the now. He said, “Do something now. Fall before me now. Get something now.” All temptation is a NOW attack.
Notice, however, that Jesus used the Word of God in fighting temptation. Actually what He was doing; He was using the always
ETERNAL LIFE 39
(eternal) for the now. Psalm 119:89, “For ever, 0 Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.” The Devil shot Him with a now arrow, and Jesus blocked it with an always shield. The Devil shot Him with a second now arrow, and Jesus blocked it with an always shield. The Devil shot Him with a third now arrow, and Jesus blocked it with an always shield. The now is never a match for the always. Satan offered Jesus something now and Jesus shot back with something that was always.
Human wisdom on the part of God’s people in debating the unsaved is fighting now with now. For the Christian to use human philosophy in his battle against the Devil is fighting now with now. For the Christian to use human psychology is fighting now with now.
For example, suppose that a Christian is unhappy He decides to move to another area. He is fighting now with now. Perhaps he will quit something that he is doing for God. He is fighting now with now. Maybe he will change from one thing to another. He is fighting now with now. Maybe he will do something in his own strength to try to cure his unhappiness. Again, he Is fighting now with now.
Now put in your quiver the arrows of always. A Christian is unhappy He flees to the Bible. He is fighting now with always. He flees to soul winning. He is fighting now with always. He flees to fellowship with God. He is fighting now with always. He flees to the will of God. He is fighting now with always. Because he does this, he wins the battle. His happiness is restored.
Any time Satan makes an attack, it is a now attack. He always wants to sacrifice on the attar of today the opportunity of tomorrow. There is only one way to defeat him and that is to pull from our spiritual quiver arrows that are eternal. We must fight him with things that are eternal. The Word of God is eternal, soul winning is eternal, prayer is eternal, worship of God is eternal. The will of God is eternal, and if we win the warfare against his now attacks, we must use the always.
Actually that is what worldliness is. Worldliness is using the now in an effort to be successful. It is avoiding the always for the now. The one who reads in the now is worldly The one whose literature is the always can be spiritual. The one who lives for his own will ‘Is guilty of the now. One who lives for the will of God is using the always.
SALVATION IS MORE THAN BEING SAVED
So eternal life is more than length of life or longevity It is a quality of life. It is equating and comparing everything with the eternal. When Jesus saw a Illy, He used it to teach an eternal truth. When He saw a sparrow, He used it as an illustration of the always. ‘Me same is true with the raven and with a little child. The now always turned His attention to the always. He looks now at a tree but He sees the Always Who is behind it. He looks now at a flower, but He sees the Always Who made it. He looks at a sparrow, but he sees the Always Who watches over him. He looks now at a raven but he sees the Always Who feeds him. He looks now at a Illy, but he sees the Always Who clothes it.
What a wonderful thing is eternal life! It goes on and on and back and back and up and up and down and down. It is boundless, but not only will we have it forever; it is a quality of life that we have now. We now have available eternal life and that eternal life is eternal.
Salvation and the Law
In a real sense the law was given to be broken. This does not mean that God delights when we break the law, nor does it mean that we should attempt to break the law or not attempt to keep it. It simply means that we are unable to keep the law to perfection. It was given to make us aware of sin. The law is perfection to place beside our imperfection that we may realize our imperfection in order that we may realize that we cannot save ourselves. It causes us to flee to the salvation that God has given us through Jesus Christ. On these pages we will discuss the purpose of the law, both to the unsaved and to the saved.
1. The law was given to show us that we are under the curse. Galatians 3:10, 13, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” Man was sinful before the law was given, but the law came in order that sin might revive and be more exceeding sinful. Man was placed under a curse in the garden of Eden because of his sin. However, there needed to be a law in order that man may be constantly aware and increasingly aware of the curse that is upon him that he might realize his ‘Inability to save himself.
2. The law was given to reveal sin. Romans 7:7, 9, “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin,
42 SALVATION IS MORE THAN BEING SAVED
but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” Romans
3:19, 20, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
James likens the law to a mirror. The mirror cannot cleanse; it can only reveal the need of cleanings. James 1:23b, 24, “He is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”
Recently I stopped at a McDonald’s restaurant. I ordered chicken McNuggets with hot mustard sauce. I was extra careful, I thought, not to deposit mustard on my clothing. In fact, I was quite proud of myself for being so careful and tidy. When I got to my office I went to my washroom to shave. When I looked in the mirror, I found that I had spilled mustard on my white shirt. I did not know that I had done so because it was up close to the collar, and looking down, I could not see it. It was the mirror that showed me that I was soiled. I immediately changed shirts. Now the mirror did not clean my shirt nor did the mirror change my shirt-the mirror revealed to me that I needed to change shirts because I was dirty.
Years ago when our oldest daughter, Becky, was a baby I burped her after she had taken her bottle one evening just before I left to go speak. I was already dressed in a navy blue suit. It was a new suit, and I was so pleased with it, and to be quite frank, I thought I looked pretty nice that night. On the way to my speaking engagement I stopped at a large drug store. As I walked down the sidewalk, I noticed people looking at me, but I thought nothing of it because I knew that I had on a new suit. I assumed that they were admiring my new clothing. I walked in the drug store, and everyone who saw me stared at me, but still I was not surprised. It was a beautiful suit. I made my purchase under the careful scrutinization of the clerk. Then I went to a counter to pay. The
sALVATION AND THE LAW 43
cashier said, “Mister, do you realize you have milk or something all over your fight shoulder’?” I rushed to a mirror only to find that Becky had belched sour milk on the shoulder of my suit. Now the mirror did not clean the milk off the suit. The mirror revealed to me my condition, and I fled to that which would cleanse it.
This is the purpose of the lawtibe law is a mirror that reveals to us our condition and causes us to realize that we cannot keep it and that we must flee to Jesus for salvation.
Paul uses the illustration of a plumb line. A plumb line is a long chain or rope with a very heavy rock or stone on one end. The line is held at the top of a wall of a building with the heavy object at the bottom. `17his makes the rope very straight. The purpose of this is to reveal the condition of the wall. If the wall is crooked, it will be obvious as it is compared to the plumb line. A wall may look perfectly straight to the naked eye, but when compared to the plumb line, its crookedness is revealed. The plumb line does not repair the wall; the plumb line shows the need for repair and causes the builder to reconstruct or straighten the wall, The law is a plumb line; it does not straighten us. It shows us we are crooked and causes us to go to Christ, Who alone can straighten.
3. The law is to bring us to Christ. Galatians 3:24, 25, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Paul says that the law is a schoolmaster. A schoolmaster was one who would gather his pupils together and take them to the school in order to insure their safety. When the students got to the school, the schoolmaster returned home and waited until the end of the day when he returned to escort them safely back to their homes. The law is a schoolmaster. It brings us to Christ, Who is the Teacher. The law does not teach; it simply brings us to the Teacher.
The law is the diagnostician. It diagnoses our case and reveals our need. Grace is the doctor who observes the diagnosis and does his work of healing. The keeping of the law cannot heal; it simply diagnoses and shows us that there is a need and leads us to Christ. Paul
44 SALVATION IS MORE THAN BEING SAVED
said that without the law, he would not have known sin. Romans 7:7b, “Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law.”
4. The law cannot save. Galatians 2:16, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
5. The law cannot help in salvation. Galatians 3:1-3, 110 foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
A person examines himself by the law and compares himself to it. He attempts to keep it, but finds it impossible! He then realizes that Jesus is the only Saviour and flees to Him for salvation. As far as salvation is concerned, that is the end of the law. Romans 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” However, that does not mean that the Christian is finished with the law. It simply means that he is finished with the law concerning his salvation. Christ has become the end of that. Once we are saved, however, we turn to the law, and out of love for Christ, we attempt to obey it, not in order that we might be saved, but in gratitude for our salvation!
Years ago in the South during the days of slavery it is said that there was a slave being auctioned one day. This was a young lady who was strong and able. The auctioneer placed her on the auction block and asked for bids. The bidding began. One man especially seemed interested in her, so he kept bidding. The bids got higher and higher, but this one man was deten-nined to buy this young lady. She became bitter toward him and looked at him with hatred. However, he continued in his attempt to purchase her. Finally she began to curse him, but he was undaunted in his effort and determined to reach his goal. At last there were no other bids. She was his. He paid the auctioneer,
SALVATION AND THE LAW 45
whereupon the young lady began to curse more vehemently “I won’t go with you,” she said. A hate you! I hate you! I won’t be your slave! I n
won’t go with you!” The man kindly looked to the young black lady and said, “Ma’am, you do not understand. I saw something in you today that I felt deserved freedom. I decided to buy you in order that I could set you free. I am not taking you to be my slave. I purchased you. You are mine. Now you may be free.” The young lady for a moment looked in silent disbelief. Then tears filled her eyes as she bowed before the man who had bought her. On her knees looking up to his face she said, “Oh, sir, you bought me to set me free, Now I’ll be your slave forever.”
This is illustrative of our relationship to the law. We were bound by the law. We were slaves to it. Jesus said, “I will purchase you to set you free.” We then turn to Jesus and say, “Then I will do my best to please You by obeying Your wishes.” Did not the Saviour say, “If ye love Me, ye will keep My commandments”? This does not mean that we keep the commandments in order to be saved; it means that out of hearts of gratitude, we throw ourselves at the feet of the Saviour and say, “Jesus, I love You! I want to obey You and Your commandments.” Should not a person who is saved and freed from the law still tell the truth, refrain from murder, etc. ? Even though we are not under the law, we are not through with the law! Though the law is not a means to save us, it is a wonderful tool with which to show our love for the Saviour. Romans 3:31, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Romans 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
Now then, let us consider how the law affects the believer.
1. Even after a person is saved, sin is decided by the Word of God. Romans 6:13, “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Coming to Christ does not give us a license to sin; it gives us even more of a hatred for sin and causes us to
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desire to live a life of righteousness so that we can be pleasing to our God and show our gratitude and our love to our Saviour.
2. Jesus set me free FROM sin, not TO sin.
3. Sin is still the transgression of the law. I John 3:4, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
4. When a person is saved, God does not change sin from the transgression of the law to one’s own conscience. God does not “throw the book out the window” at salvation. The obedience to Christ’s commands, though not necessary to salvation, is necessary to happiness and success in the Christian life. Salvation does not set us free from doing right. The God Who hated murder in the Old Testament hates murder in the New Testament. The God Who hated adultery in the Old Testament hates adultery in the New Testament. The law has not be nullified; its purpose has been changed. Whereas it was a mirror to show us our need of Christ, it now is a utensil to enable us to show our love to Him. Just because we are free from the law in salvation does not mean that each person becomes his own law and each person decides what is right. Right is still right; wrong is still wrong, and God’s idea of right and wrong did not change between Malachi and Matthew!
5. The truth is, Jesus strengthened the law. Just a simple look at Matthew 5 will show us that the law of love should go beyond the law of the letter. The Lord Jesus reminds us that the law said we should not commit adultery, but He says we should not even look at a woman with impure thoughts. He tells us that our righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, who were the strictest adherents to the law. He talks about going the second mile. Love should serve more fervently than the law. Love should give more than the law. Love should sacrifice more than the law.
6. The law is still profitable. 11 Timothy 3:16, 17, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” Notice here that Paul wrote to Timothy and said, “All
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Scripture ‘Is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction. etc.” “All Scripture” includes Romans. “All Scripture” includes John. “All Scripture” includes Galatians, but “all Scripture” also includes Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I and 11 Samuel, I and 11 Kings, etc. Though we are not under the law for our salvation, the law is certainly a wonderful instrument with which to demonstrate our love for Christ.
‘Me naming of the dispensations has caused some misunderstanding here. We speak of the dispensation of law and the dispensation of grace. Some people get the wrong idea that there was a day in the Old Testament when people were saved by the keeping of the law and now in the New Testament are saved by grace. Nothing is further from the truth! Adam and Eve were saved by grace. All the Old Testament saints were saved by grace. The purpose of the law In the Old Testament was the same as its purpose in the New Testament-to make sin exceeding sinful, to show us our inability to save ourselves by the keeping of the law. Bear in mind that there was a day before the law. There was a time when the law had not yet been given. Sin was sin, but it is more sinful now.
We often stress carefully the importance of New Testament Christianity Why don’t we just say, “Bible Christianity”? ‘Me God Who wrote the New Testament also wrote the Old Testament. He has not changed; what He hated before He hates now. What was an abomination to Him then is an abomination to Him now. He never changes. Malachi 3:6, “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” He always likes and dislikes the same things. Leviticus 18:22, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” We find here that homosexuality and nakedness are abominations to God. Do you not think they are still abominations to God? Or is it not still true since it is taken from the Old Testament?
Deuteronomy 7:25, “The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God.” Here we find that idolatry was
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an abomination to God. Do you think with the changing of Testaments that idolatry became acceptable with God? No! What was an abomination in the Old is an abomination in the New. Proverbs 3:32, “For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but His secret is with the righteous.” Proverbs 11:20, “They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the Lord: but such as are upright in their way are His delight.” Notice, the froward (the dishonest) are an abomination to God. Of course, that was the Old Testament. Do you think that God suddenly in the first chapter of Matthew decided to embrace dishonesty? No, God hated dishonesty in the Old Testament, and God hates dishonesty in the New Testament!
Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in r1inning to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Here is a list of things that were an abomination to God. Read the list carefully Do you think they are still an abomination to God? Does God like what He used to hate? No! God’s moral law never changes! The law’s relationship with man may change, but what God hated before, He hates now! We have given the law a bad reputation because so many people use it as a toot for salvation. Used in this manner the law is bad, but we have spread some rumors about it that are not true! The law is still good if it is used for the right purpose.
Deuteronomy 22:5, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” Notice again here is something that was an abomination to God in the Old Testament-just like homosexuality, nakedness, idolatry, dishonesty, etc. ‘Me same word, “abomination,” is used concerning God’s attitude toward women dressing like men and men dressing like women. Does God still have the same idea about murder, adultery, dishonesty, homosexuality, but has changed His mind about women and men dressing alike? Of course not! The God Who wanted a division of the sexes in the Old Testament wants a division of the
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sexes in the New Testament. The God Who does not want a woman dressing like a man in the Old Testament does not want a woman dressing like a man in the New Testament.
Occasionally someone will say that we should not tithe because tithing was in the Old Testament. Well, “Thou shalt not murder,” is in the Old Testament also. Shall we murder because that is in the Old Testament? God wanted His people to bring to Him the first tenth of the increase in the Old Testament, but God has not grown old and senile or entered into some kind of change of heart or change of mind. He is the same yesterday, today and forever! His tastes never change; His desires never change! His wants never change; His wishes never change, and by the way, His commandments never change, and His law never changes! The purpose for that law changes. The purpose for the law originally was to bring us to Christ. When we came to Him, He became the end of the law for righteousness, but not for expression of love, not for obedience, not for success and happiness in the Lord’s work.
7. The holiness of the New Testament is based upon the law of the Old Testament. I Peter 1:14-16, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He Which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” Compare that with Leviticus 11:44, “For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” You will notice that the basis for holiness in the New Testament is based here on a statement in the Old Testament.
11 Corinthians 6:14-18, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteous ness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in
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them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” Now notice Deuteronomy
7:2-7, “And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following Me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people.” Deuteronomy 22:6-12, “If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young: but thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days. When thou buildest a new house, then thou shaft make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence. Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled. Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together. Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.” Isaiah 52:11, “Depart ye, de-
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part ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” Notice carefully that the basis and argument that Paul used in the New Testament for separation was built on an Old Testament teaching.
‘Ibank God for the law! It showed me my inability to save myself and led me to Christ, Who became the end of the law for righteousness for me; but thank God, the old law is still there, giving me many, many tools with which I can say to Jesus, “I love You!”
Salvation is More than Being Saved!
John 16:12, “1 have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” Romans 8:32, “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Psalm 51:12, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit.”
Someone said to me recently, “Oh, if these young Christians could just keep their joy!”
I said, “They can.”
The other person replied, “Then why don’t they?”
Of course, there is a reason for this loss of joy. When we receive Christ, we accept salvation and rejoice that we are saved. Yet somehow we think that we will rejoice the same way forever, and we should do so. A Christian should rejoice in his salvation as much 30 years after he accepted it as he did the first moment he was saved. Yet God knows the way we are made. He knows that it is difficult for man to respond to the same stimulus for long seasons of time. So He puts all that He has into salvation that we may discover its jewels one at a time in order to continue in our joy. He freely gives us all things at salvation. Notice again Romans 8:32, “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” However, those “all things” are not discovered all at one time.
Several years ago I had a bad cold. Somebody gave me somel Contac capsules that were called timed-release capsules. In the cap
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sule were many little balls of Contac, but these were wrapped in various degrees of thickness so that one would be dissolved and do its work. By the time that one had lost its effectiveness, another one was ready to go to work. This process was continued so that the medication would periodically be putting itself into my system. Salvation is a great deal like that. At salvation God gives us all things in His great gift. However, He allows us to discover them one at a time in order that we may continually have joy.
Once someone gave me a beautiful, gift-wrapped package. I opened it. Inside there was another beautiful, gift-wrapped package. I opened it only to find another beautiful, gift-wrapped package in it. I kept on opening until I had to open seven packages to get to the gift. Salvation is given to us all in one beautiful package. We open it and receive one of its benefits. ‘Mis causes us to rejoice. However, since the same stimulus often wears thin, God gives us another one to open where we find another aspect of salvation. ‘Men when our joy diminishes, another is available, then later another and another and another.
When a person is first saved, he may be enraptured with the fact that he is going to Heaven and will not go to Hell. Later God says, “Let Me give you another gift,” and the Christian becomes aware of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. He rejoices about this. Then God gives him another gift, whereupon he learns of answered prayer. Again his rejoicing is great. Oh, there are so many different parts of salvation, each wrapped as a part of a beautiful, timed-release capsule in order that salvation may grow dearer to us all the time so that we can retain its joy.
Years ago I went to an amusement park that had many rides. I paid for my ticket and entered into the park. Shortly thereafter I came to a ride that I wanted to enjoy. I walked up and asked the attendant how much it cost. He said, “Mister, when you bought your ticket, every ride in the amusement park came with it. It is all a part of the deal.”
My fiftieth birthday was on a Monday. My daughters who were still at home, Cindy and Linda, were afraid I wouldn’t have a good birthday because I would be flying to a preaching engagement in a distant state. So they conceived an idea. Before I left for the airport they gave me a
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big sack. In that sack were many gifts. I had instructions to open one gift each hour on the hour throughout the day. Now all these gifts were in one package. They felt that they could keep me happy all day on my birthday and prevent discouragement if I could have a gift to open every hour throughout the day.
Several years ago I was on an airplane. An old gentleman was sitting in front of me who obviously had had a stroke or heart attack. He appeared to be so feeble and unable to cope with the situation. Shortly after our takeoff the stewardess came by and asked him if he wanted lunch. He said that he did not. She came back awhile later and said, “Are you sure you don’t want to eat lunch?”
‘Me old man looked up and said, “How much does it cost?”
She said, “Sir, the lunch is a part of the ticket and so is the coffee and tea.” A big smile came across the face of the old gentleman and he said, “Then I’ll gladly take it.” As the stewardess walked away he was still rejoicing with his wife that more than the trip to his destination came with the ticket.
These are just a few illustrations to explain Romans 8:32, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” God has planned blessings every hour for the rest of our lives. All of salvation comes with the ticket. Salvation is more than just a ride to Heaven. It is a marvelous, wonderful, unspeakably happy journey and so many blessed things come with the ticket. No wonder Jeremiah said of the Lord’s mercies, “They are new every morning.” No wonder someone wrote, “I’m pressing on the upward way, new heights I’m gaining every day.” So, Christian, start opening your packages! Eat the meal! Enjoy the trip! Ride the rides! Salvation is more than just being saved; it is all that God has wrapped in one big package which gives us new mercies and new joys ‘and new thrills all along the journey to the Gloryland.
Psychologists tell us that there is more depression on Christmas night and the day after Christmas than at any other time of the year. Some have even gone so far as to say that suicides increase at that time. I told my people that I could help them eliminate the after-Christmas
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blahs when they sit at a Christmas tree surrounded bv wrappings and boxes and realize that the festivities are over. This is the plan I gave them. f suggested they not open all their presents on Christmas morning. Save one for Christmas afternoon and another for Christmas night and another for the morning after Christmas and another for the afternoon after Christmas and another for the next day and another for the next day, etc. This wonderful thing called salvation has a neverending joy because God’s mercies are new every morning. So much comes with the ticket. Ride all the fides you want to ride. Eat your meal. Keep opening boxes. You are saved. You have eternal life, and with that eternal life come so many wonderful things that the Holy Spirit chooses to reveal to us from time to time so that our joy may continue and even intensify!
Election at Salvation
I Peter 1:2, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 1:11, “in Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.”
Let it be understood from the beginning of this chapter that the author is not endorsing hyper-Calvinism and other errors such as irresistible grace, limited atonement, etc. I believe that Christ died for all men and that one’s eternal destiny is in his own hands and his choice for Heaven or Hell is made by his own will. This preface statement is made because it may appear otherwise as we are approaching our destination in this chapter.
It is true that saved people were elected from the beginning. H Thessalonians 2:13, “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” In order to understand that, however, we must first define what was “the beginning.” 11 Timothy
1:9, “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and
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grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” Ephesians 1:4, “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” So we are talking about “before the world began.”
Tben, the Scriptures teach that the believer should make sure of his own election. 11 Peter 1: 10, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” We are admonished to make our own election sure. God does not make our election sure. That is up to man. God did not decide who would be elected. Man makes that decision.
Now notice Romans 8:29, 30, “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.”
1. God was able to elect the saved according to His foreknowledge. Knowing, because of His foreknowledge who would accept the Saviour, God then elected them to several things. ’17his does not mean that He chose who would be saved-that some were chosen to Heaven and some were chosen to Hell. It was simply His foreknowledge that enabled Him to elect and because of His foreknowledge He did elect.
2. God knows no time. Thisis very important! It is hard for man to comprehend the absence of time, but God knows no time. A day with God is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day, so says the Scripture. To us Jesus was slain 2,000 years ago, but to God He was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship Him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
The Scriptures also teach us that we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4, “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”
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Let it be stressed again that this is not God before the foundation of the world electing who would be saved. It is God, Who knows no time, before the foundation of the world knowing who would be saved and electing them to much more than just salvation. He looked down through His foreknowledge and saw me being saved. He did not elect me TO salvation. He elected me AT salvation.
When Moses was commissioned to go to Pharaoh to seek liberation for the people of God, he asked God what he should say to Pharaoh concerning Who sent him. God responded with the answer, “Tell Pharaoh that the I AM hath sent thee.” (Exodus 3:13, 14) God is a present-tense God.
In the mind of God it happened all at one time. Christ was the Lamb stain before the foundation of the world, I trusted Jesus before the foundation of the world, my name was written in Heaven before the foundation of the world, and Christ came in me to live before the foundation of the world. In the mind of God, it was all one transaction. That is extremely difficult for man, with his limitations, to understand.
Now this new nature that is in me is Christ in me. Colossians 1:27, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Since this new nature is Christ, and Christ knows no time, then my new nature also knows no time. This means that in the mind of God I was crucified with Christ. Galatians 2:20, “1 am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not 1, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” How then would it be possible for one who is born again to lose his salvation when before the foundation of the world, God, Who knows no time, knew according to His foreknowledge that I would trust Him and settled the transaction in eternity!
This certainly also takes away one working for his salvation. In the mind of God I was a sinner, Christ died for my sins, I trusted Christ as my Saviour and was chosen before the foundation of the worldbefore I ever did a deed-good or bad! My faith was counted for
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righteousness. Romans 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Let ‘it be really understood that all of this was predicated upon my acceptance of Christ as my Saviour and upon God’s knowing that I would.
Notice now Romans 8:29, 30, “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” It says that whom God predestinated He called and justified. Both of these verbs are in the past tense. When God predestinated me, because His foreknowledge allowed Him to know that I would trust Him, at that time he called me. Bear in mind, God is not limited by time and at that time Hejustified me. I was already declared righteous in the sight of God before the foundation of the world. In the mind of God Jesus had already died for me, He had already called me, I had already trusted Him, and He had already justified me in eternity. ‘Tis true that no man can totally comprehend this, but all saved men can rejoice in it.
‘Men notice also it says, “Whom He justified, them He also glorified.” The glorification of a Christian takes place at the rapture when he receives a body I ike that of Jesus. I John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” Here in these verses God tells me that when He predestinated me because of His foreknowledge, He also called me, justified me, and praise His name, even glorified me! He set aside a glorified body for me before the foundation of the world simply because He knew that I would trust Him as a little )ad almost I I years old in August of 1937. He looked through His telescope of foreknowledge and saw mejust outside the back doorof the Fernwood Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, as a little barefoot, ghetto-bound boy receiving His Son as my Saviour, and when God looking through foreknowledge saw that, at the same time He saw Jesus dying for my
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sins, so He called me, justified me and glorified me. He went ahead and got my body ready that I’ll need at the rapture, and in the mind of God I am already raptured, glorified and with Him. It Is just as good as being done!
Recently I was traveling with my good friend Dr. Russell Anderson. He was reading the Wall Street Journal, and the part that he was reading was not understandable to me. I asked him what it was. He said it was the futures market. After he explained it to me, suddenly it dawned on me-that’s what God did for me. He invested in me and saved me in the futures market!
My mother used to say to me, “Son, I loved you before you were ever born. I had already planned the place for you to sleep. I had some clothes already prepared for you. I read books while I was pregnant hoping that it would affect your little mind. I prayed that God would make you a preacher, and I loved you before I ever set my eyes on you. ”
God in His wisdom, mercy, love and foreknowledge, looks at me today and says, “Jack, I loved you before you were ever born. Knowing that you would be born, I loved you before there was a world. I loved you in eternity with a mind of eternity Knowing that you were going to trust Me, I got ready for you. I went ahead and justified you, called you, even got your glorified body ready, and because I knew you would trust Me, I went ahead and wrote your name in Heaven in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Now, Jack, you didn’t know all of this, and it probably wouldn’t have helped you if you had because you couldn’t have understood it, and even now you can’t fully comprehend it, but I just wanted you to know that My foreknowledge let Me enjoy your salvation a long time before you ever enjoyed it. Knowing what you were going to do made Me love you even more and even before.”
What a salvation! What a Saviour! What a God! What assurance! What security! Praise the Lord! Glory to God! Hallelujah! Amen!
The Great Hindrance to Salvation
There are two salvations-the salvation of the soul and the salvation of the life. The word “salvation” means “salvaging.” God wants to salvage our soul for Heaven and our life for service. ‘Me first is regeneration, which is done solely by the Holy Spirit. It is not of the flesh; it is not of man. The second is conversion, which is taking a soul that has been saved and converting its use so that it may be recycled for its original purpose and fulfill the will and purpose of God.
In salvation the will is involved. Revelation 22:17, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Since the will is that which chooses Christ, the right desires must be created so that the right choices will be made. Ibis is frightening because we decide on the basis of what we think we need, Consequently, our “needer” must be in order. Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Most people use a carnal decision-maker to satisfy carnal appetites in looking for a church. Now if the appetite were spiritual, the decision would be so much easier. It is not difficult to satisfy carnal appetites in the church. If you have an appetite for carnal music, you can find it easily, even in churches which call themselves fundamental. If you want a carnal church program which appeals to the flesh, you will have no problem finding that. Of course, the dangerous thing here is that the decisions
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that affect us for life and eternity are often made because our appetites are carnal. For example, we choose a church because it is friendly, because we like the choir, because the preacher has a good vocabulary, with little or no thought about the power of the Holy Spirit in the services or the zeal for souls or the standards of separation, In other words, we choose an institution that is going to affect our entire lives and, yes, our eternity, on the basis of satisfying our carnal appetites.
One of the most important things that a Spirit-filled pastor has to do is to lead his people to have the proper appetites. ‘Mey must be taught and trained to hunger and thirst after righteousness. Tben, they can be filled. Then it is important that the pastor satisfy that spiritual appetite with spiritual food. For a congregation to be fed and trained property, the church member’s “needer” must be in good repair and the Pastor’s “feeder” must be in good repair. When the church member enters the church auditorium and is properly prepared for the service and hungers and thirsts after righteousness, and the Pastor is walking in the Spirit and is properly prepared, then his food will satisfy the appetites of his people.
Our God reminds us, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12) For an unsaved man to use his carnal nature in seeking the way of salvation is so dangerous! This is why his loved ones and friends should bombard the throne of grace pleading for God to work on his appetite and to give him a desire for the real Gospel so that real Gospel can satisfy that spiritual desire,
Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, 0 Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” A good synonym for the word “meditation” here would be “appetites.” “Let the words of my mouth and the ‘appetites’ of my heart be acceptable in 1by sight.” Now notice Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” When the child of God delights himself in the Lord, God will give him his desires. Now the meaning of this passage could be twofold-that God supplies the desires and then He also supplies the filling of those desires. He first supplies what to want and then He supplies what you want.
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This same thing could apply to Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” My God will supply all your needs. Perhaps it means He will supply the appetite or the presence of the needs, and then He will supply the fulfillment of those needs.
Now look at Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and rind grace to help in time of need.” Notice especially the words, “grace to help in time of need.” This could mean grace to be helped. It also could mean grace to help others. In other words, when we come to the throne of grace, He will help us, and He will also give us grace to help others in their time of need.
It is so vital that any leader be not only a need-filler but a needmaker. It is so easy for carnallity to seek spirituality, both in the salvation of the soul and in the salvation of the life. Now in the case of the salvation of the soul, if the unsaved man has the proper appetite, it will be because his friends and loved ones plead with God to give him the right desire for the true plan of salvation. Then once a person I’S saved, as far as his soul is concerned, the salvation of his life will depend on his walking in the Spirit so that God will not only fulfill his needs but provide his needs; that is, God provides the proper appetite so that He can provide the proper satisfaction and fulfillment of that appetite.
Of course, one of the great secrets to this is found in John 15:7, “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” When we enter into His Word and His Word enters into us, when we enter into Him Who has entered into us, when we abide in Him Who abides in us, and we live in the Book That lives in us, then we will have the right appetites and consequently seek the proper fulfillment of them. When a person gets out of the Bible, his desires will be wrong. Notice in the last part of that verse that when we do abide in Christ and His Word abides in us, we can ask what we will and God will give it to us! The reason is, God knows that if we abide in Christ and His Word abides in us, our wills will be sanctified and our wills will be synchronized with His will. What a safeguard is the Word of God!
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The world is filled with Christian people who have ceased to abide in Christ and have neglected to let the Word of God abide in them and have left spiritual churches for unspiritual ones, left spiritual music for carnal music and have actually become worldly behind the facade of seeking the will of God. “I prayed about it,” they say, but that’s premature! It doesn’t say pray and then abide in Christ and then let His Word abide in you. The abiding in Christ and His Word abiding in you come before the prayer. Young people say, “I prayed about it, and I believe I am to marry him,” or “I prayed about it, and I believe I am to go to a certain school,” or “I have prayed about it, and I believe God wants me to go into a certain profession.” Oh, the folly of thinking that God will lead in answer to our prayers when we do not abide in Him and His Word does not abide in us! We come back to the old answerthe Word of God! When we walk with spiritual giants of the past, travel down spiritual paths with them and learn of their proper decisions, we are more qualified to want that which is best so that God can give us a blank check or a carte blanche that we may ask what we will and receive it. Unless we abide in Christ and His Word abides in us, we will not have the spiritual depth to seek what we need or the spiritual discernment to know the supply when we see it.
John 7:17, “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, of whether I speak of Myself.” Notice here that the “do” comes before the “know.” This is still another way to avoid the hindrances to the salvation of the soul and to the salvation of the life. We must do what we know to do. If we do what we ought to do, we will know what we ought to know. In other words, only when we obey God’s commandments and His will can we know His Word.
There are two parts to the will of God. ‘Mere is the “where” of the will of God, and there is the “what” of the will of God. We spend far too much time trying to find the “where” instead of the “what.” We are supposed to do what God wants us to do, and we are supposed to do it where He wants us to do it. These are the two parts of the will of God. In a college, students are always wanting to know the will of God. What they usually mean is, they want to know where they are sup-
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posed to go to serve, but to them, the where is more important than the serving. All over this world missionaries and full-time Christian workers are in the very place that God wants them, but they are not doing in that place what God wants them to do. The “where” is fine, but the “what” is wrong. I would rather be doing what He wants me to do in the wrong place than doing the wrong thing where He wants me to be. Now ideally a person should be where God wants him doing what God wants him to do.
The emphasis here is that the what comes before the where. We spend our time trying to find where we should be first and then find what we should do there. Our first priority should be to find what we should do and do it. Then we should find where we should do it, If God wanted me to be in California, I would rather be in Maine doing what God wants me to do than in California not doing what He wants me to do. I would rather be soul winning in the wrong place than be in the right place and not be soul winning.
God is a God of divine order, and if our priorities are in order, we can have the appetites that God wants us to have.
John 15:1-7, “1 am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the Word Which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
Now notice God’s divine order. Open your Bible to that passageJohn 15:1-7. Circle the word “fruit” in verse 2 and write a (1) beside it. Circle the word “purgeth” in verse 2 and write a (2) beside it. Now circle the words “more fruit” in verse 2 and write a (3) beside them.
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Now circle the words “abideth in me and I in him” in verse 5 and write a (4) beside them. Now circle the words “much fruit” in verse 5 and write a (5) beside them. Now circle the words “My words” in verse 7 and write a (6) beside them. Now circle the word “ask” in verse 7 and write a (7) beside it. Here is God’s divine order. The goal is to arrive at verse 7 to where God can trust us to ask what we want to ask because He knows our appetites are spiritual enough to where He can give us a blank check.
How do we get to this place to where our appetites are proper and God can trust them? We get there according to the order mentioned. First, we bear fruit. Second, we are purged or separated. Third, we bring forth more fruit. Fourth, we abide in Christ. Fifth, we bring forth much fruit. Sixth, the Word of God is open to us. Seventh, our appetites are so spiritual that God can trust them. Notice several things about this passage.
1. Fruit comes immediately after salvation. It also comes before separation. When a person is saved, he may not know what is sinful and what is not. Perhaps he has not heard preaching or read spiritual literature, but he does find out that he is a sinner, that sinners are lost, that the virgin-bom sinless Christ died a vicarious death for him and was raised for his justification, and that if he would trust Christ and what Christ did for him, he can be saved. A person may do this and be genuinely saved and not know that some of his habits are wrong.
For example, not long ago I was soul winning and won a lady to’ Christ. She was so happy. She had the assurance that she was saved 1 and she was about to shout, She said, “Wait a minute. ” She ran into the” kitchen, got a bottle of liquor, opened it, poured some for me and, some for her and said, “Praise God! Let’s drink a toast to My salvation!” Does that mean she wasn’t saved? Of course not. No doubt: she was genuinely converted, but she did not know enough about right, and wrong to be purged or separated. She asked me to come back and talk to her husband. I did go back, and that night he was saved. Actually, she about won him to Christ before I got there. Now she wa& a soul winner, but she was not yet separated.
The woman at Sychar’s well who came to Christ immediately rd’. back to the city to witness for Him.
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2. When God sees a Christian bearing fruit, He purges him. In other words, God convicts him of that which is wrong, and he becomes separated.
3. This separation now enables him to bringforth morefruit. preachers who preach you cannot win souls until you are separated are wrong. However, you can’t win more souls until you are separated. Separation follows fruit bearing, but it precedes more fruit bearing.
4. After morefiruit bearing, a person comes to the place where he abides in Christ. In other words, he walks with God and lives with God, and Christ is his life. nen God honors him by allowing him to bear much fruit. Notice now that we have three fruit bearers: some bearing fruit, some bearing more fruit and some bearing much fruit. Here is a church having a soul-winning night. Different people come. Here is a person who is not separated. He is a new Christian, but he has been told that even new Christians should witness. He comes to bring forth fruit. Sitting beside him is a Christian who has learned what is wrong and has separated himself from the world. He comes soul winning that night to bring forth much fruit. Sitting beside him is a Christian who has not only been separated but he is abiding in Christ. He not only refrains from doing that which he should not do, but his entire life is built upon that which he should do. He walks with God. He comes to visitation to bring forth much fruit.
Isn’t that wonderful? God enables every Christian who so desires to bring forth fruit!
5. It is noteworthy that every other thing on God’s list of growth in grace has to do with fruit bearing. First fruit, then separation, then more fruit, then abiding in Christ, then much fruit. It looks like the entire Christian life is built around some degree of bearing fruit.
6. Muchfruit isfollowed by the understanding of the Word of God. ‘Mat takes us back to our original passage. Notice again John 7:17, “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself. ” Once we have done His will; that is, the bringing forth of much fruit, we can then know the Word of God. It is interesting that the Word of God follows the much fruit.
7. Then comes asking what we will. Notice the word “will” in John
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15:7. That takes us back to the beginning of this chapter. Since our decisions are made by the will, we need to have a sanctified will. ‘Ibis will can be so sanctified when we have brought forth fruit, become separated, brought forth more fruit, lived in Christ and walked with Him, then brought forth much fruit, and abided in the Word of God. Then our will is sanctified! We will know our needs and our appetites so we can come to God and freely ask what we will, and He is assured that we will ask for the right things.So we must create the right appetite in the sinner for the first salvaging. ‘Ibis is done by preaching to him the Word of God and pleading with God to give him the right appetites. Then we must create the right appetite in the saint for the second salvaging. This likewise is done by the Word of God, but that Word can only be understood after we have done what He tells us to do.
Because of this, any one of us in a place of leadership-whether it is a pastor leading a church, parents leading a child, a teacher leading a class or a principal leading a school-must lead our followers to have the proper appetites so that their will can choose the proper fulfillment of those appetites. This means we should stress to them again and again to obey the command of God, do what He says to do, and once you have done what He says to do, then live in the Book, for He will reveal His truths to you.
Not long ago someone was talking about our teenage bus kids at First Baptist Church. Now I love these young people very much, and I am very proud of them. Someone who noticed the bus kids’ zeal (brought about because the church and God’s work is new to them) compared this zeal with the seeming complacency of the young people in our church who have grown up here, and said, I believe the bus teenagers will turn out better than our own young people who have grown up in the church. ” I told them that could not be true, for we have taken young people for many years and taught them to go soul winning and to do what God says to do. We have bathed them in the Word of God. They have been taught the Bible, and though it may become routine to them, the Bible is still there! The Word is hidden in their hearts, and their appetites have been created by obedience to the
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Word and knowing the Word. This sanctifies their wl)ls, and in the )ong run, they have the best chance to be doing what God wants them to do where God wants them to be.
Colossians 2:16, 17, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” I Corinthians 2:8, “Which none of the princes of this world knew- for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
Now exactly what is Lordship salvation? It is a doctrine embraced by someWMey say that one must receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord in order to be saved. A careful took at this doctrine will show that it is really nothing more but salvation by works rearing its ugly head. It adds to salvation by faith and faith alone something that man must do, and that is make Jesus the Lord of his life.
Those who embrace this doctrine often do so from good motives. They are sick of sub-standard Christianity and shallow Christian living. They find others who agree with them, and as they fellowship in their lamentation caused by disappointment after examining the lives of God’s people, their lamentation becomes doctrine. They do not realize that they are adding works to salvation. They adopt spiritual clich6s such as “if Christ is not Lord of all, He will not be Lord at all.” Then they will adopt other little clich6s like, “Don’t pluck green fruit,” “Easy believism,” etc. Their disappointment and oftentimes disgust with the shallowness of many Christians causes them to go so far in their disdain that they teach heresy They love to talk about returning to New Testament Christianity. Well, the truth is, people
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have not changed since the New Testament. They had shallow Christians then even as we have today. For example, look at I Corinthians
3:14, “And 1, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?” Here we have mention of carnal Christians. Jesus was certainly not Lord of their lives. Yet they are called babes in Christ.
I Corinthians 5:1-5, “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” Here is a member of the church, and the Lord said of him that his spirit would be saved in the day of judgment. What a tragic testimony! He, like Ananias and Sapphira and others, had committed the sin unto death. Certainly Christ was not the Lord of his life.
Galatians 4:8-11, “Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” Once again we have some weak Christians whose lives were not characterized by the Lordship of Christ.
11 Thessalonians 3:6, 14, 15, “Now we command you,
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brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.”
Was Jesus the Lord of Lot’s life when he was in Sodom? Of course not, yet God called him “just.” This does not mean he was just in his behavior, but he was just in his standing before God because he was a believer. Was Jesus the Lord of David7s life when he sinned? Was Jesus the Lord of Peter’s life when he denied the Lord, denied the faith and denied the church? Was Jesus the Lord of Abraham’s life when he fled to Egypt because of a lack of faith? Was Jesus the Lord of Moses’ life when he lost his ticket to the Holy Land because of his sin of smiting the rock twice? Was Jesus the Lord of Jacob’s life when he was in Haran all those years?
Now certainly there is a doctrine called the Lordship of Christ, and the Bible is full of warnings, pleadings and exhortations for God’s children to yield to Lordship. Romans 12:1, “1 beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 6-12, 13, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Galatians
6:10-17, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain, you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they
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may glory in your flesh. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” The admonition to the unsaved is that they accept Christ as Saviour. The admonition to those who have accepted Christ as Saviour is to accept Him as Lord.
Now here are some observations about Lordship salvation.
1. In thefinal analysis, it is salvation by works, which is in direct contrast to the teaching of the Scriptures. Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 3:28, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 4:2, “For if Abraham werejustified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.” Ephesians 2:8, 9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Romans 4-5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
2. Ifone must accept Christ as Lord ofhis life in order to be saved, it would of necessity remove growth in grace. If one has yielded his life to Christ as Lord at salvation, there would be no babes in Christ, but the simple truth is that there are babes in Christ. I Corinthians
3: 1, “And 1, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.” I Peter 2:2, “As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.”
3. Lordship salvation necessitates the doctrine of losing one’s salvation. If one must make Jesus his Lord in order to be saved, then when he backslides to the position to where Jesus is no longer his Lord, consistency would drive us to believe that he is no longer saved.
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‘Ibis would make us doubt the salvation of Peter when he denied the Lord, the salvation of Barnabas when he had contention with Paul, the salvation of Jonah when he left the will of God, etc.
4. Lordship salvation makes noprovisionfor the carnal Christian. None of us takes pleasure in the carnality of a Christian, but the fact remains that there is such a person taught in the Bible. In I Corinthians 3:1 we have the carnal Christian and the spiritual Christian. “And 1, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as babes in Christ.” The world is divided between saved and lost. The saved are divided between carnal and spiritual. I do not delight that there carnal Christians, but I must accept the fact that they exist.
5. Lordship salvation removes grace and would nullify the plainest verses in the Bible concerning salvation. John 3:15, “That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John
5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 1: 11, 12, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. 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.” Ephesians 2:8, 9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” All of these verses plainly tell us salvation is by believing; that is, by faith in the finished work of Calvary.
6. Salvation is receiving, not giving. 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.” In salvation it is God Who does the giving, not man. Man does the receiving. God gives His Son.
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John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God gives eternal life. John 10:28, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” God gives us all things. Romans 8:32, “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” To be a believer, one accepts what God has given. To be a disciple, one gives. Salvation comes from the sacrifice of Christ. Discipleship comes from the sacrifice of self. Salvation depends on God’s faithfulness. Discipleship depends on my faithfulness. Hence, salvation cannot be lost. Discipleship can be lost.
Occasionally someone will say, “You can be saved if you will give your heart to Jesus.” Now I think that people who use this statement are sincere, and many have been saved in response to their appeal, but technically one is saved, not because he gives his heart to Jesus; one is saved because he receives Jesus and His gift of eternal life.
7. Lordship salvation would make salvation a trade or a deal or maybe even a bribe. It would take away the simple reception of Christ for eternal life and would become God giving us something if we give Him something. God would say to us, “You give Me something; I’ll give you something. We will trade, and you will be saved.” Salvation is not my giving God something and God giving me something; salvation is God giving me something and my receiving it. Romans
6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
In order to understand the Lordship of Christ, let us notice the following:
1. The unsaved man is IN the flesh and sin is IN him.
2. He receives Christ. Christ comes IN him. Colossians 1:27, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
3. When Christ enters, the old man does not leave. Tbough Christ is in him, so is the old nature. Romans 7:15-17, “For that which I do
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I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do 1. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” There is the new man and there is the old man in the believer. Romans 7:22, 23, “For I delight in the law of God after 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.”
4. The new man needs new environment. Hence, he is IN Christ. 11 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Ephesians 2:6, “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” The term “in Christ” or its equivalent is mentioned over 130 times in the New Testament.
5. Now that I am IN Christ, many things are made available to me. Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” I Corinthians 3:21, “Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your’s.” Romans 8:32, “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
6. Though these things are available to me, they are notforced upon me, though I live where they are. Notice that I am already in Christ, and now that I am in Him, these things are available to me, but I must choose to have them. One of these things is fellowship with God. Ephesians 2:13, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” Another is a spiritual walk. I John 2:6, “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” Another is His approval. Romans 16:10, “Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus’ household.” Another is spiritual growth. Colossians 2:7, “Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” Another is spiritual maturity Colossians 1:28,
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“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all -wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” Another is sanctification. I Corinthians 1:2, “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and ourls.”
All of these things are available to the believer. All are at his disposal, whereas none were before he came in Christ. When he became a new creature and entered into Christ, these and many other things were made available to him. Now to whatever extent man avails himself of these things that are at his disposal, Christ is his Lord. Naturally, the baby Christian does not avail himself of all the things that are his any more than the babe in the house avails himself to the washing machine or the family car. However, as we avail ourselves more and more of the things that Christ has made for us, we grow in grace and Jesus becomes more the Lord of our lives.
Perhaps the greatest Christian who ever lived was the Apostle Paul. In speaking of himself he said, “0 wretched man that I am.” He called himself “the chief of sinners.” He said the things that he would do, he did not, and the things he would not do, he did. Probably Jesus was Lord of more of Paul’s life than any other person who ever lived, but Paul himself said he had not yet apprehended.
In conclusion, notice the vanity and pride involved in one testifying to his salvation who believes in Lordship salvation. He is saying, “I have made Jesus my Lord.” That means that Jesus controls his life and he is totally yielded. My, what a statement for a person to make about himself! On the other hand, notice the humility in the person’s testimony who says, “I am saved because I received Christ as my Saviour.” He is talking about a salvation that he did not merit. He did nothing to receive it except receive it. It was a gift. Whereas, if we bad to give something to God to get something in return, he and God made a trade and his salvation is earned.
God’s Three Great Loves
There are three great loves in the heart of God. ‘Me first of these loves is holiness. If there is anything that God loves, it is holiness! In Isaiah 6:3 it says, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. ‘I Now why does it say thrice that God is holy? God is a threefold being; He is God the Father, He is God the Son, He is God tht Holy Spirit. God is saying, “Holy is the Father, Holy is the Son, and Holy is the Spirit. ” In Revelation 4:8 it says, Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty.” What does this mean? Our almighty God is a threefold creature, and His name is called Holy-Holy Father, Holy Son, Holy Spirit. Forty-one times in the Word of God our God is called the Most Holy Twenty times He is called the Holy One. Thirty-one times He is called the Holy One of Israel. Twenty-four times in the Bible we find this statement: “Holy is His name.” The first love of God is holiness.
The second of God’s three great loves is justice. God loves justice! In Acts 3:14 He is called the Just. In Acts 7:52 God is called the Just One. In Acts 22:14 God is called that Just One. In Jeremiah 50:7 it says that the Lord is “the habitation of justice.” In Job 8:3 we read, “Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?”
The third great love of God-and this is the good one-is man! These are God’s three great loves. Now I am not talking now about God the Father’s three great loves. I am talking about God the Trinity’s three great loves! Of course, there is no love to compare with the love the Son has for the Father, the love the Son has for the Spirit, the love
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the Spirit has for the Father, and the love the Spirit has for the Son. I am talking about God as a Godhead now-three personalities in one Godhead. Then I’m saying that the great love of that God is first, holiness; second, justice; and third, man.
All three of these walked with God in beautiful harmony in the Garden of Eden. When God made man and fellowshipped with man in the Garden of Eden, God had with Him His three great loves. He had holiness, He had justice, and He had man, but something tragic happened. Man threw a monkey wrench in that beautiful fellowship that God had with His three great loves. Man sinned. You see, God gave man a will because God wanted man to be able to choose to love God. God did not want some robots forced to love Him. God wanted us to have a will that we might choose to love Him.
God is faced with a dilemma! Here is His iove-holiness, and here is His love-justice, and here is His love-man, but man, one of God’s three great loves, has sinned! God has a dilemma. He cannot have all three! God cannot have man, since he sinned, andjustice and holiness. The Word of God had said, “The soul that sinneth, it shall surely die.” “The wages of sin is death.” “Sin when it is finished bringeth forth death.” God had promised a condemnation on sin, and that condemnation was separation from God. God can no longer have all three of His great loves. If sin goes unpunished, and if God receives man back without sin being punished, then God loses justice, forjustice requires punishment for sin! If God were to say to Adam and Eve, “Come on back; all is forgiven,” then man would not receive punishment for his sin and God would lose His justice, and if God loses His justice, then God loses His holiness, for if God is not just, God is not holy!
Now God has one choice of two: God can lose man and retain holiness and justice, or God can receive man back and lose His holiness and justice. God chose to keep holiness and justice and lose man! That is why God put Cherubims at the east of the Garden of Eden with a flaming sword. That flaming sword was going round and round all the time. Why was that flaming sword there? It had to keep Adam and Eve from getting back to the tree of life, for if Adam and Eve had gotten back to the tree of life and eaten of it, they would have
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lived forever, and God would not have had His justice satisfied, and God would not be holy! That is why nobody can get saved because he turns over a new leaf. Turning over a new leaf does not satisfy the justice of God! If God is not just, God is not holy, and if God is not holy, God is not God. The very existence of the Godhead is dependent on His holiness.
A person walks down the aisle in a church. He says, “I am going to do better! I am going to turn over a new leaf! I am going to live right. I am going to quit my drinking! I am going to quit my gambling! I am going to quit my profane life! I am going to quit my cursing!” Then he turns over a new leaf. If God said to him, “Okay, come on back,” then God’s justice would not have been satisfied because payment for sin would not have been made, and God would have lost His justice, and he who is not just is not holy because being unjust is the epitome of sin! If God loses His justice, He loses His holin,ss, and if God let one sinner get to Heaven by turning over a new leaf, God would not be God, and God would not be just!
A person who walks down the aisle and says, “I want to get baptized,” and gets baptized in order that it might help save him, cannot be saved! If God saved one person because he was baptized, God would not be just; hence, God would not be holy; hence, God would not be God.
If one person came down the aisle and trusted the church, and if God let a person come to Himself and let him back into fellowship with his God because he belonged to the church, then God’s justice would not be satisfied; and if God is not just, God is not holy, and if God is not holy, God is not God!
There is more to this than being a Baptist! We say, “We Baptists believe in the security of the believer, in salvation by grace through faith.” ‘Ibere’s more to it than that, brother. It is not the Baptist church at stake; it is the deity of God at stake! If God lets one sinnercome to Himself apart from the penalty on sin being paid, God is no longer God and God has lost his justice, His holiness and His deity!
Remember, in the Garden of Eden there was blessed fellowshipthe justice of God, the holiness of God and man, but man sinned! He
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left God. God turned His back on man because God had to turn His back on man in order for God to retain His deity. He had to be just. You say, “Brother Hyles, we just don’t see it that way. We believe you can take the Holy Eucharist and go to Heaven.”
You can eat the holy cow and not go to Heaven, buddy! You are going to have to have God’s justice satisfied. Though God loves you, if He would let one person get back to Himself without the sin debt being paid, then God would not be God, and the sun would melt the earth, the moon would fall from its lofty position, the stars would fall from the sky and the universe would crumble! There would be no universe and no God! There is more to it than Baptist doctrine. It is the very doctrine of the existence of the Godhead! God says, “I cannot let man back if he decides to do better, for man has sinned! I love man. I want him back. I want him back, but if I take him back at the expense of justice, then I have lost justice. If I take him back at the expense of justice, I’ve lost holiness. If I have lost justice and holiness, I have lost My deity.
Yes, God chose to turn His back on man; nevertheless, He loved man, and God said, “‘Mere has to be some way that I can take man back and still keepjustice and still keep holiness!” Here is the core of the message. Do not miss this.
God the Son stepped forward in the foreordinate counsel of eternity and said, “Father, let Me make a suggestion. Let Me go to earth. Let Me become a man. Let Me be bom of a virgin. Let Me live a perfect life. Let Me fulfill the law. Let Me become righteousness and never sin. Let Me then go to a cross and let Me take all the sins of all mankind and let Me place them upon Myself and charge them to My name. Then let Me die on the cross, and then You turn Your back on Me, and You accept My payment as payment in full for the sins of man. Then I will be buried and rise after three days and three nights, and then, Father, man’s sin will be paid for, and You then can receive man back without losing justice; hence, without losing holiness!”
Let me tell you something. We need to realize the bigness and greatness of our great salvation. I mean, our salvation is based on God being God, and God cannot be God if He forgives one sin because a
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fellow goes to a confessional booth and asks the priest to forgive him. If God would forgive one sin because the pope absolved the sin, God would not be God. Why? Sin has to be paid for!
You say, “Now wait a minute. The priest is paying for that sin.” No, the priest has his own sins to worry about. There must be Somebody Who does not sin. Somebody must pay the debt Who does not owe the debt. Somebody must bear the price Who does not owe the price!
There is only One Who never sinned, and that is God Himself! So God Himself came to earth, was born of a virgin, became a manGod incarnate and God in the flesh, and He lived here 33 years. He never said a word He should not have said. He never thought a thought He should not have thought. He never trod a path He should not have trodden. He never had a motive He should not have had. He never saw that which was sinful to see. No sin entered into Him, and even His bitterest enemies said, “Surely this was the Son of God!” The one who guarded Him said, “Truly, I find no fault in Him.” I am saying that Jesus never sinned! He Who never sinned went to Calvary. He paid the penalty for sin, but He did not have to pay the penalty for His own sin, so He was paying the penalty for your sin and my sin!
Away with church joining for salvation; that does not satisfy the justice of God. Away with baptismal regeneration; that does not satisfy the justice of God. Away with communion salvation; that does not satisfy the justice of Almighty God. Nothing could satisfy the holiness and justice of a righteous God unless the sin debt be paid.
71he old song says this so beautifully.
“I hear the Saviour say,
‘Thy strength indeed is small, Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all.’
Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe,
Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”
Listen, you have to get the debt paid! The debt is the debt of death.
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When God the Father turned His back on God the Son and Jesus cried, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” and saw the back side of God for the first time in eternity and had His fellowship with God broken for the first time, what was He doing? He was taking your sin and mine and all the sins of all the whole world and was placing those on His account! He then stood as a drunkard before God, as a harlot before God, as a thief before God and as a liar before God, and God the Father looked at His own precious Son and said, “Guilty!” God saw Him as a sinner! He Who was perfect became imperfect. He Who was righteous became sinful! He Who was rich became poor. He Who was God became man. Why? So He could pay our sin debt.
Now since the sin debt is paid, God can look to sinful man and say, “Man, I can now take you back, and if I take you back, I can keep My justice and My holiness too!”
Blessed be God, there is a way that God can have His three great loves restored to Him. God must choose between man andjustice and holiness, if man is a sinner. God chose justice and holiness. Now He says to man, “You can come back.” When Jesus Christ died on the cross, the lower point of the cross was pointing to the Hell from whence He saved us, and the top point was pointing to the Heaven to which He saved us, and the arms were extended to the east and west which said now anybody could come back and be received by the Father, but it must be inside the confinements of the justice of Almighty God! Away with confirmation salvation! Away with baby sprinkling salvation! Away with baptismal regeneration salvation! Away with communion salvation! Fifty cheers for grace salvation, for by grace and grace alone, God in His own infinite wisdom devised a plan whereby man can get back to God and justice and holiness do not have to leave God! Now God can receive man back, and blessed be God, there is a way that for eternity you and justice and holiness and God can live forever in perfect peace.
Now this is all contingent on one thing, and that is man’s acceptance! Do you understand how much God loved us? God loved us so much that He could not take us back, because He would not have been God if He had taken us back. If Adam and Eve had gotten back into the Garden and eaten of the tree of life and lived forever, they would
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have lived forever without the penalty for sin being paid. It matters not who you are, you are not going to get to Heaven until your sin debt is paid!
I was on an airplane, and I sat down by a fellow and said, “Sir, in what kind of business are you?”
He said, “I’m an accountant, a CPA, a Certified Public Accountant. ”
After awhile I started talking to him and said, “Could I tell you a story T,
He said, “What is it?”
I took a piece of paper. I said, “I want to talk to you about bookkeeping for a few minutes. I want to put your name up here. (His name was Joe.) I’ll just put Joe Blow up here. Okay, Joe, there is your name. You have some sins charged against your name in Heaven. I stole a baseball glove once when I was a kid. Did you ever steal anything?”
He said, “Yes, I did.”
So I wrote “stealing” there under his name on that piece of paper. Then I said, “Joe, I said a bad word once when I was a boy. Did you ever say a bad word?”
“Yes, I did.”
I wrote “cursing” on that piece of paper. Then I said, “Joe, I have hated folks before, have you?”
He said, “Yes, I have.”
I wrote “hatred” on that piece of paper. “Joe,” I said, “we will let these marks represent all the things that I have done and you have done. You are an accountant, this is your ledger. Because you’re an accountant, you know this-the books must be balanced, but you cannot balance that. The price on that is death or Hell (and I put the word “Hell” opposite his sins). There you are. You have a sin debt, but you have never paid it yet. You will have to pay it someday. Let me show you another piece of paper in the ledger.”
I took another piece of paper and wrote “Jesus” at the top. Joe watched me intently I said, “Joe, one time Jesus went to Calvary. He suffered Hell, so I shall write over here, ‘Jesus paid Hell.’ Jesus must
GOD IS THREE GREAT LOVES 85
have had something He owed. Joe, tell me something bad about Jesus. ”
He said, “What?”
I said, “Well, Jesus paid the payment; He must have had the merchandise. Tell me something bad about Jesus.”
He said, “I don’t know anything bad about Jesus.” I said, “Tell me something good about Him.”
He said, “Love,” and I wrote “love” under Jesus’ name. He said, “Merciful,” and I put “merciful.” He said, “Kind,” and I put “kind,” and we listed a lot of things about Jesus.
I said, “Okay, Joe, if there is no debt registered to Jesus but there is a credit, He doesn’t need that credit, does He, because He has no debit?”
He said, “No. He has a plus one.”
I said, “Yes, and you have a minus one! You have a debit and no credit! Don’t you think it would be a good idea for you to let Jesus transfer His credit to your debit? He doesn’t need it, and you’ve got to have it! Do you know what He will do? If you right now on this airplane would bow your head and look up to God and say, ‘Dear God, I trust Jesus as my Saviour and put my hope in Him to take me to Heaven,’ God would take your name off of this bad list and put Jesus’ name on this bad list. God would see Jesus as guilty of stealing, cursing, lying and cheating. God would take Jesus’ record here which says, “love, mercy and kindness,” and God would put your name up here. Joe, if you would receive Christ right now, God would transfer His credit to your debit, and you would have your sin debt paid and your books would be balanced, and you could go to Heaven to live forever! Joe, that isn’t all! If you did that right now, the moment you put your faith in Christ, God would take your record and tear it up-all those sins God would put behind His back and would remember your sins no more!”
Joe said, “I’m not very smart, but I am an accountant, and I know that’s a good deal.” Joe bowed his head and prayed the sinner’s prayer, and God Almighty looked down and saw His justice satisfied because Joe was trusting the payment of Jesus on the cross as his hope for
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Heaven. When he did, then God was happiest of all. God said, “Hallelujah! I got man back; I got old Joe back, and I got to keep My justice too, and I got to keep My holiness!”
This is a strange thing. I have never said this before, but God likes being God! He likes His job! I had never said that in my life, but God likes His job. He doesn’t want to lose it, and so to keep His job of being God, He had to keep His justice, for if He loses justice, He loses holiness. If He loses holiness, He loses His throne, and if God is cast off His throne, man has no hope! Thanks be to God, the old account was settled long ago, for God in His mercy allowed His Son to come to earth, take upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh, and pay for sin in the flesh! Now anybody can be saved if he will look to Jesus and say, “Jesus, I don’t deserve it, and I’m not coming with my good life because I tried and can’t do that. I’m not coming with the holy water, because that doesn’t do any good. I’m coming with the only thing that will satisfy the justice of Almighty God and thereby keep Him holy and thereby keep Him God. Jesus, I receive You as my Saviour by faith! I’m not trusting what I do but what You did. I’m not trusting my works, what I do, what the church does, what the priest does, what the preacher does, what the rabbi does or what the pope does! I’m not trusting what anybody does; I’m trusting what Jesus did.”
When you trust Him as your Saviour, God in Heaven claps His hands and says, “Glory be! Glory be! Glory be to justice! My justice was satisfied. My holiness is still intact. I’ve got man back now. ” God, man, justice and holiness can live together forever and ever and ever and ever and ever.
Here we find the three great loves of God. Everything is contingent on what you do with Jesus’ payment for your sin. God wants you back, but God won’t take you back and lose His justice. God would rather have His justice than you because the nature of God is justice. God would rather have His holiness than you because the nature of God is holiness.
God said, “Okay, man is gone. I’ve got a choice. I can take man back and lose both of you, justice and holiness, or keep both of you and lose man, or I can think of some plan whereby if man will come to me by faith I can have you, justice, and you, holiness, and you, man!
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Somebody ought to write a song comparable to “My faith looks up to Thee, ’17hou Lamb of Calvary” and “Jesus Saviour, pilot nic over life’s tempestuous sea,” about the mighty, amazing plan of God whereby God Almighty could keep His justice and holiness and receive man back to Himself. It is a marvelous plan! It is the only plan through which God can take you back and have anything to offer you when He receives you back!
Romans 4:1-5, “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 3:28, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” James 2:17-21, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, 0 vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?”
The above passages seem contradictory Romans 5:1 plainly says that a man is justified by faith; whereas James 2 is just as plain in recording that man is justified by works. There seems to be an impasse here; at least, there seems to be a contradiction. Who is right? Is Paul right when he says that a man is justified by faith, or is James right
when he says a man is justified by works? Of course, we know that both are right!
Two persons judge us–God and man. We are justified in the sight of God by faith, as taught in Romans. We are justified in the sight of man by works, as taught in James. God can see the heart. Because He can, He can see our faith, and when we accept Christ in faith, God, Who can see it, justifies man, just as if he had never sinned at all. He declares man holy. He not only forgives him, but He forgets man’s sin. He then goes beyond that and declares man as if he had never sinned. ‘Mis is God’s justification of man. God can do it because He sees the heart.
However, man can see only the outside. The only way he has of knowing that a believer is in fact a believer is by seeing his works. In the First Baptist Church of Hammond we have a ministry with
sailors. Suppose I meet two sailors on the street; one has on a sailor uniform, and one does not. Now God knows that both are sai I ors, but I don’t know. I can tell only by the fact that one is wearing a uniform. I judge that he is a sailor. The one that has no uniform gives me no evidence to believe that he is a sailor. I have no way to judge but by the outside. So it is that God Who sees the heart justifies us in His sight because of our faith. Man who does not see the heart can justify us only as he sees our works.
Suppose that next Sunday morning the owner of the local adult movie house came forward professing faith in Christ as Saviour. If he were sincere, he would be justified immediately by God because God could see the sincerity of his heart and the faith that he had. However, man cannot see that faith. Suppose then that the next Sunday morning a parent takes his child to the Beginner Department of the Sunday school, and there this man who was saved last Sunday is standing at the door welcoming the children! The father is grieved by the presence of this ex-adult movie house owner, and the father asks him what he is doing in front of the Beginner Department. He replies that he is the new Superintendent of the department. No father in his right mind would be pleased to leave his boy in the care of this man! Now the man may be genuinely saved and God Who saw his faith may have justified
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him. The parent goes to the pastor and says, “Pastor, do you know who the Superintendent of the Beginner Department is?”
The Pastor says, “Yes, I know. It’s the man who last week was saved and who owned the local adult movie house.”
The parent of the Beginner child is alarmed and Justifiably so! He says, “Pastor, I just don’t think we ought to make him Superintendent of the department now. He needs to prove himself. We ought to wait awhile and be sure that he proves by his life that he is sincere. I certainly don’t want my child to be under the influence of a man who seven days ago owned an adult movie house.”
I think any parent would understand this father’s position. The new convert was justified in the eyes of God because God saw his faith, but the father of the little boy could not see his faith. He must wait and see his works. Consequently, the man must prove himself before he is given the responsibility of holding such an important position!
Paul in Romans is talking about the justification that God gives when He declares the sinner righteous as if he had never sinned, upon God’s observing his faith. The kind of justification that James is talking about is the kind that the father of the little boy had. He wants that faith proved by good works since he cannot see the faith of the alleged new convert.
Romans 10:9, 10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The believing in the heart justifies the new convert in the sight of God. The confession with the mouth, and for that matter, with the life, justifies the new convert in the sight of man. This is why the Lord Jesus said that we should let our light so shine before men that they would see our good works and glorify our Father which is in Heaven. Man has no other way to judge the sincerity of fellowman apart from observing his works.
In James 3, 4 and 5 we find three different ways that we may justify our faith in the sight of man. In chapter three that faith is proved by the proper use of the tongue. Remember, God knows that we are saved
because He sees the heart and the faith it contains. Man who cannot see the heart justifies his fellowman by his works. One of these works is the change of the use of his tongue. He once was profane in his talk-, now he talks of spiritual things. He once sang songs that were of the flesh; now he sings of spiritual matters. He once spoke evil of his fellowman; he now refrains from such slander. When men see transformation of the use of the tongue, they believe his faith and the sincerity of his profession.
In James 4 our faith is justified in the sight of man by our manner of life.
Years ago a man was contemplating coming to work for me. While he was weighing the decision in his mind, he was in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for a visit. While in the downtown area of the city with a friend, he was told by the friend that the young lady walking in front of them was Becky Smith, the daughter of Dr. Jack Hyles. ‘Me man who was contemplating employment with me said to his friend, “Don’t introduce me to her. Let’s just watch her for awhile and see how she behaves.” It so happened that she was going into a J. C. Penney store. The two gentlemen watched her carefully They told me later that she was a perfect lady, that she was courteous, gracious and kind and that she was certainly a tribute to her dad. I believe that Becky’s behavior had a part to do with this gentleman accepting my offer of employment. My ministry was justified by the behavior of my daughter. Her manner of life justified her dad’s ministry.
Years ago there was a family in Garland, Texas, where I was pastoring. We just couldn’t win them to Christ. I had tried to win them; I had sent my best soul winners by; nearly every member of the staff had tried. All of us had failed. One day at noon the postman in the area sat down on the curb to eat his lunch. The place he chose to sit was right in front of the house of the family we had tried so hard to win. The lady looked out and saw the postman eating his lunch, but first she saw him bow his head to pray. He took off his hat and bowed his head and thanked God for the food. It was an icy, freezing day. Icicles were on the cap of the postman, and yet he took off his cap, bowed his head and prayed. This so impressed the lady that she told
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her husband about it when he got home. The next Sunday both of them walked the aisle and professed faith in Christ. They testified to the fact that the thing that influenced them most was the postman from our church who took off his hat in the freezing rain and said grace. He justified our church by his actions and by his manner of life.
The world waits to see the manifestations of our faith. The world cannot see our hearts. ‘Me only way it can judge is by our works. One of these works is proper use of the tongue. Another is the proper manner of life.
Several years ago a group of teenagers decided to live a communaltype life diagonally across the street from our church. A young man and his female companion were in charge of them. It was really the worst kind of a situation. These young people lived in all kinds of immorality, and they used narcotics freely and drank alcoholic beverages heavily. They would pass out literature in front of their little establishment. This literature contained the filthiest four-letter words and all kinds of evil suggestions. We witnessed to them, but to no avail. We worked through the city to seek the closing of the institution. Again we failed. We exhausted every resource to have the place closed down, but to no avail.
One Monday morning my staff was having a meeting. I looked out through the window in the doorway that leads to the hall from the church chapel, and I saw the manager of the immoral institution across the street standing in the hallway. He was looking through the window and motioning for me to come out in the hall. I did. When I got out there he was weeping. I asked him what was wrong. He said, “Reverend, I’ve got to get saved!” Was I shocked! He proceeded to tell me that for months he had been the manager of the wicked institution across the street. He told me that he had watched me and other members of the church and our behavior. He said, “Reverend, I’ve seen you taking food to poor people while I was ruining their lives with indecency. I’ve seen your kindness to children and young people while I was trying to take them to Hell. I watched you and your people from across the street, and I’m about to die! I want what you have!” In just a few moments he had it! The next Sunday morning with a clean
haircut, a clean shave, a clean white shirt, a well-pressed pair of pants and a matching tie, he came forward professing his faith in Christ as Saviour! The next week his organization shut down. What did it? It was the manner of life of the people of First Baptist Church. Our Christianity was justified by the behavior of our people.
The world watches to see what we have that they do not have. They listen to rock music; some Christians listen to rock music and dress as they dress, sing as they sing, go where they go, talk as they talk. Why should the world want what these Christians have! They have not justified their faith in the sight of the world by the manner of life which they live.
James 3 tells us that we are justified in the eyes of man by the use of ourtongues. James 4 tells us that we are justified by our manner of life. James 5 teaches us that we are justified by our care for each other. ‘Me world waits to see what we have. Since they cannot see our faith, they have to see the results of our faith; that is, our works.
Several years ago a lady came forward to receive Christ as Saviour. However, no one could speak with her because she could not understand English. I summoned one of our Spanish-speaking soul winners to deal with her. He did so, and she was sweetly converted, After the service I went to her and talked with her through this man who had led her to Christ. She was obviously a very well-to-do lady She was immaculately dressed and was wearing a mink coat. I asked her through the interpreter if she could understand anything that I had said in my sermon. She replied that she could not. I then asked her why she came forward to get saved. She then told me that her four-year-old nephew had died with leukemia and that she had come to his funeral service which I had preached. She told me that she sat in the service, and though she did not understand a thing I said, she felt that I was compassionate. She said through this interpreter that she saw my tears and felt that I loved the boy and his family and that I was hurting with them and suffering as they suffered. She said that at the funeral service she promised God that she was going to come back to a service some Sunday. She did, and though she could not understand a thing I said, she said, “Pastor, I could understand your laughter. I could see your
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tears. I could see the earnestness on your face. ” She said, “The reason I wanted to get saved is because it looked so good!” My faith was justified by my care for a little four-year-old boy who had passed away and for his parents who grieved his departure. May God help us to make our faith “look so good”!
A number of years ago I had to go to the dentist’s office. ne dentist that I went to at that time used his wife as his receptionist and nurse. Each time I would go, I would witness to her, and each time I failed to win her to Christ. One wintry day I was in the office waiting my turn. I tried again to witness to the dentist’s wife and failed. Nothing I could say could reach her. (I had tried many times, but each time my attempt ended in failure.) That day as I was sitting in the office reading an old magazine, an old lady walked in the door. She had on tennis shoes. She was poorly clad, and in her hands she was holding a set of false teeth in a handkerchief. There was blood on the handkerchief and blood on the teeth. As she came in, the dentist’s wife said, “Mary, what can I do for you?”
Mary said through a toothless mouth, “It’s my teeth! They don’t fit! I need to have them fixed so they can fit!”
The dentist’s wife said, “Mary, the guarantee on your teeth is up. You should have brought them in sooner. It’s too late now.”
Mary told her that she could not bring them in earlier. The weather had been bad. She lived two miles from the dentist’s office and there was no way for her to get there until there was a slight break in the weather. ‘Me dentist’s wife told her again, “Mary, you are too late. The guarantee is up.”
Mary through tears pleaded, but there was no way.
I looked up at the dentist’s wife and said, “How much would it take to make Mary a new set of teeth like those?”
She said, “Reverend, a little over $400.”
1 said, “Then make her a set and put it on my bill.” The dentist’s wife was stunned!
Within two days my office phone rang. Our receptionist said, “Your dentist’s wife wants to talk to you.” I picked up the phone and the wife of my dentist said, “Reverend, could I come to your office and talk to
you?” She did come and told me that she had not slept since I had asked for the cost of Mary’s new teeth to be placed on my bill. She looked at me through tears and she said, “Reverend, I believe I can get saved now.” She did receive Christ as her Saviour in my office that day. Now what my preaching failed to do, and what my witnessing failed to do, my care for others could do. I am afraid there are far more times when I have failed than when I have succeeded, but this one rare instance illustrates how that our faith justifies us in the sight of God, but man who cannot see our faith justifies us with our care of each other.
No wonder people aren’t saved when they hear of preachers fighting with each other! No wonder they have no confidence in our Christianity when our churches split and are filled with bitterness and hatred! The world watches and waits for us tojustify ourselves by our works.
For years when I was a child my mom and dad each tried to lead me to the path each thought was best. Mama took me to church; my daddy would take me to a tavern and set me on the bar. Mama read the Bible to me and taught me its truths; Daddy told me the Bible could not be trusted. Mama took me to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night; Daddy said that was foolish. Mama taught me to tithe; Daddy said the preacher was just in it for money. Mama told me to trust the preacher and to be clean and pure. I loved my mother, and I loved my daddy I watched their lives waiting for one to justify his position. I became convinced that Mama’s faith was real and that her Bible was God’s Word and that her way of life was best, so I believed her Bible and followed her path because I saw her life and saw her justify her faith by that life!
Years passed. I went into the military service, became a paratrooper, served my country in World War 11, and was discharged at the end of the war. Then for a year I went to the Texas University in Arlington, Texas. My faith was shaken by the professors! Midway through the year I was doubting the Bible, doubting Mama’s faith, and wondering if Daddy was right, for many of the professors spoke the same way that Daddy had spoken. I was very confused.
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Finally I decided to do something to find out who was rightDaddy or Mama. I decided to read the Bible through on my knees. Every day I would get on my knees and read a portion of Scripture. I started at Genesis and read through the entire Bible! When I finished making my sincere search and had completed the last chapter of the Bible, I jumped to my feet and shouted, “MOTHER IS RIGHT!” I had watched her as she lived her life. I had seen her walk to church, sometimes as far as two miles, and often through miserable weather. I had seen her go every Sunday morning, every Sunday night and every Wednesday night. I had seen her as she put me on her knees, when I was a little boy, to rock me and sing, “Brighten the Comer Where You Are.” I had seen her every night take her Bible down and read it to me for 30 minutes and then tell me that the Bible was the Word of God and require me to say that three times. I had heard her every night tell me that the Bible was about Jesus and that He was the Son of God, and she required me to say that three times. I had knelt every night and put my head between her knees and said, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Bless Mommy, Daddy, Earlyne, Jack and everybody, and make me a good little boy. Amen.” (All of this was a nightly ritual at our house.) I had seen her walk two miles to a public school lunchroom and work for 500 a day behind a hot steam table and walk two miles back home. I had seen her take time for her boy and try to be both a mother and a father to him. I had watched her faith. I had heard her pray. I felt her love. Mother, by her tongue, by her manner of life and by her care for others, convinced me that the Bible was true, that Christ was alive and that salvation was real! Many years ago she had been justified in the sight of God because of her faith in Christ, but her son could not see that faith. All he could see was her works. God justified her the moment her faith made contact with Him, but her son justified her as he observed her life through many years.
Ephesians 4:32, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ s sake hath forgiven you.” This passage teaches me that I am to forgive as God forgives. Now if I am to forgive like He forgives, I must search to find
exactly what His forgiveness Is so that I may obey His commandment to emulate His forgiveness. I find in the Scripture that He does forgive. I also find that He forgets our sins. Then I find that when we come to trust Him as Saviour He not only forgives and forgets, but Hejustifies. He declares us righteous; just as if we had never sinned, and He will not impute sin to our record. My, my! That is the way I am to forgive. I call this justified forgiveness. Whatever way He forgave is the way I am to forgive. That means I am to forgive, I am to forget, and I am to justify those who sin against me, just as if they had never done so. When someone sins against me, I am not to put it on his account. I am to forgive him, forget that he sinned against me, and to use a modem illustration, I am not to put it into the computer!
I counsel many hours a week. It is a blessed thing how I can forget about the problems of people with whom I counsel. They tell me things they have done and sins they have committed. When I see them in the hallway at church, I never think of it. Why? I have forgiven them with a justified forgiveness. Their sins are not registered in the computer.
When I get a hard or nasty letter I try to exercise justified forgiveness, which, of course, is the mind of Christ. Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 3: 1, “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.”
This chapter is being written at 2:45 in the morning. I am driving on a mountainous, California highway to the San Francisco airport. A few hours ago I preached. When I finished preaching a young man came to me and said, “I went to Hyles-Anderson College.”
I said, “Yes, I remember you. How are you doing?”
He had a strange look on his face. He even looked guilty He said, “Don’t you remember?”
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I said, “Remember what?”
He said, “Don’t you remember that I was expelled from school?” I said, “Of course not.”
He said, “Well, I came to your office and met with the committee.” I said, “Son, I don’t record that in my mental computer. I have forgiven, Ihave forgotten, and you are justified just as if you had never sinned.” I call this justified forgiveness.
Years ago a preacher vowed that he would destroy and ruin my ministry Years passed. He himself had long since been out of the ministry. One day I was thinking about him and I wrote him a letter and asked him if there were any way I could help him get back in the ministry. I told him that I would be happy to help him find a church or help him get revival meetings in case he wanted to be an evangelist, or if there were any other ways I could help him, I would be glad to do so. He wrote back and told me that he was stunned. He asked me how I could make such an offer when he had tried to destroy my ministry years ago. To be quite frank, I had forgotten that he had tried to destroy it because I did not allow it to enter my computer. I call this justified forgiveness.
Many times folks asked my mother what kind of a boy I was when I was young. She always replied, “Jack never gave me a minute’s trouble.” When I hear of this statement I always wonder why I had to have so many spankings if I never gave her a minute’s trouble. Why did the peach tree in the back yard never keep its limbs long enough to bear peaches? Why do I bear its marks on my legs until this day? The simple truth is that when I did wrong, Mother forgave me and forgot my wrong. It was not recorded; it was not placed in her computer, and in her mind I had never sinned at all. Mother is 96 years old now. She is senile and most of the time is confined to one little room. However, in a sense she has been “senile” for years. Her memory has never worked well when she is asked to remember my sins. She exercised justified forgiveness to me. She forgave; she forgot and she justified me just as if I had never sinned.
‘Ibank God, that is exactly what Jesus did for me. When I trusted Him as my Saviour, He forgave me of my sins. He forgot my sins, and
because He charged them to His record and imputed His righteousness to me, He could declare me righteous, just as if I had never sinned. I am justified in the sight of God. Hallelujah! It happened when I put my faith in Christ because God could see my faith. Now may my use of my tongue, my manner of life and my care for others justify me in the sight of mankind so that they will believe my faith and see my works so that many will trust my Saviour!
The Salvation of a Nation
U Chronicles 7:14, “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Leviticus 2:13, “And every oblation of thy meat-offering shall thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat-offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.” Numbers 18:19, “All the heave-offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the Lord, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the Lord unto thee and to thy seed with thee.” 11 Chronicles 13:5, “Ought ye not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?”
In this manuscript we treat the subject of the salvation of the soul. We also treat the subject of the salvation of the life. We come now to discuss the salvation of a nation. Just exactly how are nations saved? This does not deal with all the people of a nation coming to Christ but rather how a nation can be saved from destruction and from God’s total disfavor so that our sins can be forgiven and our land can be healed.
To understand this properly we turn to the phrase, “the covenant of salt.” 11 Chronicles 13:5, “Ought ye not to know that the Lord
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God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of saft?” A covenant of salt was a covenant made between individuals pledging an unbreakable friendship. They vowed that strong friendship to each other, and as a symbol of that covenant, they ate bread and salt together. The bread symbolized the nourishment of the friendship and the salt with its savoring capacity emphasized the durability of the friendship. Salt had an important part to play in religious ceremony and sacrifices in the Word of God. For example, salt had to be in every sacrifice. Leviticus 2:13, “And every oblation of thy meat-offering shall thou season with salt; neither shah thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat-offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer saft.” The Christian is called the salt of the earth, Matthew 5:13, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Christ is called the Bread of Life. John 6:35, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.”
The conclusion is, Christ will enter into a covenant with His people-a covenant that will not be broken. However, God will not enter into a covenant with a nation unless there is enough salt for the preservation of that nation. Since Christians are called the salt of the earth, there are two requirements for this covenant before God will enter into such an agreement: First, there must be enough salt in that nation. Second, that salt must have not lost its savour. God is looking for enough salt that is savoured in a nation so He can spare that nation from destruction. Note what this salt is. Salt represents the righteousness of Christ. Savoured salt represents personal righteousness. These two forms of righteousness are mentioned in Romans 10:1-3, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own
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righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”
Abraham came to God and begged for the salvation of Sodom. His nephew, Lot, was there, and Abraham did not want Lot and his family destroyed. He asked God that if he could find 50 righteous people, would God spare the city? God agreed to do so. Abraham could not find 50, so he pleaded for the salvation of Sodom if he could find 40. Again he failed. Then he asked if the quota could be lowered to 30. It was. He failed again and requested the quota be lowered to 20. Again he failed to find 20 righteous people. Finally God agreed that He would save Sodom for 10 righteous people!
Now it must be understood that these ten righteous people must have both imputed righteousness and personal righteousness. They must be salt and they must be savoured salt. This was the only hope for the city. Genesis 19:1, “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.” Notice that Lot was at the gate of the city. Some have suggested that he was an alderman. Others have with justification, supposed that he was the mayor, for at the gate of the city sat the judges, magistrates and city leaders. The business of the city was done at the gate, much as it is done at city hall today. At least we know one thing-Lot was a city official. Neither cities nor nations are saved because the right officials are elected! The soul winner does more for the salvation of his nation than does the precinct captain. The answer for America is not excessive political involvement on the part of God’s people, but it is the excessive soul winning on the pail of God’s people and the excessive preaching of righteousness, separation and standards in our pulpits and in our homes!
I believe that God has a quota set for America-a quota of righteous people who are possessed with the imputed righteousness of Christ in response to their faith and with the personal righteousness of a holy life! I do not know what that quota is. In Sodom it was ten, but I believe with all my heart that God has placed a number of people as a quota for the salvation of this land, and that God will enter into a covenant of
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salt with us if we can find sufficient salt that has not lost its savour! The answer for America is not in a generation of preachers who leave their pulpits and leave their soul winning to enter into politics. Of course, we should vote. Of course, we should pray for our elected officials. Of course, as citizens we should have some participation influencing others to vote properly, but this should be minute in comparison with the gathering of salt. This nation and every other nation will be spared only by direct intervention from God Almighty! I am talking about the walls of Jericho crumbling. I am talking about the drying of the Red Sea. I am talking about the sun standing still for Joshua. The only hope for America is for soul winners to get busy winning souls and for leaders to get busy preaching personal holiness so that God will enter with us into a covenant of salt and will spare our land!
Now notice Genesis 19:26, “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” Why was Lot’s wife turned to a pillar of salt? There was not enough salt in the city to cause a covenant of salt. When a city was taken in battle, its destruction was finalized when the conqueror would sow it with savourless salt. What a symbol this is! Savourless salt will not spare a nation; it causes its destruction!
What then brings the salvation of a nation? 11 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” A nation is not saved because the homosexuals straighten up or because the drunkards sober up. A nation is saved when there are enough Christians to form enough salt with savour so God will make with that nation His covenant of salt! Those Christians must needs be separated and holy in their living. For many years this has been my goal in my ministry. I have gone day and night for years. The thrust of my ministry has been twofold-soul winning and separation, for I believe with all of my heart that if we can get enough people saved and possess the imputed righteousness of Christ and then get those people holy so they will possess personal fight-
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eousness, God will look down from Heaven and forgive our sins and heal our land. Notice again the words in 11 Chronicles 7:14, as follows:
1. “If My people, which are called by My name. you have the salt.
2. “Shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways.” There you have the salt with savour.
3. “Then will I hearfrom Heaven, and willforgive their sin, and
will heal their land. ” Here you have the salvation of the nation. The answer, therefore, is in building soul-winning churches over the length and breadth of this nation and in preaching of separation and personal holiness in those churches. The answer is not in the White House; it is in the church house. It is not house-to-house registering of voters; it is house-to-house preaching Christ.
I have four children and nine grandchildren. I have lived a lot of years. At this writing I am 58 years of age. I have preached over
41,500 sermons. I have flown nearly five million miles on airplanes. I have watched this nation deteriorate. Every patriotic American longs to see our nation spared. Some feel that the sparing of that nation is in social programs. Some feel that its sparing is in political reform. Some feel that the nation can be spared if conservatives stay in the White House and the Senate. I believe that America can be spared only by Divine intervention! It will take a miracle akin to that of the crossing of the Red Sea or of the crumbling of the walls of Jericho. I believe that God must intervene. He will not intervene until we have won enough people to Christ and made enough of them holy so that God, Who is the Bread of life, can meet with His holy people, who are the salt of the earth, and that salt and bread can be mingled into a covenant of salt so that God says to the nation, “I will enter into an agreement with you for an unbreakable friendship for your generation. ”
I long to see my children and grandchildren live their lives in the kind of America that I have known. I long to see the judging hand of God stayed. I have given most of my life to this end. When I lay my Bible down, walk out of the pulpit for the last time after having
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preached my last sermon, I want to look at those who follow me and say, 1 did my best to get enough salt and to get enough salt savoured so that you will have the nation I have had, the chance that I have had, and the freedom that I have known.” I may be wrong. I don’t think I am.
May God give us preachers and churches aflame with the message of salvation and stricken with compassion to preach holiness so that we may have enough people with imputed righteousness and enough of those with personal righteousness so that God will look from Heaven and say, “America has met My quota. There is enough salt and enough savoured salt for Me to enter with them into a covenant of salt so that their generation may be spared.” To this end I work! For this I pray! In this I hope! God, save America!
So Great Salvation!
Hebrews 2:3, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him.” The above verse is one of the most misinterpreted in the Bible. The usual interpretation is that if one neglects being saved, he will not escape the wrath of God. The truth of the matter is that this verse does not primarily apply to the unsaved. The book of Hebrews was written to Hebrew Christians admonishing them to grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a book exhorting them not to turn back but to go forward and be all that their potential would allow them to be in the will of God.
The illustration that is used in Hebrews is that of the Israelites. They were in the land of Egypt, which is a symbol of the natural man, the unsaved man. Through the Passover lamb and the crossing of the Red Sea they entered into the wilderness, which is a picture of salvation. Their journey across the wilderness symbolizes the Christian who is not yet Spirit-filled, but the fact that they would journey across the wilderness as they were going from Egypt toward the Promised Land symbolizes growth in grace. Then the Promised Land is a symbol of the Spirit-filled life. These three places-Egypt, the wilderness and Canaan represent three types of people in the world as far as their relationship with God is concerned: the natural man (unsaved), the camal Christian, and the spiritual Christian.
I Corinthians 2:14, “But the natural man receiveth not the
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things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” I Corinthians 3:1-3, “And 1, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
The Israelites had crossed the Red Sea. Now they are saved from Egypt and they are marching through the wilderness toward the land of Canaan. They come to a place called Kadesh-Barnea. Twelve spies are sent out to view the land of Canaan and to bring back a report concerning the feasibility of the Israelites entering into the land and conquering it. These twelve spies return with glowing reports of the magnificence of the land. They tell that it is a land that flows with milk and honey. They bring back samplings of the grapes and pomegranates and speak glowingly concerning Canaan’s land. However, they bring a negative report. They declare that the people are giants in the land of Canaan and that the Israelites are grasshoppers in comparison. The report is that they cannot possess the land and the recommendation is that they not attempt to do so. The people followed them and accepted their recommendation. Because of this, all the people over
20 years of age were consigned to the wilderness for the rest of their lives and only those under 20 would ever have a chance to see the Promised Land. There were two exceptions to this, however. Those exceptions were Joshua and Caleb, for they were the only two of the twelve spies who felt the land could be possessed!
Because the Israelites refused to enter into the land, God sent them in the wilderness to wander for 40 years and then to die without ever seeing their dream fulfilled of entering into the land chosen for them.
‘Ibis is what God called “neglecting” so great salvation. These people had so great a salvation-so great that they had been delivered from Egypt with the Passover lamb; so great that they had crossed the Red Sea on dry ground; so great that the armies of Egypt had been drowned in that same Red Sea as they pursued the Israelites; so great
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that God gave them manna from Heaven daily; so great that God gave them water from the rock in Horeb as it was smitten by the rod of Moses; so great that they were led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night; so great that God came to the Holy of Holies in the form of the Shekinah Glory and dwelt with His people over the mercy seat in the tabernacle. It was a “so great salvation.”
However, they neglected that salvation! Because they did, they never entered into the land of Canaan. This is the illustration that God uses to warn us. He is reminding us that if we neglect the salvation that we have, we will never be what we could have been. He is reminding us that there is only one chance to be our very best. ‘Ibis is not to say that God.does not still love us and cannot still use us if we do not seize upon theone great opportunity that is ours. Tbough the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and never got to enter into the Promised Land, they still were led by the pillar of fire by night and the pillar of cloud by day, and they still ate the manna that came each morning from Heaven. God still loved them. ‘Mey were still His children. They never entered back into Egypt (natural man), but they never achieved that great purpose for their lives.
The same is true with the child of God today. When he receives Christ as Saviour, he enters into the life of growth in grace. He is a Christian, but he is still somewhat carnal and a babe in Christ. He continues to grow as he reads the Bible, prays, fellowships with God’s people, is faithful to church, etc. Then the big opportunity presents itself He can either become the Spirit-filled Christian God intended him to become and the success that he wants to be, or he can refuse his one big opportunity and go back into mediocrity. He has neglected so great salvation.
‘Ibis neglecting of so great salvation is not that of the unsaved man neglecting being saved; it is that of the saved man neglecting the salvation that he has.
When our oldest daughter, Becky, was a freshman in high school she asked me if I would buy her a Hammond organ. Of course, I could not afford such an expensive gift. It was Christmastime; it was hard to say, “No,” but I could not afford a $1600 gift just for one child. During
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her four years of high school Becky asked me each Christmas for a Hammond organ. Finally, during her senior year at Christmastime, I bought her a Hammond organ. I paid $40 down and promised to pay $40 a month until it was paid in full. On Christmas morning the door opened and in came a beautiful Hammond organ. “Oh, Daddy, I love it! I love it! You are the best daddy in the whole world!” she cried. She was so happy. I then sat down and said to her, “Puddin’, this organ is yours. It is a gift from your dad, but woe be to you if you neglect it! You practice. You keep it dusted and polished, and if you neglect it, there is punishment awaiting.” God comes to the Christian and says to him, “Salvation is a gift. It is the greatest gift ever given to mankind. I want you to have it. It is yours to enjoy and to keep forever, but woe be to you if you neglect it. You will not escape My punishment, My chastisement or My wrath if you neglect the salvation that you have.”
When our youngest daughter, Cindy, was seven years of age she came to me at Christmastime and said, “Daddy, would you buy me a new bicycle for Christmas?” I went to the best bicycle shop in the Calumet region and picked out the best bicycle for a seven-year-old girl. At that time the best bicycle for a seven-year-old girl cost $69.95, and at that time my salary was less than $ 100 a week, so it was a great investment. On Christmas morning the door was opened and the bicycle rolled in. “Oh, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy! ‘Ibat’s the prettiest bicycle in all the world. I love you! I love you! I love you!” she said. (I guess there is not a happier time humanly speaking in a person’s life than the time he gets his first brand-new bicycle. Most of us still remember the day when we fixed our eyes upon our first brand-new bicycle.) We had a wonderful Christmas. It was a warm day for the midwest, and we enjoyed riding Cindy’s bicycle.
Two weeks passed. I was preaching one night in Denver, Colorado. I flew back during the night and got back to my house about three o’clock in the morning. It was 20′ below zero, 20 inches of snow had fallen, and the drifts were much higher than that. As I drove in the driveway guess what I saw sticking out of the snow! You guessed it! A little bit of the handlebar of the best bicycle for a seven-year-old in Lake County, Indiana. Did I dig the bicycle out of the snow? Not on
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your life! I ran upstairs, opened the door to Cindy’s room, turned on the light, grabbed her by the nap of her pajamas, held her eyeball to eyeball and said, “Young lady, how should you escape if you neglect so great a bicycle? I paid sixty-nine hard-earned dollars and nmetyfive hard-earned cents and bought for you the best bicycle that I could find for a young lady your age in this county, and you have neglected that great gift. Now get out of bed, get on your boots, your coat, your hat, go out in the garage, get the shovel and dig that bicycle out of the snow!”
That is exactly what God is saying to us. He is saying, “I have given you such an amazing, marvelous gift of salvation. How dare you neglect it! How dare you rob Me of the tithes and offerings! How dare you leave your prayer closet empty day after day! How dare you leave the Bible unread and unloved! How dare you be unfaithful to God’s house! How dare you live as the world, speak as the world, sing your rock music, and follow the unisex movement in your dress! How dare you drink your liquor, smoke your cigarettes, have your heart filled with envy, covetousness and bitterness! How dare you not give your all to Me in the light of the so great salvation that I have given to you!”
Now just how great is this salvation? It is so great that before the world began, God in His foreknowledge looked down and saw the fall of man. In eternity’s cabinet meeting, Jesus volunteered to leave Heaven and come to earth to become a man, to fulfill and fill-full the law, to go to Calvary and pay the penalty for our sin, and to rise again for our justification 72 hours later, to ascend to the right hand of the Father as our Intercessor, to prepare for us a home in Heaven and come and receive us unto Himself and take us to Heaven forever.
How great is this salvation? So great that God did become flesh and fled to a virgin’s womb. How great is this salvation? So great that He was born in Bethlehem’s manger, angels announced His coming, shepherds came to worship Him and wise men brought Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
How great is this salvation? So great that for 33 homesick years Jesus lived away from the Father. Foxes had their holes; birds had their nests, but He had no place to lay His head. He was expelled from His
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own synagogue, forced to leave the city of His birth. He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was betrayed by one of His twelve, wrongly tried by Pilate, scourged by the cat-o’-nine-tails until Isaiah tells us that one could not even tell that His body was that of a human being. How great is this salvation? So great that after His scourging, a cross was laid on His back, and He was forced to carry it up Calvary So great that when He bent beneath the load, Simon of Cyrene carried His cross to the top of the hill. How great is this salvation? So great that He was placed on that cross and nailed to it as a common criminal. How great is this salvation? So great that the cross was lifted between Heaven and earth, one point pointing to the Hell from which He saves us, another pointing to the Heaven to which He saves us, the other two pointing to the east and the west saying that everybody that way and everybody that way can be saved from Hell to Heaven by what is transpiring on the cross. How great is this salvation? So great that on the cross He cried, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” He dipped His own soul into the torments of Hell and paid the penalty for your sins and mine!
How great is this salvation? So great that Jesus was laid in Joseph’s tomb and rose after three days and three nights. How great is this salvation? So great that He ascended back to the Father and even now sits on the fight hand of God as our Advocate, our Intercessor, our Mediator, our Daysman, our Go-between, our Attorney, our Lawyer!
How great is this salvation? So great that He is preparing a home in Heaven for us now, a home where the streets are paved with gold and the gates are made of pearl, where no crepe shall ever darken the doorknob, no brow shall ever furrow, no face shall ever wrinkle, no crow’s feet shall ever adorn the eyes, no hand shall ever be palsied, no foot shall ever walk an unsure step and no back shall ever bend. There will be no cancer, no heart attack, no leukemia, no sadness, no sickness, no sin, no heartache, no loneliness, no sorrow, no broken hearts or broken homes or broken lives or broken dreams or shattered air castles, and we shall live in His presence forever and ever and ever until forevers become forevers and forevers become forevermore!
How great is this salvation? So great that someday the trumpet shall
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sound and the dead in Christ shall rise and we which are alive and remain shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and we shall forever be with the Lord.
How great is this salvation? So great that we shall be with Him in the air for seven years enjoying the marriage of the Lamb and facing the judgment seat of Christ, where we shall be given rewards for our work on earth. We Christians shall receive crowns for their labors of love. We shall then take those crowns and hurl them at Jesus’ feet, shouting that He alone is worthy to receive honor and praise and glory!
How great is this salvation? So great that after seven years we will join Him in a cavalry trip on white horses back to the earth. He shall ascend the royal stairway of Mt. Zion and shall be King of all the earth! Jerusalem shall be the headquarters and the capital city. Washington will bow before Jerusalem; Moscow will lay at its feet. London, Paris, Berlin and Cairo shall be paralyzed in obeisance to Jerusalem and the King, Who will reign for 1000 years on the earth. How great is this salvation? So great that …
“Jesus shall reign where’er the sun Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom spread from shore to shore, Till moons shall wax and wane no more!”
We shall rule and reign with Him for 1000 years in a kingdom of peace where righteousness shall conquer unrighteousness, good shall conquer evil, justice shall conquer unequity; where the wolf and the lamb will lie down together peacefully; where the child shall play at the cocatrice’ den, and the serpent shall be tame and offered as a pet for children’s enjoyment. Someone who dies at the age of 100 will be just a child dying prematurely How great is this salvation? So great that at the end of the 1000 years we will see the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband!
How great is this salvation? So great that earth was not big enough for its display, nor the heavens large enough for its platform. It can be housed only in eternity.
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How great is this salvation’? So great that it cost Heaven its crowned Prince! So great that God gave us a Book to tell us of Christ. In Genesis He is the Promised Seed. In Exodus He is the Passover Lamb. In Leviticus He is the Scape Goat. In Numbers He is the Brazen Serpent. In Deuteronomy He is the great Lawgiver. In Joshua He is Prophet, Priest and King. In Judges He is the great Judge of the earth. In Ruth He is the kinsman Redeemer. In Samuel He is the anointer of kings. In Kings He is King of kings and Lord of lords. In Chronicles He is the great Historian. In Ezra He is the temple Builder. In Nehemiah He is the wall Builder. In Esther He is the Saviour of Israel. In Job He is the great Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. In the Psalms He is the Song of the ages. In Proverbs He is the Truth. In Ecclesiastes He is the great Preacher. In Song of Solomon He is the wonderful Lover. In Isaiah He is Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. In Jeremiah He is the weeping Prophet. In Lamentations He is the street Preacher. In Ezekiel He is the Rebuilder of the millennial temple. In Daniel He is the Stone cut out without hands that will someday come back to earth and break in pieces the kingdoms of this earth and establish a kingdom that will cover the earth with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea. In Hosea He is the spurned but forgiving Lover. In Joel He is the Trumpet. In Amos He is the One standing upon the altar. In Obadiah He is the Great Vision. In Jonah He is the One buried for three days and three nights. In Micah He is the One coming out of Bethlehem of Judah. In Nahum He is our jealous God. In Habakkuk He is the burdened Prophet. In Zephaniah He is the great Counsellor. In Haggai He is the Encourager. In Zechariah He is the great Motivator. In Malachi He is the Son of Righteousness. In Matthew He is King of kings. In Mark He is the suffering Servant. In Luke He is the Son of Man. In John He is the Son of God. In Acts He is the Power of the church. In Romans He is the Dynamite of the Gospel. In Corinthians He is the Restorer of the carnal nature. In Galatians He is the rent Veil. In Ephesians He is our Heavenly One. In Philippians He is our Sufficiency. In Colossians He is the Shadow of the One to come again. In Thessalonians He is our coming Saviour. In Timothy He is our great appearing God. In Titus He is our blessed Hope. In Philemon He
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is the Forgiver of a wayward slave. In Hebrews He is the Best of all. In James He is the Fulfiller of the law. In the epistles of Peter He is the Rock of our salvation. In the epistles of John He is our Assurance. In Jude He is the One Who is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. In Revelation He is the One coming on a white horse to establish a kingdom on earth where Jesus shall be King of kings and Lord of lords and shall rule and reign for 1000 years!
How great is this salvation? So great that it is built around the Person of our lovely Christ. In Matthew 17:8 we are reminded they saw no man save Jesus only “And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.” In Luke 4:20, we are told that “the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him.” The Greeks came to the disciples and said, “Sirs, we would see Jesus.” The first name given Him was brought by the angel Gabriel to the humble home of Mary, when the angel said in Luke
1:31, “Thou shalt call His name JESUS.” Isaiah looked down through the telescope of prophecy and said, “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” In 24 of the 27 books of the New Testament, He is in the first verse. The name “Jesus” is the seventh word of the New Testament. His name is the seventh word from the end of the New Testament. His name is the first name mentioned in the New Testament and the last name mentioned, and between those two times Jesus is mentioned 700 times. In the Bible He is called the young Child, the holy Child, the Nazarene, the Lord, the Lord Jesus, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord from Heaven, the Lord of glory, the Lord of righteousness, the Lord and Saviour. He is called Christ Jesus, the Lord’s Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath, our Lord. He is called Saviour, Emmanuel, Teacher, Rabboni, Governor. He is called Lawgiver, Redeemer, Messiah, Shiloh, Deliverer, Mediator, Intercessor, Prince of Peace, the King of glory. He is called the Banner, the Ensign, the Captain, the Desire of the nations, the Judge, the righteous Judge, the Author, the Finisher, the First-fruits, the Advocate. He is called the Peace, the Ransom, the Passover, the High Priest, the King of Right-
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eousness, the King of Salem, the King of Peace, the King of kings, the Just One. He is called the Holy One, the Faithful Witness, the Commander, the Consolation of Israel, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He is the first Begotten of the dead, Elect of God, the second Adam. He is called the King of the Jews, the King of Zion, the King of Israel, the King of saints, the King eternal. He is called the Vine, the true Vine, the Root of Jesse, the Offspring of David. He is called the Door, the Door of the sheep, the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, the Angel of the Lord, the Lamb of God, the Water of life, the Living Water, the Living Bread, the Bread of Life, the Word of Life, the hidden Manna. He is called the Way, the Truth, the Life. He is called the Tree of life, the Light of life, the Prince of life, the Day Star, the Day Spring. He is called the tried Stone, the living Stone, the elect Stone. He is called the Temple, the sure Foundation, the Rock, the Rock of Ages, the Spiritual Rock. He is called the I Am, the Resurrection, the Life, the Messiah, the Son of man, the Son of God, the Son of Abraham, the Son of David, the Son of Righteousness, the Son of the Highest. He is called the Anointed. He is called God’s dear Son, the beloved Son, only begotten Son, Almighty, Man of sorrows, Friend of sinners, Gift of God, unspeakable Gift, the Power of God, the Wisdom of God, the Image of God. He is called the First, the Last, the Alpha, the Omega, the Beginning, the End, the Ancient of days, the Lord of lords. He is called God with us, our elder Brother, the Friend that sticketh closer than a brother, the Firstborn, the Master, the Good Master, your Master, Lord and Master, the Passover. He is called the Fulness of the Godhead, the Bridegroom, Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. He is called the Lily of the valley, the altogether lovely One, the Fairest of ten-thousand, the bright and morning Star. He is called the Rose of Sharon, that Prophet, the High Priest, the Priest after the order of Melchizedek. He is called Ruler, the Stone cut out without hands. He is called Servant, Servant of servants, lowly One, the Desire of the nations, Lamb of God, the Lamb, the Com of Wheat, He is called the Lamb of the altar, the Door of the tabernacle, the Light of the candlestick, the Bread of the table, the Incense of the altar, the Veil to
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the Holy of Holies, the Shekinah of the mercy seat. He is called the bleeding Lamb, the cooing Dove, the lowing Oxen, the red Helfer, the brazen Serpent ‘. He is the Juice in the cup and the Bread in the tray at the table of communion. He is all of this and more, and our great salvation is built around Him!
More pens have written of His name than all the names of history combined. More chisels have sculptured Him, more orators have described Him, more institutions have been named after Him, more brushes have painted Him, more lives have been changed by Him, more choirs have sung of Him and more poetry has been penned of Him than of any other person who ever lived on the face of the earth.
This so great salvation must not be neglected. It is so great that it takes eternity to hold it and to describe it. How dare feeble creatures of earth, frail, lost, depraved and condemned be the recipients of this marvelous salvation and then receive it, only to neglect it and not give it our best!
Now the question comes-how do we neglect this salvation? There are two ways we neglect it. Hebrews 12:1, 2, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Notice we are to lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us in order that we may run with patience the race that is set before us. The way that we neglect this so great salvation is by not running the race that God has set before us; that is, not doing His perfect will in our lives. This race cannot be adequately run if we carry weights and sins with us. God through His Holy Spirit with the pen of His men reminds us that we neglect this salvation first if we do not lay aside our sin. However, there is something else that is seldom mentioned in the preparation for this race in order that we will not neglect so great salvation. That something else is the laying aside of our weights. What is a weight? A weight is something that is not wrong to do, but it hampers us in running the race that God has set before us.
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Let us suppose that a runner is running a 100-yard dash. He lines up at the starting line, preparing for the race and awaiting the starting gun. Somebody notices that he is drunk or that he is high on dope, and someone reminds the crowd that he spent the night in sin. Will he win the race? Of course not. Sin will keep him from it.
Now let us suppose that right beside him there is another runner. That runner is sober. He rested for the night, watched his diet, exercised and is prepared for the race. He is on his knees ready for the start, waiting for the starter’s gun. He buttons his overcoat around him, laces up his combat boots, straightens his hat on his head. Will he win the race? No. Because of sin? No. Because of weights! The overcoat will do the same thing to him that the sin would do to the runner beside him. Neither will win the race. One will lose because of sin; the other will lose because of weights, but as far as the outcome is concerned, the weights are as much a handicap as are the sins.
Many fundamental believers make an honest effort to live a separated life. They have confessed their sins and forsaken them as much as is possible, but they are still not winning the race that God has set before them because they are encumbered with weights. The great tragedy of a person being where he should not be is not that he is where he should not be; the great tragedy is that if one is where he should not be he cannot be where he should be! The great tragedy of sin is not what sin does to us, but it is what sin keeps us from doing!
Because of this, the altar at church should be not only a place to forsake sin but a place to forsake weights. What is it in your life that is hindering you from running the race, thereby causing you to neglect so great salvation? Is it sin or is it a weight? Whatever it is, lay it on the altar so you can run with patience the race that is set before you, so you can avoid the neglecting of so great salvation.
“Okay,” you say, “show me my weights.” I wish I could, but I cannot, for your weight is not my weight and my weights are not your weights. Now sin is the same for all of us. Drinking alcoholic beverages is a sin for you and a sin for me. Immorality is a sin for you and a sin for me. Lying is a sin for both of us, yea, to all of us. Cheating is a sin for everybody I can tell you your sin, but I cannot tell you your
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weights, for your race is not my race and the will of God for your life is not the will of God for my life.
Suppose that I were preaching at your church, and suppose that you had never seen me or met me. You had heard of the First Baptist Church of Hammond and of Hyles-Anderson College and of Dr. Jack Hyles. You had a desire to meet me and see what I looked like. Suppose that you got there early on the night I was preaching at your church, and suppose you waited outside to see me as I drove in the parking lot to be the first one to shake my hand, and then you were surprised to see me ride up on a motorcycle. I am wearing a helmet, goggles, turtle-neck sweater, leather jacket, blue jeans and boots. Would you be surprised? Of course, you would! Would you be diasppointed? I think so. Now is there anything sinful about a motorcycle? No. Is there anything sinful about a turtle-neck sweater? No. Is there anything sinful about goggles? No. Is it a sin to wear a leather jacket? Of course not. Is it a sin to wear blue jeans? Certainly not. Is it a sin to wear boots? No. But if you saw me dressed like that coming to preach for you, and if others likewise saw me dressed in that manner, I would not be able to run the race as effectively as I could otherwise. If someone in the congregation rode up on a motorcycle, it would not affect their race for that night. My race would be to preach the Gospel and the Word of God. The layman’s race would be to hear me. For me to ride up on a motorcycle would hinder my race.
One of the deacons in the First Baptist Church of Hammond is a doctor, and he paid $30,000 for a brand new Mercedes Benz automobile, called me out in front of the church building and said, “Pastor, I want you to have it. It’s a gift.” Of course, I told him I could not accept it because the driving of a $30,000 Mercedes Benz would be a weight for me. I cannot live above the lifestyle of my people, and folks would be surprised to see me driving such an expensive automobile. The doctor kept the car. It was not a weight to him. No one lost confidence in him or was disappointed to see him drive it. It was a weight for me; it was not a weight for him.
Years ago I was a softball pitcher. It became too much of my life, and to be quite frank, I was a little bit too tense in my suggestions to
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the umpires concerning their failures! So when I became Pastor of a Baptist church as a 2 1 -year-old man, I gave up softball. It was a weight to me. Now the truth is, many of our members play softball, and it does not become a weight to them, but to me it is a weight.
What is it in your life that is a weight? What is that something that hinders you from running the race that is set before you and thereby causes you to neglect so great salvation? Lay it on the altar right beside your sins! Turn from it so that you may not be incumbered as you run the race that is set before you, so that you may not neglect so great salvation.
‘Tis true-salvation is a gift. God comes to us after He has given us that gift and says, “Don’t neglect it. Keep it out of the snow. Keep it polished. Work on it.” This is not in order that you might be saved, but because you are saved with so great salvation!
My Saviour Is Also My Friend!
Proverbs 18:24, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Jesus is my Saviour, but in this chapter I will not write of that. Jesus is my Redeemer, but at this moment I will not speak of that. Jesus is my King, but I will bypass that thought for a moment. Jesus is my Lord, but I will pass that truth for awhile. In this chapter I want to speak of my Saviour as my friend.
The heart of man is always craving friendship. Happy is the man who has a friend. Happier is the man who is a friend. Happiest is the man who has a friend and is a friend. However, it is a little difficult in the June and July days of life to tell the difference between an acquaintance and a friend. We have to wait for the chilling winds of December and January for true friendship to be tested. it is not easy to tell the difference when the sea is smooth and reflects Heaven’s blue. You find out only when the sky is overcast and storms descend, for friendship to be proved must be tested by a tempest.
In these paragraphs I want to speak of my Friend, a true Friend. I want to tell you some things about His friendship, especially will I address those of you whose hearts are lonely, whose sky is dark, whose way is rocky and whose faith oft turns to doubt. I too am alone a lot and have found my Saviour to be a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
There are so many lonely souls all about us-a college student who shares his freshman dorm with strangers; a serviceman who seeks
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slumber in far-away army barracks; the shut-in whose world is a room, whose sky is a ceiling, whose sun is a 60-watt light bulb, whose horizon is a wall, and whose meadow is a floor; the patient who waits and doubts and waits and hopes and waits and despairs and waits and hopes; the senior citizen who is exiled to an island called a rest home; the bus kid who is ghetto-bound and wonders who and if his daddy is; and the widow trying to be a mother and a father to a nest of children. To you and to others, let me introduce you to my Friend. Joseph Scriven wrote:
“What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear; What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer!”
Dr. Charles Weigle wrote:
I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus, Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true.
I would tell you how He changed my life completely, He did something that no other friend could do!”
Another wrote: “There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus, no not one, no not one.” Still another wrote, “I have found a friend, oh such a friend,” and another penned, “Jesus is the friend you need, such a friend is He indeed!”
My Saviour is my friend when I am good; He is my friend when I am bad. He is my friend when I am up; He is my friend when I am down. He is my friend when I am happy; He is my friend when I am sad. He is my friend when I am prosperous; He is my friend when I am poor. He is my friend when I am successful; He is my friend when I fail. He is my friend when I am honored; He is my friend when I am slandered. He is my friend when I am cheerful; He is my friend when I am blue. He is my friend when I am obedient; He is my friend when I am rebellious. He is my friend when I believe; He is my friend when I doubt. He is my friend when I laugh; He is my friend when I weep. He
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is my friend when I am zealous; He is my friend when I am indifferent. Thank God, my Saviour is my friend!
My friend never deserts me. He never forsakes me. I am always on His mind. He never slumbers or sleeps. He encamps round about me. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness. He restoreth my soul. My friend never tires of me. He is always faithful, true, tender and strong.
My friend never forsakes me. When I attended a public school as a poor little boy with no shoes to wear and no nice clothes to cover my body, He was my friend while children laughed at me. He was my friend when my father left our home to leave Mother and me, never to return to our house. He was my friend when the loneliness of the army enclosed me. He was my friend when the people whom I loved like I loved my own life found no need for me any more. He was my friend when I had to take my stand for my convictions, and many of my preacher friends forsook me and fled. He is my friend when I am fellowshipping with my loneliness in a motel room. He is my friend when I am marooned on an airplane island. He is my friend when I am walking out of a pulpit where I have had to take an unpopular stand.
My friend is available. I have never known a day of sorrow when I did not find my friend by my side. Sometimes He is silent, but He is always there. Sometimes I can hear Him gently speak, and other times I feel the touch of His hand, but He is always my friend. When I stood beside the casket which contained the body of my father who had passed away just a few hours before, and who as far as I know never took time to receive Christ, I felt fingers gripping my arm. I turned to see who was there. There was nobody near, and yet I felt the fingers as if a real hand had taken my arm. I know-it was the real hand of my friend! When the shadows have lengthened, when the day’s work is over and when I have delivered my soul, I hear my friend often say, “Well done. ”
My friend is rich. He owns the entire earth, and all the world’s keys hang on His girdle. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the wealth in every mine. Earth’s jewels are simply those that overflowed His coffers. He uses His leftover gold as pavement for Heaven’s streets. His smaller pearls are used for Glory’s gates. There is never a
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beautiful sunset but what His hand has painted it. There is no music worth singing that He did not edit.
Every color is an expression of His beauty. The mountains are His handiwork. There is never a ray of sun that He did not requisition. There is never a bolt of lightning that He did not order. There is never a clap of thunder that He did not utter. All of earth’s crowns could not hold His jewels, and all of earth’s diadems could not house his diamonds.
My friend is the Lord of eternity and the Master of time. All of creation is His handiwork, and think-He is my friend!
My friend always loves me. He died for me while I was yet a sinner. All of my life was against His holy purpose; yet He loved me! He loves me in spite of my sin. He loves me in spite of my polution, my failure, my depravity and my weakness. His love is not “because”; His love is “in spite of!” He loved me when I looked at Him and said, “No.” He loved me when I drifted from Him as a teenager. He loved me when I kept His Book closed on the table of indifference. He loved me when my prayer closet was deserted and when I was ashamed to speak of Him. Why even now, He is my advocate against slanderers and critics, and He sits at the right hand of the Father pleading my case. He is my friend. He stands forever pleading my case while the Father of Lies lies to the Father of Truth!
My friend wrote me a love letter. He tells me in John 3:16 that He so loved me that He gave His only begotten Son, that if I believe in Him, I should not perish but have everlasting life. He tells me in Romans 5:8 that God commendeth His love toward me, and that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me. He tells me in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good to those who love God and to those who are the called according to His purpose. He reminds me in Philippians 4:13 that I can do all things through Christ Which strengtheneth me. He tells me in John 14:1 that my heart should not be troubled but that I should believe God and believe also in Him. There He reminds me that in His Father’s house are many mansions and that He has gone to prepare a place for me, and He will come again receiving me unto Himself that where He is, there I may be also. He reminds me in Psalm
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91:1 that if I dwell in the secret place of the Most High, I can abide under the shadow of the Almighty. In I Corinthians 13, He reminds me that His love will never fail and even now He is preparing a place for me in the Glory world.
Think how beautiful that place must be. Look what He did in six days. He lifted the mountains like pyramids above the horizon and framed them with a cloud-laden sky that provides for me shade while I drive and carpet when I fly He shed the tear of deity and formed a little pond where I may see Heaven while looking toward earth. He assembles a choir of birds to practice through the night so they can present a concert for me as I go to work in the morning. He sows me a sample of Heaven’s garden when He gives me the rose and takes some of the incense from the altar and sprays it on the gardenia. He takes me to a mountaintop and allows me to writhe my way, following the fickle mountain stream as it winds its way in a serpentine manner toward its destination to the ocean. He lets me see the pine tree as it stands at attention in its company of “needley” soldiers who salute me as I pass in review. He points out to me the redwoods of northern California who stand like Olympic weight lifters after hoisting their foilage. He shows me the loveliness of diamonds which really are nothing but synthetic stars and substitutes for the twinkling of the lake when the moon is full. He makes for me a sunset which blends its emerald green, azure blue and topaz tint as He brings the great light that rules the day close enough for me to examine.
All of this and much, much more He did in six days. Think how Heaven must be. Examine the rose, the daffodil, the pansy, the lilac and the chrysanthemurn and realize that these are only six-day jobs. Think what Heaven’s flowers must be like which have been in preparation for nearly 2,000 years. He shows me the willow, the oak, the pine, the birch and the maple as specimens of six days of work. Think what Heaven’s trees must be like. He has been preparing them for me for almost 2,000 years. He allows me to wind my way beside the Danube, the Nile and the Tigress in an effort to tease me concerning what the River of Life must be like. He asks me to taste the sweetness of the peach, the feisty tartness of the plum, the yielding sweetness of the
MY SAVIOUR IS ALSO MY FRIEND’
banana, and then gently says, “I made those in six days, Can you imagine how Heaven’s fruit must taste’? I have been working 2.000 years on that!”
My friend is gentle. His is not a weak gentleness, for true gentleness cannot be weak. His gentleness is strength held in check. His gentleness is like the mighty ocean taking a nap while great waters kiss the shore and while a little child plays in its quiet waters and is kissed by the crest of a wave.
Though my friend is gentle, He is also strong. His chisel sculptures mountain peaks. His pitcher pours the lakes. ‘Tis through His brush the rainbow speaks. His fury spawns the quakes. His power sends the snowflakes like tiptoeing drops of rain. His breath sends forth the gentle breeze to resurrect the grain. He carved the gorges into view, while morning stars did cheer. He placed a seven-colored hew and made the bow appear. ‘Tis God Whose mighty voice I hear and thunders overhead. Tornadoes are His footprints; spring winds His gentler tread.
The hurricane awaits His call. The earthquake is His loyal servant. Lightning lies at His feet awaiting orders. Tornadoes obey His commands. Yet, “He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own; and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known!”
My friend is generous. He gives me all I need and infinitely more. He shares with me all that He has. His wealth is my inheritance. He gives me the world that belongs to Him and the fulness thereof He supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Through Him I own the music of the sea, the emerald green of the meadow, the peerless blue of the sky, the topaz tint of the rainbow and the nervous branches of windblown trees.
Mainly, though, my friend is exactly that-He is my friend! He leaves His heavens and enters a quiet motel room to speak with me. He reserves a seat beside me on a midnight flight. He understands me when no one else understands and hold my hand when all other hands are occupied.
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“There’s no friend to me like Jesus! He my every need supplies.
He not only saves but keeps me. Nothing good from me denies.”
Oh, by the way-my friend wants to be your friend too!
(A sermon preached in the First Baptist Church of’Hammond)
This will surprise you. I am going to preach on a subject that you have never heard me preach on Sunday morning probably in the almost a quarter of a century that I have been Pastor of this church. I do not know if I have ever preached on this subject on Sunday morning. I’m not sure why Maybe it’s because the length of the service is not as long as Sunday night, and so the messages are shorter. Also, it is a subject about which I do not like to preach! It causes me to think about loved ones and friends of mine who may be-well, I am speaking on the subject, “Why Hell?” This will not be a Hell-fire and damnation sermon, though I have been known to preach them. I want to talk to your mind as well as your heart. I want to talk to your culture. I want to speak to your refinement. I want you to give me a hearing. You have never heard a sermon like this. I have never preached one like this, but you’re going to have to follow carefully
It is not easy for me to preach on this because my own father died outside of Christ as far as I know, and because to be quite frank with you, the thought of a Hell pricks my culture and my refinement. The thought of people dying and burning forever bothers mc-it is not easy for me to accept. I accept it for one reason: When I was a young boy my mother taught me that this Book is the Word of God! She taught me that every word of it is the Word of God! I made a mistake and went for a year to a State University where godless professors
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stood behind desks and said to me, “The Bible is not the Word of God.” They laughed at my mother’s faith; they laughed at my preacher’s Bible; they laughed at the Word of God. To be quite frank with you, 1, like any other person who does that, had my faith shaken. About half way through that year I was doubting the fact that the Bible is the Word of God. (Tliat is why I thank God there is a school like Hyles-Anderson College!) I doubted. I do not mean that I didn’t believe it; I just didn’t know. They shook my faith! Mama said it was the Word of God, and the Preacher said it, but my professor who was a PhD said it wasn’t, so I decided to do something! I decided to take the Bible and start with the first verse in Genesis and read every word in the Book on my knees. I decided to read the Bible through on my knees. Every time I read it I asked God to reveal to me if it is true. “If it is true, let me know.” I spent three or four months and read every word of this Book while on my knees, and by the time I got through, I believed Mama was right!
I do not believe I am an intellectual nut. I do not believe my mind is illogical. I do not claim to be a genius nor an intellectual; nor do I claim to be an idiot or a moron. I believe I am as mentally intelligent as some of the folks who think I’m a screwball and who I think are screwballs, but I believe this Book! Because I believe this Book, I believe every word in it is true! Since I believe every word in it is true, when the Bible says, “The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God,” (Psalm 9:17) 1 have to believe it. Now it pricks my culture, but I believe it because the Bible says it. When the Bible says, “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels,” (Matthew 25:41) 1 believe it. I don’t want to believe it. I wish I didn’t have to believe it, but I believe it, because I’m convinced that that is the Word of God.
Now follow me carefully This is not easy for me. When I was a young man I would rather preach on sin than forgiveness, but not anymore. Now I would far rather preach on forgiveness than sin! When I was a young man I would rather preach on the wrath of God than the love of God, but those days are gone. You give me a chance to
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preach on the love of God, and I would ten to one rather preach on the love of God than the wrath of God. There was a day when I was a young preacher that I would rather preach on judgment than mercy, but no longer! I preach on judgment but I would rather preach on mercy ‘Mere was a day when I would rather preach on the coming of Christ, but today I’d rather preach on the Christ Who is coming! I always shrink from this subject, but I must preach it because it is in the Bible!
Years ago I was Pastor of the Grange Hall Baptist Church outside of Marshall, Texas, on highway 43 about ten miles toward Henderson, Texas. I was a country preacher. Our little parsonage was next door to the church, and on the back porch there was a well with a pump on it. The parsonage was valued at $2,000, and that was an extravagant evaluation! We had a rat that lived on the back porch. The rat was long-it was a Texas rat! We tried everything to get rid of it. We put a rat trap out there, and he thought it was a present, a toy. We put rat poisoning out, and he gained weight on the stuff I got a larger trap and put it out there. I was going to get him! We also had a little dog, an Airedale terrier, named Pookie, He was the kind of dog that didn’t know whether he had eyes or not. He couldn’t see through his hair. One day I heard the trap go off, and I said, “I caught it! I caught it!” I heard the loudest noise and the strangest noise a rat ever made. I rushed to the back porch to catch the prey and take it to the taxidermist for mounting, but there was Pookle caught in the trap!
This is as perfect an illustration as you will ever hear about why there is a Hell. The trap wasn’t set for Pookie; the trap was set for the rat, but it was set and since it was set, when Pookie got his paw in the wrong place, he got caught just like the rat! Now follow me carefully
1. God created the angels. He made them as ministering servants. He created three groups of angels. He placed an archangel over each group. Here is one group of angels; the archangel Lucifer was placed over that group of angels. Here is the second group of angels that were used as messengers, and the archangel Gabriel was placed over those angels. Here is the third group of angels who were given the ministry of fighting for God’s people, and the archangel Michael was placed
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over those angels. There are three groups of angel s-one-third under Lucifer; one-third under Gabriel; one-third under Michael.
2. God made a place of suffering-Hell. This place the Bible says was a place of fire. The Bible says this place was a place of conscience and memory where you would remember your opportunities not to come there, and God called this place Hell. Remember, there was not one single man on the face of the earth when God made Hell. God didn’t make Hell for man. God made Hell for the angels just like we set the trap for the rat.
3. God placed Hell as a price if angels ever sinned. God made angels. He made Hell, and He placed it as a price for angels to pay if angels ever sinned. ‘Me trap was set. God didn’t want the angels to sin, but He said, “Here is Hell and here are the angels. If you sin, you have to go to Hell and spend eternity there.” He was not talking about man; He was talking about angels.
4. The angels were fully warned. God told Michael, “If you and your angels sin, they will go to Hell.” He said, “Lucifer, now you and your angels hear Me. If you sin, the price on that sin is Hell.” God said to all the angels, “I have made a place for you if you sin.” I want to say again, God never made Hell for one single human being. He set the trap.
5. One-third of those angels sinned. Lucifer and his angels rebelled against God. Lucifer said, “I will exalt myself. I will be like the Most High. I will ascend into the heavens,” and pride came, and when the sin of pride came, Lucifer said, “I will rebel and cause insurrection in Heaven, and 1, the second in command, will become the first in command.” God had already set the price on sin. He had a place prepared, so what happened? One-third sinned, and that leads us now to the sixth statement.
6. God had no choice but to do whatHe saidHe would do. If God’s Word is not good, God is not God. God’s Word is always true. God said, “I have to do it.” That is why Matthew 25:41 says, “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, preparedfor the Devil and his angels.” Bear in mind, there was no man yet. There was no Adam in the
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Garden of Eden. Not one human being had ever been created or bom, There was no man. So, God made angels. He made a place of suffering-Hell. He placed that as a price for angels if they sinned. They were fully warned. One-third of them sinned under Lucifer. God had no choice.
7. God made man. Before God made man, there was already a Hell. God didn’t make Hell for man nor man for Hell. God made Hell for the Devil and his angels. Wait a minute. Let’s go back to Pookie. We set the trap for a rat. We caught the rat later on, but first we caught Pookie. Was I trying to catch Pookie? No, I was trying to catch the rat.
8. Satan came to man andwantedto drag man to the Hell where he was going. He wanted company He didn’t want anybody to enjoy Heaven if he had to go to Hell. Lucifer and his angels became the Devil and his angels, and that is what they were doing in the Garden of Eden when man was there. He came to man and said, “Why don’t you do this?” Man became proud and committed the same sin that Lucifer committed. Man said, “I’ll be my own god. I’ll decide what’s right and wrong. I’ll be God. I’ll run my life. I] I be the king of my I ife. I’ll sit on the throne of my heart. I’ll make my decisions. I’ll do what I want to do. I’ll go where I want to go. I’ll be what I want to be,” and man was seduced by Lucifer to do what he did, and man did what Lucifer did, and man was caught in the trap that was not made for him.
9. Satan persuaded man to do what he had done and commit the same sin he had committed.
10. The price had already been set. Now wait a minute. God said, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4b) “For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23a) “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin. . . .” (Romans
5:12a) God had already set the penalty for sin. He did not set that penalty originally for man. He set it for the angels. He made Hell for the angels if they sinned. They sinned, and the Devil caused man to get in the same trap.
11. God had to let mango to Hell, though Hell was not preparedfor man.
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12. God was willing to break up the Godheadfor 33 years so that man could be freed!
Why didn’t God redeem the angels? Why didn’t Jesus come to die for the angels? It is the same reason we wanted to get the rat and didn’t want to get Pookie. When Pookie got caught in that trap I said, “Oh, Pookie! Boopsie, woopsie, Pookie.”
And Pookie said, “I don’t like this.”
I went on the back porch and proceeded to make a plan to get Pookie out of the trap! I didn’t care if the rat got in there or not. God Almighty made angels. He did not make angels in His own
likeness. He made them as ministering servants. When angels sinned, it was not worth it for God to give His only begotten Son to die on Calvary and suffer their Hell, but when God saw man in the trap, God said, “I’m going to make a plan to get him loose!” That means God loves you more than He loves Gabriel. That means God loves you more than God loves Michael. That means that the angels who fly in Heaven today or come to earth as an embassage for God or to bring messages from God-that angel who came from God to tell Mary about the Messiah in her womb, that angel who came and told Peter he could be free from prison and unlocked the doors of the jail, that angel who came and told Joseph not to be afraid that Mary was not pregnant by man but that the Holy Spirit had placed the Seed in Mary’s womb, that angel who came and ministered to Paul in prison-those angels God loves, but not enough to give His Son! When man made in the image of his Creator fell into the trap that was not made for him, God found a way to get man out, a way that met His justice.
I say this and I say it lovingly I don’t want to be unkind, but if you because you are a sinner do not take the way out of God’s trap, you are going to end up with the Devil and his angels. Matthew 25:41, “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels.” If you go to Hell, you will be an intruder.
Every once and awhile someone says to me, “Do you think a loving God would send anyone to Hell?” A loving God doesn’t send anyone to Hell, A loving God made a trap for Satan, and you fell in the trap
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because you listened to Satan! Because of that, the justice of God makes Him keep His word. God looked, saw you in the trap, and said, “I must keep you there, but I’ll make a plan.” God did make a plan whereby He would become flesh and come to the earth and fall into that trap for you. Falling in that trap for you, He says, “You can come on out,” but He won’t drag you out!
God said, “I didn’t make Hell for you. I don’t want you to go to Hell. My righteousness and my veracity demand that I make you pay the penalty” However, God made a plan to get man out! Stop and think! God loves you more than God loves Gabriel, and He has had Gabriel all these millions of years! What God would not do for His angels, He did for you! What God would not do for the archangels, He did for you. What God would not do for cherubim and seraphim, God did for you because He made you like Himself. God said, “I did not make angels like Myself, but I made man like Myself!” As soon as man fell into the trap that was made for the Devil and his angels, God said, “Lucifer is condemned to Hell forever, and the angels with him who tried to take over My throne are condemned to Hell forever, but man made in My image, man the apple of My eye, man the great love of My life and the love of My heart, I have to free him from that trap!”
There is only one way that man can be freed from the trap and escape the fires of Hell, and that way is not by joining a church! Pookie could have joined all the churches in Russ County and Marshall, Texas, and still have been in that trap. Pookie could have gotten baptized in that trap and still been in that trap. I could have taken the Lord’s Supper on the back porch and given it to Pookie and he would have still been in that trap. I made a way. I lifted up that big spring and said, “Pookie, take your paw out of the spring,” and Pookie said, “I think I will!” Pookie had a lot more sense than some of you folks.
God became flesh; His name was Jesus. He never sinned, so He didn’t get in the trap. (Now Pookie accidentally got in the trap, but Jesus didn’t accidentally get in the trap.) Jesus never sinned, but after
33 perfect years on earth He said, “Trap, here I come,” and He voluntarily put Himself in the trap so He could free you!
In Oklahoma City a strange thing happened years ago. A tiger got
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out of the zoo there and frightened everybody in town! Horror gripped the whole neighborhood! Somewhere in the town was a wild tiger loose-a ferocious animal. Somebody got an idea. ’17hey got a little lamb and put that lamb in the door of a trap cage. When the tiger saw that lamb, he got hungry. (You see, a lamb to a tiger is like a cheese quarter-pounder!) The tiger came and grabbed that lamb, and when he did so, down came the door, and the tiger was caught!
Jesus Christ became the Lamb of God, and the Devil said, “I’ll get Him!” The Devil came into the cage and tried to get Him, and he did. The Lamb was slain. Why? So you and I would not be afraid of the wild animal running loose which is called the Devil.
Now you have learned why there is a Hell. You will never hear it any clearer. Preachers get up and say, “You’re going to go to Hell if you don’t repent.” We don’t want to say it. We don’t like to say it. We wish we didn’t have to say it, but it is true, but Hell was not made for you! I .God created the angels.
2. God made a place of suffering-Hell.
3. God placed Hell as a price on sin if the angels sinned.
4. The angels were fully warned.
5. One-third of those angels sinned.
6. God had no choice but to do what He said He would do.
7. God made man.
8. Satan came to man and wanted to drag man to the Hell where he was going.
9. Satan persuaded man to do what he had done and commit the same sin he had committed.
10. The price had already been set.
11. God had to let man go to Hell, though Hell was not prepared for man.
12. God was willing to break up the Godhead for 33 years so that man could be freed!
Now you have one choice of two. You can go ahead and join the church for your salvation, get baptized for your salvation, turn over a new leaf for your salvation, live a good life for your salvation, and take communion for your salvation; go ahead, but you will die and go to
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Hell! However, you can say, “Thank God, Jesus the Lamb of God took my place, suffered for me and set me free-not Lucifer. not the angels, not Gabriel, not Michael–God set me free from a trap that was not made for me! I am the object of God’s love!”
Yes, God has made a plan. That plan is when you come to a place in your life when you say, “I cannot save myself, but from this moment forward I will rely on Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross as my hope for Heaven, and I will trust Him like I trust a pilot.”
I will be flying to Florida to preach tomorrow night and Tuesday night. I will get on the plane at O’Hare Field. ‘Mere will be three men up in the cockpit. Now I am trusting those men to get me to Florida. I do not know how to fly an airplane, and I do not know how to fly without an airplane! I have one hope to get to Florida, and that is to trust those three men. It is the only hope I have! Let us suppose that when we get up in the air about 30,000 feet or so, I decide to slap the stewardess across the face. I say, “Hey, baby, whack!” Where am I going?
Florida. Suppose the pilot comes back and says, “Did you slap the stewardess?”
I say, “Yes, and I can do it again,” and I slap the pilot. I also take out a knife and cut off his tie and slash the seat in front of me. Now where am I going?
Florida. Why? You do not get to Florida by behaving on an airplane. You can sit in a pilotless plane on the ground and behave yourself and you will still be at O’Hare Field. You get to Florida by saying to those three men up in the front, “I’m trusting you.”
You do not get to Heaven because you live a good life; you get to Heaven because you say, ” ‘Jesus, Saviour, pilot me, over life’s tempestuous sea. Unknown waves before me roll. Be the guardian of my soul.’ Jesus, You are my pilot, and I trust You to take me to my destination. ”
‘Mat is the way you get freed from the trap!
The Simplicity of Salvation
(A Sermon Preached in the First Baptist Church of Hammond)
11… The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the Word of faith, which we preach.” (Romans 10:8)
How easy it is to become a Christian! Occasionally someone will say, “Brother Hyles, you make it so easy to be saved.”
I always answer, “I did not make it easy; God made it easy. I simply tell you how God made it.” I made this comment in a home recently: If my girl, Becky, ran away from home, I would want her back. It would be the easiest thing in this world for her to get back. All she would have to do is come and say, “Daddy, I want to come home,” and she would be as good as at home. I would want her to come home as much or more than she would want to return, so I would make it very easy for her to come back home.
If one of your children got lost, you would make it easy for him to come back. You would search everywhere. You would be the aggressor. You would be more anxious, or at least as anxious, for him to come home as he would be to return home.
Our Heavenly Father is the same way. Salvation, my friend, is not hard. It is simple. Salvation is not running an obstacle course and hoping you will end up standing up someday when the judgment comes. God has made salvation so simple that the smallest child who understands right from wrong can accept it and be saved. God has made salvation so easy that anybody who knows he is a sinner and knows that by faith he can receive Christ as Saviour, can be saved.
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God’s Part in Salvation is Big, Tremendous.’
Now, to be sure, salvation is big! We stumble over its bigness in an effort to make it complicated, but bear this in mind: All the bigness of salvation is on God’s part, not ours. All the immensity, all the working, all the business, all the complexity, all the theology, all the deep doctrine and all the philosophy of being saved is God’s part. Our pan is so simple.
Salvation is big! Man sinned in the Garden of Eden. God made a man; He made a woman. He put them in the Garden of Eden and said, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it.”
Man ate that forbidden fruit when Satan tempted, tested and deceived Eve. Eve came back and told Adam she had eaten of the fruit, that it was a tree that would make men wise, good to look upon, and it opened her eyes concerning good and evil. Man had sinned! Man was made in the image of God for fellowship with God. When man departed from God, then God made a plan to save man. Now the making of that plan was complex. The making of that plan was eternity-shaking. The making of that plan was big and magnificent, but the receiving of that plan is just as simple as taking a drink of water.
God immediately said, “I am going to make a plan.” When Adam and Eve sinned, and sin came into the human race, and man departed from God, immediately God started to make a plan. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, said, “Father, I will go to earth and become man. I am willing to become flesh. I will live a sinless life, a perfect life. I will go to Calvary. I will dip My own soul into Hell itself I will become sin for man. If man will simply receive Me, he can be saved.” Immediately God promised that the seed of woman would bruise the head of the serpent, and the Seed of woman would, of course, someday come. Four thousand years later in Bethlehem’s manger came the Lord Jesus Christ.
Satan, then, set out to block the coming of the Saviour. He set out immediately to block salvation’s plan. Adam and Eve had a boy they named Cain. They had another boy named Abel. There was the seed of
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the promised Messiah, but Cain killed Abel, and the seed-carrier was broken. God gave another son whose name was Seth. From the time Seth was born until Jesus Christ came in Bethlehem, Satan did everything he could to block the coming of the Saviour.
When Jesus’ coming was finally announced, Satan tried to get Joseph to put Mary away, to stone her so the Messiah would not be born. Finally, when the Messiah came, there was no place for Him to be born, for Satan blocked any hospital, hotel or inn from the Saviour. So the Saviour was born in a manger in Bethlehem.
‘Men immediately Satan tried to block salvation’s plan in the leading of Herod to kill all the male children two years old and under. You recall how the angel came to Joseph in a dream and said, “Flee to Egypt.” Once again God had blocked Satan’s plan to thwart salvation.
Satan was not finished. He took Jesus one day up to a mountain and tempted Him in the wilderness three times, hoping that somehow sin could enter in the life of Jesus Christ, for if Jesus Christ had been a sinner, He would have had to suffer for His own sin and could not suffer for my sin. However, Jesus said, “Get thee behind Me, Satan,” and He took the Sword of the Spirit and three times struck the Word of God into Satan. Jesus did not yield to temptation!
Satan wasn’t through. You recall when Jesus was on the cross, people came by, looked up at Him, hissed at Him, and said, “If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Satan well knew if Jesus Christ would come down from Calvary, salvation’s plan would be thwarted, but Jesus did not come down!
Satan wasn’t finished then. Jesus was put in a borrowed sepulchre. Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus came and got His body and placed it in a borrowed tomb outside the city of Jerusalem. The Bible says that the Roman government put guards around the tomb to guard the Saviour from coming forth. ‘Mank God, once again, on that Easter Sunday morning Jesus came forth victoriously, and the Gospel is now finished. Christ, our perfect Lamb, has been sacrificed, has been buried, rose again the third day, and we do have a Gospel!
It is complicated, to be sure. When a person is saved, he is redeemed. His sins are forgiven. His past is forgotten. He is made an
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heir of God, a joint-heirwith Jesus Christ. He is become sanctified in the Beloved. As far as God’s wrath is concerned, he is justified. He is saved from Hell, and for eternity he will live with God in Heaven to enjoy the bliss of God’s prepared city forever and forever.
Complicated, isn’t it’! Big, isn’t it’? Immense, isn’t it’? Wonderful, isn’t it? Hard to comprehend, isn’t it? Yes, it is, but I say once again that every part of the complicated Gospel is God’s part, not man’s part. God has prepared a big meal, which is salvation. Jesus Christ is the bread of life. He is the living water. He is the meat of the Word. He is the milk of the Word. Jesus Christ is the great meal. Salvation has been prepared, and now God tells us, “Come, for all things are now ready ”
Man Has Tried to Complicate Getting Saved.
It is so easy to be saved. Oh, complicated for God-yet so simple for man. I want to show you about the simplicity of being saved. Man has tried to complicate it. God said, “Come.” Isn’t that all God said to Adam and Eve? “Come.” Isn’t that al I God said in Revelation 22:17? “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
A man made a great supper in Luke 14 (a picture of salvation), and sent his servants at suppertime to say, “Come; for all things are now ready.”
I want to make one thing clear at the start: You cannot do anything to get saved except come to the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, how Satan has tried to complicate it! Satan has tried to make more to salvation than that. People have tried to add their own work to salvation. We want some candles in the church. We want some soft music in the background. We want to learn some confessions of faith and take a catechism. We want to do something ourselves to be saved. We want to feel something shoot in our spine and toes. We want to roll down the aisle and shout, “Whoopee! Hallelujah! I hear angels’ wings flapping. ”
Now you may get saved by candlelight, but you won’t get saved by the candles.
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You may get saved with soft music playing, but the soft music won’t have a single thing to do with your getting saved.
You may get saved in the baptistry, but the baptistry won’t have a thing to do with your getting saved.
You may get saved the moment you join the church, but the joining of the church won’t have a single thing to do with your getting saved. When you get saved, you may shout, but shouting won’t have anything to do with your getting saved.
When you get saved, you may cry, but crying won’t have a single thing to do with your getting saved.
When you get saved, you may say, “Whoopee!” but “whoopee” won’t have anything to do with your getting saved.
‘Me way to get saved is to come to Jesus and trust Him by faith. It is the simple plan that God has made.
Now there are three things that tell us of salvation’s simplicity:
I. BIBLE EXAMPLES OF CONVERSIONS SHOW THAT OUTWARD CONDITIONS AND EMOTIONS VARY WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE.
“Oh,” you say, “The Apostle Paul.” We like to take the Apostle Paul’s conversion and make a big to-do about that. A light shone round about him, and Paul was thrown to his face on the Damascus road, and was blinded. All of a sudden Paul said, “Who art Thou, Lord? What wilt Thou have me to do?”
We say, “‘Men we ought to have a light shine around about us.” No, the light shining around Paul didn’t save Paul. Paul’s falling on his face didn’t save him. The blinding of Paul didn’t save him. Paul was saved when he received Christ as Saviour. It is not the circumstances that save; it is the will saying, “I will come to Christ,” which makes one a Christian.
Now quit waiting for a feeling. You may not hoot and holler when you get saved. I don’t know what you will do or what the emotional results of your salvation will be, but know this: The resulting feelings have nothing to do with salvatiolalvation is when a person realizes he is a sinner and Christ is the Saviour and by faith he turns to Christ for salvation. That is what being saved is.
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Matthew was sitting one day at the seat of customs when Jesus came in the room. Matthew just left all and followed Jesus. No light for Matthew! No falling on his face for Matthew! Now if Matthew had fallen on his face and cried and shouted and said, “0 boy! Hallelujah! I’m bom again!” and hugged his neighbors and his wife and rejoiced and rolled in the aisle, he would still have been saved, not because he did those things, but because he had put his faith in Christ.
The Bible tells us that one day Zacchaeus was up a tree. Jesus was coming through the city of Jericho on His way to Jerusalem. Zacchaeus wanted to see Him, but there was a great parade coming through, and since Zacchaeus was a little short fellow and could not see Jesus coming, he climbed a tree and looked down. There came Jesus. Jesus said, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. I’m going to your house for lunch today.” Jesus went home with Zacchaeus and over the supper table or dinner table, Zacchaeus trusted Him. Zacchaeus was saved.
The thief on the cross simply said, “Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.” Jesus said, “Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.”
The publican in Luke 18 beat on his breast and said, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Jesus said, “‘Ibis man went down to his house justified.”
The eunuch in Acts 8 said, “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” Philip said, “If thou believest with all thine heart (that Jesus is the Son of God), thou mayest.” The Eunuch said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” He simply trusted Jesus for salvation, and the Bible says that they got out of the chariot and “they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him . . . and he went on his way rejoicing.” The eunuch got saved by trusting Christ.
Zacchaeus got saved by trusting Christ. Matthew got saved by trusting Christ. John got saved by trusting Christ. Peter got saved by trusting Christ. There may have been different circumstances. There may have been different environments. ‘Mere may have been different stimuli. There may have been different emotional responses. There may have been different atmospheres, but salvation is wrapped up in
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one thing, and that is, “Come, for all things are now ready!” Just come to Christ-that is salvation!
II. NEW TESTAMENT FIGURES OF SPEECH SHOW THE SIMPLICITY OF SALVATION.
Not only are there many Bible examples of the simplicity of salvation, but let us notice New Testament comparisons. All the way through the Bible we have figures of speech. The New Testament figures of speech show the simplicity of being saved. Oh, a lot of you would be saved, but you want a light to strike you in the spine! You want a hypodermic needle to hit you. You want to wiggle and roll down the aisle and feel something coming out of your ears and have springs coming out of your head. You want to have something about which God says nothing!
Now when you get saved, you may have springs coming out of your ears, but you are not saved because you have springs coming out of your ears! You may shout when you get saved, but that will not save you. Salvation is by faith in Christ.
Now listen to me! Anybody who knows he is a sinner and knows that he is condemned before God to die and knows that Jesus Christ on the cross suffered for sinners, and will simply come to God and say, “Dear Lord, forgive my sins and save my soul today,” can be saved.
You may shout, but the shouting will not save you. For example, on Sunday we have many different types of conversions in people who come down the aisles. One person may come down the aisle saying, “Oh, I want to be saved,” crying all the time. Last Sunday night we almost had to mop the altar when a lady got through. Here comes another fellow who says, “I want to be saved,” smiling real big. Here comes someone else who says, “I want to be saved,” with remorse. Here comes another one who says, “I want to be saved,” very straightfaced.
Now is it the smile? No. The tears? No. The stimuli? No. Remorse? No. The thing is, they want to be saved. ‘Mat is it! It is not how they act; it is what they do. If by faith you say, “Yes” to Christ, that settles that!
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Now let’s notice comparisons.
1. The New Testament compares salvation to letting someone in the door In Revelation 3:20 Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” There are two young people here to whom I talked yesterday about Christ and they both were saved. I explained to them, as I have done so often, that salvation is a matter of Jesus knocking at the heart and you opening the door and letting Jesus come in. It is very simple to open the door. If a friend came to see me and rang the bell or knocked on the door, would I say, “Whoopee! Come in”? I wouldn’t put it that way at all. Now it is a very simple thing-”Would you come in, please?” Then he comes in.
Jesus said that salvation is like that. He is out of your life. He is not your Saviour. You have lived without Him. You have never trusted Him. Now you simply say, “Dear Jesus, come in.” God says that is salvation.
2. Getting saved is like taking a drink of water In John 4:14 Jesus said, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” Revelation 22:17, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Now it is very simple to take a drink of water. Some people get so thirsty that when they take a dfink of water they go “Whoooo.” Some people say, “Ahhh-hh-h.” Some just swallow it, and that is it. Now who gets the most water? How it makes you feet doesn’t have a thing to do with it! Jesus said getting saved is like taking a drink of water. Are you thirsty? Do you know you are lost? Do you know you need Chfist? He is the One Who is the water! You take a drink and He comes in. That is what salvation is like, He says.
3. Getting saved is receiving a gift. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Ephesians 2:8, 9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” I give a person a gift. He
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takes it. Is it his? Absolutely! What if he doesn’t feel good? The gift Is still his. Mat if he doesn’t shout? It is still his. What if he doesn’t cry? It is still his. It is very simple to accept a gift. All you do is reach out and take it and believe it is yours.
Now salvation is that way, the Bible says. Jesus is God’s “unspeakable gift.” Eternal life is God’s gift to man. Anybody who will say, “I am willing to receive the gift,” can very simply receive the gift from God.
4. Getting saved is going through a door. In John 10:9 Jesus said, “I am the door,” and in John 14:6, “1 am the way, the truth, and the life.” Is it very complicated to go through a door? No. When I leave the service I most always go through this door. I will walk over there, turn the doorknob, walk through the door, and go down the stairs. Is that very complicated? I probably won’t shout. I doubt if I’ll cry or holler. I doubt if I’ll laugh, but I will go through the door.
Jesus said that on one side is eternal life; on the other side is eternal death. The difference is a door. Everybody in this house this morning who realizes he is unsaved, realizes that Christ will give him eternal life, and will say, “Dear Lord, I do accept You and come through the door of Jesus to salvation’7–that minute God makes you His child!
5. Salvation is compared with coming home. This is very interesting. Here is a boy in Luke 15 who decides to leave his father and go to a far country. He takes all of his goods, goes to a far country, gets in trouble, looks for a job, can’t find a job, finds a job feeding the hogs out in the hogpen, and finally he starts feeding himself the husks off the corn that the swine would not eat-the cornhusks, if you please. He eats the cornhusks. Finally he says, “‘Ibe servants back home have more than this. Why, the servants back home have some good bread and potatoes and meat and beans, and here I am eating the cornhusks. I will arise and go to my father.” He comes back to the father, and the father receives him.
Salvation is just going home. How many of you ever go home to see your father?
Let’s say a family is having a reunion. Here are some children coming home. One child says, “Oh, it’s so good to be home,” in tears.
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Another says, “BOY, IT’S GOOD TO BE HOME”‘ Still another says, “Brother, it’s wonderful to be home,” very sincerely Another says, “Hello, Mother. How have you been?” Now who is the nearest home? It doesn’t make any difference if one cries, one shouts, one laughs, one feels good, one sighs-they are all home! The Lord never did say that salvation is like a fellow who cries his way home or shouts his way home. It is like coming home!
Maybe you are lost from God. You are away from God. Jesus Christ is salvation. You need only to say, “Lord, I’m coming home.”
“I’ve wandered far away from God. Now I’m coming home;
The paths of sin too long I’ve trod, Lord, I’m coming home.”
6. Salvation is compared to saying “yes” to a proposal. How many of you married ladies remember very distinctly when you said
14 yes” to a proposal? Remember when he said, “Will you?” Was it very complicated? How many of you cried when your husband asked, “Will you marry me?” How many of you laughed when you said it? How many of you in your heart felt wonderful, but you didn’t show a lot of emotion?
Here is a proposal: I am on my knees, and I say, “Beverly, would you make me the happiest man in all the world? Would you be mine?” She says, “OH, WONDERFUL! YES!” Now she said “yes” to my
proposal, but she may just say, “Oh, (sob) yes!” She is Just as hooked as she was the other way! Or she may just say, “Urn-hum. ” No matter how she may say it, she still has done the same thing.
Some of you folks are trying to get married just like everybody else got married. It isn’t how you respond; it is the response. Jesus said, “Will you be married? Will you come to Me? Will you trust Me?” If You say, “Yes,” you are saved! If you say, “No,” you are lost! The way You respond has nothing to do with your eternal soul. Jesus compares salvation with a proposal.
7. Jesus compares salvation with accepting an invitation. Jesus told the parable of a man who “made a great supper and bade many”
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Jesus says, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
1 ask a friend, “Will you come over to my house to eat?” Now if he hasn’t eaten for a week, he may say, “BROTHER, WILL I? SURE!” Let us suppose he is so full he doesn’t want to eat a bite today. “Yes, I’ll come.” Let us suppose we are having broiled T-bone steak: “Boy, I’ll come!” Or, let us suppose he has been wanting to come to our house for a long time and we haven’t spoken in a year, and finally he realizes that we’re going to speak again. He says, “Oh, I sure will come!”
Now let me ask you, will he be any more invited either way he answers? Not a bit! ‘Me way he would do it matters not; he simply accepts the invitation.
Now God says, “I have made a great banquet feast. I have prepared salvation. It is a gift. Would you come? Come.”
Now then, somebody will say, “You bet I’ll come. I’m so far in sin, I’ll come’7–weeping.
Somebody else says, “Yes, I need the Lord, I’ll come”-very serious.
Somebody else says, “A BANQUET? I’LL COME! “-rejoicing. Somebody else says, “Whoopee! –shouting.
No matter how you act, you will not get any more to eat. The thing that makes you come is when you say, “Yes,” to the invitation. Some folks want to get a candle, walk down the aisle with a long
flowing robe and say, “I come.” Some want to do cartwheels and flop down the aisle and say, “I come.” Some want to cry, “I come.” Well, any way is all right with me, as long as you don’t trust that candle, or those cartwheels, or that feeling, or those tears, or thatjoy, to save you. As long as you trust the eternal Word of God and what He said, you have salvation! Would to God folks could understand it! God simply said, “Come.” Man has been trying to make religions, to major on the minors, and major on the sidetracks, and major on the sidelines, when the truth is, all you have to do to be saved is just come to the Lord Jesus Christ.
8. He compares salvation with taking a bath. In Titus 3:5 He says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but accord-
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ing to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration.” In John 13 Jesus said, “You have already bathed once; now wash your feet.” Salvation is compared to taking a bath. Remember. Jesus is the One Who bathes you, makes you clean.
Many of you take a bath once a week whether you need it or not! It is not a big chore to take a bath. There have been times when I have been real hot, I mean on a hot blistering Texas day with the temperature at 109′. 1 recall it was I I V and I laid oak floor all day long. I almost died. I got home and said, “Honey, I want a cold bath.” We tumed on the cool water, and I jumped in. As I jumped in, I said, “Whew-ew!” Now there are other times when I have to take a bath real quickly; so I just rush in and rush out, but I am just as clean either way. You see, it doesn’t matter whether you say, “Whew-ew” or not. If you want to say, “Whew-ew,” that’s all right, but you don’t have to say it to take a bath. Taking a bath is very simple. You know you are dirty; Jesus has the soap. You get in; He bathes you. Now the sidelines may be different. The effect may be different. The outward results may be different, but the bath is the same. You get in and take the bath. Jesus said that salvation is that way. He cleanses all who come for “the washing of regeneration.”
Some of you are so dirty and you have been so far into sin, that when youjump into salvation you are going to realize that you are clean, and you are going to say, “Whoopee! I’m clean!” Some are going to say, “I have been so dirty; it’s so good to be clean”-crying all the time. Some are going to say, “I’m so glad to be saved.” Some, “Yes, it’s good to be a Christian.” Now it all depends on how dirty you were. IT ALL DEPENDS ON HOW HOT IT HAS BEEN. It depends on how much you need the bath, but the salvation is not the whoopee or the whew-ew or the joy or the thri I I or the tears. It is getting in the tub and taking the bath.
9. Salvation is compared to putting money in the bank. 11 Timothy 1:12b, “I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed (or deposited) unto Him against that day.” You take some money and put it in the bank. Now, two fellows go to the bank and each one puts in $100.00. One says, “0 boy! 0 BOY! I
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saved $100.00.” The other quietly says, “Me too.” Now which one has saved $100.00? Both have! You mean how happy you get about the money doesn’t mean who has the $100.00 in the bank? That Is right. The question is not, did you shout to the teller, or cry to the teller, or hit the teller? The question is, Did you give the money to the teller?
A lot of folks say, “I’m saved because I shouted and felt it al I over.” That is not why you are saved. You are saved because you put your soul in the hands of Jesus. You say, “I was there when it happened and I ought to know.” Pretty song, but it isn’t enough. Sure you were there when it happened and you ought to know, but you are not saved because you were there when it happened. You are saved because you trusted Jesus. You are saved because you said, “Yes,” to Calvary and said, “I will deposit my soul to Jesus’ keeping.”
10. Getting saved is like eating a meal. ‘Me Bible says, “Come, all things are now ready” When we get home some little boy is going to say, “Mom, is dinner ready?” “Yes, son.” My little boy, David, only hits the floor about twice. He dives in. “0 boy, Mom! 0 boy! Got some gravy!” I walk in, look, and say, “Gravy again.” We eat the same gravy No difference at all. Same thing.
Becky might say, “Hot dog!” David might say, “Whoopee!”
I might say, “I’m so hungry, I’ve got to get to the food,” but we each eat the same food. How we eat it has nothing to do with it. Some fellow can sop it; another can eat it with a spoon. Some fellow can lick it up; another can eat it with a fork. Some fellow can put it on toast; another can put his biscuits in it, but it is the same gravy I’m saying, it isn’t what happened when you got saved-the experience, etc. It is, did you trust Jesus and did He save you?
III. OLD TESTAMENT TYPES SHOW THE SIMPLICITY OF GETTING SAVED.
Not only do Bible examples and New Testament comparisons show the simplicity of salvation, but the Old Testament types show us this also.
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A coat of skins God offered Adam and Eve. What did they do’? They took it, that is all.
A brazen serpent was placed on the pole, as we read in Numbers. Those bitten could only look at that brazen serpent and be saved. An ark was built ‘In Noah’s day. What did they have to do’? Come
inside the ark. That’s all-just come inside.
The little lamb was slain. What did a Jew have to do’? Put his hand on the head of the lamb.
The Old Testament types show how simple it is on our part to be saved. To be sure, when you come to Christ your sins are forgiven, you are made a new creature, the Holy Spirit comes in to live, you become one of God’s children, and you will go to Heaven. A BIG THING. Oh, yes! Immense! But God does all the big work! All you do is take it by faith!
Recently in visitation I went to the home of a lady who is here this morning. We knelt and prayed and she said, “Yes, I know I ought to do it. I know I ought to do it.”
I said, “Will you do it?”
“Yes,” she said, “I will.” We knelt to pray. I think with some emotion in her heart but not much in her voice, she said, “Dear Lord, I confess my sins. I pray You will forgive me. I receive You as my Saviour now.” She received Christ.
I went down the street a little further. There I met two young people who are here this morning. I explained salvation to them. One teenage girl would not look at me, but kept looking down. I told her how to be saved, how she would not have to worry any more about going to Hell. Finally she prayed. Afterward I said, “Now are you saved?”
“Oh, yes,” she said.
That girl who hesitated to decide and then timidly turned to Jesus in her heart was saved.
The other girl was joyful, immediately happy, but both girls were saved just alike the moment they put their trust in Jesus.
It is simple to receive Christ. You can open the door and Jesus will come in. You can simply receive salvation as a gift. You can accept the sweet invitation. Jesus said, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no
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wise cast out.” (John 6:37b) If you realize that you are a lost sinner who needs saving, and if you are tired of sin and want forgiveness, then I beg you here and now say yes to Jesus in your heart, turn your case over to Him and depend on Him to do the saving which He promised. Will you do that today?