Bible Lesson 79

ASSURANCE

JOHN 19:30

#2 In A Series

In our last session, we looked at, how and why, Christians can have total assurance of their salvation. In this lesson, we will look further into what it is that gives us that kind of rock-ribbed assurance and how that affects our lives as we live in Christ here on the earth. The reason for our confidence can be contained in one verse of scripture that tells us what Jesus said with his last breath before giving up His Spirit to the Father. What earth-shattering pronouncement did Jesus speak as He gave up His Spirit’ He said ‘It is finished’; and that reminds us that what Jesus Christ did on the cross was enough to quench the wrath of God the Father, against the sins of all those that Christ died to save (Hebrews 5:8-9

If we think about just how God set all the steps in place to redeem a people from every tongue, tribe and nation, and to even redeem His creation from the ravages of sin, it almost boggles the mind. In fact, the human mind has to be stretched to encompass God’s revelation of what He did to save people who were born enemies of God. God had no reason, other than His Amazing Grace and love; but he chose to take the sins of those who would really obey Him upon Himself in the person and flesh of the second person of the God-head, Jesus Christ God’s one and only begotten Son, who allowed Himself to be nailed to a Cross, to suffer, be humiliated, to bleed and die, be buried in a borrowed tomb. He would, on the third day arise, and walk out of that tomb, never to die again. Not only that but He was exalted and rose back into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father, to make intercession for those whom He died to save.

By His resurrection and exaltation, and return into heaven from whence He had come, we know for certain that when Jesus said, there on the cross, ‘It is finished’, that all that was required to completely forgive the sins of those who obey Him and to guarantee their final salvation had been done. God the Father’s wrath against their sin had been forever quenched. If we have the courage to remember or consider the sins that we committed before our salvation by God, we have to know the unmentionable pain and suffering that Jesus Christ endured on our behalf, and we then have to know that if God was willing to give His One and Only Son to pay our sin debt, that we have much reason to celebrate the fact that we can know that we know, that we know, that we are safe in the everlasting arms of God.

Let me be clear here now, I am not offering this up as a check-list that you can perform someway and be saved. What I am saying is the God, in His time and in His way, will transition those that He saves, through all of these steps or points. I am not attempting to read God’s mind about salvation; because I don’t have to. God has revealed these things to us in His Word the Bible. If I don’t quote God on these as we proceed through this lesson, then count me as a false prophet. We can look at the Bible and know that God sometime in the past has judged the human race and found it lacking, dead in trespass and sin, (Ephesians 2:1; Romans 3:10, 23).

The human race sits with the sin of Adam imputed to everyone born by natural means and under the wrath of God because of that, (Romans 5:12, 18-19; Ephesians 2:2-3; John 3:16-21). Jesus Christ was sent by the Father, to save His people (the elect), they had been judged by the Father and the Son was willing to come and face death on the cross to save those who would believe to the degree that they would obey him, (John 14:15, 21-24).

I mentioned that Christ came to save those who were elected (or chosen) by the Father, before the foundation of the world, these were chosen not for anything that they were or would ever be or do, but simply because The Almighty God chose to choose them. God did not reveal any names or even give any hints as to who He had chosen to be saved. There are no marks other than that at some time in their lives they will surrender to the calling and will of God in their lives. Please do not take the knowledge that God has chosen some and passed by some as a deterrent to your seeking the Grace and mercy of God; because no one knows who the elect are. The thing that we do know is that God puts their old nature to death and raises a new creature, one who can and will obey Him ( Ephesians 2:10; Romans 6:1-6; 2nd Corinthians 5:17).

Please remember that the only thing that will send you to hell is unrepented sin and a mind that will not submit the flesh to the control of God. Jesus tells us in Matthew chapter seven that the reason that most will end up in hell is that they will not take the time or make the effort to, first find the strait gate that opens on the narrow way that leads to eternal life, and then carefully walk that strait way for the rest of their lives (Matthew 7:13-14). That speaks of a people so taken with the ways of the world and the worldly, that they just do not have the time or the energy to seek eternal life in heaven.

We have seen that, in eternity past, before there was a world of people, plants, or animals on the earth, that God in His omniscience planned that men would require salvation, so back then in eternity, God made The Way for man to be reconciled to Himself. No man can offend God and not face the consequence, and the consequence is death and eternal separation from God. In the mind of God, Jesus Christ, the God-man, was crucified in eternity pass and we received the gift of life when Jesus Christ went to the cross in time. It would serve us well to train ourselves to remember that the man that we were at our birth is not fit for heaven; and there must be another birth, the new birth, which creates a creature that is fit for heaven, (Ephesians 2:10; 2nd Corinthians 5:17). That birth comes only at God’s calling (Romans 8:28-30).

If you read and understand the Bible in its context, you will find that God has from eternity had a plan for His creation. That plan has been playing out in whatever happens in the world and the universe since God said, ‘Let there be light’, and established morning and evening to mark our days. God’s plan covers nations and powers and principalities, believers and non-believers, God’s children, and the devil’s children. Contrary to the people who are so concerned about global warming, man will not be the destroyer of the earth. God may use mankind as the instrument to destroy the earth, but it will come only when God determines it will come. That does not mean that God has not called us all to be good stewards of his bounty on the earth, because He has, (Genesis 2:15; Luke 12:35-48; Luke 16:2). What kind of steward are you’ How much do you waste of God’s provision every day, how have you been handling your stewardship of the mysteries of God, if you are truly saved’ God put man here on the earth to be productive and to use the natural resources responsibly. Have we done a good job at that’ We need to remember that God put an expiration date on this world that we live in, and it will last until that date; however how we handle our responsibilities as stewards of God, can determine the conditions that we have to live in while we are alive. Global warming is not an issue most Christians will be concerned about; because we know and trust Almighty God and we have His promise that whatever happens, we will be forever with Him in heaven.

With that said, let me move on to look into what God has said happens in our salvation. First our election, or chosen by God to be in the Family of God through Jesus Christ. God in eternity past chose a people, without distinction but not without exception. In other words, God chose individuals from every tribe, tongue, and nation, but not every person from every nation. Before the foundation of the world before there was time or people, God chose particular individuals to be members of those who would obey Christ and inherit heaven. These were not chosen because of any reason other than God chose them. Those who would argue with God about the fairness of that action are probably not among the elect. It is time that we understood that God is Almighty, Omnipotent, and Infinite, He is the Creator and we are His creatures, and we dare not confront God about what He has done.

That leads us to the place where we are born to our parents into this world, that is God’s property, and we are all born with the nature of Adam, a nature that is rebellious, disobedient, and against God and His control over our lives. Some were elected (chosen) before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-5; 2nd Thessalonians 2:13; 1st Peter 2:9). We were chosen by God to be saved in time and God begins that salvation process by converting, or bringing a person to a knowledge of God and man’s dire condition, through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God (Romans 10:17; John 16:8-11). Whether you want to believe it or not, everyone one of us was still-born at our natural birth. We were spiritually separated from God because of our sin nature, which we loved and followed to one degree or another (Ephesians 2:1). God brings us back to spiritual life through the knowledge of His revelation (Romans 10:17). That knowledge may come from a personal reading of the Bible or by some faithful preacher telling us the real truth of the revelation of God. We will attempt to at least enumerate the path of salvation in this lesson; however as one of my sons says frequently, ‘ you have to understand salvation the same way anyone would eat an elephant, and that is one bite at a time. We will attempt to explain as much as God has revealed to us through His Word the Bible, and we will do it one bite at a time.

I want to take our time on explaining salvation because I find that most people who call themselves Christians do not understand what salvation is all about. Today’s Christians usually think that because they belong to some church that calls itself Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, or one of the mainline denominations, that that is what makes them Christians. That will cause many people to miss heaven completely because all joining one of the visible churches makes you are a church member. Don’t take offense at my saying that because I say it with full assurance that I am right. Most truly called men of God to know that is true, and many have publicly stated it. Billy Graham has estimated that most of the people who call themselves church members are lost, people. R.G. Lee who pastored a large church in Tennessee estimated that a large majority of church members are lost, people. The question now becomes, what is the problem’ The problem exists because lost human beings seem to have a herd instinct, and when several decades ago, the major thrust became to increase membership, most took that up over all other considerations. Consequently, we now stand as churches that have hundreds on their rolls that are as lost as a ball in high weeds.

If we are true to the Word of God, we know that God only has one church, and that is the Church that Jesus Christ is building on the faith that understands that the worlds were framed by the word of God so that the things which are seen were not made of visible things. Faith that offers to God the things which God requires, faith that pleases God by obedience, faith that believes that God is and that He is a rewarded of those who diligently seek Him, faith that fears God and obeys Him, faith that waits for a city that has foundations, whose builder and maker is God, faith that knows that with God nothing is impossible, faith that sees past pain to the promise of God, faith that overcomes the world as it serves God (Hebrews chapter 11). Only that kind of faith saves any soul, and that kind of faith is what builds the church of Jesus Christ, (Matthew 16:13-19).

Decades ago the visible church went into business for itself, when it left being patient enough to simply preach ‘Thus saith the Lord’, and began to care only about self-perpetuation, and began to compete for numbers. This break from what God had commanded and this seeking numbers required a drastic change in the way pastors and leaders taught and preached the Bible. No longer were men courageous enough to take the Bible, having prepared themselves to preach it in context, and preach the truths of God apply them directly to those who sat in the pews. It is to the point in our day, that preachers don’t even apply the word to their own lives.

True salvation, that brings with it the new birth and regeneration and that new creation in Christ, is not some kind of holy dust that preachers can sprinkle to excite God to save a person. True salvation is a gift from God; and it comes only as those who preach, know the word in context, and do not preach it as a pretext to cause people to join their group. Am I overstating the case’ If you feel that I am beginning to examine yourself about what you know and what you believe and how your life lines up with the life of Christ? Better yet, attempt to have a deep conversation with someone in your church about the Bible and Christ. You will probably find that getting most church-members to talk about the deep things of God is an impossibility. Oh, some will give you the answers to the test. Most of them know that you can just drop the name of Jesus to most questions that are asked and then move on, but they are not able to find the answers in their Bible. Read and study your Bibles because there will be a test and a Judgment at the end.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob