"How much obedience is enough? Twenty percent? More? Less? How do we quantify our obedience?"
WHAT IS THE REQUIREMENT FOR SALVATION? Part Four
1 John 5:10 ¶ He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in him: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he hath not believed in the witness that God hath borne concerning his Son.
Salvation is not something we do. Salvation is a person - Jesus Christ. If we are IN Him, it is a settled matter.
Over the last forty years I would say I have not questioned my born again experience. I certainly have examined my life in light of the great gift of salvation given to me in Christ Jesus. This self examination is not to determine if I am saved. I know I am saved because the Spirit within me affirms this in my spirit.
Maybe because I have preached for so many years on this subject of salvation, I have examined myself as I preach. I don’t go to bed each night wondering if I am saved.
I believe you can have assurance of your new birth in Christ. When I preached, I generally taught the principles of Christian living. My thoughts were that I certainly knew that my performance will never measure up to the height I would love.. My performance was never in the view of earning my salvation. That is impossible to accomplish. But out of a deep love for the Lord, I desired and was willing to serve Him the best I could. I always wanted to do more.
When I was saved, there was a change in my thinking, even at seven. At least my thinking became willing to listen to my dad preach from the Bible Certainly I didn’t know any theology, but I knew I wanted to be obedient to my dad and to obey his wishes for me. What he believed, I believed. If he said this is what the Lord would have me to do, I was all to willing to do.
I do think there are a lot of groups of people who really believe they are going to Heaven, but from my understanding of the Bible, they are not going. On what assumption do I judge that on?
Most people who believe in a Heaven, believe they are going to heaven when they die. Some do not believe in a life after death. There are those who have all kinds of ideas about what Heaven is going to be all about. Three-fourths of all people in the world are not of the Christian Biblical mind set. But they believe in God. The Jews, Muslims, etc. all believe in a god or God. And they believe that they are going to the same Heaven Christians are going to. Well, some groups do.
How many, even in America, believe that they are a Christian, because of a decision that they made in a fundamental church, or even in a Catholic Church, or in a Lutheran or Methodist church Even at a Billy Graham meeting, how many have made a decision, and most really believe they are saved and have little fear of not going to heaven.
Of course, as Christians, we believe only our viewpoint of salvation is the right view. All the various groups within our Christian sphere have different points of view.
I know it’s our responsibility as preachers to teach the truth of the Word of God. If any teaching we should know that is correct, it should be God’s plan of Salvation for His Elect.
There are believers and preachers who have different views of the way a person becomes a Believer.
- One group will say, you need to earn your way into heaven.
- Another group will say, you are saved when you put your faith in Jesus Christ, believe and be baptized. Simply : believe by faith in Jesus Christ. Simply pray the sinner’s prayer and you are saved.
- Other groups will say, it’s not by any works, or words, but by grace alone.
- Some groups say you need to be saved and baptized.
- Some say you need to join their church and obey their laws and perform their rituals.
I had one man to tell me, "I am an atheist, but I will go to heaven, because I was sprinkled when I was a baby." Uhhhh that is a good one, and I believe he really believed that.
Another person will say, "I was saved in church when I was seven, and was baptized, yet I have not gone to church my entire life." I went forward in a Revival or a Billy Graham type meeting.
SO HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE TRULY BEEN BORN AGAIN?
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, 11-17 Proof Check by Charity after working
at Union Mills Confectionery 11 - 18 - 06