2,3 John, Psalm 38
What does the guarantee of spending eternity with Christ mean to us and how does that manifest itself in how we live and act. Jim Elliot. along with four of his missionary colleagues believed and trusted this so much that it cost them their earthly lives. Reaching out to the Auca Indians in Ecuador for 6 months by plane, by trading with them in a plane to ground system, they finally felt they had established their trust, and approached them in person on January 8, 1956. When they arrived on the river bed that day they were slaughtered by the awaiting tribesmen. Jim Elliot was quoted saying, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Their deaths were not in vain, as Elisabeth Elliot and others related to the dead missionaries came back soon after and made peaceful contact with the Auca people and won their hearts for Christ. Not only that, but the story of these martyred missionaries inspired new generations of missionaries to follow in their path. This unswerving stance on the part of Christian missionaries in China, the Middle East, and Africa has resulted in more Christian persecution and martyrdom in the last century than all other centuries combined. But it is through the persecuted church that throngs of people are coming into a saving relationship with Jesus. It is only by this hope in the reality of Jesus and His guarantee of eternity that people are willing to step out like this in faith.
John writes in 1 John 5:11-13, "And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God." These verses truly destroy any statements like, "All roads lead to God or salvation." Jesus claimed exclusivity, in John 14:6, Jesus said,, "...I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." We read in John 3:36, "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." There are so many popular lies which challenge these statements by Jesus and John. In our world of moral relativism, people will state as long as you are sincere and good intentioned, surely God will receive you. But if I had to choose, I would take the witness of God over the witness of man. Scripture states you either have Jesus or you are lost. Many feel that it sounds arrogant when you say that you know that you will go to heaven and that you can't know for sure. But Scripture is clear that for those of us who do not depend on the the good works that we do, but in repentance and acceptance of what Jesus finished on the cross, we can boldly stand in confidence based on the foundation of Scripture stating by His grace we will be in heaven.
Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." Since we know that with a true belief in Jesus your eternal salvation is secure, how should this manifest in our daily lives. We should boldly reach out to those who are lost, continually, if we truly love them. We should concern ourselves less with the things of this earth which are momentary and will one day be gone, and more on those things will not perish. Jesus states in Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Since we are ambassadors on earth, but citizens in heaven (Philippians 3:20), let us secure ourselves in confidence on the guarantee offered by Jesus Christ and step out in faith.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: