to this publication
A proper understanding is necessary to one's success in any field of endeavor.
Religion is no exception. A person must understand what the will of the Lord
is before he can do it, and Jesus said one cannot enter into the kingdom of
God until he does the will of the Father. He said, "Not every one that saith
unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that
doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).
People are woefully divided on how to be saved because of a failure to
understand how or why man is lost. When we come to understand this, it will
help greatly in understanding what we must do to be saved. Most people know
that man is lost because of sin, but so many do not understand what sin is.
Some think it is something that is inherited from their ancestors all the
way back to Adam. Some think it is a state that was established by an
eternal decree of God. Others think it is a moral issue of some sort, but
are unable to explain it.
WE ARE SEPARATED FROM GOD BY OUR SINS
Sin is said in the Bible to be the thing that separates man from God. Isaiah
59:1,2 reads, "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot
save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have
separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from
you, that he will not hear." This tells us that because of sin man is lost.
Transversely, in becoming saved a man is freed from his sin. Matthew 1:21,
reads, "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people from their sins."
It is not reasonable that the thing that separates us from God and causes us
to be lost would be so vague in the Bible that we could not tell exactly
what it is. It is described in the Scriptures in terms that all can
understand. It is said to be "transgression" of Divine Law. "Whosoever
committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of
the law" (1 John 3:4). Another means of committing sin is described by James
4:17, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it
is sin." One more sin is defined in Romans 14:23, "And he that doubteth is
damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of
faith is sin."
WE HAVE ALL SINNED
When God gives a law and man breaks it, he is a sinner in the sight of God
and is lost. When man fails to do what the will of God says, he sins and is
lost. When one does something in religion that is not in the word of God it
is not of faith, and is therefore a sin. To be saved means that one must get
forgiveness of these sins.
All men and women who have come to the state of accountability are required
of God to hear, and believe, and obey His law. In this age His law is the
gospel of Christ. A person is a sinner in the sight of God until he obeys
it. The Scriptures say that the person who fails to obey the gospel will be
punished forever. Listen to 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9... "And to you who are
troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven
with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know
not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be
punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and
from the glory of his power."
UNTIL WE ACCEPT THE TRUTH THAT WE HAVE SINNED WE WILL NEVER SEEK SALVATION
A man may have good morals, but he is a sinner and lost until he obeys the
gospel. "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is
none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all
gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none
that doeth good, no, not one" Romans 3:10-12). If a man rejects any command
of the will of God he is disobedient and is lost.
To be saved by the gospel of Christ, one must keep every precept and not
violate a single one. A man violates it if he goes outside of it for any
religious name or practice, or alters it in any way. 2 John 9,10,11 says,
"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath
not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father
and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine,
receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that
biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." Here we are told that
we are held accountable for going beyond the will of God, but we are also
guilty if we encourage others who are false teachers and transgressors of
God's will. Our forgiveness and salvation comes through obedience to God,
and our encouragement of others in doing the same.
A person who feels like he or she has never "sinned enough" to go to hell
cannot sympathize with other sinners. Wasn't Jesus a marvelous Savior! He
did no sin neither did He say anything sinful, yet he understood and
sympathized and befriended sinners to save their souls. WHEN YOU AND I COME
TO A GENUINE REALIZATION THAT WE HAVE BEEN SAVED FROM ACTUAL DAMNING SINS
WHICH WE HAVE COMMITTED, THEN, AND ONLY THEN, WE WILL LOVE SINNERS, LONG FOR
THEIR REDEMPTION, AND WORK TOWARD THEIR SOUL'S SALVATION. Remember this–
Picking and choosing who you want to see go to heaven and who you don't want
saved, marks you as someone who is not like the Lord and most probably lost
– R. N.
"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just
man, and he will increase in learning" (Psalms 9:9)
A CHARACTER QUIZ
1. If you found a purse with $1,000, would you give it to the owner if no
one would ever know you found it?
2. If you could advance yourself by unfair methods, would you do it if no
one would ever find out you were unfair?
3. If the conductor failed to collect your fare, would you volunteer to pay
4. If there were no locks on any house, store or bank in town, would you
take anything if no one would ever find out?
5. If you were in a partnership business and your partner died, would you
pay his relatives their fair share, even though you were not compelled by
law to do so?
6. If you were an employer trying to hire an efficient, honest, loyal,
copetent employee, would you hire yourself at the pay you are receiving now.
7. If you are an employer would you like to be working for a boss who
provides the wages, hours, and working conditions you provide?
8. If you are a parent, would you like to be the child of a parent like you
9. If you had your choice, would you like to move to a community of people
who fervently worship, offer as genuine love, care, kindness, forgivness and
service to others like you do?
10. If you had to live with someone just like you are for the rest of your
life, would you look forward to it as a wonderful opportunity and privilege?
(Adapted from a quiz by P.V. Prochnow)
Have we forgotten the principle which our Lord set down for all who would be
His disciples? He said, "Do to others as you would have them do to you"
(Luke 6:31). Again, "Do to others as you would have them do to you" (Matthew
Is this the guage by which you measure your own actions? Is this the way you
conduct what you say, and do as you interact with others in all
circumstances? Is it really???
PLEASE STOP AND THINK
About 40 years ago, the 19,308-ton Tonan Maru, mothership of the Tonan Maru
whaling fleet went to the Antartic Ocean, returned with a cargo of 1,029
tons of whale meat and 1,233 tons of whale oil. The fleet, owned by the
Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd., competed with eighteen whaling fleets from five
countries including Japan, Norway, Britain, the Netherlands and the Soviet
Union in what is called the Whaling Olympics. The fleet caught 898 whales
and produced 21,197 tons of whale meat, 12,302 tons of whale oil and 8,826
kilograms of liver oil. This same event would probably not be allow today,
because of environmentalists.
However, the Bible says, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after
our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over
the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over
every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (Genesis 1:26).
Don't you wonder if those whalers ever thought about the 72nd Psalm, verse 9
saying, "the Lord who has doninion from sea to sea, and from the river unto
the ends of the earth." To us that whaling event seems tremendously awesome
but then we remember that God is in control of it all, even the ocean
itself, and is the one who "gave to the sea his decree, that the waters
should not pass his commandment, when he appointed the foundations of the
earth" (Proverbs 8:29).
When you realize that God notes the fall of one sparrow, when you understand
God knows how many hairs you have on your head, and you finally accept that
you cannot actually change color of one hair on your head, then it might
dawn on you that God is in control. When you come to this knowledge, you
begin to feel genuine humility; you you won't faign meekness, when you come
to know that God is really in charge. Then you'll begin see the need to
submit to His Will.
Do you recall in Matthew 20 how that the mother of two asked Jesus to allow
her sons to sit on His right hand and His left hand when He came into His
kingdom? Of course, they thought it was going to be an earthly kingdom. The
other apostles were filled with indignation. Then Jesus called them all to
Him and said, "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion
over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it
shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be great among you, let him be
your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your
servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to
minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
In view of all this don't you feel guilty wanting to be a "big shot" and
rule over others...to be a Diotrephes? For shame!