A story is told of a Minnesota radio station that reported about a stolen car in California. Police were staging an intense search for the vehicle and the driver. On the front seat of the stolen car sat a box of crackers that, unknown to the thief, were laced with poison to be used as rat bait. The police and the owner of the car were now more interested in apprehending the thief to save his life rather than to recover the car.
For too long, many of us have been fleeing from God in an attempt to escape His punishment, when in fact all we are actually doing is eluding His rescue. We all need saving, we’re driving about like lunatics in stolen cars with death sitting on the seat next to us. Sin has poisoned the human race from the beginning, the consequence of which is eternal death. We need to be apprehended, not because we’re criminals but because we need to be rescued; we need salvation.
The Gospel of Christ is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. The pure Gospel message is this: “if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:10)
God calls us to Repent
By the Holy Spirit, the prophet Jeremiah, called God’s people to repentance. The people of Judah and Israel had abandoned the basics of God’s Law and embraced the worship of foreign gods. Through Jeremiah, God was calling His people to return to the fundamental truths of His Word. Sadly, they refused and suffered the consequences of their rebellion.
This Jewish rebellion was indicative of the rebellion of all mankind. Consequently, by His love and grace, more than 600 years after the Jews returned to Jerusalem, God sent His only begotten Son as Messiah, to reconcile all mankind to God’s glorious righteousness. Indeed, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
For God made Him who had no sin, to be sin for us so that in Him, we might become the righteousness of God. And thus the Church of Christ was born. His Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the gentile.
Sadly, through the ages, the fundamental purity of the Gospel has become distorted by popular opinion. In fact, right from the very end of the first century, man’s opinions and selfish ambition began to creep into the Church. Therefore, Jesus Himself, gave instructions to the main churches spread out in Asia Minor, via the last of His foundation apostles, John. To the Church in Sardis He instructed John to write:
“I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent.” (Revelation 3:2-3)
In this postmodern 21st Century liberal society, Christian moral ethics and the Biblical absolutes have been so blurred by that same popular opinion that, even in the Church we have lost sight of the basics of our faith. Therefore, Body of Christ, we need to wake up, return to God and strengthen what remains.
Strengthen What Remains
We are seeking to strengthen our salvation today. Jesus is the source of our salvation. Therefore, let us return to Jesus. He is “the way, the truth and the life and there is no other path to the Father but by Him”. The result of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus, as the Son of God and Son of Man, is God incarnate. That is to say, the man Jesus is the embodiment of the eternal holy and absolutely righteous God.
You see, Jesus needed to be man (Son of Man) so that He could suffer temptation and physical death on our part. But, because Jesus is also God (Son of God), after He bore the consequence of our sin on the Cross, He rose from the dead. God made Jesus a sin offering so that in Him, if we admit to our sin and put our faith in Him, we could become the righteousness of God. God loved you and me so much in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus did it! Jesus reconciled us to the glory of God. Jesus made the way for our salvation. Today, strengthen what remains: your appreciation of salvation!
Gratitude for Salvation
God is calling us to strengthen what remains. Do you know Jesus? Have you confessed your sin and put your faith in Christ’s death and resurrection? Do you call Jesus Lord and Saviour? Then strengthen your understanding of the fundamentals of your salvation with gratitude to our loving Heavenly Father for making the way back to Him, though Jesus. God loved you and me so much that He sent His one and only begotten Son, that if we believe in Him we will have eternal life.
None of us can earn our salvation, because none of is qualified to match the standards of God’s perfect goodness. Therefore, let’s fall back on Jesus! Church isn’t our salvation. Worship isn’t our salvation. Good works aren’t our salvation. Giving money isn’t our salvation. Serving God isn’t our salvation. Watching Christian TV or reading Christian literature isn’t our salvation. Only Jesus is our salvation. So, let’s wake up and strengthen what remains; strengthen our gratitude for salvation through Jesus.
Do It Now!
Jesus said, “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
If you’ve never really given your heart to Jesus, do it now. If you’ve never really accepted your salvation by faith, come to Jesus now.
Pray with me…
Dear God, I’ve been driving around like a lunatic for too long, with death sitting on the seat right next to me. I realise today that I can’t do this in my own strength. Forgive me for clouding my walk with You by my own self-centred opinions and ambitions. Today, I humble myself and ask You to come into my life, dear Jesus. I confess and repent of all sin. I believe that You died and rose again so that I can be forgiven and cleansed. Today, Jesus, I put my faith in You; I give my life to You and declare You to be my personal Lord and saviour. Dear Lord, strengthen my appreciation of my salvation. Amen.
This article was written by Dudley Anderson of Sure Reality Media and pastor of Cornerstone Family Church. Dudley has a background in radio and is the author of God-Tracking Through the Year and Overflowing Hope. He also writes a weekly GodTracker devotional.