[forthright] Do We Feel Guilty for Being Saved? / Hope Springs Eternal

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 05:13:33 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine 
http://www.forthright.net 
Straight to the Cross

Richard Mansel goes to the Bible to answer ... "The
Most Important Question." Great for classes, groups,
evangelistic studies and individuals.
http://forthrightpress.com/#MostImportant


COLUMN: LIVING THE FAITH

Do They Love the Church?
 by Richard Mansel, managing editor

One key aspect of the change agents' view of the Lord's
Church as a denomination is guilt.

In a discussion of the spread of Islam in Europe, we
find the following astute analysis:

   "What we are faced with is the suicidal
   guilt of our fellow citizens who feel that
   we Westerners have no right to protect our
   nations from demographic invasion because
   past Westerners committed wrongs against
   other nations. The liberals among us, in
   effect, seek to cleanse their guilt by
   giving up our civilization as a sacrificial
   offering, by submitting to their own
   destruction. I believe they would feel a
   certain thrill of righteous satisfaction at
   seeing the West destroyed. Their penance
   will have been paid. As Lincoln put it, 'the
   blood drawn by the sword will have paid for
   that drawn by the lash.'"/1

Many change agents feel guilt at the idea of being in
the Lord's church while everyone else resides outside
of the body of Christ. Sermons or articles comparing
the Church to the Ark, for example, sends this guilt
into a rage. God decided that the faithful were in the
ark and everyone else, no matter how sincere, were lost
in the flood.

The Church is the same way. If we are in Christ, as
Scripture dictates, then we are among the saved. All
others will be lost.

Revelation 20:11-15 provides a glimpse of what will
happen in the end. Because of our works, we will enter
heaven or hell, for all eternity (Matthew 25:31-33,46).
Christ will be coming back to receive those in his body
and everyone else will be lost.

Sincerity, loving hearts, benevolent acts, titles,
education, and a host of other concepts will have
absolutely no bearing on our eternal souls. The only
criterion will be whether we are in the Church
belonging to Christ and whether we have been faithfully
obedient in shining his light and proclaiming his Word
to a lost and dying world. Being in Christ, we should
be so filled with Jesus that we will do all that we can
to serve him (Ephesians 2:8-10).

To say that there is only one way to salvation is too
narrow-minded and exclusive for some. The doors must be
flung open so that all can be saved. They say that
Christ was of love and grace, not rejection and hate.
We must all come together on what we agree upon and be
one.

Platitudes aside, creating artificial criterion for
entering the Lord's Church and the eternal heaven will
win points with men, but will have no effect on God.
God doesn’t read polls nor engage in popular opinion.

Before time ever began, God decided how we would enter
the church and remain within its borders. Before
liberalism, progressivism and conservatism, there
existed the "settled word of God" (Psalm 119:89).

Since this loving, authoritative act preceded man's
opinions, excuses and obfuscations, it continues
unabated without them, as if they didn't exist. God’s
ways are not man's ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

God's way needs no help from man. He is perfect, we are
sinful (Romans 3:9,23). God is perfectly capable
without us (Job 38-41).

Let us allow his plan to work and stay out of the way!
_____________

1/ http://tinyurl.com/yu784a

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COLUMN: HEAVENLY CONNECTIONS

Hope Springs Eternal
 by Tim Hall

Spring was a special time for students of Chad
Elementary School. Like a scene from "The Waltons," the
students of that three-room school in Eastern Kentucky
rushed out the door each day for recess. Spring was a
time to cast off those bulky coats and run in the sun-
warmed air. We would find on these days new rivulets of
water on our playground. Underground springs had
swelled to the point that they had to find outlets.

Those springs didn't last long. As spring gave way to
summer, the ground became dry once more. Other places
in the mountains boasted year-round springs. At any
time you could find water flowing from within the
earth.

God has the ability to create springs where formerly
there were none. How well we remember the famous
incident in the desert when Moses struck a rock with
his rod. There was no water to be found moments
earlier, but at God's direction gushing streams issued
forth to satisfy that multitude of people and their
animals (Exodus 17:1-7).

God's ability to refresh his people has not diminished
through the ages. He made this promise in Isaiah:
"Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring
forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road
in the wilderness and rivers in the desert … to give
drink to my people, my chosen" (Isaiah 43:19,20, NKJV).

The promise in Isaiah was not meant to be interpreted
literally, though God had shown his ability to bring
forth water from a rock. Israel needed spiritual
refreshment, water to assuage their souls. God was the
source of that blessing, too. His springs would
faithfully satisfy their needs.

Jesus renewed once more the offer of water for the
soul: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.
He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out
of his heart will flow rivers of living water" (John
7:37,38).

Not a trickle does Jesus offer thirsty disciples, nor
even a mere sprinkling, but rivers. There is abundant
refreshment for those who come to the Lord.

"Hope springs eternal" wrote Alexander Pope in the 18th
century. The source of that stream, however, began
centuries before Pope. Only in Christ do we find that
which our souls need most.

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