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The Daily Word of Righteousness
You Shall Not Surely Die!
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. (John 15:6)
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21)
I have just finished reading a current book exhorting Christian people to shake themselves and begin serving God. The emphasis is on turning away from our carnal pursuits and making Jesus the Lord of our life, particularly in the area of going forth to reach the unsaved (when are the Christians going to get saved?).
Toward the beginning of the book the author, a godly man and excellent writer, stipulated that his words must be interpreted as exhortations to Christians, not as condemnation, for we stand in the grace of God. The idea seems to be that we ought to get busy and serve God but underneath is the safety net. If we do not heed the call to action there may be regrettable consequences, but in the final hour we will be ushered into Paradise by grace.
As we prepared a while back to go on the Internet we told several people that we are going to present only the fruit of the last several decades of thought, preaching, and writing—material that believers of every persuasion can accept and profit from. We will show how wonderful it is to be a Christian and offer nuggets of truth that inspire and edify. Isn't that nice?
But as we read the author's disclaimer concerning standing in grace, the fire burned inside me. How can we be "nice" when the Church is in danger and God's will in Christ is being frustrated!
We have nothing but good to say about the author and his book. He has done us all a service by pointing out the backslidden condition of numerous evangelical believers.
We would like to point out that if we urge people to repent, and then state that if we do not repent we cannot be condemned because we are saved by grace, is something like telling a cardiac patient he ought to exercise and change his diet but if he doesn't there will be no further angina pains.
Wouldn't this be wonderful if it were true? I could go back to my regular breakfast of coffee, fried eggs, and sausage. Instead I am eating oatmeal, bran muffins, and an aspirin. Why? Because grace doesn't cover the grease.
What runner can drive himself to the last searing thrust if he knows he already has won the race?
What soldier will expose himself in a dangerous charge against the enemy if he has been told the war already is won as far as he is concerned? Maybe a few dedicated men would. But what if the war has not been won as far as he is concerned but he has been deceived by the enemy who wants him to stop fighting?
What American Christian will turn away from the lethargy decried by the book in question (and by much current preaching for that matter, for which we thank God) if he understands that even if he does not begin to serve God fervently he still will go to a mansion in Paradise when he dies?
To be continued.