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Archive for May, 2016

I hope I didn’t make any enemies with my post concerning the developments arising out of the new road construction at Toxaway. I meant no harm. I am a writer, and I just gave in to the temptation presented by the blank page before me.

methodistThis post addresses a much more serious concern. A hundred years from now, will it really matter if the little store was a historic structure or simply a shack as Jack has so often referred to it? And if the rocks on the hillside continue in their place will that be significant or no? But a hundred years from now you and I will likely have entered into our eternal reward. What will that be? No matter your age, you need to ask yourself that question. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, and you know that.

It is really true that God came in the person of Jesus two thousand years ago to offer the inhabitants of this fallen planet eternal life and salvation from hell. I am not a preacher so I am not going to explain that. It is not very complicated if you are willing to believe. God will send you someone or something to expand your understanding of Christ’s payment for sin if you need that.

My purpose here is to issue a strong warning. Jesus is returning soon to end the present regime and to usher in the Kingdom of God. Before that there are going to wars and bloodshed, famine, disease and every kind of sorrow and destruction. Your life could be snuffed out in a moment in the chaos that is coming. You need to be ready. When your life ends the opportunity to choose your eternal destination will be gone. If you do not choose Christ ahead of time you will automatically go to hell. That’s blunt, but it is fact. (He that believeth on him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already….John 3:18)

Nobody wants to go to hell. Like the rich young ruler in the Bible we ask “What must I do to be saved?”  The rich young ruler made his choice. He could not be saved because he wanted his wealth more than he wanted Jesus. (See Matthew 19)

Jesus’ gift of salvation and eternal life is free and offered to everyone.You need to know beyond any doubt that no one has been left out of the circle of his love. There is no person born some place outside of God’s grace. The Bible tells us that salvation has come to all men  The opportunity to be saved comes to everyone. (See Titus 2:11)

The opportunity to be saved makes its way over the face of the whole earth. Christians have been commissioned to spread the good news of salvation through Jesus throughout the world and millions of Christians have obeyed that directive. You don’t need to be a missionary to spread the gospel. But when Christians can not or do not reach the unsaved, then Christ himself seeks out his own. He is able to go where no feet fall; he can go into the wildest jungle, or into the rudest desert hovel to speak to a heart, to give a dream, to urge a savage soul toward redemption.  Numbers of persons who never heard the gospel have been saved by a personal encounter with Jesus. He knows where you are, and seeks out those who have a heart for him.

I am not going to try to tell you how God does that beyond what I have already said. It is plain that not everyone gets saved; some do not want to be saved. Some want to be saved and at the same time live like sinners. They make their choice. You can’t have it both ways. God made us, but we make our choices. God is just and fair and righteous beyond our comprehension. He holds the planets in their places by his sovereign power; he knows the name of every star. We all come from different places and circumstances, and some of us seem to be more fortunate than the rest of us by this fallen world’s standards. But we are little and God is big. He knows more than we do. We do not see from God’s perspective. He measures by a different rule. There is no meanness, partiality, or favoritism in him. If he were not just to the nth degree, the entire universe would fly apart. Jesus offers to every person the exact same salvation that he offered his twelve disciples. He might not give us things that we think we should have or deserve, but it is not his nature to short change us, withhold from us, or deny us anything that is of eternal consequence. His purpose for each individual is different. He gives us what we need to fulfill his design for us. Your neighbor has a different purpose. His situation and abilities will be different from yours. We are all equal in God’s eyes, but we are not all the same.

The rich young ruler had a yearning in his heart for eternal life, for cleanness of heart and soul. That’s why he was talking to Jesus in the first place. He wanted the thing that Jesus offered, but when he considered the price, he was unwilling to pay it.

Which brings us around to the point of this writing. Salvation is a free gift. It is an impartation to us from God of his spirit. It is not a promise for the future although it carries one. It is not a will of the wisp, here today and gone tomorrow. It is an unforgettable personal encounter with Jesus, King of Kings. It will change your life. If your life has not changed, if you have not grown, if you have not put away sin, it could be you are not really saved. You need to go further, dig deeper, seek more . He responds to those who genuinely seek him.

If this is you, please know I am not saying this to hurt your feelings. Nor am I saying you are not saved. Only you and Jesus know if you are saved or not. But if you are struggling, I have been where you are. It was not a one time easy trip for me to become reconciled to God. But I kept seeking and knocking, and he eventually gave me a wonderful revelation of himself that sustains me to this day.

What I want for you is encouragement and true direction. You need the truth, for nothing else will save you in the end. No amount of reform, behavior modification, or wishful thinking will substitute for a heart encounter with Jesus. Nothing but his blood sacrifice can cleanse your soul and give you eternal life. Everything else is false no matter how good and reasonable it sounds. Ignoring the facts, putting your head in the sand, taking the easy way out with a half hearted commitment will not work in the long run.Do not even consider  a temporary fix for an eternal problem. Heaven or hell; both are forever.

If you want Jesus, if you want to be saved it is not hard. The sinner’s prayer is only a few sentences, and millions perhaps have entered into salvation by saying the sinner’s prayer, from their heart. An equal number perhaps have said the words, with no results. The Bible says with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:10

There are people around  who say “Well, Bless God, if you didn’t get saved the way I got saved, then you didn’t get it.” That’s like saying it’s my way or the highway. Don’t listen to people like that. You don’t need that person’s stamp of approval on your salvation experience. What you need is a relationship with Jesus. Do not stop until you find Him, in person. He said himself, I am the way…and no man cometh to the father but by me. John 14:6

More to come…..

 

 

 

 

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