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Is More Than Being Saved
by Dr. Jack Hyles
(Chapter 1 - What is
God made man for a purpose.
That purpose was that He might have a race peculiarly made for
His praise and glory and honor and that that race might seek to
do only His will. Man chose not to fulfill that purpose
when he believed the evil one, and he fell from his lofty estate
of Edenic bliss and fellowship with God. Now man has fallen, but
God still wants to salvage him. Basically, that is what salvation
is...salvation is a salvaging. Now this salvaging is
twofold. When a person is born again, his spirit is salvaged.
'Mere is more, however, to salvation (salvaging) than being born
again. God also wants to salvage our lives. Ephesians 2: 10, "For
we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
have in our church a man who is educable slow. He is unable
to hold a regular job so he goes from garbage can to garbage can
and from roadside to roadside trying to find aluminum and tin.
When he finds it, he salvages it. However, it is not
salvaged when it is simply pulled from the garbage or from the
roadside. To be sure, it is no longer in the garbage, and
it is saved from the garbage, but it is not totally salvaged
until it is recycled and used again. When man fell, he
became dung. His righteousness became filthy rags.
Salvation's plan was made, but that plan is twofold. The
first step in that plan is the salvaging of the spirit of man
when man puts his faith in the finished work of Christ.
After that salvaging, however, there remains another salvaging
(salvation) and that is when man is recycled in order that he may
once again fulfill his original purpose just as the tin and the
aluminum that are recycled.
Hence, salvation is salvaging
everything that is possible. Hebrews 2:3, "How shall
we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first
began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them
that heard Him." The word "neglect" could
also be translated "not completing" or "not
totally salvaged." The book of Hebrews was written to
Hebrew Christians; it was not written to the unsaved.
Hence, Hebrews 2:3 was written to the saved, not to the unsaved.
The average preacher who preaches from this passage and the
average teacher who teaches therefrom, teach that this Scripture
tells us that if we neglect being saved, we will not escape the
wrath and the judgment of God. Though one who teaches that
from this Scripture does not do it an injustice, he does not
teach the primary truth that God intended for this passage.
God is talking here about saved people neglecting their own
salvation. It is not primarily talking about the salvaging
from the garbage can; it is talking about the salvaging to the
recycling. God is saying that He will punish us if we do
not let our salvation be complete. Salvation from Hell and
to eternal life is totally of Christ, but God wants more than our
souls salvaged; He wants our lives salvaged.
We have four
children. When our oldest daughter, Becky, was a senior in high
school, I bought her a Hammond organ. I told her that the organ
was hers as a gift, but that she should not neglect it. She
should practice. She should keep it polished and dusted. The
organ was saved to her, but it was not yet saved for its purpose.
Its purpose was not just to belong to Becky It was more than
that. It was both to belong to Becky and be used by Becky for the
glory of God.
When our youngest daughter, Cindy, was seven
years old, I bought her a beautiful bicycle, Two weeks after I
bought it, I found it in the snow. I reminded her that the
bicycle was hers, but that she was neglecting it.
telling us here that salvation is ours; that is, the salvation of
the spirit is by grace through faith, but God wants us recycled
so that we may once again fulfill the purpose of our creation. We
are saved by grace through faith from the garbage can. Ephesians
2:8, 9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that
not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any
man should boast." We are saved to recycling.
Ephesians 2: 10, "For we are His workmanship, created in
Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that
we should walk in them." The purpose of our being
saved from the garbage can is that we may be recycled.
don't misunderstand me. If all God does is save us from the
garbage can, He is pleased. He does not want us to go to Hell. He
wants us to be saved from sin and born again, but His full desire
for us is that once we are saved from the garbage can we be
totally recycled so once again we can fulfill the purpose of His
Because of this, soul winning is far more
than we think. We equate soul winning with telling someone how to
have his name written in Heaven and how to be saved from Hell and
to know he is going to Heaven when he dies. This is soul winning,
but it is not all of soul winning. If salvation is more than
being saved from Hell, then soul winning is more than leading
people to be saved from Hell.
Matthew 28:19, 20, "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."
You will notice we have both forms of soul winning mentioned
here. We have pulling people from the garbage can. We also have
"teaching them to observe all things," which means we
are also to lead them to be recycled.
John 15:16, "Ye
have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that
ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should
remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He
may give it to you." Here we are to bear fruit; that is,
save them from the garbage can. Our fruit should remain; that is,
get them recycled.
James 5:19, 20, "Brethren, if any
of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know,
that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way
shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of
sins." This is talking mainly about recycling.
This is talking about a brother who is saved from Hell but who
has not been recycled for his original purpose. When we win
him to Christ, we are soul winning. When we win him for
Christ, we are soul winning.
Proverbs 11:30, "The
fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth
souls is wise." It mentions "he that winneth
souls is wise." He that wins souls to salvation from
the garbage can is wise. He that wins souls from the
garbage-can to the recycling is wiser.
Daniel 12:3, "And
they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament;
and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever
and ever." Here we are told that we are to turn men to
righteousness. There are two righteousnesses. One is imputed
righteousness which is the righteousness of Christ which is given
us at the new birth. The second is the righteousness that we are
to live in our lives. The first righteousness has to do with the
salvation from the garbage can. The second righteousness has to
do with the salvation of recycling.
Psalm 142:4, "I
looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that
would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul."
This is not the cry of a man who has never been saved begging for
someone to care for his soul in being born again. This is a born
again man pleading for someone to care for his soul in helping
him to get recycled. It is care for his saved soul for
which he yearns.
Ezekiel 34:16, "I will seek that
which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and
will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that
which was sick..." This is as much soul winning as the
person who goes out with the Roman Road plan of salvation and
leads someone to Christ.
There are those who never lead
people to Christ. They never snatch anyone from the garbage
can. They feet their special calling is to lead them to
recycling. This is only half their job and they are not
totally obeying the Great Commission or the plan of God. On
the other hand, there are those who spend all their time plucking
folks from the garbage can and never work to get them recycled.
These are not complete soul winners either, for they are only
doing half of the Great Commission and leading folks to a
salvation that is only a part of what God had in mind in His
May I ask you, reader, "Are you a soul
winner?" Remember that a soul winner is a
salvager--one who leads a sinner to choose Christ and one who
leads a saint to choose the will of God, the work of God and the
plan of God.
The lost man is free to choose good, but he
cannot do what he chooses because he is lost. He may admire
goodness, choose to do goodness, but he will not do goodness, for
even his righteousness is as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6, "But
we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are
as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities,
like the wind, have taken us away." All he can do is choose
Christ. Now that he has chosen Christ, not only can he choose to
do good, but he can do good. Philippians 4:13, "I can do all
things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Now good is
available to him, but he needs a soul winner to lead him to
choose the good over the bad, and be recycled.
part of soul winning is the choosing of Christ so that the
choosing of good will be possible and that good will be
available. The second part of soul winning is leading the
Christian to choose the good that he now can do since he has
chosen Christ. He used to hate the penalty of sin; now he hates
sin. He has been delivered from the garbage can of inability to
do good. Now he must be delivered to the recycling of the
choosing to do the good that is now within his reach because he
has chosen Christ.
This means that God not only wants the
sinner to come to Christ; He wants the Christian to come to
usefulness. He not only wants the soul winner to lead folks from
Hell and to Heaven by faith in Christ, but He wants the soul
winner to continue his soul winning by leading the Christian to
choose to be recycled that he might once again be used for the
purpose for which God made him. This is salvation!
(Chapter 2 -
Regeneration and Salvation)
John 3:7, "Marvel not that I
said unto thee, Ye must be born again." John 1:11, 12,
"He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.
But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the
sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." I
Peter 1:23, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but
of incorruptible, by the Word of God, Which liveth and abideth
for ever." James 1: 18, "Of His own will begat He
us with the Word of truth, that we should be a kind of
firstfruits of His creatures." Titus 3:1-5, "Put
them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey
magistrates, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no
man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all
men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish,
disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living
in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after
that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man
appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but
according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of
regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost."
word "regeneration" means "to be gened again."
We were born the first time of physical genes; we were born the
second time of spiritual genes. We were born the first time of
earthly parental genes; we were born the second time of divine
genes. This is exactly what is meant in John 3:5, 7, "Jesus
answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born
of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of
God. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."
In verse 7 when It Says, "Ye must be born again," the
Greek word is the same word used for genes. It means, "You
must be gened again." It matters not how good the
natural man becomes; he has not been gened right. He may
Improve himself, get baptized, take communion, join the church,
and reform himself, but he remains a natural man because that
which was born was born of natural genes. This is why he
cannot understand the things of God. I Corinthians 2:14,
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit
of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know
them, because they are spiritually discerned."
new genes must be born from God. John 1:11, 12, "He came
unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as
received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on His name." Mom and Dad's
genes won't do; we must be gened from God. The word "born"
in this passage comes from the root word which means "gened."
The first time we are born of temporal genes. If we live
forever, we must be born of eternal genes. John 3:7,
"Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."
God is saying here that the Eternal must gene you if you have
eternal life. The Beginning must gene you. That which
always was must gene you. The same root word is found in
John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God, and the Word was God." Revelation 22:13, "I
am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the
last." The old nature cannot live forever because it
is born of natural genes. It comes from its earthly
parents. For one to be born again he must be gened from
above by eternal genes.
What are these genes? They are the
Word of God. James 1: 18, "Of His own will begat He us
with the Word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits
of His creatures." The word "begat" comes
from the same word, gened. We are gened by the Word of God.
I Peter 1:23, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed,
but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, Which liveth and
abideth for ever." Once again we have the same word.
We must be gened by something that is eternal. That means
something that was and always will be. This is the Word of
God. The Word of God was not written when it was penned by holy
men of old. It always was! Psalm 119:89, "For ever, 0
Lord, Thy Word is settled in Heaven." Someone has said
that the Word of God was not penned by man; it was already penned
in Heaven before there ever was a man, but we must go far beyond
that. There never was a time when there was no Word of
God! The Word of God always was and always will be!
To this extent, if my genes always were and always will be, then
my salvation always was and always will be. My genes are
eternal; so my life that they brought to me is eternal. My
genes then are the Word of God, Which is the precious seed of
Psalm 126:5-6, "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall
doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with
Now this incorruptible seed gives incorruptible
life. I John 3:9, "Whosoever is born of God doth not
commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin,
because he is born of God." The seed was never born,
so it cannot die. The life it brings was never born, so it
cannot die. According to the duration of the seed is the
duration of the life. How foolish it is for one to think
that he can have an eternal life by improving a temporal life!
Just as the first birth, which is a natural one brought by
natural genes, brings forth a life that is natural and not
eternal, even so the second birth, which is brought by eternal
genes, brings forth a life that is eternal, but in order for it
to be eternal, it must be incorruptible! It is folly for
one to think that a life brought by corruptible seed can bring an
incorruptible eternal life. That life that is in me that
was born of my mother and father on September 25, 1926, can sin
because it was brought forth by corruptible seed; that is,
corruptible genes. Hence, it can die. That life which
was born in me in August of 1937 cannot sin because it came from
incorruptible seed; that is, incorruptible genes. Hence, it
Eternal life cannot spring from
corruptible seed, and nothing that one can do to the life born of
corruptible seed can make it incorruptible and thereby eternal,
nor can that which is done by corruptible seed nullify that which
was wrought by incorruptible seed, and a life that sprang from
incorruptible seed cannot be nullified by a life that springs
from corruptible seed, which means the deeds of the natural man
cannot stop the life of the spiritual man. In other words,
just as man can do nothing to be saved, he can do nothing to be
unsaved. Just as the deeds of the flesh cannot bring about
the new life, neither can the deeds of the flesh nullify the new
life. It can fight against the new nature, as Paul mentions
in Romans 7, but it cannot destroy the new nature, for the new
nature comes from incorruptible seed which is eternal and brings
forth an incorruptible life, which is eternal, that cannot
perish. John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that
He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him
should not perish, but have everlasting life."
is why salvation cannot be of works. Physical genes can
turn over a new leaf. Physical genes can join a church.
Physical genes can reform, but physical genes cannot cause a new
birth that brings a life that is eternal. Eternal life must
come from eternal genes. Spiritual life must come from
spiritual genes. This life is wrought when these spiritual
genes, which we call the Word of God, make contact with faith.
At that moment we are re-gened or regenerated, A new nature has
been born in us that can never sin and thereby can never die.
This new nature wrought by the genes of God, that is, the Word of
God, enters into a conflict with the old nature wrought by the
genes of our parents. This war continues, but will of
necessity end in victory for the eternal when the old nature
reveals finally the weakness of its genes and succumbs to death.
However, since that which is in us is greater than that which is
in the world, the new nature may have supremacy over the old
nature in any given instance or conflict with the old.
should compel the child of God who wants to win others to Christ
to use the Word of God. It is not our arguing or our
reasoning, nor our personality, brilliance or cleverness that
gets people born again. It is the Word of God (that is, the
genes of God) which begets sinners. This is the reason that
the Bible reminds us that people would not believe just because
one rose from the dead. Sad stories are fine. Good
testimonies are splendid, but people are not re-gened by good
testimonies; they are re-gened by the Word of God. Because of
this it must be used, it must be preached, it must be taught, it
must be teamed, it must be memorized, it must be spread, it must
be known. Yes, we must go. Matthew 28:19, "Go ye
therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Yes, we
must weep. Psalm 126:5, "They that sow in tears shall
reap in joy." Yes, we must preach. Mark 16:15,
"And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach
the Gospel to every creature." Yes, we must teach.
Matthew 28:20, "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." However, all of
this is in vain unless we use seed, which is the Word of God.
Psalm 126:6, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing
precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
bringing his sheaves with him." When we use that seed,
that is the genes of God, we are using that which can give life
and in response to faith, will give life, a life that cannot die,
that must live forever, that is incorruptible, that is eternal
because it is born and conceived of incorruptible seed and has
been re-gened or regenerated!
(Chapter 3 -
Conversion and Salvation)
Isaiah 1:26, "And I
will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as
at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of
righteousness, the faithful city." Isaiah 6:9, "And
He said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand
not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not." Luke 22:31,
32, "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath
desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have
prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art
converted, strengthen thy brethren." James 5:19, 20,
"Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one
convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner
from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall
hide a multitude of sins."
The word "conversion"
means "to turn around," "to change direction,"
"a change of purpose." In summary, it means
"turning around the use of something. Conversion then
would be "the outward manifestation of regeneration."
Regeneration means "re-gening" or "being born of
new genes." Conversion then would become the outward change
brought about by regeneration. It is God Who places in us
the new nature and re-genes or regenerates us. Just as the
good Samaritan took the wounded man to the inn and commissioned
the host to care for him, even so upon regeneration the newborn
Christian is to place himself in a New Testament church so that
church and the Christians therein can be used by the Holy Spirit
for the converting of a life that was used for self to be used
for others, that was lived in sin to be lived in righteousness,
and that was producing works of the flesh to produce the fruit of
Conversion then is the work of the church and
its members as they are led by the Holy Spirit to change the life
and work of one who has been regenerated.
Redemption is a
work of God the Son. Regeneration is the work of God the
Holy Spirit. Justification is the work of God the Father as
He declares the sinner righteous in the Son. Conversion
then becomes the work of the church as we change the use and
purpose of a life.
One block from the First Baptist Church
of Hammond there is a building that was occupied for many years
by a nightclub. It advertised all kinds of unrighteousness,
even to that of nude dancing. For years our people would go
to the sidewalk in front of this club witnessing and passing out
Gospel tracts. After several years the nightclub closed.
We never knew why it closed until one day I received a call from
an eastern state. The caller was a gentleman who informed
me that he had previously been the owner of the aforementioned
nightclub. He told me how that for a number of years he had
hated our people because they had bothered him so much with
Gospel tracts and with their attempts to try to tell him about
the Saviour. He then proceeded to tell me that one night he
went home and told his wife that he felt like those people from
First Baptist were getting to him. He then said, "Pastor
Hyles, they did get to me. I gave my life to God, closed
the nightclub, and I wanted to call you to tell you that I am now
preaching the Gospel and will be licensed to preach in a few
days. I wanted to thank you and your people for being
consistent witnesses and for what they have meant to my
Shortly thereafter the First Baptist Church
purchased the nightclub building. Upon purchase it was
ours. The price was paid, the deal was consummated and the
building changed ownership. However, the building had not yet
been converted. It had the same bar, the same furnishings
and the same decor. It was purchased. It was
redeemed. It was owned by the church, but now it must be
converted in order that it might be used for another purpose.
As soon as it was redeemed, or purchased, and as soon as it
changed ownership, work was begun by our people in order that it
might be converted to use for God, Had we purchased it and left
it as it was, it would not be converted. Neither could we
go in and convert it before it was purchased. The
converting of the building would not have made it ours. It
would have made us guilty of criminal offense. The
purchasing of the building did not convert it. First the
price had to be paid, then the deal was consummated, the title
then changed hands, and then the workmen entered to change its
use and convert It to use for God.
Now there are many
Christians who are saved but not converted. They have been
redeemed by the precious blood of Christ but their feet do not
walk in new ways; their tongues do not speak a new language;
their minds do not dwell on spiritual things. They are
saved,' but they are carnal. I Corinthians 3:1-3, "And
I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as
unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with
milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear
it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for
whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions,
are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"
is not a result of conversion; conversion follows regeneration.
Conversion does not bring salvation. At salvation,
conversion is supposed to begin.
Notice James 5:19,
"Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one
convert him," and especially take note of the words, "If
any of you" and "convert him." Notice who
gets converted--any of you. This is talking about God's
people becoming converted and it is also God's people who do the
converting. We often ask each other, "How many
conversions did you have last Sunday morning?" What we
mean is, "How many regenerations did you have last Sunday
morning?" Now it would not be a serious mistake for
one to use the word "conversion" in that manner, but in
the strictest Bible sense, "conversion" happens to
God's people after they are saved, and it is done by God's
In the aforementioned building used for a
nightclub, the buyer didn't do the converting. When the
buyer purchased the building, workers were sent in to take out
the bar and other things that had been used for evil purposes.
Conversion, then, is a gradual process as believers convert new
and weak Christians. Please do not misunderstand.
Salvation is not a gradual process! Salvation and
conversion are not synonymous!
Luke 22:31, 32, "And
the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have
you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee,
that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen
thy brethren." Peter had been converted for a long
time, but Jesus knew of his denial. He was saying, "Peter,
your tongue is soon going to be used for evil. When it
happens, it will be converted later and be used again at
Pentecost for Me." He was saying, "Peter, your
feet are soon to take you out of My will for the purpose of wrong
use, but you will be converted, and your feet will walk again in
My will and be used for Me." He was saying, "Peter,
you will soon warm your body by the Devil's fire, but your body
will be converted and be used again for My glory. When it
is, strengthen the brethren." This is very
interesting. Our Lord was saying, "Peter, as soon as
you are converted, then start working at the task of converting
others." Hence, the converted becomes a
Now notice John 15:16, "Ye have not chosen
Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go
and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that
whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it
you." Especially note the words, "fruit should
remain." The Saviour was simply telling us that we are
to be soul winners and that as soon as we win someone to Christ,
we are to convert them. They are the fruit, but the fruit
should be cared for properly in order that it may be converted or
In World War Two, I became a paratrooper. I
was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, Special Troops
Battalion, Parachute Maintenance Company In jump school and in
the early days of my jumping, we jumped from airplanes that were
called C46's and C47's. Later on we jumped from C82's,
which we called in those days, "the flying boxcar."
Several years after my discharge from the Army, I was flying from
Natchez, Mississippi, to Dallas, Texas, on a Delta Airlines
commercial flight. The plane looked strangely familiar to
me. so I inquired of the stewardess concerning the type of plane
we were flying. She said, "This is a DC3."
I told her that it reminded me very much of the old C46's and
C47's from which I used to jump. She then informed me that
that is exactly what we were flying. She told me that Delta
Airlines had purchased some C46's and had converted them for
commercial use and called them DC3's. Here was a plane that
had been used for war. It had been purchased and converted
that it might be used for peaceful purposes. The old
uncomfortable seats had been taken out and nice plush ones had
replaced them. The interior of the plane, as well as its
exterior, had been completely changed in order that that which
had been used for war might now be used for peace. The
stewardess called this "conversion." Now 'If
Delta Airlines had converted the plane before purchasing it, it
would not have been lawful. Likewise, for the child of God
to attempt to be saved by his good works is against the law of
God. First comes the purchasing, the ownership, the
redemption. Then comes the conversion. When the plane
was purchased by Delta Airlines, was it converted'? Of
course not. When it was declared officially the property of
Delta Airlines, was it converted? Of course not.
Conversion was done by a group of workmen who were commissioned
to convert that which had been purchased. Human instruments
went into the plane and carried out the will and obeyed the
orders of the purchaser in changing the plane from destructive
purposes to constructive ones.
So it is with salvation.
We were purchased by the precious blood of Christ, regenerated by
the Holy Spirit and Justified by a declaration from God the
Father that we are now righteous in His sight, not because of our
righteousness but by the righteousness of Christ which was
imputed to us by our acceptance of Him. Romans 10:2-3, "For
I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not
according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's
righteousness, and going about to establish their own
righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the
righteousness of God." Upon our acceptance of Christ,
human instruments are commissioned to help us become converted.
This is what Ananias did to Saul of Tarsus. This is what
Nathan did to David. This is what church members are to do
to each other, whether it be to a new convert or to a brother or
sister overtaken by a fault.
This means there are degrees
of conversion. It takes more to convert one who has been in
the depths of sin than it does to convert a little child who is
being reared in a Christian home and has just received Christ as
Saviour. Once again, remember that we are talking about
conversion, not salvation. There are no degrees of
salvation, but there are degrees of conversion.
26 years that I have been Pastor of the First Baptist Church of
Hammond, we have purchased many businesses and dwellings to be
used for the Lord's work. We purchased the building owned
by the Estee Sleep Shop. It is now used for our Junior 1
Department. We purchased the Reliable Furniture Company.
It is now used as a rescue mission. We purchased the Seifer
Furniture Company. This five-story building is now being
used for Sunday school departments and classes. We
purchased the Berey Brothers Department Store and now use the
building for our Spanish Department. We purchased the Style
Furniture Store. The buildings were demolished and the
property is now being used for parking. We purchased the
Werth Furniture Store. It is now being used for our
Pathfinder Department and our Sunbeam Department, which is the
ministry with our educable slow. We purchased the Hammond
Drapery Company, which is now a youth center and is also used for
our Blind Department. We have recently purchased the
Huisenga Fur and Gift Shop, and it is being converted at this
time to be used for God's work. The same is true for the
Elks Lodge building. We purchased the Stoltz Drug Store.
It is now used as an auditorium for the preaching of the Gospel
in the Spanish language. We purchased the Gene's
Restaurant. It houses our Deaf Department. We
purchased the Temple Diner and tore it down in order that we
might enlarge our auditorium. We purchased the Minas
Parking Garage and now use it for church parking. In
addition to these buildings we have purchased a beauty shop, an
optometrist's office, a tailor shop, a hatchery, a nightclub, a
storage building, two apartment houses and several dwellings.
All of these have been converted from secular use or even sinful
use to spiritual use. It was much easier to convert the
apartment house than it was to convert the nightclub. It
was easier to convert a dwelling than it was a building owned by
a lodge, but in every case, as soon as the building was purchased
and the deed was transferred, we started the process of
Psalm 19:7, "The Law of the Lord is
perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple." Here we find that conversion
is brought about as we use the Word of God. The new convert
needs more than Christian fellowship. He needs more than class
parties. He needs the Word of God' We must be reminded constantly
that all God has ever done, He has done by His Word. Ten times in
the early part of Genesis we find the words, "And God said,"
followed later by the words, "And it was so." The
sun, the great light to rule the day, was created and placed in
the heavens by the Word of God. The moon, the lesser light
to rule the night, was placed by the Word of God. The stars
that shine like heavenly chandeliers to make the evening to be a
great cathedral were placed in their sockets by the Word of God.
The redwood tree of northern California stands as a Samson of the
forest because of the Word of God. God painted the deserts
of Arizona by His Word and dropped the lakes of Minnesota like
10,000 teardrops of deity by the Word of God. He carved the
gorges by the Word of God and raised the mountain peaks like
Egyptian pyramids covered by whipped cream by the Word of God.
He placed the pine trees standing tall and stately like the
heavenly steeple rising above an earthly sanctuary by the Word of
God. The rivers pour into the ocean at the command of the
Word of God, and the ocean receives the waters from the higher
elevation by the Word of God. The scent of the gardenia was
sprayed by the Word of God. The loveliness of the rose was
made by the Word of God. Everything that God has ever done
has been done by His Word. When the Lord Jesus was tempted
by the evil one, He resisted by the Word of God. When He
comes again to put down the Anti-Christ, He will put him down by
the Spirit of His mouth; that is, the Word of God. If
parents are to convert children, If Sunday school teachers are to
convert class members, if pastors are to convert parishioners, if
churches are to convert new converts, it must be done by the Word
Psalm 51:13, "Then will I teach transgressors
Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee."
David in this psalm is repenting of his sin following the rebuke
he received from Nathan. David is praying in this psalm, which is
called a penitential psalm. It is a psalm of repentance and
confession of sin and of pleading with God for restoration.
One of the arguments that he uses in asking God for forgiveness
is that if he is forgiven, he can help convert people.
There are so many of God's people who need David's help, his
encouragement, his strength and his teaching, but first David
must be converted. He is saved but not converted. For
some time now he has been used as an instrument of evil.
Now he must be used as an instrument of righteousness. He
pleads with God to forgive him in order that he might be
converted; in order that he might be used to convert others.
summary, let us look at God's divine order. First, the
unsaved man must have the facts of salvation as found in the Word
of God. He needs the precious seed of the Word of God.
Psalm 126:5-6, "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall
doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with
him." Following the facts comes faith. The
unsaved man puts his faith in Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9, "For
by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."
Then comes the redemption; the price of Calvary becomes valid and
we are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus. Then comes
regeneration. Titus 3:5, "Not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He
saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the
Holy Ghost." This is synonymous with the new birth.
John 3:5-7, "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto
thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot
enter into the kingdom of God. Marvel not that I said unto
thee, Ye must be born again." The Father then
justifies us, declares us righteous because we are dressed in the
righteousness of Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1, "Therefore
being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord
Jesus Christ." Now the purchase is completed.
The sinner has become a saint. His name is written in
Heaven. God then gives His Word to the New Testament church
and says, "In the power of My Spirit, by the use of My Word,
convert him so that lips that once were used to curse Me may be
converted to praise Me, so that eyes which were once used for
evil can now be used for the reading of the Word of God, so that
ears that once heard that which was wrong may now hear that which
is right, so that a heart that once was filled with unholy
motives can be filled with holy ones, so that a mind that was
once used for evil thoughts may be used for constructive thoughts
and plans in the work of God, so that feet that were swift to
shed blood may now be made beautiful because they transport us to
places of usefulness in the will of God." Oh, people
of God, not only have we a message to proclaim concerning being
born again, but there is a job to be done for those who are born
again in order that they may be converted as well as regenerated,
redeemed and Justified.
The story is told about an old man
who lived in a run-down shack on a large piece of ground in a
beautiful neighborhood. Not only was his house run-down and
in obnoxious condition, but his lot was filled with weeds and
debris. He lived in filth in a neighborhood that housed the
affluent and wealthy Neighbors came to plead with him to clean up
his yard and his shack. All of their efforts failed.
The Health Department threatened to have him evicted, but he
continued to live there in his little run-down shack on a piece
of property that was grown over with weeds in a beautiful part of
One day one of the neighbors organized a campaign to
raise enough money that the neighborhood might purchase his
property. A large amount of money was raised and a committee was
appointed to go to the old man and make him an unbelievable offer
for his house and land. This offer was many times its worth.
To their delight, the old man agreed to sell and a date of
closing was set. On that date the committee came with their
attorney to close the deal. They showed him where to sign,
but before he signed he looked up at the buyers and said, "Have
you noticed anything?"
They said, "No,
He replied with disappointment, for he had
fixed up the old place! He told them how he had cleaned and
dusted. He had straightened the furniture and done some
modest repairing. He told them how disappointed he was that
they had not noticed and that he hoped that his improvements in
the old shack would enable them to enjoy it more when they moved
in. Of course, the neighbors pitifully replied that they
did not intend to move into the house but rather to change it
totally and transform it that it might be a credit to the
There are thousands of people who are trying
to improve the property of their lives before redemption.
The first thing to do is receive Christ as Saviour and then be
baptized and then unite with a New Testament church so that they
might begin the process of being converted as the church in the
power of the Holy Spirit and with the Word of God helps the new
Christians or the fallen Christians to grow in grace so that
their members might be used not as instruments of
unrighteousness, but rather instruments of righteousness so that
they may not only be saved but also converted!
(Chapter 4 - Imputation
First came the light.
Then the firmament. The waters above were divided from the
waters beneath. Then God lit the starry host of the
night--the great light to rule the day; the lesser light to rule
the night. Then God made the stars also. This was
followed by the fish of the sea to populate the watery world
beneath, and then came all the tribes of the animal kingdom,
after which God was ready for man. He made man in His own image
in the likeness of the eternal Godhead.
It was marvelous.
Every tree that grew was pleasant to the eyes. Rivers
hunted for the ocean as they flowed peaceably through verdant
valleys. Every sound was symphonic and every scene was
lovely. There was no war to palsy the heart, nor was there
illness to cause man to fear appending death. The leaf
never withered. The wind never howled. There was no
frost to cause a chill, no perspiration humidified the brow, and
no profanity placed a curse upon the ear. There was no
heat, no cold, no weariness. There was no tempest to smite
the blossom. Man had not learned to sigh or weep. The
rose trembled not at the chill of a frost. Man did not know
guilt, and feathered choirs provided melodious harmony for his
Yet something was missing! Man hungered
for a kindred spirit to share with him the beauties of Edenic
bliss. There was no one to whom he could say, "Isn't
that a beautiful rose? Can you smell the fragrance of the
gardenia? Look what a beautiful sunset! Aren't the
blossoms lovely this morning?" He was hungry for a
kindred spirit with whom he could share the loveliness of
paradise. There she comes--God's satisfaction for his
appetite, God's fulfillment of his desire, God's creation for his
happiness. There she is dressed in all the beauty a human
being could possess. Every gesture was filled with dignity,
perfection was stamped upon her. Heaven was on her
countenance. Love was her fragrance. Eden was
transformed as the morning stars sang together and the sons of
God shouted for joy.
There they are--man and his helpmeet,
man and his completer. Man is now one. Together they
shared the beauties of Eden. Garlands of flowers covered
their path. Orchards yielded their fruit daily. They
strolled through gardens that bloomed perpetually. They
could not define sorrow nor heartache nor grief nor loneliness
nor sadness nor depression. They had never seen a funeral
or a hospital or an accident. They knew not the definition
of a germ. They had never seen a tear nor a furrowed brow
nor a wrinkled face nor a moistened eye nor a stooped shoulder
nor palsied hands nor a weary back. They had never known of
a deaf ear or a blind eye or leukemia or cancer or a bad cold.
It was marvelous!
All this time the Lord Jesus was
continuing to enjoy fellowship with the Father. Of this He
spoke in John 17:5, "And now, 0 Father, glorify Thou Me with
Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the
world was." Four living creatures sang His praises
constantly. The sun obeyed His voice. The moon bowed
at His command, and the stars waited His orders. He was
always in the presence of the Father while angels ministered to
Him and planets sang His praises. Multitudes of heavenly
creatures adored Him. Trumpets played upon His every
arrival and sabers glistened as He walked the golden streets.
What blessedness--perfect union in Heaven and perfect union in
that other heaven called earth!
Then one day a groan was
heard! Something had happened on earth! Ruin had
visited and blighted the world. Man had listened to the
evil one and a race had fallen. A curse has fallen upon
man. He is ashamed of his nakedness. Woman must bear
children in sorrow and travail. The winds will howl, the
frost will chill, serpents will hiss and spread deadly venom.
Roses suddenly have thorns, and gentle animals have become
ferocious. Man has learned to perspire. The tree has
learned to shed its leaves. The grass has learned to die.
The rose has learned to bear thorns. The blossom has
learned to be smitten by a tempest. The wind has learned to
chill. And man has learned to die, but worst of all, man
can no longer fellowship with his Creator. The justice of
God causes Him to sever fellowship with man. The justice of
God said, "The soul that sinneth shall surely die," but
the mercy of God said, I wish there were some way I could have
fellowship with man restored." The justice of God
said, The wages of sin is death," while the mercy of God
said, "I love him and miss him so much." The
justice of God said, "Sin, when it is finished, bringeth
forth death," but the mercy of God said, "For God so
loved the world." How can His mercy and justice be
reconciled? In only one way--Heaven's Crown Prince must
come to earth! He must live a perfect life. He must
fulfill and fill-full the law. Then He must go to the cross
and bear the curse of mankind. The Sinless must become
sin. The Righteous must become unrighteous. God must
become man. Perfection must bear the marks of
imperfection. Strength must become weak. He Who was
rich must become poor. All this He does and more.
flees to a virgin's womb. He is born in Bethlehem's manger. He
lives among men and walks on earth for 33 years. There Was DO
welcome. The only open door was a bam door. He was born in
another man's stable. He ate at another man's table. He rode
another man's beast. He slept on another man's pillow, cruised in
another man's boat and was buried in another man's tomb.
went to Calvary and became sin. The King of kings had no
throne but a cross. He had no crown but a crown of thorns.
He had no scepter but a borrowed walking stick and no royal robe
but a soldier's overcoat. He had no subjects but a jeering
mob. All of this was because He wanted to be able to
satisfy the mercy and justice of the Father. He cried, "It
is finished!" after having paid it all. He was buried
for 72 hours and rose from the dead. Now He can offer
salvation to fallen man. Justice and mercy have kissed each
other in lovely reconciliation. The fellowship that man
enjoyed with God in the Garden of Eden and that God enjoyed with
man In paradise can be restored if man will accept God's plan.
Upon the acceptance of God's plan, God imputes to man the perfect
righteousness of Jesus Christ; and God, Who cannot fellowship
with unrighteousness, sees man clothed in the righteousness of
His dear Son. Romans 10: 1-4, "Brethren, my heart's
desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be
saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God,
but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of
God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own
righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the
righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for
righteousness to every one that believeth."
cannot earn that righteousness, for he has sinned. The only
hope he has for righteousness is that he receive the
righteousness of Christ purchased for him on Calvary--man has his
choice--to trust his own righteousness and spend eternity in Hell
or to trust the righteousness of Christ, which in response to his
faith will be imputed unto him, and then spend eternity in
Heaven. This is called "imputation in salvation."
understand it better, get a piece of paper and a pencil or pen.
Write your name at the top and then list under your name some of
your sins. Perhaps you will list lying, hatred, envy,
malice, vindication, revenge or maybe even some of those sins
that we call "bad ones." Now something must be
done with those sins, or there is no hope!
Let us suppose
that you decide immediately to cease from those sins. Ah,
that's wonderful, but you still have the past ones on the paper,
don't you? Turning over a new leaf does nothing to atone
for your past sins. They are still there on the paper,
Let us suppose that you decide not only to
turn from your sins but you decide from now on to do righteous
deeds. List some of them on the paper under your
sins--perhaps clothing the cold, buying shoes for those whose
feet are bare, feeding the hungry, being kind to everybody,
loving our enemies, etc. Add your own righteous deeds to
the list. Now look up at the top of the paper. Are
your sins still there? They certainly are. You are
still in debt. The Bible still says, "For the wages of
sin is death," and nothing has been done to erase the sins.
You have added righteousness. You have even stopped adding
sins, but staring you in the face is that original list of sins
for which there must be atonement!
Let us suppose that you
join the church. Write below your list of righteous deeds,
"church membership," but you will notice that the sins
are still there! You can add baptism, you can add
communion, you can even add church work, but the account is still
"Oh," you say, "I understand. We
are saved by faith."
Now that is true only if the
object of the faith is the proper one. Faith that there is
a God, faith in deity, faith in mankind, etc...will not settle
How shall we account for those sins?
Write at the bottom of the list, "Calvary." It
was there where Jesus bore your sins in His body and paid your
penalty. Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth His love
toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for
us." You have now trusted Him as your Saviour.
He has charged the sins at the top of the list to His own account
and has paid for them in full. So, scratch off the sins.
That is what He does when we trust Him. Hence, there are no
more sins on your record. You are now righteous; not
because of what you did or have done but because of what He did.
Romans 5:19, "For as by one man's disobedience many were
made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made
righteous." Immediately upon your acceptance of Christ
and your faith in His finished work of Calvary, God declares you
justified; that is, He declares that you are as righteous as
Christ because Christ became as unrighteous as you. Romans
3:24, "Being justified freely by His grace through the
redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Your faith
allowed you to receive, and you received because you believed.
Faith removed the stone so that God could get to you the whole
Now that His righteousness has been imputed unto
you, that takes care of the past. His righteousness has
been imputed to you and you are dressed in His righteousness
alone, but how about the future? Will there not be other
sins? What will happen to them? Romans 4:8, "Blessed
is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." To a
person in Christ dressed in His righteousness, God will not
impute sin. Satan, the accuser, may come to God and say,
"Did you see that sin that Hyles committed?"
says, "Yes, I did." Satan says, "Then impute
it." God says, "I will not!"
God says, "It has already been
imputed. It has been placed on the record of My Son, and I
will not impute sin to those who are in Christ."
review, let us see the order: (1) Sin. (2) Sin recorded.
(3) Jesus became sin. (4) Jesus paid for sin. (5) Man
believes it is true. (6) Man receives Christ and His
payment for sin. (7) Calvary is made valid. (8) Man's
sins are covered. (9) Man is justified in the sight of
God. (10) God will impute no sin to him.
question is the sin question. Something must be done with
the sins of man before fellowship with God can be restored.
The only way to solve the sin question is to solve the Son
question. When one receives the Son, the Son receives his
sin and the sinner receives the righteousness of God and stands
before God now and forever righteous because he is clothed in the
righteousness of Jesus Christ that has been imputed to man in
response to man's faith and reception of Jesus.
(Chapter 5 - Work
Our Your Own Salvation!)
"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in
my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your
own salvation with fear and trembling." Ephesians
2:8-10, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that
not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any
man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in
Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that
we should walk in them." Psalm 51:12, "Restore
unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free
We learned in a previous chapter that there
are two parts to salvation (salvaging). Perhaps it would be
better to say there are two salvations--the salvation of the soul
and the salvation of the life, or as the previous chapter
emphasized, the salvation from the garbage can and the salvation
to the recycling. The first is what David was talking about
in Psalm 51:12. Notice the words, "'My salvation."
The second is the one that is mentioned in Philippians 2:12.
Notice the words, "work out your own salvation."
Notice, I am not commanded to work out God's salvation, for I
cannot do that. I am, however, commanded to work out my
own. I have no part in the salvation of my soul; I do have
a part in the salvation of my life.
God reminds me that
His salvation is not of works (Ephesians 2:8,9). However,
immediately He tells me that I was created in Christ Jesus unto
good works (Ephesians 2: 10). This coincides with
Philippians 2:12 which admonishes me to work out my own
salvation. This means His salvaging is not of works and my
salvaging largely depends upon my works.
the following conclusions:
1. His salvation is
all His work.
2. My own salvation includes my works.
Good works are prepared for me. Ephesians 2: 10, "For
we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Notice that the works were foreordained that I should do
4. I am His work.
5. Then I am His work being
prepared for my work, which is being prepared for me. Not
only is God preparing me for my work, but He is preparing my work
for me. He prepared me to be Pastor of the First Baptist
Church of Hammond, Indiana. While He was preparing me, He
was preparing my work; that is, the church and the people, for
me. So I am His work in that He saved me and salvaged me
from Hell and ruin. At the same time, I am being prepared
for my work while my work is being prepared for me.
That means that we are the work, we do the work, and we are the
work's work. This means that all the churches I pastored
before becoming Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond
were preparing me for the First Baptist Church, and all the time
He was preparing me for the church, He was using other pastors at
the First Baptist Church to prepare the people for me. In
other words, I am to do my work and I am my work's work. I
do not know what tomorrow holds, but I do know that God is
preparing good works for me to do. I also know that God is
preparing me for the good work that He is preparing for me.
Hence, the good work will both be and do a good work, as He
prepares my work, I am to prepare for it. That means I am
to be there so I can do it when I see it. This means that
any good work I see that is needed which crosses my path was put
there for me. I must see it when it crosses my path and
must be ready and be able to do it. I must not depend on my
works for the salvation of my soul, but I must give myself
constantly to the working out of my own salvation; that is, the
salvaging of my life. It is His business to salvage me from
the garbage can. It is my business to do my part in working
to see that I am salvaged in recycling so that I may once again
do that for which He made me.
(Chapter 6 - Eternal
When the average person
thinks of eternal life, the first thing that would enter into his
mind is endless life. Certainly endless life is included in
eternal life, but there is far more than endlessness to eternal
life. It is not only endless, but it is boundless. In
His intercessory prayer in John 17, Jesus said in verse 3, "And
this is life eternal, that they should know Thee, the only true
God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent." So eternal life
is endless life, but it is infinitely more than that. This
passage is not saying that you must know Him to get eternal
life. It is saying that knowing Him is eternal life.
This eternal life is received by faith in Him. It is more
than endless. It could be called "of the ages,"
not just "long continuation"; it means "life all
the way on, all the way back, all the way up and all the way
down." The Apostle Paul said, "I am
crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ
liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live
by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself
for me" (Galatians 2:20).
Then eternal life is more
than duration or longevity. It is also a quality of life.
It is losing the NOW in the ALWAYS. Eternal life not only
describes longevity, but it describes quality. It is living
now in the always. When Jesus was tempted, the Devil attacked him
with the now. He said, "Do something now. Fall
before me now. Get something now." All
temptation is a NOW attack.
Notice, however, that Jesus
used the Word of God in fighting temptation. Actually what
He was doing; He was using the always (eternal) for the now.
Psalm 119:89, "For ever, 0 Lord, Thy word is settled in
heaven." The Devil shot Him with a now arrow, and Jesus
blocked it with an always shield. The Devil shot Him with a
second now arrow, and Jesus blocked it with an always shield.
The Devil shot Him with a third now arrow, and Jesus blocked it
with an always shield. The now is never a match for the
always. Satan offered Jesus something now and Jesus shot
back with something that was always.
Human wisdom on the
part of God's people in debating the unsaved is fighting now with
now. For the Christian to use human philosophy in his
battle against the Devil is fighting now with now. For the
Christian to use human psychology is fighting now with now.
example, suppose that a Christian is unhappy He decides to move
to another area. He is fighting now with now. Perhaps
he will quit something that he is doing for God. He is
fighting now with now. Maybe he will change from one thing
to another. He is fighting now with now. Maybe he
will do something in his own strength to try to cure his
unhappiness. Again, he Is fighting now with now.
put in your quiver the arrows of always. A Christian is
unhappy. He flees to the Bible. He is fighting now
with always. He flees to soul winning. He is fighting
now with always. He flees to fellowship with God. He is
fighting now with always. He flees to the will of God.
He is fighting now with always. Because he does this, he
wins the battle. His happiness is restored.
Satan makes an attack, it is a now attack. He always wants
to sacrifice on the altar of today the opportunity of tomorrow.
There is only one way to defeat him and that is to pull from our
spiritual quiver arrows that are eternal. We must fight him
with things that are eternal. The Word of God is eternal,
soul winning is eternal, prayer is eternal, worship of God is
eternal. The will of God is eternal, and if we win the
warfare against his now attacks, we must use the
Actually that is what worldliness is.
Worldliness is using the now in an effort to be successful.
It is avoiding the always for the now. The one who reads in
the now is worldly. The one whose literature is the always
can be spiritual. The one who lives for his own will is
guilty of the now. One who lives for the will of God is
using the always. So eternal life is more than length of
life or longevity, It is a quality of life. It is equating
and comparing everything with the eternal. When Jesus saw a
Lily, He used it to teach an eternal truth. When He saw a
sparrow, He used it as an illustration of the always. The
same is true with the raven and with a little child. The
now always turned His attention to the always. He looks now
at a tree but He sees the Always Who is behind it. He looks
now at a flower, but He sees the Always Who made it. He
looks at a sparrow, but he sees the Always Who watches over him.
He looks now at a raven but he sees the Always Who feeds him.
He looks now at a Lily, but he sees the Always Who clothes
What a wonderful thing is eternal life! It goes
on and on and back and back and up and up and down and down. It
is boundless, but not only will we have it forever; it is a
quality of life that we have now. We now have available
eternal life and that eternal life is eternal.
(Chapter 7 -
Salvation and the Law)
In a real sense the law
was given to be broken. This does not mean that God
delights when we break the law, nor does it mean that we should
attempt to break the law or not attempt to keep it. It
simply means that we are unable to keep the law to perfection.
It was given to make us aware of sin. The law is perfection
to place beside our imperfection that we may realize our
imperfection in order that we may realize that we cannot save
ourselves. It causes us to flee to the salvation that God
has given us through Jesus Christ. On these pages we will
discuss the purpose of the law, both to the unsaved and to the
1. The law was given to show us that we are
under the curse. Galatians 3:10-13, "For as many
as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is
written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things
which are written in the book of the law to do them. Christ
hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse
for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a
tree." Man was sinful before the law was given, but
the law came in order that sin might revive and be more exceeding
sinful. Man was placed under a curse in the garden of Eden
because of his sin. However, there needed to be a law in
order that man may be constantly aware and increasingly aware of
the curse that is upon him that he might realize his 'Inability
to save himself.
2. The law was given to reveal sin.
Romans 7:7-9, "What shall we say then? Is
the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by
the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou
shalt not covet. For I was alive without the law once: but
when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." Romans
3:19-20, "Now we know that what things soever the law saith,
it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be
stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be
justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of
James likens the law to a mirror. The
mirror cannot cleanse; it can only reveal the need of cleanings.
James 1:23b, 24, "He is like unto a man beholding his
natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his
way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he
Recently I stopped at a McDonald's restaurant.
I ordered chicken McNuggets with hot mustard sauce. I was
extra careful, I thought, not to deposit mustard on my clothing.
In fact, I was quite proud of myself for being so careful and
tidy. When I got to my office I went to my washroom to
shave. When I looked in the mirror, I found that I had
spilled mustard on my white shirt. I did not know that I
had done so because it was up close to the collar, and looking
down, I could not see it. It was the mirror that showed me
that I was soiled. I immediately changed shirts. Now
the mirror did not clean my shirt nor did the mirror change my
shirt-the mirror revealed to me that I needed to change shirts
because I was dirty.
Years ago when our oldest daughter,
Becky, was a baby I burped her after she had taken her bottle one
evening just before I left to go speak. I was already
dressed in a navy blue suit. It was a new suit, and I was
so pleased with it, and to be quite frank, I thought I looked
pretty nice that night. On the way to my speaking
engagement I stopped at a large drug store. As I walked
down the sidewalk, I noticed people looking at me, but I thought
nothing of it because I knew that I had on a new suit. I
assumed that they were admiring my new clothing. I walked
in the drug store, and everyone who saw me stared at me, but
still I was not surprised. It was a beautiful suit. I
made my purchase under the careful scrutinization of the clerk.
Then I went to a counter to pay. The cashier said, "Mister,
do you realize you have milk or something all over your right
shoulder'?" I rushed to a mirror only to find that
Becky had belched sour milk on the shoulder of my suit. Now
the mirror did not clean the milk off the suit. The mirror
revealed to me my condition, and I fled to that which would
This is the purpose of the law. The law
is a mirror that reveals to us our condition and causes us to
realize that we cannot keep it and that we must flee to Jesus for
Paul uses the illustration of a plumb line.
A plumb line is a long chain or rope with a very heavy rock or
stone on one end. The line is held at the top of a wall of
a building with the heavy object at the bottom. This makes the
rope very straight. The purpose of this is to reveal the
condition of the wall. If the wall is crooked, it will be
obvious as it is compared to the plumb line. A wall may
look perfectly straight to the naked eye, but when compared to
the plumb line, its crookedness is revealed. The plumb line
does not repair the wall; the plumb line shows the need for
repair and causes the builder to reconstruct or straighten the
wall, The law is a plumb line; it does not straighten us.
It shows us we are crooked and causes us to go to Christ, Who
alone can straighten.
3. The law is to bring us to
Christ. Galatians 3:24-25, "Wherefore the law was
our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be
justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no
longer under a schoolmaster." Paul says that the law
is a schoolmaster. A schoolmaster was one who would gather
his pupils together and take them to the school in order to
insure their safety. When the students got to the school,
the schoolmaster returned home and waited until the end of the
day when he returned to escort them safely back to their homes.
The law is a schoolmaster. It brings us to Christ, Who is
the Teacher. The law does not teach; it simply brings us to
The law is the diagnostician. It
diagnoses our case and reveals our need. Grace is the
doctor who observes the diagnosis and does his work of healing.
The keeping of the law cannot heal; it simply diagnoses and shows
us that there is a need and leads us to Christ. Paul said that
without the law, he would not have known sin. Romans 7:7b, "Nay,
I had not known sin, but by the law."
4. The law
cannot save. Galatians 2:16, "Knowing that a man
is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of
Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we
might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works
of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be
5. The law cannot help in salvation.
Galatians 3:1-3, "0 foolish Galatians, who hath
bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose
eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among
you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit
by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye
so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made
perfect by the flesh?"
A person examines himself by
the law and compares himself to it. He attempts to keep it,
but finds it impossible! He then realizes that Jesus is the
only Saviour and flees to Him for salvation. As far as
salvation is concerned, that is the end of the law. Romans
10:4, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to
every one that believeth." However, that does not mean that
the Christian is finished with the law. It simply means
that he is finished with the law concerning his salvation.
Christ has become the end of that. Once we are saved,
however, we turn to the law, and out of love for Christ, we
attempt to obey it, not in order that we might be saved, but in
gratitude for our salvation!
Years ago in the South during
the days of slavery it is said that there was a slave being
auctioned one day. This was a young lady who was strong and
able. The auctioneer placed her on the auction block and
asked for bids. The bidding began. One man especially
seemed interested in her, so he kept bidding. The bids got
higher and higher, but this one man was determined to buy this
young lady. She became bitter toward him and looked at him
with hatred. However, he continued in his attempt to
purchase her. Finally she began to curse him, but he was
undaunted in his effort and determined to reach his goal.
At last there were no other bids. She was his. He
paid the auctioneer, whereupon the young lady began to curse more
vehemently "I won't go with you," she said. A hate
you! I hate you! I won't be your slave! I won't go
with you!" The man kindly looked to the young black
lady and said, "Ma'am, you do not understand. I saw
something in you today that I felt deserved freedom. I
decided to buy you in order that I could set you free. I am
not taking you to be my slave. I purchased you. You
are mine. Now you may be free." The young lady
for a moment looked in silent disbelief. Then tears filled
her eyes as she bowed before the man who had bought her. On
her knees looking up to his face she said, "Oh, sir, you
bought me to set me free, Now I'll be your slave forever."
is illustrative of our relationship to the law. We were
bound by the law. We were slaves to it. Jesus said,
"I will purchase you to set you free." We then
turn to Jesus and say, "Then I will do my best to please You
by obeying Your wishes." Did not the Saviour say, "If
ye love Me, ye will keep My commandments"? This does
not mean that we keep the commandments in order to be saved; it
means that out of hearts of gratitude, we throw ourselves at the
feet of the Saviour and say, "Jesus, I love You! I want to
obey You and Your commandments." Should not a person
who is saved and freed from the law still tell the truth, refrain
from murder, etc.? Even though we are not under the law, we
are not through with the law! Though the law is not a means
to save us, it is a wonderful tool with which to show our love
for the Saviour. Romans 3:31, "Do we then make void
the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law."
Romans 10:4, "For Christ is the end of the law for
righteousness to every one that believeth."
then, let us consider how the law affects the believer.
Even after a person is saved, sin is decided by the Word of God.
Romans 6:13, "Neither yield ye your members as
instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves
unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members
as instruments of righteousness unto God." Coming to
Christ does not give us a license to sin; it gives us even more
of a hatred for sin and causes us to desire to live a life of
righteousness so that we can be pleasing to our God and show our
gratitude and our love to our Saviour.
2. Jesus set me
free FROM sin, not TO sin.
3. Sin is still the
transgression of the law. I John 3:4, "Whosoever
committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the
transgression of the law."
4. When a person is
saved, God does not change sin from the transgression of the law
to one's own conscience. God does not "throw the book
out the window" at salvation. The obedience to
Christ's commands, though not necessary to salvation, is
necessary to happiness and success in the Christian life.
Salvation does not set us free from doing right. The God
Who hated murder in the Old Testament hates murder in the New
Testament. The God Who hated adultery in the Old Testament
hates adultery in the New Testament. The law has not be
nullified; its purpose has been changed. Whereas it was a
mirror to show us our need of Christ, it now is a utensil to
enable us to show our love to Him. Just because we are free
from the law in salvation does not mean that each person becomes
his own law and each person decides what is right. Right is
still right; wrong is still wrong, and God's idea of right and
wrong did not change between Malachi and Matthew!
The truth is, Jesus strengthened the law. Just a simple
look at Matthew 5 will show us that the law of love should go
beyond the law of the letter. The Lord Jesus reminds us
that the law said we should not commit adultery, but He says we
should not even look at a woman with impure thoughts. He
tells us that our righteousness should exceed the righteousness
of the Scribes and Pharisees, who were the strictest adherents to
the law. He talks about going the second mile. Love
should serve more fervently than the law. Love should give
more than the law. Love should sacrifice more than the
6. The law is still profitable. 2nd
Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of
God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction,
for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be
perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
Notice here that Paul wrote to Timothy and said, "All
Scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction. etc." "All Scripture" includes
Romans. "All Scripture" includes John. "All
Scripture" includes Galatians, but "all Scripture"
also includes Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy,
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I and 11 Samuel, I and 11 Kings, etc.
Though we are not under the law for our salvation, the law is
certainly a wonderful instrument with which to demonstrate our
love for Christ.
The naming of the dispensations has
caused some misunderstanding here. We speak of the
dispensation of law and the dispensation of grace. Some
people get the wrong idea that there was a day in the Old
Testament when people were saved by the keeping of the law and
now in the New Testament are saved by grace. Nothing is
further from the truth! Adam and Eve were saved by grace.
All the Old Testament saints were saved by grace. The purpose of
the law In the Old Testament was the same as its purpose in the
New Testament--to make sin exceeding sinful, to show us our
inability to save ourselves by the keeping of the law. Bear
in mind that there was a day before the law. There was a
time when the law had not yet been given. Sin was sin, but
it is more sinful now.
We often stress carefully the
importance of New Testament Christianity. Why don't we just
say, "Bible Christianity"? The God Who wrote the
New Testament also wrote the Old Testament. He has not
changed; what He hated before He hates now. What was an
abomination to Him then is an abomination to Him now. He
never changes. Malachi 3:6, "For I am the Lord, I
change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."
He always likes and dislikes the same things. Leviticus
18:22, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind:
it is abomination." We find here that homosexuality
and nakedness are abominations to God. Do you not think
they are still abominations to God? Or is it not still true
since it is taken from the Old Testament?
7:25, "The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with
fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them,
nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an
abomination to the Lord thy God." Here we find that
idolatry was an abomination to God. Do you think with the
changing of Testaments that idolatry became acceptable with God?
No! What was an abomination in the Old is an abomination in
the New. Proverbs 3:32, "For the froward is
abomination to the Lord: but His secret is with the righteous."
Proverbs 11:20, "They that are of a froward heart are
abomination to the Lord: but such as are upright in their way are
His delight." Notice, the froward (the dishonest) are
an abomination to God. Of course, that was the Old
Testament. Do you think that God suddenly in the first
chapter of Matthew decided to embrace dishonesty? No, God
hated dishonesty in the Old Testament, and God hates dishonesty
in the New Testament!
Proverbs 6:16-19, "These six
things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto
Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent
blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be
swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies,
and he that soweth discord among brethren." Here is a list
of things that were an abomination to God. Read the list
carefully. Do you think they are still an abomination to
God? Does God like what He used to hate? No!
God's moral law never changes! The law's relationship with
man may change, but what God hated before, He hates now! We
have given the law a bad reputation because so many people use it
as a toot for salvation. Used in this manner the law is
bad, but we have spread some rumors about it that are not true!
The law is still good if it is used for the right
Deuteronomy 22:5, "The woman shall not wear
that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a
woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord
thy God." Notice again here is something that was an
abomination to God in the Old Testament--just like homosexuality,
nakedness, idolatry, dishonesty, etc. The same word,
"abomination," is used concerning God's attitude toward
women dressing like men and men dressing like women. Does
God still have the same idea about murder, adultery, dishonesty,
homosexuality, but has changed His mind about women and men
dressing alike? Of course not! The God Who wanted a
division of the sexes in the Old Testament wants a division of
the sexes in the New Testament. The God Who does not want a
woman dressing like a man in the Old Testament does not want a
woman dressing like a man in the New Testament.
someone will say that we should not tithe because tithing was in
the Old Testament. Well, "Thou shalt not murder,"
is in the Old Testament also. Shall we murder because that
is in the Old Testament? God wanted His people to bring to Him
the first tenth of the increase in the Old Testament, but God has
not grown old and senile or entered into some kind of change of
heart or change of mind. He is the same yesterday, today
and forever! His tastes never change; His desires never change!
His wants never change; His wishes never change, and by the way,
His commandments never change, and His law never changes!
The purpose for that law changes. The purpose for the law
originally was to bring us to Christ. When we came to Him,
He became the end of the law for righteousness, but not for
expression of love, not for obedience, not for success and
happiness in the Lord's work.
7. The holiness of the
New Testament is based upon the law of the Old Testament.
I Peter 1:14-16, "As obedient children, not fashioning
yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but
as He Which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner
of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am
holy." Compare that with Leviticus 11:44, "For I
am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and
ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile
yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon
the earth." You will notice that the basis for
holiness in the New Testament is based here on a statement in the
2nd Corinthians 6:14-18, "Be ye not
unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship
hath righteousness with unrighteous ness? and what communion hath
light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or
what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what
agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the
temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them,
and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My
people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will
receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My
sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
Now notice Deuteronomy
7:2-7, "And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before
thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt
make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: neither
shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not
give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
For they will turn away thy son from following Me, that they may
serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled
against you, and destroy thee suddenly. But thus shall ye deal
with them; ye shall destroy their altars and break down their
images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images
with fire. For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the
Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto
Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because
ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of
Deuteronomy 22:6-12, "If
a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or
on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam
sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the
dam with the young: but thou shalt in any wise let the dam go,
and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and
that thou mayest prolong thy days. When thou buildest a new
house, then thou shaft make a battlement for thy roof, that thou
bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence.
Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit
of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard,
be defiled. Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.
Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and
linen together. Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four
quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself."
Isaiah 52:11, "Depart
ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go
ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of
the Lord." Notice carefully that the basis and
argument that Paul used in the New Testament for separation was
built on an Old Testament teaching.
Thank God for the
law! It showed me my inability to save myself and led me to
Christ, Who became the end of the law for righteousness for me;
but thank God, the old law is still there, giving me many, many
tools with which I can say to Jesus, "I love You!"
Chapter 8 - Salvation
is More than Being Saved!
John 16:12, "I have
yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now."
Romans 8:32, "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered
Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us
all things?" Psalm 51:12, "Restore unto me the
joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free
Someone said to me recently, "Oh, if
these young Christians could just keep their joy!"
said, "They can."
The other person replied,
"Then why don't they?"
Of course, there is a
reason for this loss of joy. When we receive Christ, we
accept salvation and rejoice that we are saved. Yet somehow
we think that we will rejoice the same way forever, and we should
do so. A Christian should rejoice in his salvation as much
30 years after he accepted it as he did the first moment he was
saved. Yet God knows the way we are made. He knows
that it is difficult for man to respond to the same stimulus for
long seasons of time. So He puts all that He has into
salvation that we may discover its jewels one at a time in order
to continue in our joy. He freely gives us all things at
salvation. Notice again Romans 8:32, "He that spared
not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He
not with Him also freely give us all things?" However,
those "all things" are not discovered all at one
Several years ago I had a bad cold. Somebody
gave me some Contac capsules that were called timed-release
capsules. In the capsule were many little balls of Contac,
but these were wrapped in various degrees of thickness so that
one would be dissolved and do its work. By the time that
one had lost its effectiveness, another one was ready to go to
work. This process was continued so that the medication
would periodically be putting itself into my system.
Salvation is a great deal like that. At salvation God gives
us all things in His great gift. However, He allows us to
discover them one at a time in order that we may continually have
Once someone gave me a beautiful, gift-wrapped
package. I opened it. Inside there was another
beautiful, gift-wrapped package. I opened it only to find
another beautiful, gift-wrapped package in it. I kept on
opening until I had to open seven packages to get to the gift.
Salvation is given to us all in one beautiful package. We
open it and receive one of its benefits. This causes us to
rejoice. However, since the same stimulus often wears thin,
God gives us another one to open where we find another aspect of
salvation. Then when our joy diminishes, another is
available, then later another and another and another.
a person is first saved, he may be enraptured with the fact that
he is going to Heaven and will not go to Hell. Later God
says, "Let Me give you another gift," and the Christian
becomes aware of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
He rejoices about this. Then God gives him another gift,
whereupon he learns of answered prayer. Again his rejoicing
is great. Oh, there are so many different parts of
salvation, each wrapped as a part of a beautiful, timed-release
capsule in order that salvation may grow dearer to us all the
time so that we can retain its joy.
Years ago I went to an
amusement park that had many rides. I paid for my ticket
and entered into the park. Shortly thereafter I came to a
ride that I wanted to enjoy. I walked up and asked the
attendant how much it cost. He said, "Mister, when you
bought your ticket, every ride in the amusement park came with
it. It is all a part of the deal."
birthday was on a Monday. My daughters who were still at
home, Cindy and Linda, were afraid I wouldn't have a good
birthday because I would be flying to a preaching engagement in a
distant state. So they conceived an idea. Before I
left for the airport they gave me a big sack. In that sack
were many gifts. I had instructions to open one gift each
hour on the hour throughout the day. Now all these gifts
were in one package. They felt that they could keep me
happy all day on my birthday and prevent discouragement if I
could have a gift to open every hour throughout the day.
years ago I was on an airplane. An old gentleman was
sitting in front of me who obviously had had a stroke or heart
attack. He appeared to be so feeble and unable to cope with
the situation. Shortly after our takeoff the stewardess
came by and asked him if he wanted lunch. He said that he
did not. She came back awhile later and said, "Are you
sure you don't want to eat lunch?"
'Me old man looked
up and said, "How much does it cost?"
"Sir, the lunch is a part of the ticket and so is the coffee
and tea." A big smile came across the face of the old
gentleman and he said, "Then I'll gladly take it."
As the stewardess walked away he was still rejoicing with his
wife that more than the trip to his destination came with the
These are just a few illustrations to explain
Romans 8:32, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered
Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us
all things?" God has planned blessings every hour for
the rest of our lives. All of salvation comes with the
ticket. Salvation is more than just a ride to Heaven.
It is a marvelous, wonderful, unspeakably happy journey and so
many blessed things come with the ticket. No wonder
Jeremiah said of the Lord's mercies, "They are new every
morning." No wonder someone wrote, "I'm pressing
on the upward way, new heights I'm gaining every day."
So, Christian, start opening your packages! Eat the meal!
Enjoy the trip! Ride the rides! Salvation is more
than just being saved; it is all that God has wrapped in one big
package which gives us new mercies and new joys 'and new thrills
all along the journey to the Gloryland.
us that there is more depression on Christmas night and the day
after Christmas than at any other time of the year. Some
have even gone so far as to say that suicides increase at that
time. I told my people that I could help them eliminate the
after-Christmas blahs when they sit at a Christmas tree
surrounded by wrappings and boxes and realize that the
festivities are over. This is the plan I gave them. I
suggested they not open all their presents on Christmas morning.
Save one for Christmas afternoon and another for Christmas night
and another for the morning after Christmas and another for the
afternoon after Christmas and another for the next day and
another for the next day, etc. This wonderful thing called
salvation has a never-ending joy because God's mercies are new
every morning. So much comes with the ticket. Ride
all the fides you want to ride. Eat your meal. Keep
opening boxes. You are saved. You have eternal life, and
with that eternal life come so many wonderful things that the
Holy Spirit chooses to reveal to us from time to time so that our
joy may continue and even intensify!
Chapter 9 - Election at
I Peter 1:2, "Elect
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through
sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of
the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be
multiplied." Ephesians 1:3, "Blessed be the God
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all
spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ."
Ephesians 1:11, "In Whom also we have obtained an
inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him
Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will."
it be understood from the beginning of this chapter that the
author is not endorsing hyper-Calvinism and other errors such as
irresistible grace, limited atonement, etc. I believe that
Christ died for all men and that one's eternal destiny is in his
own hands and his choice for Heaven or Hell is made by his own
will. This preface statement is made because it may appear
otherwise as we are approaching our destination in this
It is true that saved people were elected from
the beginning. 2nd Thessalonians 2:13, "But we
are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved
of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to
salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the
truth." In order to understand that, however, we must
first define what was "the beginning." 2nd
Timothy 1:9, "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy
calling, not according to our works, but according to His own
purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the
world began." Ephesians 1:4, "According as He
hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we
should be holy and without blame before Him in love."
So we are talking about "before the world began."
the Scriptures teach that the believer should make sure of his
own election. 2nd Peter 1:10, "Wherefore the rather,
brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:
for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." We
are admonished to make our own election sure. God does not
make our election sure. That is up to man. God did
not decide who would be elected. Man makes that
Now notice Romans 8:29-30, "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
1. God was able to elect the
saved according to His foreknowledge. Knowing, because
of His foreknowledge who would accept the Saviour, God then
elected them to several things. This does not mean that He
chose who would be saved--that some were chosen to Heaven and
some were chosen to Hell. It was simply His foreknowledge
that enabled Him to elect and because of His foreknowledge He did
2. God knows no time. This is very
important! It is hard for man to comprehend the absence of
time, but God knows no time. A day with God is as a
thousand years and a thousand years is as a day, so says the
Scripture. To us Jesus was slain 2,000 years ago, but to
God He was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.
Revelation 13:8, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall
worship Him, whose names are not written in the book of life of
the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
Scriptures also teach us that we were chosen in Him before the
foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4, "According as
He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that
we should be holy and without blame before Him in love."
Let it be stressed again that this is not God before the
foundation of the world electing who would be saved. It is
God, Who knows no time, before the foundation of the world
knowing who would be saved and electing them to much more than
just salvation. He looked down through His foreknowledge
and saw me being saved. He did not elect me TO salvation.
He elected me AT salvation.
When Moses was commissioned to
go to Pharaoh to seek liberation for the people of God, he asked
God what he should say to Pharaoh concerning Who sent him.
God responded with the answer, "Tell Pharaoh that the I AM
hath sent thee" (Exodus 3:13-14). God is a
In the mind of God it happened all at
one time. Christ was the Lamb stain before the foundation
of the world, I trusted Jesus before the foundation of the world,
my name was written in Heaven before the foundation of the world,
and Christ came in me to live before the foundation of the
world. In the mind of God, it was all one transaction.
That is extremely difficult for man, with his limitations, to
Now this new nature that is in me is Christ in
me. Colossians 1:27, "To whom God would make known
what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the
Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
Since this new nature is Christ, and Christ knows no time, then
my new nature also knows no time. This means that in the
mind of God I was crucified with Christ. Galatians 2:20, "I
am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but
Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I
live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave
Himself for me." How then would it be possible for one
who is born again to lose his salvation when before the
foundation of the world, God, Who knows no time, knew according
to His foreknowledge that I would trust Him and settled the
transaction in eternity!
This certainly also takes away
one working for his salvation. In the mind of God I was a
sinner, Christ died for my sins, I trusted Christ as my Saviour
and was chosen before the foundation of the world before I ever
did a deed-good or bad! My faith was counted for
righteousness. Romans 4:5, "But to him that worketh
not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith
is counted for righteousness." Let 'it be really
understood that all of this was predicated upon my acceptance of
Christ as my Saviour and upon God's knowing that I would.
now Romans 8:29, 30, "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." It says that whom God predestinated He
called and justified. Both of these verbs are in the past
tense. When God predestinated me, because His foreknowledge
allowed Him to know that I would trust Him, at that time he
called me. Bear in mind, God is not limited by time and at
that time He justified me I was already declared righteous in the
sight of God before the foundation of the world. In the
mind of God Jesus had already died for me, He had already called
me, I had already trusted Him, and He had already justified me in
eternity. 'Tis true that no man can totally comprehend
this, but all saved men can rejoice in it.
also it says, "Whom He justified, them He also glorified."
The glorification of a Christian takes place at the rapture when
he receives a body like that of Jesus. I John 3:2,
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet
appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear,
we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is."
Here in these verses God tells me that when He predestinated me
because of His foreknowledge, He also called me, justified me,
and praise His name, even glorified me! He set aside a
glorified body for me before the foundation of the world simply
because He knew that I would trust Him as a little lad almost 11
years old in August of 1937. He looked through His
telescope of foreknowledge and saw me just outside the back door
of the Fernwood Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, as a little
barefoot, ghetto-bound boy receiving His Son as my Saviour, and
when God looking through foreknowledge saw that, at the same time
He saw Jesus dying for my sins, so He called me, justified me and
glorified me. He went ahead and got my body ready that I'll
need at the rapture, and in the mind of God I am already
raptured, glorified and with Him. It Is just as good as being
Recently I was traveling with my good friend Dr.
Russell Anderson. He was reading the Wall Street Journal,
and the part that he was reading was not understandable to me.
I asked him what it was. He said it was the futures
market. After he explained it to me, suddenly it dawned on
me-that's what God did for me. He invested in me and saved
me in the futures market!
My mother used to say to me,
"Son, I loved you before you were ever born. I had
already planned the place for you to sleep. I had some
clothes already prepared for you. I read books while I was
pregnant hoping that it would affect your little mind. I
prayed that God would make you a preacher, and I loved you before
I ever set my eyes on you."
God in His wisdom, mercy,
love and foreknowledge, looks at me today and says, "Jack, I
loved you before you were ever born. Knowing that you would
be born, I loved you before there was a world. I loved you
in eternity with a mind of eternity Knowing that you were going
to trust Me, I got ready for you. I went ahead and
justified you, called you, even got your glorified body ready,
and because I knew you would trust Me, I went ahead and wrote
your name in Heaven in the Lamb's Book of Life. Now, Jack,
you didn't know all of this, and it probably wouldn't have helped
you if you had because you couldn't have understood it, and even
now you can't fully comprehend it, but I just wanted you to know
that My foreknowledge let Me enjoy your salvation a long time
before you ever enjoyed it. Knowing what you were going to
do made Me love you even more and even before."
a salvation! What a Saviour! What a God! What
assurance! What security! Praise the Lord!
Glory to God! Hallelujah! Amen!
Chapter 10 - The Great
Hindrance to Salvation
There are two
salvations--the salvation of the soul and the salvation of the
life. The word "salvation" means "salvaging."
God wants to salvage our soul for Heaven and our life for
service. The first is regeneration, which is done solely by
the Holy Spirit. It is not of the flesh; it is not of man.
The second is conversion, which is taking a soul that has been
saved and converting its use so that it may be recycled for its
original purpose and fulfill the will and purpose of God.
salvation the will is involved. Revelation 22:17, "And
the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say,
Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let
him take the water of life freely." Since the will is
that which chooses Christ, the right desires must be created so
that the right choices will be made. This is frightening
because we decide on the basis of what we think we need,
Consequently, our "needer" must be in order.
Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst
after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Most
people use a carnal decision-maker to satisfy carnal appetites in
looking for a church. Now if the appetite were spiritual,
the decision would be so much easier. It is not difficult
to satisfy carnal appetites in the church. If you have an
appetite for carnal music, you can find it easily, even in
churches which call themselves fundamental. If you want a
carnal church program which appeals to the flesh, you will have
no problem finding that. Of course, the dangerous thing
here is that the decisions that affect us for life and eternity
are often made because our appetites are carnal. For
example, we choose a church because it is friendly, because we
like the choir, because the preacher has a good vocabulary, with
little or no thought about the power of the Holy Spirit in the
services or the zeal for souls or the standards of separation,
In other words, we choose an institution that is going to affect
our entire lives and, yes, our eternity, on the basis of
satisfying our carnal appetites.
One of the most important
things that a Spirit-filled pastor has to do is to lead his
people to have the proper appetites. They must be taught
and trained to hunger and thirst after righteousness. Then,
they can be filled. Then it is important that the pastor
satisfy that spiritual appetite with spiritual food. For a
congregation to be fed and trained property, the church member's
"needer" must be in good repair and the Pastor's
"feeder" must be in good repair. When the church
member enters the church auditorium and is properly prepared for
the service and hungers and thirsts after righteousness, and the
pastor is walking in the Spirit and is properly prepared, then
his food will satisfy the appetites of his people.
reminds us, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man,
but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs
14:12). For an unsaved man to use his carnal nature in
seeking the way of salvation is so dangerous! This is why
his loved ones and friends should bombard the throne of grace
pleading for God to work on his appetite and to give him a desire
for the real Gospel so that real Gospel can satisfy that
spiritual desire, Psalm 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, 0
Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." A good synonym
for the word "meditation" here would be "appetites."
"Let the words of my mouth and the 'appetites' of my heart
be acceptable in thy sight." Now notice Psalm 37:4,
"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee
the desires of thine heart." When the child of God
delights himself in the Lord, God will give him his desires.
Now the meaning of this passage could be twofold-that God
supplies the desires and then He also supplies the filling of
those desires. He first supplies what to want and then He
supplies what you want. This same thing could apply to
Philippians 4:19, "But my God shall supply all your need
according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." My
God will supply all your needs. Perhaps it means He will
supply the appetite or the presence of the needs, and then He
will supply the fulfillment of those needs.
Now look at
Hebrews 4:16, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne
of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and rind grace to help in
time of need." Notice especially the words, "grace
to help in time of need." This could mean grace to be
helped. It also could mean grace to help others. In
other words, when we come to the throne of grace, He will help
us, and He will also give us grace to help others in their time
It is so vital that any leader be not only a
need-filler but a need-maker. It is so easy for carnality
to seek spirituality, both in the salvation of the soul and in
the salvation of the life. Now in the case of the salvation
of the soul, if the unsaved man has the proper appetite, it will
be because his friends and loved ones plead with God to give him
the right desire for the true plan of salvation. Then once
a person I'S saved, as far as his soul is concerned, the
salvation of his life will depend on his walking in the Spirit so
that God will not only fulfill his needs but provide his needs;
that is, God provides the proper appetite so that He can provide
the proper satisfaction and fulfillment of that appetite.
course, one of the great secrets to this is found in John 15:7,
"If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask
what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." When we
enter into His Word and His Word enters into us, when we enter
into Him Who has entered into us, when we abide in Him Who abides
in us, and we live in the Book that lives in us, then we will
have the right appetites and consequently seek the proper
fulfillment of them. When a person gets out of the Bible,
his desires will be wrong. Notice in the last part of that
verse that when we do abide in Christ and His Word abides in us,
we can ask what we will and God will give it to us! The
reason is, God knows that if we abide in Christ and His Word
abides in us, our wills will be sanctified and our wills will be
synchronized with His will. What a safeguard is the Word of
The world is filled with Christian people who have
ceased to abide in Christ and have neglected to let the Word of
God abide in them and have left spiritual churches for
unspiritual ones, left spiritual music for carnal music and have
actually become worldly behind the facade of seeking the will of
God. "I prayed about it," they say, but that's
premature! It doesn't say pray and then abide in Christ and
then let His Word abide in you. The abiding in Christ and
His Word abiding in you come before the prayer. Young
people say, "I prayed about it, and I believe I am to marry
him," or "I prayed about it, and I believe I am to go
to a certain school," or "I have prayed about it, and I
believe God wants me to go into a certain profession."
Oh, the folly of thinking that God will lead in answer to our
prayers when we do not abide in Him and His Word does not abide
in us! We come back to the old answer--the Word of God!
When we walk with spiritual giants of the past, travel down
spiritual paths with them and learn of their proper decisions, we
are more qualified to want that which is best so that God can
give us a blank check or a carte blanche that we may ask what we
will and receive it. Unless we abide in Christ and His Word
abides in us, we will not have the spiritual depth to seek what
we need or the spiritual discernment to know the supply when we
John 7:17, "If any man will do His will, he
shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, of whether I
speak of Myself." Notice here that the "do"
comes before the "know." This is still another
way to avoid the hindrances to the salvation of the soul and to
the salvation of the life. We must do what we know to do.
If we do what we ought to do, we will know what we ought to
know. In other words, only when we obey God's commandments
and His will can we know His Word.
There are two parts to
the will of God. There is the "where" of the will
of God, and there is the "what" of the will of God.
We spend far too much time trying to find the "where"
instead of the "what." We are supposed to do what
God wants us to do, and we are supposed to do it where He wants
us to do it. These are the two parts of the will of God. In
a college, students are always wanting to know the will of God.
What they usually mean is, they want to know where they are
supposed to go to serve, but to them, the where is more important
than the serving. All over this world missionaries and
full-time Christian workers are in the very place that God wants
them, but they are not doing in that place what God wants them to
do. The "where" is fine, but the "what"
is wrong. I would rather be doing what He wants me to do in
the wrong place than doing the wrong thing where He wants me to
be. Now ideally a person should be where God wants him
doing what God wants him to do.
The emphasis here is that
the what comes before the where. We spend our time trying
to find where we should be first and then find what we should do
there. Our first priority should be to find what we should
do and do it. Then we should find where we should do it, If
God wanted me to be in California, I would rather be in Maine
doing what God wants me to do than in California not doing what
He wants me to do. I would rather be soul winning in the
wrong place than be in the right place and not be soul
God is a God of divine order, and if our
priorities are in order, we can have the appetites that God wants
us to have.
John 15:1-7, "I am the true vine, and My
Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not
fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He
purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean
through the Word Which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and I
in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it
abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am
the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in
him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do
nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch,
and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the
fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in Me, and My words abide
in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto
Now notice God's divine order. Open your
Bible to that passage in John 15:1-7. Circle the word
"fruit" in verse 2 and write a (1) beside it.
Circle the word "purgeth" in verse 2 and write a (2)
beside it. Now circle the words "more fruit" in
verse 2 and write a (3) beside them. Now circle the words
"abideth in me and I in him" in verse 5 and write a (4)
beside them. Now circle the words "much fruit" in
verse 5 and write a (5) beside them. Now circle the words
"My words" in verse 7 and write a (6) beside them.
Now circle the word "ask" in verse 7 and write a (7)
beside it. Here is God's divine order. The goal is to
arrive at verse 7 to where God can trust us to ask what we want
to ask because He knows our appetites are spiritual enough to
where He can give us a blank check.
How do we get to this
place to where our appetites are proper and God can trust them?
We get there according to the order mentioned. First, we
bear fruit. Second, we are purged or separated.
Third, we bring forth more fruit. Fourth, we abide in
Christ. Fifth, we bring forth much fruit. Sixth, the
Word of God is open to us. Seventh, our appetites are so
spiritual that God can trust them. Notice several things
about this passage.
1. Fruit comes immediately after
salvation. It also comes before separation. When
a person is saved, he may not know what is sinful and what is
not. Perhaps he has not heard preaching or read spiritual
literature, but he does find out that he is a sinner, that
sinners are lost, that the virgin-born sinless Christ died a
vicarious death for him and was raised for his justification, and
that if he would trust Christ and what Christ did for him, he can
be saved. A person may do this and be genuinely saved and
not know that some of his habits are wrong.
not long ago I was soul winning and won a lady to' Christ.
She was so happy. She had the assurance that she was
saved. I and she were about to shout, She said, "Wait
a minute. " She ran into the" kitchen, got a
bottle of liquor, opened it, poured some for me and, some for her
and said, "Praise God! Let's drink a toast to My
salvation!" Does that mean she wasn't saved? Of
course not. No doubt: she was genuinely converted, but she
did not know enough about right, and wrong to be purged or
separated. She asked me to come back and talk to her
husband. I did go back, and that night he was saved.
Actually, she about won him to Christ before I got there.
Now she was a soul winner, but she was not yet separated.
woman at Sychar's well who came to Christ immediately ran back to
the city to witness for Him.
2. When God sees a
Christian bearing fruit, He purges him. In other words,
God convicts him of that which is wrong, and he becomes
3. This separation now enables him to bring
forth more fruit. Preachers who preach you cannot win
souls until you are separated are wrong. However, you can't
win more souls until you are separated. Separation follows
fruit bearing, but it precedes more fruit bearing.
After more fruit bearing, a person comes to the place where he
abides in Christ. In other words, he walks with God and
lives with God, and Christ is his life. Then God honors him
by allowing him to bear much fruit. Notice now that we have
three fruit bearers: some bearing fruit, some bearing more fruit
and some bearing much fruit. Here is a church having a
soul-winning night. Different people come. Here is a
person who is not separated. He is a new Christian, but he
has been told that even new Christians should witness. He
comes to bring forth fruit. Sitting beside him is a
Christian who has learned what is wrong and has separated himself
from the world. He comes soul winning that night to bring
forth much fruit. Sitting beside him is a Christian who has not
only been separated but he is abiding in Christ. He not
only refrains from doing that which he should not do, but his
entire life is built upon that which he should do. He walks
with God. He comes to visitation to bring forth much
Isn't that wonderful? God enables every
Christian who so desires to bring forth fruit!
5. It is
noteworthy that every other thing on God's list of growth in
grace has to do with fruit bearing. First fruit, then
separation, then more fruit, then abiding in Christ, then much
fruit. It looks like the entire Christian life is built
around some degree of bearing fruit.
6. Much fruit is
followed by the understanding of the Word of God. That
takes us back to our original passage. Notice again John
7:17, "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the
doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself. "
Once we have done His will; that is, the bringing forth of much
fruit, we can then know the Word of God. It is interesting
that the Word of God follows the much fruit.
comes asking what we will. Notice the word "will"
in John 15:7. That takes us back to the beginning of this
chapter. Since our decisions are made by the will, we need
to have a sanctified will. This will can be so sanctified
when we have brought forth fruit, become separated, brought forth
more fruit, lived in Christ and walked with Him, then brought
forth much fruit, and abided in the Word of God. Then our
will is sanctified! We will know our needs and our
appetites so we can come to God and freely ask what we will, and
He is assured that we will ask for the right things. So we
must create the right appetite in the sinner for the first
salvaging. This is done by preaching to him the Word of God
and pleading with God to give him the right appetites. Then
we must create the right appetite in the saint for the second
salvaging. This likewise is done by the Word of God, but
that Word can only be understood after we have done what He tells
us to do.
Because of this, any one of us in a place of
leadership--whether it is a pastor leading a church, parents
leading a child, a teacher leading a class or a principal leading
a school-must lead our followers to have the proper appetites so
that their will can choose the proper fulfillment of those
appetites. This means we should stress to them again and
again to obey the command of God, do what He says to do, and once
you have done what He says to do, then live in the Book, for He
will reveal His truths to you.
Not long ago someone was
talking about our teenage bus kids at First Baptist Church.
Now I love these young people very much, and I am very proud of
them. Someone who noticed the bus kid's zeal (brought about
because the church and God's work is new to them) compared this
zeal with the seeming complacency of the young people in our
church who have grown up here, and said, "I believe the bus
teenagers will turn out better than our own young people who have
grown up in the church." I told them that could not be
true, for we have taken young people for many years and taught
them to go soul winning and to do what God says to do. We have
bathed them in the Word of God. They have been taught the Bible,
and though it may become routine to them, the Bible is still
there! The Word is hidden in their hearts, and their
appetites have been created by obedience to the Word and knowing
the Word. This sanctifies their will, and in the long run,
they have the best chance to be doing what God wants them to do
where God wants them to be.
Chapter 11 - Lordship
Colossians 2:16, 17, "Let
no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of
an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are
a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." I
Corinthians 2:8, "Which none of the princes of this world
knew- for had they known it, they would not have crucified the
Lord of glory."
Now exactly what is Lordship
salvation? It is a doctrine embraced by some who say that
one must receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord in order to be
saved. A careful took at this doctrine will show that it is
really nothing more but salvation by works rearing its ugly
head. It adds to salvation by faith and faith alone
something that man must do, and that is make Jesus the Lord of
Those who embrace this doctrine often do so from
good motives. They are sick of sub-standard Christianity
and shallow Christian living. They find others who agree
with them, and as they fellowship in their lamentation caused by
disappointment after examining the lives of God's people, their
lamentation becomes doctrine. They do not realize that they
are adding works to salvation. They adopt spiritual clichés
such as "if Christ is not Lord of all, He will not be Lord
at all." Then they will adopt other little clichés
like, "Don't pluck green fruit," "Easy believism,"
etc. Their disappointment and oftentimes disgust with the
shallowness of many Christians causes them to go so far in their
disdain that they teach heresy. They love to talk about
returning to New Testament Christianity. Well, the truth
is, people have not changed since the New Testament. They
had shallow Christians then even as we have today. For
example, look at I Corinthians 3:14, "And I, brethren, could
not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as
unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with
meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now
are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among
you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and
walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am
of Apollos; are ye not carnal?" Here we have mention
of carnal Christians. Jesus was certainly not Lord of their
lives. Yet they are called babes in Christ.
Corinthians 5:1-5, "It is reported commonly that there is
fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as
named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's
wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned,
that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among
you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in
spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning
him that hath so done this deed. In the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with
the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto
Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be
saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." Here is a member
of the church, and the Lord said of him that his spirit would be
saved in the day of judgment. What a tragic testimony!
He, like Ananias and Sapphira and others, had committed the sin
unto death. Certainly Christ was not the Lord of his
Galatians 4:8-11, "Howbeit then, when ye knew
not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of
God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements,
whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and
months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have
bestowed upon you labour in vain." Once again we have
some weak Christians whose lives were not characterized by the
Lordship of Christ.
2nd Thessalonians 3:6,14,15-- "Now
we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh
disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man,
and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count
him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother."
Jesus the Lord of Lot's life when he was in Sodom? Of
course not, yet God called him "just." This does
not mean he was just in his behavior, but he was just in his
standing before God because he was a believer. Was Jesus the Lord
of David's life when he sinned? Was Jesus the Lord of
Peter's life when he denied the Lord, denied the faith and denied
the church? Was Jesus the Lord of Abraham's life when he
fled to Egypt because of a lack of faith? Was Jesus the
Lord of Moses' life when he lost his ticket to the Holy Land
because of his sin of smiting the rock twice? Was Jesus the
Lord of Jacob's life when he was in Haran all those years?
certainly there is a doctrine called the Lordship of Christ, and
the Bible is full of warnings, pleadings and exhortations for
God's children to yield to Lordship. Romans 12:1, "I
beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye
present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto
God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 6-12,
13, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that
ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye
your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but
yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead,
and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."
Galatians 5:16, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye
shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Galatians 6:10-17,
"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all
men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Ye
see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own
hand. As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they
constrain, you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer
persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves
who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you
circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. But God forbid
that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by Whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For
in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor
uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according
to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of
God. From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body
the marks of the Lord Jesus." The admonition to the
unsaved is that they accept Christ as Saviour. The admonition to
those who have accepted Christ as Saviour is to accept Him as
here are some observations about Lordship salvation.
In the final analysis, it is salvation by works, which is in
direct contrast to the teaching of the Scriptures.
Titus 3:5, "Not by works of righteousness which we have
done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of
regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Romans 3:28,
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith
without the deeds of the law." Romans 4:2, "For if
Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but
not before God." Ephesians 2:8, 9, "For by grace
are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."
Romans 4-5, "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on
Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for
2. If one must accept Christ as
Lord of his life in order to be saved, it would of necessity
remove growth in grace. If one has yielded his life to
Christ as Lord at salvation, there would be no babes in Christ,
but the simple truth is that there are babes in Christ. I
Corinthians 3: 1, "And 1, brethren, could not speak unto you
as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in
Christ." I Peter 2:2, "As new born babes, desire
the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby."
Lordship salvation necessitates the doctrine of losing one's
salvation. If one must make Jesus his Lord in order to
be saved, then when he backslides to the position to where Jesus
is no longer his Lord, consistency would drive us to believe that
he is no longer saved. This would make us doubt the
salvation of Peter when he denied the Lord, the salvation of
Barnabas when he had contention with Paul, the salvation of Jonah
when he left the will of God, etc.
salvation makes no provision for the carnal Christian. None
of us takes pleasure in the carnality of a Christian, but the
fact remains that there is such a person taught in the Bible.
In I Corinthians 3:1 we have the carnal Christian and the
spiritual Christian. "And I, brethren, could not speak
unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as babes in
Christ." The world is divided between saved and lost.
The saved are divided between carnal and spiritual. I do
not delight that there carnal Christians, but I must accept the
fact that they exist.
5. Lordship salvation removes
grace and would nullify the plainest verses in the Bible
concerning salvation. John 3:15, "That whosoever
believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."
John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His
only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not
perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:36, "He
that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that
believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God
abideth on him." John 5:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto
you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me,
hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but
is passed from death unto life." John 1: 11, 12, "He
came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as
many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on His name." Ephesians
2:8, 9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that
not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any
man should boast." All of these verses plainly tell us
salvation is by believing; that is, by faith in the finished work
6. Salvation is receiving, not giving.
John 1: 12, "But as many as received Him, to them gave He
power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His
name." In salvation it is God Who does the giving, not man.
Man does the receiving. God gives His Son. John 3:16, "For
God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have
everlasting life." God gives eternal life. John 10:28,
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never
perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand."
God gives us all things. Romans 8:32, "He that spared
not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He
not with Him also freely give us all things?" To be a
believer, one accepts what God has given. To be a disciple,
one gives. Salvation comes from the sacrifice of Christ.
Discipleship comes from the sacrifice of self. Salvation
depends on God's faithfulness. Discipleship depends on my
faithfulness. Hence, salvation cannot be lost.
Discipleship can be lost.
Occasionally someone will say,
"You can be saved if you will give your heart to Jesus."
Now I think that people who use this statement are sincere, and
many have been saved in response to their appeal, but technically
one is saved, not because he gives his heart to Jesus; one is
saved because he receives Jesus and His gift of eternal life.
Lordship salvation would make salvation a trade or a deal or
maybe even a bribe. It would take away the simple
reception of Christ for eternal life and would become God giving
us something if we give Him something. God would say to us,
"You give Me something; I'll give you something. We
will trade, and you will be saved." Salvation is not
my giving God something and God giving me something; salvation is
God giving me something and my receiving it. Romans 6:23 "For
the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord."
In order to
understand the Lordship of Christ, let us notice the
1. The unsaved man is IN the flesh and sin
is IN him.
2. He receives Christ. Christ comes
IN him. Colossians 1:27, "To whom God would make known what
is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles;
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
When Christ enters, the old man does not leave. Though Christ
is in him, so is the old nature. Romans 7:15-17, "For
that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but
what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I
consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I
that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me." There is the
new man and there is the old man in the believer. Romans
7:22, 23, "For I delight in the law of God after the inward
man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law
of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin
which is in my members."
4. The new man needs new
environment. Hence, he is IN Christ. 2nd Corinthians
5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new
creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are
become new." Ephesians 2:6, "And hath raised us
up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in
Christ Jesus." The term "in Christ" or its
equivalent is mentioned over 130 times in the New Testament.
Now that I am IN Christ, many things are made available to me.
Ephesians 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual
blessings in heavenly places in Christ." I Corinthians
3:21, "Therefore let no man glory in men. For all
things are your's." Romans 8:32, "He that spared
not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He
not with Him also freely give us all things?"
Though these things are available to me, they are not forced upon
me, though I live where they are. Notice that I am
already in Christ, and now that I am in Him, these things are
available to me, but I must choose to have them. One of
these things is fellowship with God. Ephesians 2:13, "But
now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh
by the blood of Christ." Another is a spiritual walk.
I John 2:6, "He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself
also so to walk, even as He walked." Another is His
approval. Romans 16:10, "Salute Apelles approved in
Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household."
Another is spiritual growth. Colossians 2:7, "Rooted
and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been
taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving." Another is
spiritual maturity Colossians 1:28, "Whom we preach, warning
every man, and teaching every man in all--wisdom; that we may
present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." Another is
sanctification. I Corinthians 1:2, "Unto the church of
God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ
Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call
upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and
All of these things are available to the
believer. All are at his disposal, whereas none were before
he came in Christ. When he became a new creature and
entered into Christ, these and many other things were made
available to him. Now to whatever extent man avails himself of
these things that are at his disposal, Christ is his Lord.
Naturally, the baby Christian does not avail himself of all the
things that are his any more than the babe in the house avails
himself to the washing machine or the family car. However,
as we avail ourselves more and more of the things that Christ has
made for us, we grow in grace and Jesus becomes more the Lord of
Perhaps the greatest Christian who ever lived
was the Apostle Paul. In speaking of himself he said, "0
wretched man that I am." He called himself "the
chief of sinners." He said the things that he would
do, he did not, and the things he would not do, he did.
Probably Jesus was Lord of more of Paul's life than any other
person who ever lived, but Paul himself said he had not yet
In conclusion, notice the vanity and pride
involved in one testifying to his salvation who believes in
Lordship salvation. He is saying, "I have made Jesus
my Lord." That means that Jesus controls his life and
he is totally yielded. My, what a statement for a person to
make about himself! On the other hand, notice the humility
in the person's testimony who says, "I am saved because I
received Christ as my Saviour." He is talking about a
salvation that he did not merit. He did nothing to receive
it except receive it. It was a gift. Whereas, if we
bad to give something to God to get something in return, he and
God made a trade and his salvation is earned.
Chapter 12 - God's
Three Great Loves
There are three great
loves in the heart of God. The first of these loves is
holiness. If there is anything that God loves, it is
holiness! In Isaiah 6:3 it says, "Holy, holy, holy is
the Lord of hosts." Now why does it say thrice that
God is holy? God is a threefold being; He is God the
Father, He is God the Son, He is God the Holy Spirit. God
is saying, "Holy is the Father, Holy is the Son, and Holy is
the Spirit." In Revelation 4:8 it says, Holy, holy,
holy Lord God Almighty." What does this mean?
Our almighty God is a threefold creature, and His name is called
Holy--Holy Father, Holy Son, Holy Spirit. Forty-one times
in the Word of God our God is called the Most Holy. Twenty
times He is called the Holy One. Thirty-one times He is
called the Holy One of Israel. Twenty-four times in the Bible we
find this statement: "Holy is His name." The
first love of God is holiness.
The second of God's three
great loves is justice. God loves justice! In Acts
3:14 He is called the Just. In Acts 7:52 God is called the
Just One. In Acts 22:14 God is called that Just One.
In Jeremiah 50:7 it says that the Lord is "the habitation of
justice." In Job 8:3 we read, "Doth God pervert
judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?"
third great love of God--and this is the good one--is man!
These are God's three great loves. Now I am not talking now
about God the Father's three great loves. I am talking
about God the Trinity's three great loves! Of course, there
is no love to compare with the love the Son has for the Father,
the love the Son has for the Spirit, the love the Spirit has for
the Father, and the love the Spirit has for the Son. I am
talking about God as a Godhead now--three personalities in one
Godhead. Then I'm saying that the great love of that God is
first, holiness; second, justice; and third, man.
three of these walked with God in beautiful harmony in the Garden
of Eden. When God made man and fellowshipped with man in
the Garden of Eden, God had with Him His three great loves.
He had holiness, He had justice, and He had man, but something
tragic happened. Man threw a monkey wrench in that
beautiful fellowship that God had with His three great loves.
Man sinned. You see, God gave man a will because God wanted
man to be able to choose to love God. God did not want some
robots forced to love Him. God wanted us to have a will
that we might choose to love Him.
God is faced with a
dilemma! Here is His love-holiness, and here is His
love-justice, and here is His love-man, but man, one of God's
three great loves, has sinned! God has a dilemma. He
cannot have all three! God cannot have man, since he
sinned, and justice and holiness. The Word of God had said,
"The soul that sinneth, it shall surely die."
"The wages of sin is death." "Sin when it is
finished bringeth forth death." God had promised a
condemnation on sin, and that condemnation was separation from
God. God can no longer have all three of His great loves.
If sin goes unpunished, and if God receives man back without sin
being punished, then God loses justice, for justice requires
punishment for sin! If God were to say to Adam and Eve,
"Come on back; all is forgiven," then man would not
receive punishment for his sin and God would lose His justice,
and if God loses His justice, then God loses His holiness, for if
God is not just, God is not holy!
Now God has one choice
of two: God can lose man and retain holiness and justice, or God
can receive man back and lose His holiness and justice. God
chose to keep holiness and justice and lose man! That is
why God put Cherubims at the east of the Garden of Eden with a
flaming sword. That flaming sword was going round and round
all the time. Why was that flaming sword there? It
had to keep Adam and Eve from getting back to the tree of life,
for if Adam and Eve had gotten back to the tree of life and eaten
of it, they would have lived forever, and God would not have had
His justice satisfied, and God would not be holy! That is
why nobody can get saved because he turns over a new leaf.
Turning over a new leaf does not satisfy the justice of God!
If God is not just, God is not holy, and if God is not holy, God
is not God. The very existence of the Godhead is dependent
on His holiness.
A person walks down the aisle in a
church. He says, "I am going to do better! I am
going to turn over a new leaf! I am going to live right.
I am going to quit my drinking! I am going to quit my
gambling! I am going to quit my profane life! I am
going to quit my cursing!" Then he turns over a new
leaf. If God said to him, "Okay, come on back,"
then God's justice would not have been satisfied because payment
for sin would not have been made, and God would have lost His
justice, and he who is not just is not holy because being unjust
is the epitome of sin! If God loses His justice, He loses
His holiness, and if God let one sinner get to Heaven by turning
over a new leaf, God would not be God, and God would not be
A person who walks down the aisle and says, "I
want to get baptized," and gets baptized in order that it
might help save him, cannot be saved! If God saved one
person because he was baptized, God would not be just; hence, God
would not be holy; hence, God would not be God.
person came down the aisle and trusted the church, and if God let
a person come to Himself and let him back into fellowship with
his God because he belonged to the church, then God's justice
would not be satisfied; and if God is not just, God is not holy,
and if God is not holy, God is not God!
There is more to
this than being a Baptist! We say, "We Baptists
believe in the security of the believer, in salvation by grace
through faith." There's more to it than that,
brother. It is not the Baptist church at stake; it is the
deity of God at stake! If God lets one sinner come to
Himself apart from the penalty on sin being paid, God is no
longer God and God has lost his justice, His holiness and His
Remember, in the Garden of Eden there was blessed
fellowship the justice of God, the holiness of God and man, but
man sinned! He left God. God turned His back on man
because God had to turn His back on man in order for God to
retain His deity. He had to be just. You say,
"Brother Hyles, we just don't see it that way. We
believe you can take the Holy Eucharist and go to Heaven."
can eat the holy cow and not go to Heaven, buddy! You are
going to have to have God's justice satisfied. Though God
loves you, if He would let one person get back to Himself without
the sin debt being paid, then God would not be God, and the sun
would melt the earth, the moon would fall from its lofty
position, the stars would fall from the sky and the universe
would crumble! There would be no universe and no God!
There is more to it than Baptist doctrine. It is the very
doctrine of the existence of the Godhead! God says, "I
cannot let man back if he decides to do better, for man has
sinned! I love man. I want him back. I want him back,
but if I take him back at the expense of justice, then I have
lost justice. If I take him back at the expense of justice, I've
lost holiness. If I have lost justice and holiness, I have
lost My deity.
Yes, God chose to turn His back on man;
nevertheless, He loved man, and God said, "'Mere has to be
some way that I can take man back and still keep justice and
still keep holiness!" Here is the core of the message.
Do not miss this.
God the Son stepped forward in the
foreordinate counsel of eternity and said, "Father, let Me
make a suggestion. Let Me go to earth. Let Me become
a man. Let Me be born of a virgin. Let Me live a
perfect life. Let Me fulfill the law. Let Me become
righteousness and never sin. Let Me then go to a cross and
let Me take all the sins of all mankind and let Me place them
upon Myself and charge them to My name. Then let Me die on
the cross, and then You turn Your back on Me, and You accept My
payment as payment in full for the sins of man. Then I will
be buried and rise after three days and three nights, and then,
Father, man's sin will be paid for, and You then can receive man
back without losing justice; hence, without losing
Let me tell you something. We need
to realize the bigness and greatness of our great salvation.
I mean, our salvation is based on God being God, and God cannot
be God if He forgives one sin because a fellow goes to a
confessional booth and asks the priest to forgive him. If
God would forgive one sin because the pope absolved the sin, God
would not be God. Why? Sin has to be paid for!
say, "Now wait a minute. The priest is paying for that
sin." No, the priest has his own sins to worry about.
There must be Somebody Who does not sin. Somebody must pay
the debt Who does not owe the debt. Somebody must bear the
price Who does not owe the price!
There is only One Who
never sinned, and that is God Himself! So God Himself came
to earth, was born of a virgin, became a man, God incarnate and
God in the flesh, and He lived here 33 years. He never said
a word He should not have said. He never thought a thought
He should not have thought. He never trod a path He should
not have trodden. He never had a motive He should not have
had. He never saw that which was sinful to see. No
sin entered into Him, and even His bitterest enemies said,
"Surely this was the Son of God!" The one who
guarded Him said, "Truly, I find no fault in Him."
I am saying that Jesus never sinned! He Who never sinned
went to Calvary. He paid the penalty for sin, but He did
not have to pay the penalty for His own sin, so He was paying the
penalty for your sin and my sin!
Away with church joining
for salvation; that does not satisfy the justice of God.
Away with baptismal regeneration; that does not satisfy the
justice of God. Away with communion salvation; that does
not satisfy the justice of Almighty God. Nothing could
satisfy the holiness and justice of a righteous God unless the
sin debt be paid.
The old song says this so
"I hear the Saviour say,
strength indeed is small, Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find
in Me thine all in all.'
Jesus paid it all, All to Him I
Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as
Listen, you have to get the debt paid! The
debt is the debt of death.
When God the Father turned His
back on God the Son and Jesus cried, "My God, My God, why
hast Thou forsaken Me?" and saw the back side of God for the
first time in eternity and had His fellowship with God broken for
the first time, what was He doing? He was taking your sin
and mine and all the sins of all the whole world and was placing
those on His account! He then stood as a drunkard before
God, as a harlot before God, as a thief before God and as a liar
before God, and God the Father looked at His own precious Son and
said, "Guilty!" God saw Him as a sinner! He
Who was perfect became imperfect. He Who was righteous
became sinful! He Who was rich became poor. He Who was God
became man. Why? So He could pay our sin debt.
since the sin debt is paid, God can look to sinful man and say,
"Man, I can now take you back, and if I take you back, I can
keep My justice and My holiness too!"
Blessed be God,
there is a way that God can have His three great loves restored
to Him. God must choose between man and justice and
holiness, if man is a sinner. God chose justice and
holiness. Now He says to man, "You can come back."
When Jesus Christ died on the cross, the lower point of the cross
was pointing to the Hell from whence He saved us, and the top
point was pointing to the Heaven to which He saved us, and the
arms were extended to the east and west which said now anybody
could come back and be received by the Father, but it must be
inside the confinements of the justice of Almighty God!
Away with confirmation salvation! Away with baby sprinkling
salvation! Away with baptismal regeneration salvation!
Away with communion salvation! Fifty cheers for grace
salvation, for by grace and grace alone, God in His own infinite
wisdom devised a plan whereby man can get back to God and justice
and holiness do not have to leave God! Now God can receive
man back, and blessed be God, there is a way that for eternity
you and justice and holiness and God can live forever in perfect
Now this is all contingent on one thing, and that
is man's acceptance! Do you understand how much God loved
us? God loved us so much that He could not take us back,
because He would not have been God if He had taken us back.
If Adam and Eve had gotten back into the Garden and eaten of the
tree of life and lived forever, they would have lived forever
without the penalty for sin being paid. It matters not who
you are, you are not going to get to Heaven until your sin debt
I was on an airplane, and I sat down by a fellow
and said, "Sir, in what kind of business are you?"
said, "I'm an accountant, a CPA, a Certified Public
After awhile I started talking to him
and said, "Could I tell you a story?",
"What is it?"
I took a piece of paper. I said,
"I want to talk to you about bookkeeping for a few minutes.
I want to put your name up here (His name was Joe). I'll
just put Joe Blow up here. Okay, Joe, there is your name.
You have some sins charged against your name in Heaven. I
stole a baseball glove once when I was a kid. Did you ever
He said, "Yes, I did."
I wrote "stealing" there under his name on that piece
of paper. Then I said, "Joe, I said a bad word once
when I was a boy. Did you ever say a bad word?"
I wrote "cursing" on that piece of
paper. Then I said, "Joe, I have hated folks before,
He said, "Yes, I have."
wrote "hatred" on that piece of paper. "Joe,"
I said, "we will let these marks represent all the things
that I have done and you have done. You are an accountant,
this is your ledger. Because you're an accountant, you know
this-the books must be balanced, but you cannot balance that.
The price on that is death or Hell (and I put the word "Hell"
opposite his sins). There you are. You have a sin
debt, but you have never paid it yet. You will have to pay
it someday. Let me show you another piece of paper in the
I took another piece of paper and wrote
"Jesus" at the top. Joe watched me intently.
I said, "Joe, one time Jesus went to Calvary. He
suffered Hell, so I shall write over here, 'Jesus paid Hell'
Jesus must have had something He owed. Joe, tell me
something bad about Jesus."
He said, "What?"
said, "Well, Jesus paid the payment; He must have had the
merchandise. Tell me something bad about Jesus."
said, "I don't know anything bad about Jesus." I
said, "Tell me something good about Him."
said, "Love," and I wrote "love" under Jesus'
name. He said, "Merciful," and I put "merciful."
He said, "Kind," and I put "kind," and we
listed a lot of things about Jesus.
I said, "Okay,
Joe, if there is no debt registered to Jesus but there is a
credit, He doesn't need that credit, does He, because He has no
He said, "No. He has a plus
I said, "Yes, and you have a minus one!
You have a debit and no credit! Don't you think it would be
a good idea for you to let Jesus transfer His credit to your
debit? He doesn't need it, and you've got to have it!
Do you know what He will do? If you right now on this
airplane would bow your head and look up to God and say, 'Dear
God, I trust Jesus as my Saviour and put my hope in Him to take
me to Heaven,' God would take your name off of this bad list and
put Jesus' name on this bad list. God would see Jesus as
guilty of stealing, cursing, lying and cheating. God would
take Jesus' record here which says, "love, mercy and
kindness," and God would put your name up here. Joe,
if you would receive Christ right now, God would transfer His
credit to your debit, and you would have your sin debt paid and
your books would be balanced, and you could go to Heaven to live
forever! Joe, that isn't all! If you did that right now,
the moment you put your faith in Christ, God would take your
record and tear it up-all those sins God would put behind His
back and would remember your sins no more!"
"I'm not very smart, but I am an accountant, and I know
that's a good deal." Joe bowed his head and prayed the
sinner's prayer, and God Almighty looked down and saw His justice
satisfied because Joe was trusting the payment of Jesus on the
cross as his hope for Heaven. When he did, then God was
happiest of all. God said, "Hallelujah! I got man
back; I got old Joe back, and I got to keep My justice too, and I
got to keep My holiness!"
This is a strange thing.
I have never said this before, but God likes being God! He
likes His job! I had never said that in my life, but God
likes His job. He doesn't want to lose it, and so to keep
His job of being God, He had to keep His justice, for if He loses
justice, He loses holiness. If He loses holiness, He loses
His throne, and if God is cast off His throne, man has no hope!
Thanks be to God, the old account was settled long ago, for God
in His mercy allowed His Son to come to earth, take upon Himself
the likeness of sinful flesh, and pay for sin in the flesh! Now
anybody can be saved if he will look to Jesus and say, "Jesus,
I don't deserve it, and I'm not coming with my good life because
I tried and can't do that. I'm not coming with the holy
water, because that doesn't do any good. I'm coming with
the only thing that will satisfy the justice of Almighty God and
thereby keep Him holy and thereby keep Him God. Jesus, I receive
You as my Saviour by faith! I'm not trusting what I do but
what You did. I'm not trusting my works, what I do, what
the church does, what the priest does, what the preacher does,
what the rabbi does or what the pope does! I'm not trusting what
anybody does; I'm trusting what Jesus did."
trust Him as your Saviour, God in Heaven claps His hands and
says, "Glory be! Glory be! Glory be to justice! My
justice was satisfied. My holiness is still intact.
I've got man back now." God, man, justice and holiness
can live together forever and ever and ever and ever and
Here we find the three great loves of God.
Everything is contingent on what you do with Jesus' payment for
your sin. God wants you back, but God won't take you back
and lose His justice. God would rather have His justice
than you because the nature of God is justice. God would
rather have His holiness than you because the nature of God is
God said, "Okay, man is gone. I've
got a choice. I can take man back and lose both of you,
justice and holiness, or keep both of you and lose man, or I can
think of some plan whereby if man will come to me by faith I can
have you, justice, and you, holiness, and you, man!
Somebody ought to write a song comparable to "My faith looks
up to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary" and "Jesus Saviour,
pilot me over life's tempestuous sea," about the mighty,
amazing plan of God whereby God Almighty could keep His justice
and holiness and receive man back to Himself. It is a
marvelous plan! It is the only plan through which God can
take you back and have anything to offer you when He receives you
Chapter 13 -
Romans 4:1-5, "What
shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the
flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he
hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the
Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for
righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned
of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth
on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for
righteousness." Romans 5:1, "Therefore being
justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ." Romans 3:28, "Therefore we conclude that
a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
James 2:17-21, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is
dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I
have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew
thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God;
thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt
thou know, 0 vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not
Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac
his son upon the altar?"
The above passages seem
contradictory. Romans 5:1 plainly says that a man is
justified by faith; whereas James 2 is just as plain in recording
that man is justified by works. There seems to be an
impasse here; at least, there seems to be a contradiction.
Who is right? Is Paul right when he says that a man is
justified by faith, or is James right when he says a man is
justified by works? Of course, we know that both are
Two persons judge us--God and man. We are
justified in the sight of God by faith, as taught in Romans.
We are justified in the sight of man by works, as taught in
James. God can see the heart. Because He can, He can see
our faith, and when we accept Christ in faith, God, Who can see
it, justifies man, just as if he had never sinned at all.
He declares man holy. He not only forgives him, but He
forgets man's sin. He then goes beyond that and declares
man as if he had never sinned. This is God's justification
of man. God can do it because He sees the heart.
man can see only the outside. The only way he has of
knowing that a believer is in fact a believer is by seeing his
works. In the First Baptist Church of Hammond we have a
ministry with sailors. Suppose I meet two sailors on the
street; one has on a sailor uniform, and one does not. Now
God knows that both are sailors, but I don't know. I can
tell only by the fact that one is wearing a uniform. I
judge that he is a sailor. The one that has no uniform
gives me no evidence to believe that he is a sailor. I have no
way to judge but by the outside. So it is that God Who sees
the heart justifies us in His sight because of our faith.
Man who does not see the heart can justify us only as he sees our
Suppose that next Sunday morning the owner of the
local adult movie house came forward professing faith in Christ
as Saviour. If he were sincere, he would be justified
immediately by God because God could see the sincerity of his
heart and the faith that he had. However, man cannot see
that faith. Suppose then that the next Sunday morning a
parent takes his child to the Beginner Department of the Sunday
school, and there this man who was saved last Sunday is standing
at the door welcoming the children! The father is grieved
by the presence of this ex-adult movie house owner, and the
father asks him what he is doing in front of the Beginner
Department. He replies that he is the new Superintendent of
the department. No father in his right mind would be
pleased to leave his boy in the care of this man! Now the
man may be genuinely saved and God Who saw his faith may have
justified him. The parent goes to the pastor and says,
"Pastor, do you know who the Superintendent of the Beginner
The Pastor says, "Yes, I know.
It's the man who last week was saved and who owned the local
adult movie house."
The parent of the Beginner child
is alarmed and Justifiably so! He says, "Pastor, I
just don't think we ought to make him Superintendent of the
department now. He needs to prove himself. We ought
to wait awhile and be sure that he proves by his life that he is
sincere. I certainly don't want my child to be under the
influence of a man who seven days ago owned an adult movie
I think any parent would understand this
father's position. The new convert was justified in the
eyes of God because God saw his faith, but the father of the
little boy could not see his faith. He must wait and see
his works. Consequently, the man must prove himself before
he is given the responsibility of holding such an important
Paul in Romans is talking about the
justification that God gives when He declares the sinner
righteous as if he had never sinned, upon God's observing his
faith. The kind of justification that James is talking
about is the kind that the father of the little boy had. He wants
that faith proved by good works since he cannot see the faith of
the alleged new convert.
Romans 10:9-10, "That if
thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt
believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead,
thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto
righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto
salvation." The believing in the heart justifies the
new convert in the sight of God. The confession with the
mouth, and for that matter, with the life, justifies the new
convert in the sight of man. This is why the Lord Jesus
said that we should let our light so shine before men that they
would see our good works and glorify our Father which is in
Heaven. Man has no other way to judge the sincerity of
fellowman apart from observing his works.
In James 3, 4
and 5 we find three different ways that we may justify our faith
in the sight of man. In chapter three that faith is proved
by the proper use of the tongue. Remember, God knows that
we are saved because He sees the heart and the faith it
contains. Man who cannot see the heart justifies his
fellowman by his works. One of these works is the change of
the use of his tongue. He once was profane in his talk, now
he talks of spiritual things. He once sang songs that were
of the flesh; now he sings of spiritual matters. He once
spoke evil of his fellowman; he now refrains from such slander.
When men see transformation of the use of the tongue, they
believe his faith and the sincerity of his profession.
James 4 our faith is justified in the sight of man by our manner
Years ago a man was contemplating coming to work
for me. While he was weighing the decision in his mind, he
was in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for a visit. While in the
downtown area of the city with a friend, he was told by the
friend that the young lady walking in front of them was Becky
Smith, the daughter of Dr. Jack Hyles. The man who was
contemplating employment with me said to his friend, "Don't
introduce me to her. Let's just watch her for awhile and see how
she behaves." It so happened that she was going into a
J. C. Penney store. The two gentlemen watched her
carefully. They told me later that she was a perfect lady,
that she was courteous, gracious and kind and that she was
certainly a tribute to her dad. I believe that Becky's
behavior had a part to do with this gentleman accepting my offer
of employment. My ministry was justified by the behavior of
my daughter. Her manner of life justified her dad's
Years ago there was a family in Garland, Texas,
where I was pastoring. We just couldn't win them to
Christ. I had tried to win them; I had sent my best soul
winners by; nearly every member of the staff had tried. All
of us had failed. One day at noon the postman in the area
sat down on the curb to eat his lunch. The place he chose
to sit was right in front of the house of the family we had tried
so hard to win. The lady looked out and saw the postman
eating his lunch, but first she saw him bow his head to pray.
He took off his hat and bowed his head and thanked God for the
food. It was an icy, freezing day. Icicles were on
the cap of the postman, and yet he took off his cap, bowed his
head and prayed. This so impressed the lady that she told
her husband about it when he got home. The next Sunday both
of them walked the aisle and professed faith in Christ.
They testified to the fact that the thing that influenced them
most was the postman from our church who took off his hat in the
freezing rain and said grace. He justified our church by
his actions and by his manner of life.
The world waits to
see the manifestations of our faith. The world cannot see
our hearts. The only way it can judge is by our works.
One of these works is proper use of the tongue. Another is
the proper manner of life.
Several years ago a group of
teenagers decided to live a communal type life diagonally across
the street from our church. A young man and his female
companion were in charge of them. It was really the worst
kind of a situation. These young people lived in all kinds of
immorality, and they used narcotics freely and drank alcoholic
beverages heavily. They would pass out literature in front
of their little establishment. This literature contained
the filthiest four-letter words and all kinds of evil
suggestions. We witnessed to them, but to no avail.
We worked through the city to seek the closing of the
institution. Again we failed. We exhausted every
resource to have the place closed down, but to no avail.
Monday morning my staff was having a meeting. I looked out
through the window in the doorway that leads to the hall from the
church chapel, and I saw the manager of the immoral institution
across the street standing in the hallway. He was looking
through the window and motioning for me to come out in the hall.
I did. When I got out there he was weeping. I asked
him what was wrong. He said, "Reverend, I've got to
get saved!" Was I shocked! He proceeded to tell
me that for months he had been the manager of the wicked
institution across the street. He told me that he had
watched me and other members of the church and our behavior.
He said, "Reverend, I've seen you taking food to poor people
while I was ruining their lives with indecency. I've seen
your kindness to children and young people while I was trying to
take them to Hell. I watched you and your people from
across the street, and I'm about to die! I want what you
have!" In just a few moments he had it! The next
Sunday morning with a clean haircut, a clean shave, a clean white
shirt, a well-pressed pair of pants and a matching tie, he came
forward professing his faith in Christ as Saviour! The next
week his organization shut down. What did it? It was
the manner of life of the people of First Baptist Church.
Our Christianity was justified by the behavior of our
The world watches to see what we have that they do
not have. They listen to rock music; some Christians listen
to rock music and dress as they dress, sing as they sing, go
where they go, talk as they talk. Why should the world want
what these Christians have! They have not justified their
faith in the sight of the world by the manner of life which they
James 3 tells us that we are justified in the eyes
of man by the use of our tongues. James 4 tells us that we
are justified by our manner of life. James 5 teaches us
that we are justified by our care for each other. The world
waits to see what we have. Since they cannot see our faith,
they have to see the results of our faith; that is, our
Several years ago a lady came forward to receive
Christ as Saviour. However, no one could speak with her
because she could not understand English. I summoned one of
our Spanish-speaking soul winners to deal with her. He did
so, and she was sweetly converted, After the service I went to
her and talked with her through this man who had led her to
Christ. She was obviously a very well-to-do lady She was
immaculately dressed and was wearing a mink coat. I asked
her through the interpreter if she could understand anything that
I had said in my sermon. She replied that she could not.
I then asked her why she came forward to get saved. She
then told me that her four-year-old nephew had died with leukemia
and that she had come to his funeral service which I had
preached. She told me that she sat in the service, and
though she did not understand a thing I said, she felt that I was
compassionate. She said through this interpreter that she
saw my tears and felt that I loved the boy and his family and
that I was hurting with them and suffering as they suffered.
She said that at the funeral service she promised God that she
was going to come back to a service some Sunday. She did,
and though she could not understand a thing I said, she said,
"Pastor, I could understand your laughter. I could see
your tears. I could see the earnestness on your face.
" She said, "The reason I wanted to get saved is
because it looked so good!" My faith was justified by
my care for a little four-year-old boy who had passed away and
for his parents who grieved his departure. May God help us
to make our faith "look so good"!
A number of
years ago I had to go to the dentist's office. The dentist
that I went to at that time used his wife as his receptionist and
nurse. Each time I would go, I would witness to her, and
each time I failed to win her to Christ. One wintry day I
was in the office waiting my turn. I tried again to witness
to the dentist's wife and failed. Nothing I could say could
reach her (I had tried many times, but each time my attempt ended
in failure). That day as I was sitting in the office
reading an old magazine, an old lady walked in the door.
She had on tennis shoes. She was poorly clad, and in her
hands she was holding a set of false teeth in a handkerchief.
There was blood on the handkerchief and blood on the teeth.
As she came in, the dentist's wife said, "Mary, what can I
do for you?"
Mary said through a toothless mouth,
"It's my teeth! They don't fit! I need to have them fixed so
they can fit!"
The dentist's wife said, "Mary,
the guarantee on your teeth is up. You should have brought
them in sooner. It's too late now."
Mary told her
that she could not bring them in earlier. The weather had
been bad. She lived two miles from the dentist's office and
there was no way for her to get there until there was a slight
break in the weather. The dentist's wife told her again, "Mary,
you are too late. The guarantee is up."
tears pleaded, but there was no way.
I looked up at the
dentist's wife and said, "How much would it take to make
Mary a new set of teeth like those?"
"Reverend, a little over $400."
1 said, "Then
make her a set and put it on my bill." The dentist's
wife was stunned!
Within two days my office phone rang.
Our receptionist said, "Your dentist's wife wants to talk to
you." I picked up the phone and the wife of my dentist
said, "Reverend, could I come to your office and talk
you?" She did come and told me that she
had not slept since I had asked for the cost of Mary's new teeth
to be placed on my bill. She looked at me through tears and
she said, "Reverend, I believe I can get saved now."
She did receive Christ as her Saviour in my office that day.
Now what my preaching failed to do, and what my witnessing failed
to do, my care for others could do. I am afraid there are
far more times when I have failed than when I have succeeded, but
this one rare instance illustrates how that our faith justifies
us in the sight of God, but man who cannot see our faith
justifies us with our care of each other.
No wonder people
aren't saved when they hear of preachers fighting with each
other! No wonder they have no confidence in our
Christianity when our churches split and are filled with
bitterness and hatred! The world watches and waits for us
to justify ourselves by our works.
For years when I was a
child my mom and dad each tried to lead me to the path each
thought was best. Mama took me to church; my daddy would
take me to a tavern and set me on the bar. Mama read the
Bible to me and taught me its truths; Daddy told me the Bible
could not be trusted. Mama took me to church every Sunday
morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night; Daddy said that was
foolish. Mama taught me to tithe; Daddy said the preacher
was just in it for money. Mama told me to trust the
preacher and to be clean and pure. I loved my mother, and I
loved my daddy. I watched their lives waiting for one to
justify his position. I became convinced that Mama's faith
was real and that her Bible was God's Word and that her way of
life was best, so I believed her Bible and followed her path
because I saw her life and saw her justify her faith by that
Years passed. I went into the military service,
became a paratrooper, served my country in World War 2, and was
discharged at the end of the war. Then for a year I went to
the Texas University in Arlington, Texas. My faith was
shaken by the professors! Midway through the year I was
doubting the Bible, doubting Mama's faith, and wondering if Daddy
was right, for many of the professors spoke the same way that
Daddy had spoken. I was very confused. Finally I decided to
do something to find out who was right, Daddy or Mama. I
decided to read the Bible through on my knees. Every day I
would get on my knees and read a portion of Scripture. I
started at Genesis and read through the entire Bible! When
I finished making my sincere search and had completed the last
chapter of the Bible, I jumped to my feet and shouted, "MOTHER
IS RIGHT!" I had watched her as she lived her life.
I had seen her walk to church, sometimes as far as two miles, and
often through miserable weather. I had seen her go every
Sunday morning, every Sunday night and every Wednesday night.
I had seen her as she put me on her knees, when I was a little
boy, to rock me and sing, "Brighten the Comer Where You
Are." I had seen her every night take her Bible down
and read it to me for 30 minutes and then tell me that the Bible
was the Word of God and require me to say that three times.
I had heard her every night tell me that the Bible was about
Jesus and that He was the Son of God, and she required me to say
that three times. I had knelt every night and put my head
between her knees and said, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I
pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I
wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Bless Mommy, Daddy,
Earlyne, Jack and everybody, and make me a good little boy.
Amen." (All of this was a nightly ritual at our house.)
I had seen her walk two miles to a public school lunchroom and
work for $5 a day behind a hot steam table and walk two miles
back home. I had seen her take time for her boy and try to
be both a mother and a father to him. I had watched her
faith. I had heard her pray. I felt her love.
Mother, by her tongue, by her manner of life and by her care for
others, convinced me that the Bible was true, that Christ was
alive and that salvation was real! Many years ago she had
been justified in the sight of God because of her faith in
Christ, but her son could not see that faith. All he could
see was her works. God justified her the moment her faith
made contact with Him, but her son justified her as he observed
her life through many years.
Ephesians 4:32, "And be
ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." This
passage teaches me that I am to forgive as God forgives.
Now if I am to forgive like He forgives, I must search to find
exactly what His forgiveness is so that I may obey His
commandment to emulate His forgiveness. I find in the
Scripture that He does forgive. I also find that He forgets
our sins. Then I find that when we come to trust Him as
Saviour He not only forgives and forgets, but He justifies.
He declares us righteous; just as if we had never sinned, and He
will not impute sin to our record. My, my! That is the way
I am to forgive. I call this justified forgiveness.
Whatever way He forgave is the way I am to forgive. That
means I am to forgive, I am to forget, and I am to justify those
who sin against me, just as if they had never done so. When
someone sins against me, I am not to put it on his account.
I am to forgive him, forget that he sinned against me, and to use
a modem illustration, I am not to put it into the computer!
counsel many hours a week. It is a blessed thing how I can
forget about the problems of people with whom I counsel.
They tell me things they have done and sins they have committed.
When I see them in the hallway at church, I never think of it.
Why? I have forgiven them with a justified forgiveness.
Their sins are not registered in the computer.
When I get
a hard or nasty letter I try to exercise justified forgiveness,
which, of course, is the mind of Christ. Philippians 2:5, "Let
this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are
true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and
if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians
3: 1, "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write
the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you
it is safe."
This chapter is being written at 2:45 in
the morning. I am driving on a mountainous, California highway to
the San Francisco airport. A few hours ago I preached.
When I finished preaching a young man came to me and said, "I
went to Hyles-Anderson College."
I said, "Yes, I
remember you. How are you doing?"
He had a
strange look on his face. He even looked guilty He said, "Don't
I said, "Remember what?"
said, "Don't you remember that I was expelled from school?"
I said, "Of course not."
He said, "Well, I
came to your office and met with the committee." I
said, "Son, I don't record that in my mental computer.
I have forgiven, I have forgotten, and you are justified just as
if you had never sinned." I call this justified
Years ago a preacher vowed that he would
destroy and ruin my ministry. Years passed. He
himself had long since been out of the ministry. One day I
was thinking about him and I wrote him a letter and asked him if
there were any way I could help him get back in the ministry.
I told him that I would be happy to help him find a church or
help him get revival meetings in case he wanted to be an
evangelist, or if there were any other ways I could help him, I
would be glad to do so. He wrote back and told me that he
was stunned. He asked me how I could make such an offer
when he had tried to destroy my ministry years ago. To be
quite frank, I had forgotten that he had tried to destroy it
because I did not allow it to enter my computer. I call
this justified forgiveness.
Many times folks asked my
mother what kind of a boy I was when I was young. She
always replied, "Jack never gave me a minute's trouble."
When I hear of this statement I always wonder why I had to have
so many spankings if I never gave her a minute's trouble.
Why did the peach tree in the back yard never keep its limbs long
enough to bear peaches? Why do I bear its marks on my legs
until this day? The simple truth is that when I did wrong,
Mother forgave me and forgot my wrong. It was not recorded;
it was not placed in her computer, and in her mind I had never
sinned at all. Mother is 96 years old now. She is
senile and most of the time is confined to one little room.
However, in a sense she has been "senile" for years.
Her memory has never worked well when she is asked to remember my
sins. She exercised justified forgiveness to me. She
forgave; she forgot and she justified me just as if I had never
Thank God, that is exactly what Jesus did for me.
When I trusted Him as my Saviour, He forgave me of my sins. He
forgot my sins, and because He charged them to His record and
imputed His righteousness to me, He could declare me righteous,
just as if I had never sinned. I am justified in the sight
of God. Hallelujah! It happened when I put my faith
in Christ because God could see my faith. Now may my use of
my tongue, my manner of life and my care for others justify me in
the sight of mankind so that they will believe my faith and see
my works so that many will trust my Saviour!
Chapter 14 - The
Salvation of a Nation
2nd Chronicles 7:14, "If
My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then
will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will
heal their land." Leviticus 2:13, "And every
oblation of thy meat-offering shall thou season with salt;
neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to
be lacking from thy meat-offering: with all thine offerings thou
shalt offer salt." Numbers 18:19, "All the
heave-offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel
offer unto the Lord, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy
daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of
salt for ever before the Lord unto thee and to thy seed with
thee." 2nd Chronicles 13:5, "Ought ye not to know
that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David
for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?"
this manuscript we treat the subject of the salvation of the
soul. We also treat the subject of the salvation of the
life. We come now to discuss the salvation of a nation.
Just exactly how are nations saved? This does not deal with
all the people of a nation coming to Christ but rather how a
nation can be saved from destruction and from God's total
disfavor so that our sins can be forgiven and our land can be
To understand this properly we turn to the phrase,
"the covenant of salt." 2nd Chronicles 13:5,
"Ought ye not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the
kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his
sons by a covenant of salt?" A covenant of salt was a
covenant made between individuals pledging an unbreakable
friendship. They vowed that strong friendship to each
other, and as a symbol of that covenant, they ate bread and salt
together. The bread symbolized the nourishment of the
friendship and the salt with its savoring capacity emphasized the
durability of the friendship. Salt had an important part to
play in religious ceremony and sacrifices in the Word of God.
For example, salt had to be in every sacrifice. Leviticus
2:13, "And every oblation of thy meat-offering shall thou
season with salt; neither shah thou suffer the salt of the
covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat-offering: with
all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt." The
Christian is called the salt of the earth, Matthew 5:13, "Ye
are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour,
wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for
nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of
men." Christ is called the Bread of Life. John
6:35, "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he
that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me
shall never thirst."
The conclusion is, Christ will
enter into a covenant with His people--a covenant that will not
be broken. However, God will not enter into a covenant with
a nation unless there is enough salt for the preservation of that
nation. Since Christians are called the salt of the earth,
there are two requirements for this covenant before God will
enter into such an agreement: First, there must be enough salt in
that nation. Second, that salt must have not lost its
savour. God is looking for enough salt that is savoured in
a nation so He can spare that nation from destruction. Note
what this salt is. Salt represents the righteousness of
Christ. Savoured salt represents personal righteousness.
These two forms of righteousness are mentioned in Romans 10:1-3,
"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel
is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that
they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about
to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted
themselves unto the righteousness of God."
came to God and begged for the salvation of Sodom. His
nephew, Lot, was there, and Abraham did not want Lot and his
family destroyed. He asked God that if he could find 50 righteous
people, would God spare the city? God agreed to do so.
Abraham could not find 50, so he pleaded for the salvation of
Sodom if he could find 40. Again he failed. Then he
asked if the quota could be lowered to 30. It was. He
failed again and requested the quota be lowered to 20.
Again he failed to find 20 righteous people. Finally God
agreed that He would save Sodom for 10 righteous people!
it must be understood that these ten righteous people must have
both imputed righteousness and personal righteousness. They
must be salt and they must be savoured salt. This was the
only hope for the city. Genesis 19:1, "And there came
two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom:
and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself
with his face toward the ground." Notice that Lot was
at the gate of the city. Some have suggested that he was an
alderman. Others have with justification, supposed that he was
the mayor, for at the gate of the city sat the judges,
magistrates and city leaders. The business of the city was
done at the gate, much as it is done at city hall today. At
least we know one thing-Lot was a city official. Neither cities
nor nations are saved because the right officials are elected!
The soul winner does more for the salvation of his nation than
does the precinct captain. The answer for America is not
excessive political involvement on the part of God's people, but
it is the excessive soul winning on the pail of God's people and
the excessive preaching of righteousness, separation and
standards in our pulpits and in our homes!
I believe that
God has a quota set for America-a quota of righteous people who
are possessed with the imputed righteousness of Christ in
response to their faith and with the personal righteousness of a
holy life! I do not know what that quota is. In Sodom
it was ten, but I believe with all my heart that God has placed a
number of people as a quota for the salvation of this land, and
that God will enter into a covenant of salt with us if we can
find sufficient salt that has not lost its savour! The
answer for America is not in a generation of preachers who leave
their pulpits and leave their soul winning to enter into
politics. Of course, we should vote. Of course, we
should pray for our elected officials. Of course, as
citizens we should have some participation influencing others to
vote properly, but this should be minute in comparison with the
gathering of salt. This nation and every other nation will
be spared only by direct intervention from God Almighty! I
am talking about the walls of Jericho crumbling. I am
talking about the drying of the Red Sea. I am talking about
the sun standing still for Joshua. The only hope for
America is for soul winners to get busy winning souls and for
leaders to get busy preaching personal holiness so that God will
enter with us into a covenant of salt and will spare our
Now notice Genesis 19:26, "But his wife looked
back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."
Why was Lot's wife turned to a pillar of salt? There was
not enough salt in the city to cause a covenant of salt.
When a city was taken in battle, its destruction was finalized
when the conqueror would sow it with savourless salt. What
a symbol this is! Savourless salt will not spare a nation;
it causes its destruction!
What then brings the salvation
of a nation? 2nd Chronicles 7:14, "If My people, which
are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and
seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear
from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their
land." A nation is not saved because the homosexuals
straighten up or because the drunkards sober up. A nation is
saved when there are enough Christians to form enough salt with
savour so God will make with that nation His covenant of salt!
Those Christians must needs be separated and holy in their
living. For many years this has been my goal in my
ministry. I have gone day and night for years. The
thrust of my ministry has been twofold-soul winning and
separation, for I believe with all of my heart that if we can get
enough people saved and possess the imputed righteousness of
Christ and then get those people holy so they will possess
personal righteousness, God will look down from Heaven and
forgive our sins and heal our land. Notice again the words
in 11 Chronicles 7:14, as follows:
1. "If My people,
which are called by My name." You have the salt.
"Shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and
turn from their wicked ways." There you have the salt
3. "Then will I hear from Heaven, and
will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
Here you have the salvation of the nation. The answer,
therefore, is in building soul-winning churches over the length
and breadth of this nation and in preaching of separation and
personal holiness in those churches. The answer is not in
the White House; it is in the church house. It is not
house-to-house registering of voters; it is house-to-house
I have four children and nine
grandchildren. I have lived a lot of years. At this
writing I am 58 years of age. I have preached over
sermons. I have flown nearly five million miles on
airplanes. I have watched this nation deteriorate.
Every patriotic American longs to see our nation spared.
Some feel that the sparing of that nation is in social programs.
Some feel that its sparing is in political reform. Some
feel that the nation can be spared if conservatives stay in the
White House and the Senate. I believe that America can be
spared only by Divine intervention! It will take a miracle
akin to that of the crossing of the Red Sea or of the crumbling
of the walls of Jericho. I believe that God must intervene.
He will not intervene until we have won enough people to Christ
and made enough of them holy so that God, Who is the Bread of
life, can meet with His holy people, who are the salt of the
earth, and that salt and bread can be mingled into a covenant of
salt so that God says to the nation, "I will enter into an
agreement with you for an unbreakable friendship for your
I long to see my children and
grandchildren live their lives in the kind of America that I have
known. I long to see the judging hand of God stayed.
I have given most of my life to this end. When I lay my
Bible down, walk out of the pulpit for the last time after having
preached my last sermon, I want to look at those who follow me
and say, I did my best to get enough salt and to get enough salt
savoured so that you will have the nation I have had, the chance
that I have had, and the freedom that I have known." I
may be wrong. I don't think I am.
May God give us
preachers and churches aflame with the message of salvation and
stricken with compassion to preach holiness so that we may have
enough people with imputed righteousness and enough of those with
personal righteousness so that God will look from Heaven and say,
"America has met My quota. There is enough salt and enough
savoured salt for Me to enter with them into a covenant of salt
so that their generation may be spared." To this end I
work! For this I pray! In this I hope! God,
Chapter 15 - So Great
Hebrews 2:3, "How
shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the
first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us
by them that heard Him." The above verse is one of the
most misinterpreted in the Bible. The usual interpretation
is that if one neglects being saved, he will not escape the wrath
of God. The truth of the matter is that this verse does not
primarily apply to the unsaved. The book of Hebrews was
written to Hebrew Christians admonishing them to grow in the
grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is
a book exhorting them not to turn back but to go forward and be
all that their potential would allow them to be in the will of
The illustration that is used in Hebrews is that of
the Israelites. They were in the land of Egypt, which is a
symbol of the natural man, the unsaved man. Through the
Passover lamb and the crossing of the Red Sea they entered into
the wilderness, which is a picture of salvation. Their
journey across the wilderness symbolizes the Christian who is not
yet Spirit-filled, but the fact that they would journey across
the wilderness as they were going from Egypt toward the Promised
Land symbolizes growth in grace. Then the Promised Land is
a symbol of the Spirit-filled life. These three
places-Egypt, the wilderness and Canaan represent three types of
people in the world as far as their relationship with God is
concerned: the natural man (unsaved), the carnal Christian, and
the spiritual Christian.
I Corinthians 2:14, "But the
natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for
they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because
they are spiritually discerned." I Corinthians 3:1-3,
"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto
spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were
not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye
are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and
strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"
Israelites had crossed the Red Sea. Now they are saved from
Egypt and they are marching through the wilderness toward the
land of Canaan. They come to a place called Kadesh-Barnea.
Twelve spies are sent out to view the land of Canaan and to bring
back a report concerning the feasibility of the Israelites
entering into the land and conquering it. These twelve
spies return with glowing reports of the magnificence of the
land. They tell that it is a land that flows with milk and
honey. They bring back samplings of the grapes and
pomegranates and speak glowingly concerning Canaan's land.
However, they bring a negative report. They declare that
the people are giants in the land of Canaan and that the
Israelites are grasshoppers in comparison. The report is
that they cannot possess the land and the recommendation is that
they not attempt to do so. The people followed them and
accepted their recommendation. Because of this, all the
people over 20 years of age were consigned to the wilderness for
the rest of their lives, and only those under 20 would ever have
a chance to see the Promised Land. There were two
exceptions to this, however. Those exceptions were Joshua
and Caleb, for they were the only two of the twelve spies who
felt the land could be possessed!
Because the Israelites
refused to enter into the land, God sent them in the wilderness
to wander for 40 years and then to die without ever seeing their
dream fulfilled of entering into the land chosen for them.
is what God called "neglecting" so great salvation.
These people had so great a salvation--so great that they had
been delivered from Egypt with the Passover lamb; so great that
they had crossed the Red Sea on dry ground; so great that the
armies of Egypt had been drowned in that same Red Sea as they
pursued the Israelites; so great that God gave them manna from
Heaven daily; so great that God gave them water from the rock in
Horeb as it was smitten by the rod of Moses; so great that they
were led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by
night; so great that God came to the Holy of Holies in the form
of the Shekinah Glory and dwelt with His people over the mercy
seat in the tabernacle. It was a "so great
However, they neglected that salvation!
Because they did, they never entered into the land of Canaan.
This is the illustration that God uses to warn us. He is
reminding us that if we neglect the salvation that we have, we
will never be what we could have been. He is reminding us
that there is only one chance to be our very best. This is
not to say that God does not still love us and cannot still use
us if we do not seize upon the one great opportunity that is
ours. Though the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for
40 years and never got to enter into the Promised Land, they
still were led by the pillar of fire by night and the pillar of
cloud by day, and they still ate the manna that came each morning
from Heaven. God still loved them. They were still
His children. They never entered back into Egypt (natural
man), but they never achieved that great purpose for their
The same is true with the child of God today.
When he receives Christ as Saviour, he enters into the life of
growth in grace. He is a Christian, but he is still
somewhat carnal and a babe in Christ. He continues to grow
as he reads the Bible, prays, fellowships with God's people, is
faithful to church, etc. Then the big opportunity presents
itself He can either become the Spirit-filled Christian God
intended him to become and the success that he wants to be, or he
can refuse his one big opportunity and go back into mediocrity.
He has neglected so great salvation.
This neglecting of so
great salvation is not that of the unsaved man neglecting being
saved; it is that of the saved man neglecting the salvation that
When our oldest daughter, Becky, was a freshman in
high school she asked me if I would buy her a Hammond organ.
Of course, I could not afford such an expensive gift. It
was Christmastime; it was hard to say, "No," but I
could not afford a $1600 gift just for one child. During
her four years of high school Becky asked me each Christmas for a
Hammond organ. Finally, during her senior year at
Christmastime, I bought her a Hammond organ. I paid $40
down and promised to pay $40 a month until it was paid in full.
On Christmas morning the door opened and in came a beautiful
Hammond organ. "Oh, Daddy, I love it! I love
it! You are the best daddy in the whole world!" she
cried. She was so happy. I then sat down and said to
her, "Puddin', this organ is yours. It is a gift from
your dad, but woe be to you if you neglect it! You
practice. You keep it dusted and polished, and if you
neglect it, there is punishment awaiting." God comes
to the Christian and says to him, "Salvation is a gift.
It is the greatest gift ever given to mankind. I want you
to have it. It is yours to enjoy and to keep forever, but woe be
to you if you neglect it. You will not escape My
punishment, My chastisement or My wrath if you neglect the
salvation that you have."
When our youngest daughter,
Cindy, was seven years of age she came to me at Christmastime and
said, "Daddy, would you buy me a new bicycle for
Christmas?" I went to the best bicycle shop in the
Calumet region and picked out the best bicycle for a
seven-year-old girl. At that time the best bicycle for a
seven-year-old girl cost $69.95, and at that time my salary was
less than $ 100 a week, so it was a great investment. On
Christmas morning the door was opened and the bicycle rolled in.
"Oh, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy! That's the prettiest bicycle
in all the world. I love you! I love you! I
love you!" she said. (I guess there is not a happier time
humanly speaking in a person's life than the time he gets his
first brand-new bicycle. Most of us still remember the day
when we fixed our eyes upon our first brand-new bicycle.)
We had a wonderful Christmas. It was a warm day for the Midwest,
and we enjoyed riding Cindy's bicycle.
Two weeks passed.
I was preaching one night in Denver, Colorado. I flew back
during the night and got back to my house about three o'clock in
the morning. It was 20' below zero, 20 inches of snow had
fallen, and the drifts were much higher than that. As I
drove in the driveway guess what I saw sticking out of the snow!
You guessed it! A little bit of the handlebar of the best
bicycle for a seven-year-old in Lake County, Indiana. Did I
dig the bicycle out of the snow? Not on your life! I
ran upstairs, opened the door to Cindy's room, turned on the
light, grabbed her by the nap of her pajamas, held her eyeball to
eyeball and said, "Young lady, how should you escape if you
neglect so great a bicycle? I paid sixty-nine hard-earned
dollars and ninety-five hard-earned cents and bought for you the
best bicycle that I could find for a young lady your age in this
county, and you have neglected that great gift. Now get out
of bed, get on your boots, your coat, your hat, go out in the
garage, get the shovel and dig that bicycle out of the
That is exactly what God is saying to us.
He is saying, "I have given you such an amazing, marvelous
gift of salvation. How dare you neglect it! How dare
you rob Me of the tithes and offerings! How dare you leave
your prayer closet empty day after day! How dare you leave
the Bible unread and unloved! How dare you be unfaithful to
God's house! How dare you live as the world, speak as the
world, sing your rock music, and follow the unisex movement in
your dress! How dare you drink your liquor, smoke your
cigarettes, have your heart filled with envy, covetousness and
bitterness! How dare you not give your all to Me in the
light of the so great salvation that I have given to you!"
just how great is this salvation? It is so great that
before the world began, God in His foreknowledge looked down and
saw the fall of man. In eternity's cabinet meeting, Jesus
volunteered to leave Heaven and come to earth to become a man, to
fulfill and fill-full the law, to go to Calvary and pay the
penalty for our sin, and to rise again for our justification 72
hours later, to ascend to the right hand of the Father as our
Intercessor, to prepare for us a home in Heaven and come and
receive us unto Himself and take us to Heaven forever.
great is this salvation? So great that God did become flesh
and fled to a virgin's womb. How great is this salvation?
So great that He was born in Bethlehem's manger, angels announced
His coming, shepherds came to worship Him and wise men brought
Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
How great is
this salvation? So great that for 33 homesick years Jesus
lived away from the Father. Foxes had their holes; birds
had their nests, but He had no place to lay His head. He
was expelled from His own synagogue, forced to leave the city of
His birth. He was despised and rejected of men, a man of
sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was betrayed by one
of His twelve, wrongly tried by Pilate, scourged by the
cat-o'-nine-tails until Isaiah tells us that one could not even
tell that His body was that of a human being. How great is
this salvation? So great that after His scourging, a cross
was laid on His back, and He was forced to carry it up Calvary.
So great that when He bent beneath the load, Simon of Cyrene
carried His cross to the top of the hill. How great is this
salvation? So great that He was placed on that cross and
nailed to it as a common criminal. How great is this
salvation? So great that the cross was lifted between
Heaven and earth, one point pointing to the Hell from which He
saves us, another pointing to the Heaven to which He saves us,
the other two pointing to the east and the west saying that
everybody that way and everybody that way can be saved from Hell
to Heaven by what is transpiring on the cross. How great is
this salvation? So great that on the cross He cried, "My
God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" He dipped His
own soul into the torments of Hell and paid the penalty for your
sins and mine!
How great is this salvation? So great
that Jesus was laid in Joseph's tomb and rose after three days
and three nights. How great is this salvation? So
great that He ascended back to the Father and even now sits on
the fight hand of God as our Advocate, our Intercessor, our
Mediator, our Daysman, our Go-between, our Attorney, our
How great is this salvation? So great that
He is preparing a home in Heaven for us now, a home where the
streets are paved with gold and the gates are made of pearl,
where no crepe shall ever darken the doorknob, no brow shall ever
furrow, no face shall ever wrinkle, no crow's feet shall ever
adorn the eyes, no hand shall ever be palsied, no foot shall ever
walk an unsure step and no back shall ever bend. There will be no
cancer, no heart attack, no leukemia, no sadness, no sickness, no
sin, no heartache, no loneliness, no sorrow, no broken hearts or
broken homes or broken lives or broken dreams or shattered air
castles, and we shall live in His presence forever and ever and
ever until forevers become forevers and forevers become
How great is this salvation? So great
that someday the trumpet shall sound and the dead in Christ shall
rise and we which are alive and remain shall be caught up to meet
the Lord in the air and we shall forever be with the Lord.
great is this salvation? So great that we shall be with Him
in the air for seven years enjoying the marriage of the Lamb and
facing the judgment seat of Christ, where we shall be given
rewards for our work on earth. We Christians shall receive
crowns for their labors of love. We shall then take those
crowns and hurl them at Jesus' feet, shouting that He alone is
worthy to receive honor and praise and glory!
How great is
this salvation? So great that after seven years we will
join Him in a cavalry trip on white horses back to the earth.
He shall ascend the royal stairway of Mt. Zion and shall be
King of all the earth! Jerusalem shall be the headquarters
and the capital city. Washington will bow before Jerusalem;
Moscow will lay at its feet. London, Paris, Berlin and Cairo
shall be paralyzed in obeisance to Jerusalem and the King, Who
will reign for 1000 years on the earth. How great is this
salvation? So great that ...
"Jesus shall reign
where'er the sun Does his successive journeys run;
kingdom spread from shore to shore, Till moons shall wax and wane
We shall rule and reign with Him for 1000
years in a kingdom of peace where righteousness shall conquer
unrighteousness, good shall conquer evil, justice shall conquer
inequity; where the wolf and the lamb will lie down together
peacefully; where the child shall play at the cockatrice' den,
and the serpent shall be tame and offered as a pet for children's
enjoyment. Someone who dies at the age of 100 will be just
a child dying prematurely. How great is this salvation?
So great that at the end of the 1000 years we will see the Holy
City, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband!
How great is
this salvation? So great that earth was not big enough for
its display, nor the heavens large enough for its platform.
It can be housed only in eternity.
How great is this
salvation'? So great that it cost Heaven its crowned
Prince! So great that God gave us a Book to tell us of
Christ. In Genesis He is the Promised Seed. In Exodus
He is the Passover Lamb. In Leviticus He is the Scapegoat.
In Numbers He is the Brazen Serpent. In Deuteronomy He is
the great Lawgiver. In Joshua He is Prophet, Priest and
King. In Judges He is the great Judge of the earth.
In Ruth He is the kinsman Redeemer. In Samuel He is the
anointer of kings. In Kings He is King of kings and Lord of
lords. In Chronicles He is the great Historian. In
Ezra He is the temple Builder. In Nehemiah He is the wall
Builder. In Esther He is the Saviour of Israel. In
Job He is the great Friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
In the Psalms He is the Song of the ages. In Proverbs He is
the Truth. In Ecclesiastes He is the great Preacher.
In Song of Solomon He is the wonderful Lover. In Isaiah He
is Wonderful, Counseller, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace. In Jeremiah He is the weeping Prophet.
In Lamentations He is the street Preacher. In Ezekiel He is
the Rebuilder of the millennial temple. In Daniel He is the
Stone cut out without hands that will someday come back to earth
and break in pieces the kingdoms of this earth and establish a
kingdom that will cover the earth with the knowledge of God as
the waters cover the sea. In Hosea He is the spurned but
forgiving Lover. In Joel He is the Trumpet. In Amos
He is the One standing upon the altar. In Obadiah He is the
Great Vision. In Jonah He is the One buried for three days
and three nights. In Micah He is the One coming out of
Bethlehem of Judah. In Nahum He is our jealous God. In
Habakkuk He is the burdened Prophet. In Zephaniah He is the
great Counseller. In Haggai He is the Encourager. In
Zechariah He is the great Motivator. In Malachi He is the
Son of Righteousness. In Matthew He is King of kings. In
Mark He is the suffering Servant. In Luke He is the Son of
Man. In John He is the Son of God. In Acts He is the
Power of the church. In Romans He is the Dynamite of the
Gospel. In Corinthians He is the Restorer of the carnal
nature. In Galatians He is the rent Veil. In Ephesians He
is our Heavenly One. In Philippians He is our Sufficiency. In
Colossians He is the Shadow of the One to come again. In
Thessalonians He is our coming Saviour. In Timothy He is
our great appearing God. In Titus He is our blessed Hope.
In Philemon He is the Forgiver of a wayward slave. In
Hebrews He is the Best of all. In James He is the Fulfiller
of the law. In the epistles of Peter He is the Rock of our
salvation. In the epistles of John He is our Assurance.
In Jude He is the One Who is able to keep us from falling and to
present us faultless before the presence of His glory with
exceeding joy. In Revelation He is the One coming on a
white horse to establish a kingdom on earth where Jesus shall be
King of kings and Lord of lords and shall rule and reign for 1000
How great is this salvation? So great that it
is built around the Person of our lovely Christ. In Matthew
17:8 we are reminded they saw no man save Jesus only "And
when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus
only." In Luke 4:20, we are told that "the eyes
of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him."
The Greeks came to the disciples and said, "Sirs, we would
see Jesus." The first name given Him was brought by the
angel Gabriel to the humble home of Mary, when the angel said in
Luke 1:31, "Thou shalt call His name JESUS."
Isaiah looked down through the telescope of prophecy and said,
"His name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The Mighty
God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." In
24 of the 27 books of the New Testament, He is in the first
verse. The name "Jesus" is the seventh word of
the New Testament. His name is the seventh word from the
end of the New Testament. His name is the first name
mentioned in the New Testament and the last name mentioned, and
between those two times Jesus is mentioned 700 times. In
the Bible He is called the young Child, the holy Child, the
Nazarene, the Lord, the Lord Jesus, the Lord Jesus Christ, the
Lord from Heaven, the Lord of glory, the Lord of righteousness,
the Lord and Saviour. He is called Christ Jesus, the Lord's
Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath, our Lord. He is called Saviour,
Emmanuel, Teacher, Rabboni, Governor. He is called Lawgiver,
Redeemer, Messiah, Shiloh, Deliverer, Mediator, Intercessor,
Prince of Peace, the King of glory. He is called the Banner, the
Ensign, the Captain, the Desire of the nations, the Judge, the
righteous Judge, the Author, the Finisher, the First-fruits, the
Advocate. He is called the Peace, the Ransom, the Passover, the
High Priest, the King of Righteousness, the King of Salem, the
King of Peace, the King of kings, the Just One. He is called the
Holy One, the Faithful Witness, the Commander, the Consolation of
Israel, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He is the first Begotten
of the dead, Elect of God, the second Adam. He is called the King
of the Jews, the King of Zion, the King of Israel, the King of
saints, the King eternal. He is called the Vine, the true Vine,
the Root of Jesse, the Offspring of David. He is called the Door,
the Door of the sheep, the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, the
Angel of the Lord, the Lamb of God, the Water of life, the Living
Water, the Living Bread, the Bread of Life, the Word of Life, the
hidden Manna. He is called the Way, the Truth, the Life. He is
called the Tree of life, the Light of life, the Prince of life,
the Day Star, the Day Spring. He is called the tried Stone, the
living Stone, the elect Stone. He is called the Temple, the sure
Foundation, the Rock, the Rock of Ages, the Spiritual Rock. He is
called the I Am, the Resurrection, the Life, the Messiah, the Son
of man, the Son of God, the Son of Abraham, the Son of David, the
Son of Righteousness, the Son of the Highest. He is called the
Anointed. He is called God's dear Son, the beloved Son, only
begotten Son, Almighty, Man of sorrows, Friend of sinners, Gift
of God, unspeakable Gift, the Power of God, the Wisdom of God,
the Image of God. He is called the First, the Last, the Alpha,
the Omega, the Beginning, the End, the Ancient of days, the Lord
of lords. He is called God with us, our elder Brother, the Friend
that sticketh closer than a brother, the Firstborn, the Master,
the Good Master, your Master, Lord and Master, the Passover.
He is called the Fulness of the Godhead, the Bridegroom,
Wonderful, Counseller, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace. He is called the Lily of the valley,
the altogether lovely One, the Fairest of ten-thousand, the
bright and morning Star. He is called the Rose of Sharon,
that Prophet, the High Priest, the Priest after the order of
Melchizedek. He is called Ruler, the Stone cut out without
hands. He is called Servant, Servant of servants, lowly
One, the Desire of the nations, Lamb of God, the Lamb, the Com of
Wheat, He is called the Lamb of the altar, the Door of the
tabernacle, the Light of the candlestick, the Bread of the table,
the Incense of the altar, the Veil to the Holy of Holies, the
Shekinah of the mercy seat. He is called the bleeding Lamb,
the cooing Dove, the lowing Oxen, the red Heifer, the brazen
Serpent. He is the Juice in the cup and the Bread in the
tray at the table of communion. He is all of this and more,
and our great salvation is built around Him!
have written of His name than all the names of history combined.
More chisels have sculptured Him, more orators have described
Him, more institutions have been named after Him, more brushes
have painted Him, more lives have been changed by Him, more
choirs have sung of Him and more poetry has been penned of Him
than of any other person who ever lived on the face of the
This so great salvation must not be neglected.
It is so great that it takes eternity to hold it and to describe
it. How dare feeble creatures of earth, frail, lost,
depraved and condemned be the recipients of this marvelous
salvation and then receive it, only to neglect it and not give it
Now the question comes-how do we neglect this
salvation? There are two ways we neglect it. Hebrews 12:1,
2, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so
great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and
the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with
patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the
Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set
before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set
down at the right hand of the throne of God." Notice
we are to lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily
beset us in order that we may run with patience the race that is
set before us. The way that we neglect this so great
salvation is by not running the race that God has set before us;
that is, not doing His perfect will in our lives. This race
cannot be adequately run if we carry weights and sins with us.
God through His Holy Spirit with the pen of His men reminds us
that we neglect this salvation first if we do not lay aside our
sin. However, there is something else that is seldom
mentioned in the preparation for this race in order that we will
not neglect so great salvation. That something else is the
laying aside of our weights. What is a weight? A
weight is something that is not wrong to do, but it hampers us in
running the race that God has set before us.
suppose that a runner is running a 100-yard dash. He lines
up at the starting line, preparing for the race and awaiting the
starting gun. Somebody notices that he is drunk or that he
is high on dope, and someone reminds the crowd that he spent the
night in sin. Will he win the race? Of course not.
Sin will keep him from it.
Now let us suppose that right
beside him there is another runner. That runner is sober.
He rested for the night, watched his diet, exercised and is
prepared for the race. He is on his knees ready for the
start, waiting for the starter's gun. He buttons his
overcoat around him, laces up his combat boots, straightens his
hat on his head. Will he win the race? No.
Because of sin? No. Because of weights! The
overcoat will do the same thing to him that the sin would do to
the runner beside him. Neither will win the race. One
will lose because of sin; the other will lose because of weights,
but as far as the outcome is concerned, the weights are as much a
handicap as are the sins.
Many fundamental believers make
an honest effort to live a separated life. They have
confessed their sins and forsaken them as much as is possible,
but they are still not winning the race that God has set before
them because they are encumbered with weights. The great
tragedy of a person being where he should not be is not that he
is where he should not be; the great tragedy is that if one is
where he should not be he cannot be where he should be! The
great tragedy of sin is not what sin does to us, but it is what
sin keeps us from doing!
Because of this, the altar at
church should be not only a place to forsake sin but a place to
forsake weights. What is it in your life that is hindering you
from running the race, thereby causing you to neglect so great
salvation? Is it sin or is it a weight? Whatever it is, lay
it on the altar so you can run with patience the race that is set
before you, so you can avoid the neglecting of so great
"Okay," you say, "show me my
weights." I wish I could, but I cannot, for your
weight is not my weight and my weights are not your weights.
Now sin is the same for all of us. Drinking alcoholic
beverages is a sin for you and a sin for me. Immorality is
a sin for you and a sin for me. Lying is a sin for both of
us, yea, to all of us. Cheating is a sin for everybody.
I can tell you your sin, but I cannot tell you your weights, for
your race is not my race and the will of God for your life is not
the will of God for my life.
Suppose that I were preaching
at your church, and suppose that you had never seen me or met
me. You had heard of the First Baptist Church of Hammond
and of Hyles-Anderson College and of Dr. Jack Hyles. You
had a desire to meet me and see what I looked like. Suppose that
you got there early on the night I was preaching at your church,
and suppose you waited outside to see me as I drove in the
parking lot to be the first one to shake my hand, and then you
were surprised to see me ride up on a motorcycle. I am
wearing a helmet, goggles, turtle-neck sweater, leather jacket,
blue jeans and boots. Would you be surprised? Of
course, you would! Would you be disappointed? I think
so. Now is there anything sinful about a motorcycle?
No. Is there anything sinful about a turtle-neck sweater?
No. Is there anything sinful about goggles? No.
Is it a sin to wear a leather jacket? Of course not.
Is it a sin to wear blue jeans? Certainly not. Is it
a sin to wear boots? No. But if you saw me dressed
like that coming to preach for you, and if others likewise saw me
dressed in that manner, I would not be able to run the race as
effectively as I could otherwise. If someone in the congregation
rode up on a motorcycle, it would not affect their race for that
night. My race would be to preach the Gospel and the Word
of God. The layman's race would be to hear me. For me
to ride up on a motorcycle would hinder my race.
the deacons in the First Baptist Church of Hammond is a doctor,
and he paid $30,000 for a brand new Mercedes Benz automobile,
called me out in front of the church building and said, "Pastor,
I want you to have it. It's a gift." Of course, I told
him I could not accept it because the driving of a $30,000
Mercedes Benz would be a weight for me. I cannot live above
the lifestyle of my people, and folks would be surprised to see
me driving such an expensive automobile. The doctor kept
the car. It was not a weight to him. No one lost
confidence in him or was disappointed to see him drive it.
It was a weight for me; it was not a weight for him.
ago I was a softball pitcher. It became too much of my
life, and to be quite frank, I was a little bit too tense in my
suggestions to the umpires concerning their failures! So
when I became Pastor of a Baptist church as a 21-year-old man, I
gave up softball. It was a weight to me. Now the
truth is, many of our members play softball, and it does not
become a weight to them, but to me it is a weight.
it in your life that is a weight? What is that something
that hinders you from running the race that is set before you and
thereby causes you to neglect so great salvation? Lay it on
the altar right beside your sins! Turn from it so that you
may not be encumbered as you run the race that is set before you,
so that you may not neglect so great salvation.
true--salvation is a gift. God comes to us after He has
given us that gift and says, "Don't neglect it. Keep
it out of the snow. Keep it polished. Work on it."
This is not in order that you might be saved, but because you are
saved with so great salvation!
Chapter 16 - My Saviour
is Also My Friend
Proverbs 18:24, "A
man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a
friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Jesus is my
Saviour, but in this chapter I will not write of that. Jesus is
my Redeemer, but at this moment I will not speak of that. Jesus
is my King, but I will bypass that thought for a moment.
Jesus is my Lord, but I will pass that truth for awhile. In
this chapter I want to speak of my Saviour as my friend.
heart of man is always craving friendship. Happy is the man
who has a friend. Happier is the man who is a friend.
Happiest is the man who has a friend and is a friend.
However, it is a little difficult in the June and July days of
life to tell the difference between an acquaintance and a
friend. We have to wait for the chilling winds of December
and January for true friendship to be tested. It is not
easy to tell the difference when the sea is smooth and reflects
Heaven's blue. You find out only when the sky is overcast
and storms descend, for friendship to be proved must be tested by
In these paragraphs I want to speak of my
Friend, a true Friend. I want to tell you some things about
His friendship, especially will I address those of you whose
hearts are lonely, whose sky is dark, whose way is rocky and
whose faith oft turns to doubt. I too am alone a lot and have
found my Saviour to be a Friend that sticketh closer than a
There are so many lonely souls all about us--a
college student who shares his freshman dorm with strangers; a
serviceman who seeks slumber in faraway army barracks; the
shut-in whose world is a room, whose sky is a ceiling, whose sun
is a 60-watt light bulb, whose horizon is a wall, and whose
meadow is a floor; the patient who waits and doubts and waits and
hopes and waits and despairs and waits and hopes; the senior
citizen who is exiled to an island called a rest home; the bus
kid who is ghetto-bound and wonders who and if his daddy is; and
the widow trying to be a mother and a father to a nest of
children. To you and to others, let me introduce you to my
Friend. Joseph Scriven wrote:
"What a friend we
have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear; What a privilege
to carry Everything to God in prayer!"
"I would love to tell you what I think
of Jesus, Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true.
would tell you how He changed my life completely, He did
something that no other friend could do!"
wrote: "There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus, no not
one, no not one." Still another wrote, "I have
found a friend, oh such a friend," and another penned,
"Jesus is the friend you need, such a friend is He
My Saviour is my friend when I am good; He
is my friend when I am bad. He is my friend when I am up;
He is my friend when I am down. He is my friend when I am
happy; He is my friend when I am sad. He is my friend when I am
prosperous; He is my friend when I am poor. He is my friend when
I am successful; He is my friend when I fail. He is my friend
when I am honored; He is my friend when I am slandered. He is my
friend when I am cheerful; He is my friend when I am blue. He is
my friend when I am obedient; He is my friend when I am
rebellious. He is my friend when I believe; He is my friend when
I doubt. He is my friend when I laugh; He is my friend when I
weep. He is my friend when I am zealous; He is my friend
when I am indifferent. Thank God, my Saviour is my
My friend never deserts me. He never
forsakes me. I am always on His mind. He never
slumbers or sleeps. He encamps round about me. He
leadeth me in the paths of righteousness. He restoreth my
soul. My friend never tires of me. He is always
faithful, true, tender and strong.
My friend never
forsakes me. When I attended a public school as a poor
little boy with no shoes to wear and no nice clothes to cover my
body, He was my friend while children laughed at me. He was my
friend when my father left our home to leave Mother and me, never
to return to our house. He was my friend when the loneliness of
the army enclosed me. He was my friend when the people whom I
loved like I loved my own life found no need for me any more. He
was my friend when I had to take my stand for my convictions, and
many of my preacher friends forsook me and fled. He is my friend
when I am fellowshipping with my loneliness in a motel room. He
is my friend when I am marooned on an airplane island. He is my
friend when I am walking out of a pulpit where I have had to take
an unpopular stand.
My friend is available. I have
never known a day of sorrow when I did not find my friend by my
side. Sometimes He is silent, but He is always there.
Sometimes I can hear Him gently speak, and other times I feel the
touch of His hand, but He is always my friend. When I stood
beside the casket which contained the body of my father who had
passed away just a few hours before, and who as far as I know
never took time to receive Christ, I felt fingers gripping my
arm. I turned to see who was there. There was nobody
near, and yet I felt the fingers as if a real hand had taken my
arm. I know-it was the real hand of my friend! When
the shadows have lengthened, when the day's work is over and when
I have delivered my soul, I hear my friend often say, "Well
My friend is rich. He owns the entire
earth, and all the world's keys hang on His girdle. He owns
the cattle on a thousand hills and the wealth in every mine.
Earth's jewels are simply those that overflowed His coffers.
He uses His leftover gold as pavement for Heaven's streets.
His smaller pearls are used for Glory's gates. There is
never a beautiful sunset but what His hand has painted it.
There is no music worth singing that He did not edit.
color is an expression of His beauty. The mountains are His
handiwork. There is never a ray of sun that He did not
requisition. There is never a bolt of lightning that He did not
order. There is never a clap of thunder that He did not utter.
All of earth's crowns could not hold His jewels, and all of
earth's diadems could not house his diamonds.
My friend is
the Lord of eternity and the Master of time. All of
creation is His handiwork, and think--He is my friend!
friend always loves me. He died for me while I was yet a
sinner. All of my life was against His holy purpose; yet He
loved me! He loves me in spite of my sin. He loves me in
spite of my pollution, my failure, my depravity and my weakness.
His love is not "because"; His love is "in spite
of!" He loved me when I looked at Him and said, "No."
He loved me when I drifted from Him as a teenager. He loved
me when I kept His Book closed on the table of indifference. He
loved me when my prayer closet was deserted and when I was
ashamed to speak of Him. Why even now, He is my advocate
against slanderers and critics, and He sits at the right hand of
the Father pleading my case. He is my friend. He stands
forever pleading my case while the Father of Lies lies to the
Father of Truth!
My friend wrote me a love letter.
He tells me in John 3:16 that He so loved me that He gave His
only begotten Son, that if I believe in Him, I should not perish
but have everlasting life. He tells me in Romans 5:8 that
God commendeth His love toward me, and that while I was yet a
sinner, Christ died for me. He tells me in Romans 8:28 that
all things work together for good to those who love God and to
those who are the called according to His purpose. He reminds me
in Philippians 4:13 that I can do all things through Christ Which
strengtheneth me. He tells me in John 14:1 that my heart should
not be troubled but that I should believe God and believe also in
Him. There He reminds me that in His Father's house are
many mansions and that He has gone to prepare a place for me, and
He will come again receiving me unto Himself that where He is,
there I may be also. He reminds me in Psalm 91:1 that if I
dwell in the secret place of the Most High, I can abide under the
shadow of the Almighty. In 1st Corinthians 13, He reminds
me that His love will never fail and even now He is preparing a
place for me in the Glory world.
Think how beautiful that
place must be. Look what He did in six days. He
lifted the mountains like pyramids above the horizon and framed
them with a cloud-laden sky that provides for me shade while I
drive and carpet when I fly He shed the tear of deity and formed
a little pond where I may see Heaven while looking toward earth.
He assembles a choir of birds to practice through the night so
they can present a concert for me as I go to work in the
morning. He sows me a sample of Heaven's garden when He
gives me the rose and takes some of the incense from the altar
and sprays it on the gardenia. He takes me to a mountaintop
and allows me to writhe my way, following the fickle mountain
stream as it winds its way in a serpentine manner toward its
destination to the ocean. He lets me see the pine tree as
it stands at attention in its company of "needley"
soldiers who salute me as I pass in review. He points out
to me the redwoods of northern California who stand like Olympic
weight lifters after hoisting their foliage. He shows me
the loveliness of diamonds which really are nothing but synthetic
stars and substitutes for the twinkling of the lake when the moon
is full. He makes for me a sunset which blends its emerald
green, azure blue and topaz tint as He brings the great light
that rules the day close enough for me to examine.
this and much, much more He did in six days. Think how Heaven
must be. Examine the rose, the daffodil, the pansy, the lilac and
the chrysanthemum and realize that these are only six-day jobs.
Think what Heaven's flowers must be like which have been in
preparation for nearly 2,000 years. He shows me the willow, the
oak, the pine, the birch and the maple as specimens of six days
of work. Think what Heaven's trees must be like. He has been
preparing them for me for almost 2,000 years. He allows me to
wind my way beside the Danube, the Nile and the Tigress in an
effort to tease me concerning what the River of Life must be
like. He asks me to taste the sweetness of the peach, the feisty
tartness of the plum, the yielding sweetness of the banana, and
then gently says, "I made those in six days, Can you imagine
how Heaven's fruit must taste? I have been working 2.000
years on that!"
My friend is gentle. His is not a
weak gentleness, for true gentleness cannot be weak. His
gentleness is strength held in check. His gentleness is
like the mighty ocean taking a nap while great waters kiss the
shore and while a little child plays in its quiet waters and is
kissed by the crest of a wave.
Though my friend is gentle,
He is also strong. His chisel sculptures mountain peaks. His
pitcher pours the lakes. 'Tis through His brush the rainbow
speaks. His fury spawns the quakes. His power sends
the snowflakes like tiptoeing drops of rain. His breath sends
forth the gentle breeze to resurrect the grain. He carved the
gorges into view, while morning stars did cheer. He placed a
seven-colored hew and made the bow appear. 'Tis God Whose
mighty voice I hear and thunders overhead. Tornadoes are
His footprints; spring winds His gentler tread.
hurricane awaits His call. The earthquake is His loyal
servant. Lightning lies at His feet awaiting orders.
Tornadoes obey His commands. Yet, "He walks with me
and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own; and the joy
we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known!"
friend is generous. He gives me all I need and infinitely more.
He shares with me all that He has. His wealth is my inheritance.
He gives me the world that belongs to Him and the fulness thereof
He supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory by
Christ Jesus. Through Him I own the music of the sea, the emerald
green of the meadow, the peerless blue of the sky, the topaz tint
of the rainbow and the nervous branches of windblown
Mainly, though, my friend is exactly that--He is my
friend! He leaves His heavens and enters a quiet motel room
to speak with me. He reserves a seat beside me on a
midnight flight. He understands me when no one else
understands and hold my hand when all other hands are
"There's no friend to me like Jesus!
He my every need supplies.
He not only saves but keeps me.
Nothing good from me denies."
Oh, by the way-my
friend wants to be your friend too!
Chapter 17 - Why Hell?
(A sermon preached in the
First Baptist Church of Hammond)
This will surprise you. I
am going to preach on a subject that you have never heard me
preach on Sunday morning probably in the almost a quarter of a
century that I have been Pastor of this church. I do not know if
I have ever preached on this subject on Sunday morning. I'm not
sure why Maybe it's because the length of the service is not as
long as Sunday night, and so the messages are shorter. Also, it
is a subject about which I do not like to preach! It causes me to
think about loved ones and friends of mine who may be-well, I am
speaking on the subject, "Why Hell?" This will not be a
Hell-fire and damnation sermon, though I have been known to
preach them. I want to talk to your mind as well as your heart. I
want to talk to your culture. I want to speak to your refinement.
I want you to give me a hearing. You have never heard a sermon
like this. I have never preached one like this, but you're going
to have to follow carefully
It is not easy for me to
preach on this because my own father died outside of Christ as
far as I know, and because to be quite frank with you, the
thought of a Hell pricks my culture and my refinement. The
thought of people dying and burning forever bothers mc-it is not
easy for me to accept. I accept it for one reason: When I was a
young boy my mother taught me that this Book is the Word of God!
She taught me that every word of it is the Word of God! I made a
mistake and went for a year to a State University where godless
professors stood behind desks and said to me, "The Bible is
not the Word of God." They laughed at my mother's faith;
they laughed at my preacher's Bible; they laughed at the Word of
God. To be quite frank with you, 1, like any other person who
does that, had my faith shaken. About half way through that year
I was doubting the fact that the Bible is the Word of God. (That
is why I thank God there is a school like Hyles-Anderson
College!) I doubted. I do not mean that I didn't believe it; I
just didn't know. They shook my faith! Mama said it was the Word
of God, and the Preacher said it, but my professor who was a PhD
said it wasn't, so I decided to do something! I decided to take
the Bible and start with the first verse in Genesis and read
every word in the Book on my knees. I decided to read the Bible
through on my knees. Every time I read it I asked God to reveal
to me if it is true. "If it is true, let me know." I
spent three or four months and read every word of this Book while
on my knees, and by the time I got through, I believed Mama was
I do not believe I am an intellectual nut. I
do not believe my mind is illogical. I do not claim to be a
genius nor an intellectual; nor do I claim to be an idiot or a
moron. I believe I am as mentally intelligent as some of
the folks who think I'm a screwball and who I think are
screwballs, but I believe this Book! Because I believe this
Book, I believe every word in it is true! Since I believe
every word in it is true, when the Bible says, "The wicked
shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God,"
(Psalm 9:17)...I have to believe it. Now it pricks my
culture, but I believe it because the Bible says it. When
the Bible says, "Then shall He say also unto them on the
left hand, depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire,
prepared for the Devil and his angels," (Matthew 25:41)...I
believe it. I don't want to believe it. I wish I
didn't have to believe it, but I believe it, because I'm
convinced that that is the Word of God.
Now follow me
carefully. This is not easy for me. When I was a
young man I would rather preach on sin than forgiveness, but not
anymore. Now I would far rather preach on forgiveness than
sin! When I was a young man I would rather preach on the
wrath of God than the love of God, but those days are gone.
You give me a chance to preach on the love of God, and I would
ten to one rather preach on the love of God than the wrath of
God. There was a day when I was a young preacher that I
would rather preach on judgment than mercy, but no longer!
I preach on judgment but I would rather preach on mercy.
There was a day when I would rather preach on the coming of
Christ, but today I'd rather preach on the Christ Who is coming!
I always shrink from this subject, but I must preach it because
it is in the Bible!
Years ago I was Pastor of the Grange
Hall Baptist Church outside of Marshall, Texas, on highway 43
about ten miles toward Henderson, Texas. I was a country
preacher. Our little parsonage was next door to the church,
and on the back porch there was a well with a pump on it.
The parsonage was valued at $2,000, and that was an extravagant
evaluation! We had a rat that lived on the back porch.
The rat was long-it was a Texas rat! We tried everything to
get rid of it. We put a rat trap out there, and he thought
it was a present, a toy. We put rat poisoning out, and he
gained weight on the stuff I got a larger trap and put it out
there. I was going to get him! We also had a little
dog, an Airedale terrier, named Pookie, He was the kind of dog
that didn't know whether he had eyes or not. He couldn't
see through his hair. One day I heard the trap go off, and
I said, "I caught it! I caught it!" I heard the loudest
noise and the strangest noise a rat ever made. I rushed to
the back porch to catch the prey and take it to the taxidermist
for mounting, but there was Pookle caught in the trap!
is as perfect an illustration as you will ever hear about why
there is a Hell. The trap wasn't set for Pookie; the trap
was set for the rat, but it was set and since it was set, when
Pookie got his paw in the wrong place, he got caught just like
the rat! Now follow me carefully:
1. God created the
angels. He made them as ministering servants. He
created three groups of angels. He placed an archangel over each
group. Here is one group of angels; the archangel Lucifer was
placed over that group of angels. Here is the second group of
angels that were used as messengers, and the archangel Gabriel
was placed over those angels. Here is the third group of angels
who were given the ministry of fighting for God's people, and the
archangel Michael was placed over those angels. There are three
groups of angel s-one-third under Lucifer; one-third under
Gabriel; one-third under Michael.
2. God made a place
of suffering-Hell. This place the Bible says was a
place of fire. The Bible says this place was a place of
conscience and memory where you would remember your opportunities
not to come there, and God called this place Hell.
Remember, there was not one single man on the face of the earth
when God made Hell. God didn't make Hell for man. God made Hell
for the angels just like we set the trap for the rat.
God placed Hell as a price if angels ever sinned. God made
angels. He made Hell, and He placed it as a price for
angels to pay if angels ever sinned. The trap was set. God
didn't want the angels to sin, but He said, "Here is Hell
and here are the angels. If you sin, you have to go to Hell
and spend eternity there." He was not talking about man; He
was talking about angels.
4. The angels were fully
warned. God told Michael, "If you and your angels
sin, they will go to Hell." He said, "Lucifer,
now you and your angels hear Me. If you sin, the price on
that sin is Hell." God said to all the angels, "I
have made a place for you if you sin." I want to say
again, God never made Hell for one single human being. He
set the trap.
5. One-third of those angels sinned.
Lucifer and his angels rebelled against God. Lucifer said, "I
will exalt myself. I will be like the Most High. I
will ascend into the heavens," and pride came, and when the
sin of pride came, Lucifer said, "I will rebel and cause
insurrection in Heaven, and I, the second in command, will become
the first in command." God had already set the price
on sin. He had a place prepared, so what happened? One-third
sinned, and that leads us now to the sixth statement.
God had no choice but to do what He said He would do. If
God's Word is not good, God is not God. God's Word is always
true. God said, "I have to do it." That is why
Matthew 25:41 says, "Then shall He say also unto them on the
left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire,
prepared for the Devil and his angels." Bear in mind,
there was no man yet. There was no Adam in the Garden of
Eden. Not one human being had ever been created or born,
there was no man. So, God made angels. He made a
place of suffering-Hell. He placed that as a price for
angels if they sinned. They were fully warned.
One-third of them sinned under Lucifer. God had no
7. God made man. Before God made man,
there was already a Hell. God didn't make Hell for man nor
man for Hell. God made Hell for the Devil and his angels.
Wait a minute. Let's go back to Pookie. We set the
trap for a rat. We caught the rat later on, but first we
caught Pookie. Was I trying to catch Pookie? No, I
was trying to catch the rat.
8. Satan came to man and
wanted to drag man to the Hell where he was going. He
wanted company He didn't want anybody to enjoy Heaven if he had
to go to Hell. Lucifer and his angels became the Devil and his
angels, and that is what they were doing in the Garden of Eden
when man was there. He came to man and said, "Why don't you
do this?" Man became proud and committed the same sin that
Lucifer committed. Man said, "I'll be my own god. I'll
decide what's right and wrong. I'll be God. I'll run
my life. I'll be the king of my life. I'll sit on the
throne of my heart. I'll make my decisions. I'll do
what I want to do. I'll go where I want to go. I'll
be what I want to be," and man was seduced by Lucifer to do
what he did, and man did what Lucifer did, and man was caught in
the trap that was not made for him.
9. Satan persuaded
man to do what he had done and commit the same sin he had
10. The price had already been set.
Now wait a minute. God said, "The soul that
sinneth, it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4b). "For
the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23a).
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and
death by sin . . ." (Romans 5:12a). God had
already set the penalty for sin. He did not set that
penalty originally for man. He set it for the angels.
He made Hell for the angels if they sinned. They sinned,
and the Devil caused man to get in the same trap.
God had to let mango to Hell, though Hell was not prepared for
12. God was willing to break up the Godhead
for 33 years so that man could be freed!
God redeem the angels? Why didn't Jesus come to die for the
angels? It is the same reason we wanted to get the rat and
didn't want to get Pookie. When Pookie got caught in that
trap I said, "Oh, Pookie! Boopsie, woopsie, Pookie."
Pookie said, "I don't like this."
I went on the
back porch and proceeded to make a plan to get Pookie out of the
trap! I didn't care if the rat got in there or not.
God Almighty made angels. He did not make angels in His own
likeness. He made them as ministering servants. When
angels sinned, it was not worth it for God to give His only
begotten Son to die on Calvary and suffer their Hell, but when
God saw man in the trap, God said, "I'm going to make a plan
to get him loose!" That means God loves you more than
He loves Gabriel. That means God loves you more than God
loves Michael. That means that the angels who fly in Heaven
today or come to earth as an embassage for God or to bring
messages from God--that angel who came from God to tell Mary
about the Messiah in her womb, that angel who came and told Peter
he could be free from prison and unlocked the doors of the jail,
that angel who came and told Joseph not to be afraid that Mary
was not pregnant by man but that the Holy Spirit had placed the
Seed in Mary's womb, that angel who came and ministered to Paul
in prison-those angels God loves, but not enough to give His
Son! When man made in the image of his Creator fell into
the trap that was not made for him, God found a way to get man
out, a way that met His justice.
I say this and I say it
lovingly I don't want to be unkind, but if you because you are a
sinner do not take the way out of God's trap, you are going to
end up with the Devil and his angels. Matthew 25:41, "Then
shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye
cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his
angels." If you go to Hell, you will be an
Every once and awhile someone says to me, "Do
you think a loving God would send anyone to Hell?" A
loving God doesn't send anyone to Hell, A loving God made a trap
for Satan, and you fell in the trap because you listened to
Satan! Because of that, the justice of God makes Him keep
His word. God looked, saw you in the trap, and said, "I
must keep you there, but I'll make a plan." God did
make a plan whereby He would become flesh and come to the earth
and fall into that trap for you. Falling in that trap for you, He
says, "You can come on out," but He won't drag you
God said, "I didn't make Hell for you. I
don't want you to go to Hell. My righteousness and my
veracity demand that I make you pay the penalty."
However, God made a plan to get man out! Stop and think!
God loves you more than God loves Gabriel, and He has had Gabriel
all these millions of years! What God would not do for His
angels, He did for you! What God would not do for the
archangels, He did for you. What God would not do for
cherubim and seraphim, God did for you because He made you like
Himself. God said, "I did not make angels like Myself,
but I made man like Myself!" As soon as man fell into
the trap that was made for the Devil and his angels, God said,
"Lucifer is condemned to Hell forever, and the angels with
him who tried to take over My throne are condemned to Hell
forever, but man made in My image, man the apple of My eye, man
the great love of My life and the love of My heart, I have to
free him from that trap!"
There is only one way that
man can be freed from the trap and escape the fires of Hell, and
that way is not by joining a church! Pookie could have
joined all the churches in Russ County and Marshall, Texas, and
still have been in that trap. Pookie could have gotten
baptized in that trap and still been in that trap. I could
have taken the Lord's Supper on the back porch and given it to
Pookie and he would have still been in that trap. I made a
way. I lifted up that big spring and said, "Pookie,
take your paw out of the spring," and Pookie said, "I
think I will!" Pookie had a lot more sense than some
of you folks.
God became flesh; His name was Jesus. He
never sinned, so He didn't get in the trap. (Now Pookie
accidentally got in the trap, but Jesus didn't accidentally get
in the trap). Jesus never sinned, but after 33 perfect
years on earth He said, "Trap, here I come," and He
voluntarily put Himself in the trap so He could free you!
Oklahoma City a strange thing happened years ago. A tiger got out
of the zoo there and frightened everybody in town! Horror gripped
the whole neighborhood! Somewhere in the town was a wild tiger
loose-a ferocious animal. Somebody got an idea. '17hey got a
little lamb and put that lamb in the door of a trap cage. When
the tiger saw that lamb, he got hungry. (You see, a lamb to a
tiger is like a cheese quarter-pounder!) The tiger came and
grabbed that lamb, and when he did so, down came the door, and
the tiger was caught!
Jesus Christ became the Lamb of God,
and the Devil said, "I'll get Him!" The Devil came into
the cage and tried to get Him, and he did. The Lamb was slain.
Why? So you and I would not be afraid of the wild animal running
loose which is called the Devil.
Now you have learned why
there is a Hell. You will never hear it any clearer.
Preachers get up and say, "You're going to go to Hell if you
don't repent." We don't want to say it. We don't
like to say it. We wish we didn't have to say it, but it is
true, but Hell was not made for you!
I .God created the
2. God made a place of suffering-Hell.
God placed Hell as a price on sin if the angels sinned.
The angels were fully warned.
5. One-third of those angels
6. God had no choice but to do what He said He
7. God made man.
8. Satan came to man and
wanted to drag man to the Hell where he was going.
Satan persuaded man to do what he had done and commit the same
sin he had committed.
10. The price had already been
11. God had to let man go to Hell, though Hell was
not prepared for man.
12. God was willing to break up the
Godhead for 33 years so that man could be freed!
have one choice of two. You can go ahead and join the
church for your salvation, get baptized for your salvation, turn
over a new leaf for your salvation, live a good life for your
salvation, and take communion for your salvation; go ahead, but
you will die and go to Hell! However, you can say, "Thank
God, Jesus the Lamb of God took my place, suffered for me and set
me free--not Lucifer, not the angels, not Gabriel, not
Michael--God set me free from a trap that was not made for me!
I am the object of God's love!"
Yes, God has made a
plan. That plan is when you come to a place in your life
when you say, "I cannot save myself, but from this moment
forward I will rely on Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross
as my hope for Heaven, and I will trust Him like I trust a
I will be flying to Florida to preach
tomorrow night and Tuesday night. I will get on the plane
at O'Hare Field. There will be three men up in the cockpit. Now I
am trusting those men to get me to Florida. I do not know how to
fly an airplane, and I do not know how to fly without an
airplane! I have one hope to get to Florida, and that is to trust
those three men. It is the only hope I have! Let us suppose that
when we get up in the air about 30,000 feet or so, I decide to
slap the stewardess across the face. I say, "Hey, baby,
whack!" Where am I going? Florida. Suppose the
pilot comes back and says, "Did you slap the stewardess?"
say, "Yes, and I can do it again," and I slap the
pilot. I also take out a knife and cut off his tie and
slash the seat in front of me. Now where am I
Florida. Why? You do not get to Florida by behaving
on an airplane. You can sit in a pilotless plane on the ground
and behave yourself and you will still be at O'Hare Field. You
get to Florida by saying to those three men up in the front, "I'm
You do not get to Heaven because you
live a good life; you get to Heaven because you say, "Jesus,
Saviour, pilot me, over life's tempestuous sea. Unknown
waves before me roll. Be the guardian of my soul.
Jesus, You are my pilot, and I trust You to take me to my
That is the way you get freed from the
Chapter 18 - The
Simplicity of Salvation
(A Sermon Preached in the
First Baptist Church of Hammond)
"...The Word is nigh
thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the Word of
faith, which we preach." (Romans 10:8)
How easy it is
to become a Christian! Occasionally someone will say,
"Brother Hyles, you make it so easy to be saved."
always answer, "I did not make it easy; God made it easy.
I simply tell you how God made it." I made this
comment in a home recently: If my girl, Becky, ran away from
home, I would want her back. It would be the easiest thing
in this world for her to get back. All she would have to do
is come and say, "Daddy, I want to come home," and she
would be as good as at home. I would want her to come home
as much or more than she would want to return, so I would make it
very easy for her to come back home.
If one of your
children got lost, you would make it easy for him to come back.
You would search everywhere. You would be the aggressor.
You would be more anxious, or at least as anxious, for him to
come home as he would be to return home.
Father is the same way. Salvation, my friend, is not hard.
It is simple. Salvation is not running an obstacle course
and hoping you will end up standing up someday when the judgment
comes. God has made salvation so simple that the smallest
child who understands right from wrong can accept it and be
saved. God has made salvation so easy that anybody who
knows he is a sinner and knows that by faith he can receive
Christ as Saviour, can be saved. God's Part in
Salvation is Big, Tremendous.
Now, to be sure, salvation
is big! We stumble over its bigness in an effort to make it
complicated, but bear this in mind: All the bigness of salvation
is on God's part, not ours. All the immensity, all the
working, all the business, all the complexity, all the theology,
all the deep doctrine and all the philosophy of being saved is
God's part. Our pan is so simple.
Salvation is big!
Man sinned in the Garden of Eden. God made a man; He made a
woman. He put them in the Garden of Eden and said, "Of
every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of
Man ate that forbidden fruit when Satan tempted,
tested and deceived Eve. Eve came back and told Adam she
had eaten of the fruit, that it was a tree that would make men
wise, good to look upon, and it opened her eyes concerning good
and evil. Man had sinned! Man was made in the image
of God for fellowship with God. When man departed from God,
then God made a plan to save man. Now the making of that
plan was complex. The making of that plan was
eternity-shaking. The making of that plan was big and
magnificent, but the receiving of that plan is just as simple as
taking a drink of water.
God immediately said, "I am
going to make a plan." When Adam and Eve sinned, and
sin came into the human race, and man departed from God,
immediately God started to make a plan. Jesus Christ, the
Son of God, said, "Father, I will go to earth and become
man. I am willing to become flesh. I will live a
sinless life, a perfect life. I will go to Calvary. I
will dip My own soul into Hell itself I will become sin for man.
If man will simply receive Me, he can be saved."
Immediately God promised that the seed of woman would bruise the
head of the serpent, and the Seed of woman would, of course,
someday come. Four thousand years later in Bethlehem's
manger came the Lord Jesus Christ.
Satan, then, set out to
block the coming of the Saviour. He set out immediately to
block salvation's plan. Adam and Eve had a boy they named
Cain. They had another boy named Abel. There was the
seed of the promised Messiah, but Cain killed Abel, and the
seed-carrier was broken. God gave another son whose name
was Seth. From the time Seth was born until Jesus Christ
came in Bethlehem, Satan did everything he could to block the
coming of the Saviour.
When Jesus' coming was finally
announced, Satan tried to get Joseph to put Mary away, to stone
her so the Messiah would not be born. Finally, when the
Messiah came, there was no place for Him to be born, for Satan
blocked any hospital, hotel or inn from the Saviour. So the
Saviour was born in a manger in Bethlehem.
immediately Satan tried to block salvation's plan in the leading
of Herod to kill all the male children two years old and under.
You recall how the angel came to Joseph in a dream and said,
"Flee to Egypt." Once again God had blocked
Satan's plan to thwart salvation.
Satan was not finished.
He took Jesus one day up to a mountain and tempted Him in the
wilderness three times, hoping that somehow sin could enter in
the life of Jesus Christ, for if Jesus Christ had been a sinner,
He would have had to suffer for His own sin and could not suffer
for my sin. However, Jesus said, "Get thee behind Me,
Satan," and He took the Sword of the Spirit and three times
struck the Word of God into Satan. Jesus did not yield to
Satan wasn't through. You recall when
Jesus was on the cross, people came by, looked up at Him, hissed
at Him, and said, "If thou be the Son of God, come down from
the cross." Satan well knew if Jesus Christ would come
down from Calvary, salvation's plan would be thwarted, but Jesus
did not come down!
Satan wasn't finished then. Jesus was
put in a borrowed sepulcher. Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus
came and got His body and placed it in a borrowed tomb outside
the city of Jerusalem. The Bible says that the Roman government
put guards around the tomb to guard the Saviour from coming
forth. Thank God, once again, on that Easter Sunday morning
Jesus came forth victoriously, and the Gospel is now finished.
Christ, our perfect Lamb, has been sacrificed, has been buried,
rose again the third day, and we do have a Gospel!
complicated, to be sure. When a person is saved, he is
redeemed. His sins are forgiven. His past is forgotten.
He is made an heir of God, a joint-heir with Jesus Christ.
He is become sanctified in the Beloved. As far as God's wrath is
concerned, he is justified. He is saved from Hell, and for
eternity he will live with God in Heaven to enjoy the bliss of
God's prepared city forever and forever.
isn't it! Big, isn't it'? Immense, isn't it'?
Wonderful, isn't it? Hard to comprehend, isn't it?
Yes, it is, but I say once again that every part of the
complicated Gospel is God's part, not man's part. God has
prepared a big meal, which is salvation. Jesus Christ is
the bread of life. He is the living water. He is the
meat of the Word. He is the milk of the Word. Jesus
Christ is the great meal. Salvation has been prepared, and
now God tells us, "Come, for all things are now ready "
Has Tried to Complicate Getting Saved.
It is so easy to be
saved. Oh, complicated for God--yet so simple for man.
I want to show you about the simplicity of being saved. Man
has tried to complicate it. God said, "Come."
Isn't that all God said to Adam and Eve? "Come."
Isn't that all God said in Revelation 22:17?, "And the
Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say,
Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever
will, let him take the water of life freely."
made a great supper in Luke 14 (a picture of salvation), and sent
his servants at suppertime to say, "Come; for all things are
I want to make one thing clear at the
start: You cannot do anything to get saved except come to the
Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, how Satan has tried to complicate
it! Satan has tried to make more to salvation than that.
People have tried to add their own work to salvation. We
want some candles in the church. We want some soft music in
the background. We want to learn some confessions of faith
and take a catechism. We want to do something ourselves to
be saved. We want to feel something shoot in our spine and
toes. We want to roll down the aisle and shout, "Whoopee!
Hallelujah! I hear angel's wings flapping."
you may get saved by candlelight, but you won't get saved by the
candles. You may get saved with soft music playing, but the
soft music won't have a single thing to do with your getting
You may get saved in the baptistry, but the
baptistry won't have a thing to do with your getting saved.
may get saved the moment you join the church, but the joining of
the church won't have a single thing to do with your getting
saved. When you get saved, you may shout, but shouting won't have
anything to do with your getting saved.
When you get
saved, you may cry, but crying won't have a single thing to do
with your getting saved.
When you get saved, you may say,
"Whoopee!" but "whoopee" won't have anything
to do with your getting saved.
The way to get saved is to
come to Jesus and trust Him by faith. It is the simple plan
that God has made.
there are three things that tell us of salvation's
I. BIBLE EXAMPLES OF CONVERSIONS
SHOW THAT OUTWARD CONDITIONS AND EMOTIONS VARY WITH DIFFERENT
"Oh," you say, "The Apostle
Paul." We like to take the Apostle Paul's conversion
and make a big to-do about that. A light shone round about
him, and Paul was thrown to his face on the Damascus road, and
was blinded. All of a sudden Paul said, "Who art Thou,
Lord? What wilt Thou have me to do?"
"'Men we ought to have a light shine around about us."
No, the light shining around Paul didn't save Paul. Paul's
falling on his face didn't save him. The blinding of Paul
didn't save him. Paul was saved when he received Christ as
Saviour. It is not the circumstances that save; it is the
will saying, "I will come to Christ," which makes one a
Now quit waiting for a feeling. You may
not hoot and holler when you get saved. I don't know what
you will do or what the emotional results of your salvation will
be, but know this: The resulting feelings have nothing to do with
salvation. Salvation is when a person realizes he is a
sinner and Christ is the Saviour and by faith he turns to Christ
for salvation. That is what being saved is.
Matthew was sitting one day at the seat of customs when Jesus
came in the room. Matthew just left all and followed Jesus.
No light for Matthew! No falling on his face for Matthew!
Now if Matthew had fallen on his face and cried and shouted and
said, "0 boy! Hallelujah! I'm born again!" and
hugged his neighbors and his wife and rejoiced and rolled in the
aisle, he would still have been saved, not because he did those
things, but because he had put his faith in Christ.
Bible tells us that one day Zacchaeus was up a tree. Jesus
was coming through the city of Jericho on His way to Jerusalem.
Zacchaeus wanted to see Him, but there was a great parade coming
through, and since Zacchaeus was a little short fellow and could
not see Jesus coming, he climbed a tree and looked down.
There came Jesus. Jesus said, "Zacchaeus, make haste
and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. I'm
going to your house for lunch today." Jesus went home
with Zacchaeus and over the supper table or dinner table,
Zacchaeus trusted Him. Zacchaeus was saved.
thief on the cross simply said, "Lord, remember me when Thou
comest into Thy kingdom." Jesus said, "Today
shalt thou be with Me in paradise."
The publican in
Luke 18 beat on his breast and said, "God be merciful to me
a sinner." Jesus said, "'This man went down to
his house justified."
The eunuch in Acts 8 said,
"See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?"
Philip said, "If thou believest with all thine heart (that
Jesus is the Son of God), thou mayest." The Eunuch
said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
He simply trusted Jesus for salvation, and the Bible says that
they got out of the chariot and "they went down both into
the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him . . .
and he went on his way rejoicing." The eunuch got
saved by trusting Christ.
Zacchaeus got saved by trusting
Christ. Matthew got saved by trusting Christ. John
got saved by trusting Christ. Peter got saved by trusting
Christ. There may have been different circumstances.
There may have been different environments. There may have
been different stimuli. There may have been different
emotional responses. There may have been different
atmospheres, but salvation is wrapped up in one thing, and that
is, "Come, for all things are now ready!" Just
come to Christ--that is salvation!
TESTAMENT FIGURES OF SPEECH SHOW THE SIMPLICITY OF
Not only are there many Bible examples of
the simplicity of salvation, but let us notice New Testament
comparisons. All the way through the Bible we have figures
of speech. The New Testament figures of speech show the
simplicity of being saved. Oh, a lot of you would be saved,
but you want a light to strike you in the spine! You want a
hypodermic needle to hit you. You want to wiggle and roll
down the aisle and feel something coming out of your ears and
have springs coming out of your head. You want to have
something about which God says nothing!
Now when you get
saved, you may have springs coming out of your ears, but you are
not saved because you have springs coming out of your ears!
You may shout when you get saved, but that will not save you.
Salvation is by faith in Christ.
Now listen to me!
Anybody who knows he is a sinner and knows that he is condemned
before God to die and knows that Jesus Christ on the cross
suffered for sinners, and will simply come to God and say, "Dear
Lord, forgive my sins and save my soul today," can be
You may shout, but the shouting will not save you.
For example, on Sunday we have many different types of
conversions in people who come down the aisles. One person
may come down the aisle saying, "Oh, I want to be saved,"
crying all the time. Last Sunday night we almost had to mop
the altar when a lady got through. Here comes another
fellow who says, "I want to be saved," smiling real
big. Here comes someone else who says, "I want to be
saved," with remorse. Here comes another one who says,
"I want to be saved," very straight-faced.
is it the smile? No. The tears? No. The
stimuli? No. Remorse? No. The thing is,
they want to be saved. That is it! It is not how they act;
it is what they do. If by faith you say, "Yes" to
Christ, that settles that!
let's notice comparisons
1. The New
Testament compares salvation to letting someone in the door. In
Revelation 3:20 Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door,
and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will
come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me."
There are two young people here to whom I talked yesterday about
Christ and they both were saved. I explained to them, as I
have done so often, that salvation is a matter of Jesus knocking
at the heart and you opening the door and letting Jesus come in.
It is very simple to open the door. If a friend came to see
me and rang the bell or knocked on the door, would I say,
"Whoopee! Come in"? I wouldn't put it that way at
all. Now it is a very simple thing--"Would you come
in, please?" Then he comes in.
Jesus said that
salvation is like that. He is out of your life. He is
not your Saviour. You have lived without Him. You
have never trusted Him. Now you simply say, "Dear
Jesus, come in." God says that is salvation.
Getting saved is like taking a drink of water. In John
4:14 Jesus said, "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I
shall give him shall never thirst." Revelation 22:17,
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him
that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come.
And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
Now it is very simple to take a drink of water. Some people
get so thirsty that when they take a drink of water they go
"Whoooo." Some people say, "Ahhh-hh-h."
Some just swallow it, and that is it. Now who gets the most
water? How it makes you feet doesn't have a thing to do
with it! Jesus said getting saved is like taking a drink of
water. Are you thirsty? Do you know you are lost?
Do you know you need Christ? He is the One Who is the
water! You take a drink and He comes in. That is what
salvation is like, He says.
3. Getting saved is
receiving a gift. Romans 6:23, "For the wages of
sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus
Christ our Lord." Ephesians 2:8, 9, "For by grace are
ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."
I give a person a gift. He takes it. Is it his?
Absolutely! What if he doesn't feel good? The gift Is
still his. What if he doesn't shout? It is still
his. What if he doesn't cry? It is still his.
It is very simple to accept a gift. All you do is reach out
and take it and believe it is yours.
Now salvation is that
way, the Bible says. Jesus is God's "unspeakable
gift." Eternal life is God's gift to man.
Anybody who will say, "I am willing to receive the gift,"
can very simply receive the gift from God.
saved is going through a door. In John 10:9 Jesus said,
"I am the door," and in John 14:6, "I am the way,
the truth, and the life." Is it very complicated to go
through a door? No. When I leave the service I most
always go through this door. I will walk over there, turn
the doorknob, walk through the door, and go down the stairs.
Is that very complicated? I probably won't shout. I
doubt if I'll cry or holler. I doubt if I'll laugh, but I
will go through the door.
Jesus said that on one side is
eternal life; on the other side is eternal death. The
difference is a door. Everybody in this house this morning
who realizes he is unsaved, realizes that Christ will give him
eternal life, and will say, "Dear Lord, I do accept You and
come through the door of Jesus to salvation"--that minute
God makes you His child!
5. Salvation is compared with
coming home. This is very interesting. Here is a
boy in Luke 15 who decides to leave his father and go to a far
country. He takes all of his goods, goes to a far country,
gets in trouble, looks for a job, can't find a job, finds a job
feeding the hogs out in the hogpen, and finally he starts feeding
himself the husks off the corn that the swine would not eat-the
cornhusks, if you please. He eats the cornhusks. Finally he
says, "The servants back home have more than this.
Why, the servants back home have some good bread and potatoes and
meat and beans, and here I am eating the cornhusks. I will
arise and go to my father." He comes back to the
father, and the father receives him.
Salvation is just
going home. How many of you ever go home to see your
Let's say a family is having a reunion. Here
are some children coming home. One child says, "Oh,
it's so good to be home," in tears. Another says,
"BOY, IT'S GOOD TO BE HOME"' Still another says,
"Brother, it's wonderful to be home," very sincerely
Another says, "Hello, Mother, How have you been?"
Now who is the nearest home? It doesn't make any difference
if one cries, one shouts, one laughs, one feels good, one
sighs-they are all home! The Lord never did say that
salvation is like a fellow who cries his way home or shouts his
way home. It is like coming home!
Maybe you are lost
from God. You are away from God. Jesus Christ is
salvation. You need only to say, "Lord, I'm coming
"I've wandered far away from God. Now I'm
The paths of sin too long I've trod, Lord,
I'm coming home."
6. Salvation is compared to
saying "yes" to a proposal. How many of you
married ladies remember very distinctly when you said "yes"
to a proposal? Remember when he said, "Will you?"
Was it very complicated? How many of you cried when your
husband asked, "Will you marry me?" How many of
you laughed when you said it? How many of you in your heart
felt wonderful, but you didn't show a lot of emotion?
is a proposal: I am on my knees, and I say, "Beverly, would
you make me the happiest man in all the world? Would you be
mine?" She says, "OH, WONDERFUL! YES!"
Now she said "yes" to my proposal, but she may just
say, "Oh, (sob) yes!" She is Just as hooked as
she was the other way! Or she may just say, "Um-hum."
No matter how she may say it, she still has done the same
Some of you folks are trying to get married just
like everybody else got married. It isn't how you respond;
it is the response. Jesus said, "Will you be married?
Will you come to Me? Will you trust Me?" If You
say, "Yes," you are saved! If you say, "No,"
you are lost! The way You respond has nothing to do with
your eternal soul. Jesus compares salvation with a
7. Jesus compares salvation with accepting an
invitation. Jesus told the parable of a man who "made
a great supper and bade many." Jesus says, "Come
unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give
you rest" (Matthew 11:28). I ask a friend, "Will
you come over to my house to eat?" Now if he hasn't
eaten for a week, he may say, "BROTHER, WILL I? SURE!"
Let us suppose he is so full he doesn't want to eat a bite
today. "Yes, I'll come." Let us suppose we
are having broiled T-bone steak: "Boy, I'll come!"
Or, let us suppose he has been wanting to come to our house for a
long time and we haven't spoken in a year, and finally he
realizes that we're going to speak again. He says, "Oh,
I sure will come!"
Now let me ask you, will he be any
more invited either way he answers? Not a bit! The
way he would do it matters not; he simply accepts the
Now God says, "I have made a great
banquet feast. I have prepared salvation. It is a
gift. Would you come? Come."
somebody will say, "You bet I'll come. I'm so far in
sin, I'll come"--weeping.
Somebody else says, "Yes,
I need the Lord, I'll come"-very serious.
else says, "A BANQUET? I'LL COME! "--rejoicing.
Somebody else says, "Whoopee! --shouting.
how you act, you will not get any more to eat. The thing
that makes you come is when you say, "Yes," to the
invitation. Some folks want to get a candle, walk down the
aisle with a long flowing robe and say, "I come."
Some want to do cartwheels and flop down the aisle and say, "I
come." Some want to cry, "I come." Well, any
way is all right with me, as long as you don't trust that candle,
or those cartwheels, or that feeling, or those tears, or that
joy, to save you. As long as you trust the eternal Word of
God and what He said, you have salvation! Would to God folks
could understand it! God simply said, "Come." Man
has been trying to make religions, to major on the minors, and
major on the sidetracks, and major on the sidelines, when the
truth is, all you have to do to be saved is just come to the Lord
8. He compares salvation with taking a
bath. In Titus 3:5 He says, "Not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He
saved us, by the washing of regeneration." In John 13 Jesus
said, "You have already bathed once; now wash your feet."
Salvation is compared to taking a bath. Remember. Jesus is the
One Who bathes you, makes you clean.
Many of you take a
bath once a week whether you need it or not! It is not a
big chore to take a bath. There have been times when I have
been real hot, I mean on a hot blistering Texas day with the
temperature at 109 degrees. I recall it was 111 degrees and
I laid oak floor all day long. I almost died. I got
home and said, "Honey, I want a cold bath." We
turned on the cool water, and I jumped in. As I jumped in,
I said, "Whew-ew!" Now there are other times when
I have to take a bath real quickly; so I just rush in and rush
out, but I am just as clean either way. You see, it doesn't
matter whether you say, "Whew-ew" or not. If you
want to say, "Whew-ew," that's all right, but you don't
have to say it to take a bath. Taking a bath is very simple.
You know you are dirty; Jesus has the soap. You get in; He
bathes you. Now the sidelines may be different. The
effect may be different. The outward results may be
different, but the bath is the same. You get in and take
the bath. Jesus said that salvation is that way. He
cleanses all who come for "the washing of
Some of you are so dirty and you have
been so far into sin, that when you jump into salvation you are
going to realize that you are clean, and you are going to say,
"Whoopee! I'm clean!" Some are going to say, "I
have been so dirty; it's so good to be clean"--crying all
the time. Some are going to say, "I'm so glad to be
saved." Some, "Yes, it's good to be a
Christian." Now it all depends on how dirty you were.
IT ALL DEPENDS ON HOW HOT IT HAS BEEN. It depends on how
much you need the bath, but the salvation is not the whoopee or
the whew-ew or the joy or the thrill or the tears. It is
getting in the tub and taking the bath.
9. Salvation is
compared to putting money in the bank. 2nd Timothy
1:12b, "I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I
have committed (or deposited) unto Him against that day."
You take some money and put it in the bank. Now, two
fellows go to the bank and each one puts in $100.00. One
says, "0 boy! 0 BOY! I saved $100.00." The
other quietly says, "Me too." Now which one has
saved $100.00? Both have! You mean how happy you get
about the money doesn't mean who has the $100.00 in the bank?
That Is right. The question is not, did you shout to the
teller, or cry to the teller, or hit the teller? The
question is, Did you give the money to the teller?
of folks say, "I'm saved because I shouted and felt it al I
over." That is not why you are saved. You are
saved because you put your soul in the hands of Jesus. You say,
"I was there when it happened and I ought to know."
Pretty song, but it isn't enough. Sure you were there when
it happened and you ought to know, but you are not saved because
you were there when it happened. You are saved because you
trusted Jesus. You are saved because you said, "Yes,"
to Calvary and said, "I will deposit my soul to Jesus'
10. Getting saved is like eating a
meal. The Bible says, "Come, all things are now
ready" When we get home some little boy is going to say,
"Mom, is dinner ready?" "Yes, son."
My little boy, David, only hits the floor about twice. He
dives in. "0 boy, Mom! 0 boy! Got some
gravy!" I walk in, look, and say, "Gravy again."
We eat the same gravy No difference at all. Same
Becky might say, "Hot dog!" David might
I might say, "I'm so
hungry, I've got to get to the food," but we each eat the
same food. How we eat it has nothing to do with it.
Some fellow can sop it; another can eat it with a spoon.
Some fellow can lick it up; another can eat it with a fork.
Some fellow can put it on toast; another can put his biscuits in
it, but it is the same gravy I'm saying, it isn't what happened
when you got saved-the experience, etc. It is, did you
trust Jesus and did He save you?
TESTAMENT TYPES SHOW THE SIMPLICITY OF GETTING SAVED.
only do Bible examples and New Testament comparisons show the
simplicity of salvation, but the Old Testament types show us this
A coat of skins God offered Adam and Eve. What
did they do? They took it, that is all.
serpent was placed on the pole, as we read in Numbers.
Those bitten could only look at that brazen serpent and be saved.
An ark was built 'In Noah's day. What did they have to do'?
inside the ark. That's all--just come inside.
little lamb was slain. What did a Jew have to do? Put his
hand on the head of the lamb.
The Old Testament types show
how simple it is on our part to be saved. To be sure, when
you come to Christ your sins are forgiven, you are made a new
creature, the Holy Spirit comes in to live, you become one of
God's children, and you will go to Heaven. A BIG THING.
Oh, yes! Immense! But God does all the big work!
All you do is take it by faith!
Recently in visitation I
went to the home of a lady who is here this morning. We
knelt and prayed and she said, "Yes, I know I ought to do
it. I know I ought to do it."
I said, "Will you
"Yes," she said, "I will."
We knelt to pray. I think with some emotion in her heart
but not much in her voice, she said, "Dear Lord, I confess
my sins. I pray You will forgive me. I receive You as my
Saviour now." She received Christ.
I went down
the street a little further. There I met two young people
who are here this morning. I explained salvation to them.
One teenage girl would not look at me, but kept looking down.
I told her how to be saved, how she would not have to worry any
more about going to Hell. Finally she prayed.
Afterward I said, "Now are you saved?"
yes," she said.
That girl who hesitated to decide and
then timidly turned to Jesus in her heart was saved.
other girl was joyful, immediately happy, but both girls were
saved just alike the moment they put their trust in Jesus.
is simple to receive Christ. You can open the door and
Jesus will come in. You can simply receive salvation as a
gift. You can accept the sweet invitation. Jesus
said, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out"
(John 6:37b). If you realize that you are a lost sinner who
needs saving, and if you are tired of sin and want forgiveness,
then I beg you here and now say "yes" to Jesus in your
heart, turn your case over to Him and depend on Him to do the
saving which He promised. Will you do that today?
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