salvation

I’m Going In!

Last week our church had VBS and the theme was Ocean Commotion, so obviously it was all about Noah.  All week long we sang songs about this Bible story and event in history.  We learned about sea creatures, and of course the flood, and how Noah and his family were the only ones who trusted and believed God.  They were the only ones who safely got in the ark because they believed God would do what He said!

On the last night of our Bible school, I had the privilege of talking with three children who had each received Christ during the week!  What a blessing to talk with them about their decision.  They were each sure they were now God’s child and on their way to heaven!

  • They understood they were a sinner
  • They knew Christ died for them
  • They accepted His death on the cross as payment for their sin
  • They repented and confessed their need for Christ and each had an assurance they were on their way to heaven!

I came home rejoicing!  Here were three more, who in essence said like Noah and his family, – “I’m going in!”  They made a choice!

The morning after the last day of VBS, I opened my Bible to the reading plan I’m going through and I read in Matthew 24:37-39 ~

But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

God had something else to tell me about this account of judgment on the world.  As I read the verses above I realized that:

  • People were going on their way doing their normal things at the time of Noah’s warnings.
    • They were eating.
    • They were drinking.
  • People were ignoring his pleas and were planning special events like weddings.  That means there were young people brushing off the coming doom.
  • People were giving away their children in marriage.  That means there were old people scoffing at the warnings of Noah.

But there was a day that did come that awakened them to the truth, but it was then too late.  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away.    Where did it take them?  To their death.  They had been warned, but ignored the warnings and now they were taken away.  Those wedding bouquets and decorations were now just a part of the accumulation of great devastation.  The meals so carefully prepared, pulled off the tables, out of the houses and into the current that swept everything away.  It took them all away.

Today we aren’t preaching about a worldwide flood to come; we have a promise that that  will never happen again.  We are, however, warning that Christ is coming soon, and we each need to be ready by simply accepting what those three precious children at VBS did last week.  You must walk through the One Door (Jesus Christ) to receive Christ as the penalty for your sin. Just as there was only one way into the ark, there is only One way to heaven, and it is Christ -not good works, baptism, church membership or being kind.  Christ did it all for us!

Have you trusted Christ as the only way to heaven?  Are you looking for His return with eager anticipation, or are you like the people in Noah’s day, going on your way planning all your life and events without even considering the coming judgment if you don’t receive Him?  Don’t be among those who will be “taken away” to eternal punishment in hell; accept the deliverance that Christ came to give you so you, too, can be safely inside!

Are you ready?

With love,

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salvation · Uncategorized

Why Am I Not Seeing Growth In That Believer’s Life?

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That little blue card sitting by itself is more than a pretty little note card – it was probably one of the biggest blessings of my week last week!  Let me explain…

The day before the arrival of that card, I’d had an email exchange with a friend in another state about a woman who had received Christ as her Savior this fall, but since then she’s not really desiring to come to church to grow.  That news saddened my heart.

It also reminded me of another lady (and other people) who accept Christ, but then seem to fall away, or not really show fruits of their salvation.  My husband and I chatted about it, stating our heavy hearts at these kinds of situations.  “Did they really get saved?”  “What’s wrong?”

The next morning in my quiet time, I talked to the Lord about it.  I prayed for this dear lady to have a hunger for God’s Word and the fellowship of God’s people.  I didn’t know it then,  but my husband was also praying about this need in young believer’s lives.

Our mail comes fairly early in the day, so not long after praying my husband went out to check the box, and brought a note in to me.  I read the card…and I wept.  It was like getting a card of encouragement from God Himself with a hug tucked inside.  Here’s part of the note that blessed my heart so much:

I was wondering if you remembered a lady named, ______________.  She attended a ladies’ retreat at Boones Creek several years ago. I saw her today and she was speaking fondly of the retreat.  If you remember, you gave her the plan of salvation and she claimed to have accepted Christ, but later said she had always known the Lord, so we wondered if she ever actually got saved.  Today she said to me “After I got saved at church…” meaning the day of the retreat.

She attends a local Baptist church and is growing in the Lord.  I thought you would like to know.

Oh, was she ever right!  I did love finding out that this dear lady had indeed been saved, and was now growing faithfully!  It was God’s loving nudge to me, saying, “Keep planting the seed and leave the results with me.”

“Yes, Lord, I will.  You do all things well.  This is your  business.  Help me to just obey!”

Can I just encourage you to learn from my lesson?  Don’t get discouraged if someone you know has been saved but isn’t growing at the rate you’d like to see.  God will do the sanctifying, just as He did the saving.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Philippians 1:6

Keep sharing the Gospel and be refreshed as you refresh others!

 

evangelism · salvation

Reaching Out or Resisting?

We were seated in our pew at church, this unsaved girl and me. As we sat there, I thought back to how we’d met just a few days before at a restaurant. My husband and I had joined friends for an evening refreshment. She was an employee who was working the dining area and we struck up a conversation with her. She told us of many mission trips she’d gone on and the life-changing events that they were to her. My husband then asked her our favorite question to learn a person’s spiritual condition; “Who is Jesus to you?” Her answer?  “I’m not a Christian. I think Jesus was a figment of people’s imagination, created to help them deal with morality.” We were all taken back a bit, to be honest, but were thankful for this young woman’s transparency. She wasn’t belligerent or hateful; just honest. Oh, the Scriptures that came to all of our hearts…

II Corinthians 4:4 
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 

I Corinthians 15:6
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

Romans 10:17
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 

It was late and the restaurant was ready to close, so we ended our conversation with an invitation to our church. How we all prayed for her through Saturday and Sunday morning!

Then, glory to God, she walked in the door for the Sunday school hour! I rejoiced as I watched our church family welcome her and bring her in. The Sunday school hour being ended, it was now that I’m brought back to her presence on the pew beside me.

This was the Sunday of the month that we would take of the Lord’s Supper. I’ve always loved this time to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice for me. This Sunday, however, I was sharply aware of how great a gift my salvation truly is. As the communion bread was brought to my pew, the deacon lowered the plate for me, I took my piece. Then, not knowing her spiritual condition, he extended the plate past me to my visitor. From my peripheral view I watched her hands go up in refusal. It was the right response, because she’s not a believer, but my heart ached for her. She did not want any bread, but she was also saying so many other things when her hand went up. My heart truly hurt for her. 

“You don’t want Jesus as your Savior? You don’t want the free gift of salvation? You don’t want to be right with God? You don’t want Him to guide you all your life and make sense of all in this world that is senseless?”

It made me think of my own hands. Though so undeserving, when I reached out to the Lord, He took me in! He accepted me and forgave me and He died for me! As I took of the bread and then the cup, I was aware of my own unworthiness, but the huge gift that I’d received the day I opened my hands to Jesus. He was broken for me; He bled for me and in taking that symbol I was preaching the message that Jesus said we’d proclaim each time we “did this in remembrance of Him” – For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. I Cornthians 11:26

Dear friend, I pray you’ve reached your hands out to the Lord Jesus, but if you haven’t, He died for you and loved you before you were ever born. Don’t resist Him today. Reach out and accept His gift of salvation that He paid for with His very life.

With love,