Salvation Is of God

charles-09-01-2014-rojbcIn a Bible conference several years ago, a well-known speaker brought a message on salvation. He argued that to tell unsaved people they must surrender to Christ is the same as preaching salvation by works. He defined salvation as the “unconditional gift of everlasting life given to people who believe the facts about Christ, whether or not they choose to obey Him.” And one of his main points was that salvation may or may not alter a person’s behavior. “Transformed character,” he said, “is desirable, but even if no change in lifestyle occurs, the one who has believed the facts of the gospel and received Christ can rest in the certainty of forgiveness and heaven.” That’s pervasive in our society, preaching today; multitudes approach Christ on those very terms. They think there’s no real price to pay. They respond eagerly when offered forgiveness. They respond eagerly when offered the prospect of heaven, victory over death. They have no sense of the severity of their guilt before God. They have no desire to be freed, particularly from sin’s bondage, and they certainly have no overwhelming desire to obey Christ. And I’m convinced that such people are deceived by a corrupt gospel. The faith they are receiving and the faith they are relying on is only intellectual acquiescence, or maybe emotional grasping of something or someone to solve their problems, and it will not save. Yet this is the most common form of evangelism. And many are preaching this kind of weak deceptive message.

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