Pastor Michael Nault discusses the tradgedy of a cross less gospel and how the very power of our message is EMPTIED!
and ministry partner Pastor Mike Nault.
Notes to follow below shortly.
According to today’s evangelical teaching, it is easy to be saved. All you have to do is “accept Jesus” or “try Jesus” or “Ask Jesus into your heart”. If you are then comfortable with Him, well, you have a ticket to heaven but, if not, then you are no worse off than before and the devil will be more than happy to take you back (at least, that’s what a sign I saw in front of a church said).
We tend to view salvation as something that we get by saying a prayer (“Do I want to go to heaven? Of course, I do.” “Good, then let’s pray and you can ask Jesus to come into your heart and He will and heaven will one day be your home.”), rather than something that God grants to us when we see our deep need as sinners for the grace that only He can give. If this is true, and just saying a prayer or being baptized (“Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?” “I do.” “Step in here, please. I now baptize you….welcome to the family of God.” )then it’s mental ascent rather than repentance that saves us. According to the Word of God, that’s simply not so.
Throughout Scripture, we are called to repentance if we would be saved. Luke 5:32 says, “I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Luke 24:47 adds, “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” 2 Corinthians 7:10, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” And, 2 Timothy 2:25, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” Finally, 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
These verses prove that, not only is repentance required for salvation but that God Himself is the One Who calls us to it. We want to be saved by acknowledging that Jesus is Who He said He is (James 2:9, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble.”) rather than by God’s method: a supernatural saving experience accompanied by repentance.
True repentance (turning away from sin never to willingly engage in it or be enslaved in it again) is rare in today’s churches. We have many on our rolls who have prayed the “sinner’s prayer” and yet have never changed at all. We have many who attend church regularly and yet live the same as unbelievers do–they dress the same, conduct their families and business the same and are entertained the exact same way as the lost. We have many who, because they prayed this prayer (or were baptized), believe that they will one day live with the Lord and yet they rarely pray or study the Word of God and cry “Liberty!” or “Works!” if they are asked about their unholy lives.
In short, we have many who claim Jesus’ holy name and yet live the lives of a “crossless Christian”. These people desire to have a Savior Who will keep them out of hell and yet they reject Him as Lord of their lives. They want a Savior Who will save them from the consequences of sin but not One Who will actually insist that they love Him enough to obey Him and stop sinning and grow in righteousness (Luke 6:46, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”)
These things ought not to be. Who are we that we think it is so easy for us to be saved when it was so very difficult that only God Himself could accomplish it? Why would we believe that our salvation should not cost us anything in our lives here on earth when it cost Jesus everything? If salvation were so very cheap, shouldn’t someone have told all of the countless martyrs for the faith through the centuries that they were going about it the wrong way?
Salvation isn’t cheap. It cost the Son of God His very life (being crushed by His Father to pay for our sins); it has to cost us something. It does. Our repentance. A change of heart and a change of life. Imparted and imputed holiness.
Imparted holiness: the Father imparts Jesus’ holiness to us when we repented unto salvation. Imputed holiness: we continue to grow in holiness as Hebrews 12:14 says, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Two parts of the same whole: Jesus’ saving work saves us when we repent; loving Him for saving us, we strive to grow in holiness: that is, we are so very grateful at being saved, that we want to please Him and thus we obey Him. It isn’t works. It’s love.
Crossless Christianity doesn’t cost us anything but it also doesn’t achieve anything for us. True Christianity is repentance leading to salvation. It costs us everything but it gives us everything and more in return.
From the upcoming book, “The Followers Of The Way” by Anna Wood
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