2.21.2006

Are You or Your Loved Ones Soundly Saved? Part II

If you have not read Part I of this post yet, please do so here.
After this, one came and said to Jesus, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" But He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into heaven, keep the commandments." The man asked Jesus, "Which ones?" Jesus said, " 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Matthew 19:16-22)
A man comes to you and asks "What should I do if I want to go to heaven?" "Yes!" you think to yourself as you pull the 'Roman Road' laminated calendar out of your wallet. "This is what I have been waiting for!" You explain that "Jesus can get you to heaven, and besides He will fill the hole in your heart you have always been seeking to fill and give you lasting fulfillment." Then you walk the seeker down the 'Roman Road' and lead him in a 6-point prayer that would make Billy Graham proud. But What did Jesus do? When He was approached by a rich young man seeking eternal life, the subject was not His impending death, burial and resurrection, nor how He could improve the man's life. Jesus, following scripture, went straight to the Ten Commandments and how they applied to this particular person. Jesus understood that it is God's divine Law which converts a person (Psalm 19:7), not a desire for personal gain or other ambition. The rich young ruler told Jesus that he had kept all the commandments in the law from his youth. Well, there he went breaking number 8, "Thou shalt not lie." Jesus had told him a few moments before that "No one is good except for God." This man had a pride problem that had to be conquered before the law could convict him of his sin. But it is a novel idea, is it not? Using the law, given before Christ in preparation for His coming, as a signpost to point a person to their intrinsic need for grace. A novel idea indeed, especially when you consider what Paul tells the Galatians in his letter to them:
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:24)
That was simple. The law existed to point us to Christ so that His grace could save us. So what business do we have ignoring the message of condemnation in the law when bringing someone to Christ? "But we cannot condemn someone!" That is right. We cannot condemn them, because those who do not believe in the name of Christ have been condemned already! (John 3:18) Again, the law is used to convert the soul by convicting a person of sin (Psalm 19:7, Romans 7:7), and the resulting need for Christ is what drives them to repentance and to salvation by grace through faith. Our haughty, man-centered gospel of life enhancement is churning out unrepentant, false converts every Sunday morning because the participants never understand the real reason that they need Jesus! If the reason we seek the Gospel is for life enhancement, one of two things will happen. Either our life will not be enhanced the way we wanted it to, and we will become disgruntled and fall away, or our life will be enhanced and we will decide "I do not need Jesus any more!" and fall away. Either way, the life enhancement message produces false converts who will not inherit the Kingdom of God, because as Jesus said, "Depart from me, you accursed. I never knew you." (Luke 13:27) The theme for these two posts was taken from a new website called The Way of the Master. This site is run by Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, and Todd Friel. I encourage everyone to take a good look at the vital message of this site. So now it is your turn. Use the Ten Commandments (can you even name them?). Get out there and win some souls the right way! In Him, David S. MacMillan III

3 comments:

Deb said...

I agree! We (and others) must understand our need for redemption. I am appreciating a book - "Stranger on the Road to Emmaus" by John R. Cross - which is an overview of the bible - spelling out the fall, our sin inheritance, the promise, etc., you get the picture. I think it is an excellent book to give anyone we are witnessing to, or know has just gotten saved. It assumes that one knows NOTHING of the bible, and really leads you by the hand.

Also, I'd like to say that I believe people fall away from the Lord because they don't have a grasp on Him - His Word. The fact that it's true - the ability to defend our faith. The understanding of Israel in the bible, as a sign - all the prophecies that came true, that history has recorded, not vague like Nostradamus, but detailed prophesies. That is unique ONLY to the bible. Our faith is not -- does not need to be -- leap in the dark. God didn't make it that way, He gave us evidence. A lot of people don't know that. I didn't used to. Learning to defend my faith sent me from complacent to on fire. At an old age too -- (about 10 years ago, after being a Christian for many years).

Christine said...

I enjoyed both your posts on this topic. Thank you. It's sad to see people who don't understand the gospel and haven't been taught properly. Last summer at the end of a youth camp there was a time for the teens to give testimony of their decisions and there were two young people that came up and said "I got saved again". I thought that was sad, but no one seemed to have a problem with this. They were all saying "Praise the Lord", but I can't help but wonder, if they don't understand this, and didn't get saved the first time, is there really any difference now? We seem so excited to see people "get saved" that we gloss over whether or not they really have a relationship with God. The problem really isn't with those who have "been saved again" but with those of us who haven't taught them properly, those of us who haven't taught the next generation the truth.

Anonymous said...

your mom uses the ten commandments.