Eternity and Salvation: these may be the most significant realities in existence other than the person of God. Maybe because of their utter finality. In a world so inundated by temporary and disposable realities, absolutes such as these may seem so distant, and even mythical or mystical to some. Nonetheless, infinite truths are revealed by an infinite God who became in part finite for the very purpose of making these truths known and available to mankind. All of the known universe bears the signature of its triune Author in time, space, and matter. Each of these in turn being three in part. Time consisting of past, present, and future; space consisting of height, depth, and breadth; and matter consisting of solid liquid and gas. A trinity of trinities spoken into existence by Father, Son, and Holy Ghost who made us body, mind, and spirit for the purpose of having a relationship with Him. Life is about relationships. There are three of these as well: the way we are related to ourselves, others, and our Creator. All of these relationships are broken by the curse of sin and are in need of repair (Sin being a counterfeit or unholy trinity comprised of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - I John 2:15-17). The good news is that God has made a way of salvation from sin. God’s signature on his work of salvation is visible in time as well: justification being the work of salvation from past sins, sanctification being the work of salvation from present sins, and glorification being the completed work of salvation in the future.
It has been said that the only two things in this world that will last forever are the Word of God and the Souls of people. Significantly, it is the Word of God that provides the Way of securing eternal life for our souls and for those of others. This being true, we can build upon this and say that any investment of resources be it time, or money, or thought, that is not related to this work is wasted because it is perishable “...Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (Rom. 14:23) This verse provides a general principle found throughout the written Word of God that can be applied to any specific detail of life or to this life as a whole. Let us dedicate some time now to this work.
Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Truthfully being able to answer these questions in a way that is consistent with spiritual reality regarding one’s purpose and destination provides the only meaningful peace, confidence, and comfort in life. Everyone will exist somewhere forever. There is an end to this life. In this world There are but three things we must do: exist, choose, and die. The choice we make about Jesus Christ will determine the answer to these questions and determine where we will exist forever when we do die. Death is the result of sin. Death is also three-parted consisting of the separation of our person from God in this life (spiritual death), the separation of our body from our spirit (physical death), and the separation of our person from God in eternal torment (eternal Death). In a way true life is a form of death in the sense that true life is separation from sin through obedient faith in Jesus Christ who is the living Word of God, the Saviour, who died for the sins the world and rose three days later having clothed himself in humanity for 33 years. Every time we choose we change. So we are either in the process of choosing death or choosing life. Life is both a choice and a gift, and we choose who we will serve because we cannot serve both masters. The Lord has called many to receive life because the Lord has offered life to all. However, only few have and will receive the call to live. Those who have received the call to live are then called to share the message of salvation with those who are yet lost. This world is a spiritual battleground for people’s lives.
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.
Go and tell. It is a direct command of God. If all were saved automatically without any choice on their part, there would be no need to teach the message of forgiveness available if we believe, confess, and repent. If God did not desire to use people to win people because his work of predetermining who should enter the kingdom is already completed, there would be no call to teach. God knows what is going to happen before it happens, but that does not negate the responsibility or effect of the work He has given to us.
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.
Ultimately Jehovah God is the one who does the saving. Let us look at seven types of personal experiences used by God to reach those who are yet to receive His forgiveness.
Conscience. We all have one. It exists within the minds of even the most ignorant, barbaric and native peoples. It may be better called God-consciousness. We are born with it. It is a part of who we are made to be. An inner awareness of the existence of our good God and what good is. It is a voice and vision that is distorted by sin, but we hear it nonetheless. And we seek to either grow in our knowledge and acceptance of that good or else we burn it out of our minds and hearts and give our souls in exchange for something else. The Lord calls to us through our conscience.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
Nature. It is obvious there is a God. The voice of true science shouts loudly that God is observable in what He has made. We all know, therefore we are accountable. No one will stand before God and justifiably declare that they were unaware of His existence or had no opportunity to respond to His call. The Lord calls us through His creation. The truths revealed about God in nature are general revelations of His omnipotent identity and this revelation invites us to seek to know Him more specifically.
Human History. History is in fact His Story. It is the account of the relationship between God and Man. The Holy Bible in it’s 66 books is the only completely accurate written record of human history. It’s word’s were given by God and preserved by God. Jesus is the center of human history. Past History said Jesus is coming, present History says Jesus is here, future history says Jesus is coming again. The accurate record of each living soul’s personal history is likewise an account of their relationship with God. His Story is clearly seen in the records of language and literature, archeology, geology, and the laws and traditions of men. It may be that the pictographs of the Chinese are of the oldest languages in use today being thousands of years old. A country who has rejected God as a whole still shows the traces of their connection to His Story which can be seen in many words such as the word for “salvation” which is a picture of 8 people and a boat. The Lord calls us through history.
And of some have compassion, making a difference:
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
The Lord calls us through human influence. God uses people to reach other people. When we accept Jesus the Saviour from our sins and the Spirit of God begins to live within us we become more of what God intends for us to be. We are forgiven of our sins and learn to grow in overcoming sinful living. We become capable according to the measure of God. Capable of serving in His ministry. Capable of Love and of seeing and understanding His will according to His Word. Jesus changes us and we are then unlike the lost in a way that is obvious and cannot be hidden. We become directly and indirectly persuasive when we interact with others because of our identity in the Lord. He calls others through our influence.
2 Pet 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
The Lord calls us to change our mind about our sin through His Holy Spirit. He will and does make known to us that we fall short of His will. He makes us to understand that we are not in right relationship to Him because of our inherited sin nature and the sins we have committed against Him. He urges us to reach out to Him to deliver us from ourselves, to redeem us from an evil master, to save us from eternal punishment.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
Life is about relationships, and relationships are about communication. The Lord calls us through his Word. He spoke the universe into existence and continues to speak to us in audible words at times according to the record and experiences of many. The Spirit of God placed His words into the hearts of men who recorded them in writing for all of humanity to benefit from the specific and special revelation of Truth. The Word of God is pure in all forms and He has exalted His Word above even His name. It is the written Word of God that outlines God’s plan for salvation and articulates the details of the logic of Faith. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Word of God and He it is that saves.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
God is a God of order: His order. God is bound to be Holy and bound to His Word. However, he is not bound by what He has made. We ought not attempt to place Him in a theological or systematized box. The Lord calls us supernaturally. He may stop time, change a heart, speak through animals or angels, heal and inflict wounds, or perform any miraculous act He chooses in order to get our attention regarding our need for Jesus or to accomplish His will in our lives. Prayer to God is a supernatural work that changes realities.
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
God uses these experiences to call us to Himself and make us aware of our need for salvation, and to urge us to receive Jesus’ payment for our sins. Now let us look more specifically at five ways in which we may apply these experiences to our labor of Love in seeking to be used by God to reach the lost.
Apologetics: This is the idea of intellectual arguments that support and defend faith in Jesus Christ and refute the lies of false science and false religion. We are made in the image of God. We are intelligent beings capable of reason and logic. Truth makes good sense. Although our power to understand is hindered by the effects of sin upon our thoughts, we are often able to reach the lost through this method. The evidence of science, history, and nature is irrefutable in winning the case for Christ when presented according the the Lord’s lead.
1 Peter 3:15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Another application of sharing the Gospel is that of
Evangelism. Evangelism is a spiritual gift and work of grace. We might say that anyone who shares the good news that Jesus paid the debt of our sins and will save us if we trust him and forsake our sins is an evangelist. We might go further and say that evangelism is a special ability to reach people with the Gospel and produce a successful outcome. This special ability is the result of the blessing of God and the Work of the Spirit of God as we grow in our relationship and experience with Him and His Word as believers. All believers are called to be evangelists.
2 tim 4:5
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Witnessing is another application of sharing Jesus with the lost. The Lord lives within us when he saves us in a unique way that becomes visibly evident. Our lifestyle will testify that we are different than those who are lost. Emotionally, spiritually, our identity has been transformed. We are a child of God. We may not always be visible to others, but the Lord will use the witness of our work in our labor of love to reach the lost. There are very practical functions in everyday life that must be tended to. Some must devote their efforts to the material management associated with the work of the Gospel ministry and these functions are not wasted when directed by God and used in support of reaching the lost.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
To proclaim something as truth is Preaching. True knowledge is knowing a true thing. Preaching is declaring that truth and publicizing it abroad in order that its acceptance and application are promoted. The truth of God’s Word is powerful and reaches the hearts and minds of the lost. So powerful in its absolute truth that even when proclaimed with ill motive there is cause for rejoicing and it will not return to the Lord empty of results.
Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Prayer may be the most significant resource available in reaching those who are lost. Listening and talking to God about His plan to seek and to save those who are lost. Asking Him to prepare us and to prepare others. Seeking to submit ourselves to His lead and direction in all of our decision making. Prayer produces a renewed zeal for the Spirit and Word of God resulting in a drive to reach the Lost.
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
I John 5:16
If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
Being a sower of the seed is not just parabolic it is paradoxical if we fail to understand that God is in control and we are not to get ahead of Him or behind Him. God’s timing is beautiful (Ecc. 3). His plan is perfect. Our ability to reach the lost is not based upon how often we share Him, how bold we are, how many we speak to, or any factor other than submissive obedience.
Is 52:7 (Rom 10:15)
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
I Cor 3:7
So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
We are all pigs and dogs figuratively speaking at some point. The Lord knows when to reach us and by what means based on who He has made us to be and based upon His unique call upon our lives.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
Wisdom is the right application of God’s Word to the circumstances of life. The word in the above passage “winneth” comes from a common word meaning to “take” something. The word is used in Gen. 5:24 when God “took” Enoch. To Win a soul is to take a person’s existence. To take that existence from the place of death to the place of Life. Be wise and take Souls.
So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
I John 5:12
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Copyright; 2018 by Michael
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