Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fearing the Fire A Flawed Foundation?

In a recent fellowship gathering the conversation
moved to flawed presentations of the gospel. I suggested one of the biggest problems that looms before the sharing of the gospel is the motive to become saved or to become a Christian.

I suggested that merely or simply praying the "sinner's prayer" to escape or be rescued from hell was quite possibly an improper motive for salvation. I maintain that merely wanting to go to heaven or wanting to escape hell may not be sufficient reason to trust Christ. I also suggested that unless the Holy Spirit regenerates an individual, that individual will not come to Christ.

The reason I think that wanting to go to heaven or wanting to escape the fires of hell is insufficient is that they do not address the real issue. Rarely, does one who desires to escape hell have the desire to saved from their sin and to be transformed into the image of Christ. In other words, many who "embrace" the gift of salvation (not necessarily the Savior) do not want to forsake their carnality or their sinfulness.

I was certainly poo-pooed if not censured for my thought process. Naturally, this is OK with me since I have had some differing ideas with fellow brothers whom I love dearly. It was nice however to come across this quote on Christmas Eve by one of my hero's of the faith and favorite dead guy, Arthur W. Pink:


"The nature of Christ's salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Savior from hell rather than a Savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness." 


3 comments:

writing for pleasure said...

A very thought provoking issue Gregg.I can't think of anyone would want to see the fires of Hell.

Yvonne.

lyn said...

The sinner's prayer and the belief that sinners have free will have produced more false converts than Roman Catholicism! Many squawk at the RCC's salvation by works and yet, say nothing at the wildly popular Protestant belief that you can either choose Christ or reject Him. The problem lies, as J. C. Ryle rightly points out, in an inaccurate view of sin. Who can see their need for a Savior if sin is lightly addressed? From Ryle's book entitled 'holiness' he states, "We must simply repent and do our first works. We must return to first principles. We must go back to “the old paths.” We must sit down humbly in the presence of God, look the whole subject in the face, examine clearly what the Lord Jesus calls sin, and what the Lord Jesus calls “doing His will.”
We must then try to realize that it is terribly possible to live a careless, easy-going, half-worldly life, and yet at the same time to
maintain evangelical principles and call ourselves evangelical people! Once let us see that sin is far viler, and far nearer to us, and sticks more closely to us than we supposed, and we shall be led, I trust and believe, to get nearer to Christ. Once drawn nearer to Christ, we shall drink more deeply out of His fullness, and learn more thoroughly to “live the life of faith” in Him, as St. Paul did.
Once taught to live the life of faith in Jesus, and abiding in Him, we shall bear more fruit, shall find ourselves more strong for duty, more patient in trial, more watchful over our poor weak hearts, and more like our Master in all our little daily ways. Just in proportion as we realize how much Christ has done for us, shall we labour to do much for Christ. Much forgiven, we shall love much. In short, as the Apostle says, “with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image...even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2Co 3:18).
We may depend upon it, men will never come to Jesus, and stay
with Jesus, and live for Jesus, unless they really know why they are to come, and what is their need!
Those whom the Spirit draws to Jesus are those whom the Spirit has convinced of sin. Without thorough conviction of sin, men
may seem to come to Jesus and follow Him for a season, but they will soon fall away and return to the world.
Concerning the extent of this vast moral disease of man called sin, let us beware that we make no mistake. The only safe ground
is that which is laid for us in Scripture. “Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart” is by nature evil, and that continually
(Gen 6:5). “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer 17:9). Sin is a disease which pervades and runs
through every part of our moral constitution and every faculty of our minds. The understanding, the affections, the reasoning powers, the will, are all more or less infected. Even the conscience is so blinded that it cannot be depended on as a sure guide, and
is as likely to lead men wrong as right, unless it is enlightened by the Holy Ghost. In short, “from the sole of the foot even unto the
head there is no soundness” about us (Isa 1:6). The disease may be veiled under a thin covering of courtesy, politeness, good manners, and outward decorum; but it lies deep down in the constitution.
The plain truth is that a right knowledge of sin lies at the root of all saving Christianity." ~ J.C. Ryle, from 'Holiness', which can be read at http://www.chapellibrary.org/files/9113/7643/3246/hpa1.pdf
I believe Ryle's book should be required reading for every believer who professes Christ!

Thank you for the quote from Pink, I have read much of his writings and have been so very blessed. His writings on the attributes of God, as well as the Lord's prayer are excellent as well!

writing for pleasure said...

Gregg thanks for your comment about Feedpost but I clicked on a link that they sent me on an e/mail and your blog is there also.....thought I'd let you know.
Yvonne.