Tag Archives: Salvation
In early 1977, the rock&roll group The Eagles released what is recognized as the greatest recording effort of their career. The album titled “Hotel California” contained a single by the same name and it was a monster hit to say the least. Written in a minor key, it has a somewhat eery feel to it with lyrics that are fittingly dark and mysterious. Some people claim that the lyrics talk about the band selling their souls to the devil for fame and fortune ala Robert Johnson.
As is usually the case, the truth is nowhere near as dark and sinister. The band did indeed have a secret, a big secret. They were known as a Southern California band but actually none of them lived there! Don Felder, then lead guitarist, tells about how they would all drive into LA very early in the morning to avoid being discovered as non-locals whenever they were rehearsing or recording. During these early morning drives, several ideas for songs were hatched.
In too many churches today there is also a big secret being kept. That secret is that God is just and sovereign. He can and will punish wickedness. He will cast everything evil into the lake of fire one day. Everyone whose name is not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be cast into it along with the devil, antiChrist, the false prophet and all demons.
Today, this is a well-kept secret. When is the last time you heard hell, punishment, damnation, justice, or the lake of fire talked about in your church? Believe me, Jesus spoke of these items often. The Bible deals with these sufficiently so that we can know that no metaphor or hyperbole is intended. Hell is real and you do not want to go there.
How can it be avoided? Jesus Christ set aside His position in Heaven temporarily and came to earth via a virgin birth. He lived on earth for 33 years. He ministered, taught, laughed, cried, and lived among friends and enemies. He was crucified by His own choice and by His own design in order to pay the price for the sins of all who would be redeemed. He gave up His life; no one took it from Him. He was buried in a donated tomb. He rose on the third day as He had said he would do. He then visited with His followers for a short while and ascended into Heaven assuming His rightful place at the right hand of the Father and sent the Holy Spirit to indwell all believers.
Truth is truth. Anything less is not…
Call upon Him today. He is your only hope.
If your Christian life could be spoken of in terms of golf analogies, what do you do most often when faced with an excellent opportunity to represent God and His word? Do you hit it long and straight? Do you sink the 20 footer? Do you shank it into the woods or yip the 3 foot putt?
When your friends talk about you behind your back (and you know they do) do they refer to you as the Palmer or Nicklaus of the faith? Or could you better be compared to Scott Hoch or John Daly who were both on the verge of greatness but could not get there.
I see myself as the Roy McAvoy of Christianity. Who is Roy? He is the minimum-wage golf range pro in the movie Tin Cup who lives in a Winnebago at the range. Roy can never seem to finish anything and he shanks life whenever he can. Roy was known as one of the best ball strikers ever in college yet in life he could never amount to anything because his mind was chocked full of inner emotional turmoil.
I am afraid if we knew the heroes of the faith a little better than we do we would find more McAvoys than Palmers. None of us are perfect nor do any of us approach perfection. God has a tendency to qualify the called instead of call the qualified into service. Why?
I believe it is because the self-impressed are beyond the point of having any real value. Their tank is full of myopic mist. Any apparent accomplishment is of their doing. Any failure is someone else’s fault.
God uses people who know and proclaim that only God could have accomplished anything in their lives. God is due all glory and praise. Romans 1:18-32 talks about what happens to people who live in vanity refusing to honor God and give Him His due praise and worth.
Are you saved? If so, then God began a good work in you and will see it through until its completion (Philippians 1:6). The load of responsibility for making that 3 footer under immense pressure has shifted from your back to His. We certainly give effort to our sanctification but not to earn it for ourselves. We go through the God-directed motions as we journey to become like Christ. His plan not ours. His power not ours. His guarantee not ours.
Now tee it up and hit it down the middle. The pressure of performance belongs to God. Ours is to obey; His is to accomplish.
Many movies, books, plays, and games have dealt with the subject of what would happen if you could go back and do your life over again. I can think of at least a dozen things I would do differently. But, really, would your life be different today if you had restarted it and came through a 2nd time?
I say no, it would not be any different at all … at least not for the better. Oh, you may have bought into Microsoft back in the early 80s and became a gazillionaire but that would only have allowed you more money to further debauch yourself. Here is how I got there…
A tiger cannot change his stripes. Proverbs says this (only in a much better way). Only God can cause flesh to appear on dry bones. Only God can save a soul. Despite making good TV, a second chance in life would result the same way as the first chance unless God intervened. Only God can save a soul. And without eternal salvation, what difference would it make if you have 12 chances to re-live part of your life?
For 2010, let’s get back to the future. Eternity lasts a really long time… Do not enter it without being covered by the blood of Jesus.