By Justin Edwards
The following message from John MacArthur was one of many tools God used to finally bring me to my knees in March 2009. As I shared in my testimony HERE, my professed Christian life prior to last year was one where I was not ready to give all control to God. I was not ready to surrender to Him completely, I was not ready to give Him the reigns, I was not ready to submit to His authority, I was not ready to obey His will, and I was not ready to deny myself, pick up my cross, and follow the Lord Jesus Christ daily. At best, I was a Christian living in doubt because of the choices I was making; at worst, I was a false convert with a false security in salvation. Only God knows who I was in Christ for all of those years.
What about you?
If you are one who struggles in understanding what it means to surrender everything to Jesus Christ, or is sitting on the fence in doing so, I encourage you to read my 2 testimonies at the link above and watch the following video. Then visit the many resources on the blog and use them to drive you to examine yourself to see if you are truly in the faith as the Apostle Paul exhorts in 2 Corinthians 13:5:
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
The book of 1 John 1-5 is the best place for you to start examining yourself with the Word of God and is the most important test you will ever take. Please don't put this off any longer. There is a reason you are reading this post - there are no coincidences with God. Yield to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and surrender your everything to the Lord Jesus Christ. Until then and at best, you will continue living in doubt having no biblical assurance of salvation; at worst, you are living a lie, perhaps unaware, and the consequence will be an eternity suffering the terrible Wrath of God.
Thanks to Holly Dye from ROE for providing the transcript.
Well, the old theologians used to say that in the human heart, there’s a God-shaped vacuum that only God can satisfy. The book of Proverbs says if you pursue riches, riches will never satisfy. The heart of man is never ever satisfied in those things. However, being satisfied with God, then you can enjoy all the things that God gives you, because you see them as coming from His good hand. If you’re just pursuing riches, pursuing riches…you know, the old Rockefeller story, “You have so much,” somebody said to him, “how much do you want?” And he said, “Just a little bit more.” If that’s what you live for then you’re never going to be satisfied, and ultimately, that is not going to satisfy your heart. God alone, Christ alone, satisfies the heart and then everything you have, even the smallest things, becomes a cause for joy and thanksgiving.
Jesus said, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself.” In other words, abandon all your own ambition, all your own will, all your own direction, your own choices, and totally and fully submit your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is to say it is the end of me and I commit my life to follow Christ, whatever the cost, even if it’s a cross, and to obey Him. And that was not what the rich young ruler was willing to do. He is a classic illustration of someone who will not deny himself. He wanted to hold on to his own will, he wanted to hold on to his own pride, he wanted to hold on to his own money, he wanted to hold onto his own ambition, his own sovereignty, if you will, in his own life.
The competing issues are these, very simple: The gospel says: give your life to Christ and He rules. And if you’re not willing to do that its because you want to keep the rule of your own life. The rich young man wanted his own life for himself. He wanted to control his own life. He had his choice sins. He had his choice religion and he wanted to hang onto control. It’s that simple. Coming to Christ means you give up the control of your life and you yield it to Christ. That’s what kept him from salvation. He was unwilling to do that.
People are happy for you to believe in God. They think its great that you believe in God. People applaud the idea of believing in God. As long as that God is not the God of the Bible. Because once you affirm the God of the Bible, then you get the God of the Bible. Then you get the Law of the God of the Bible. You get the Commandments of the God of the Bible. You get the morality of the God of the Bible. You get the holiness of the God of the Bible…the justice and righteousness of the God of the Bible and you get the punishment of the God of the Bible. So, you have to face your own sinfulness, you have to face the reality that you have violated the law of God. That you’re headed toward judgment and eternal hell and in order to be saved from that you have to turn from your sin and embrace the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.
Bottom line is men love their sin. People love their sin. The Bible says men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Now there are all kinds of gods that aren’t going to impinge on that, all kinds of religions, spiritual ideas, but not the God of the Bible. So, to say that you believe in the God of Scripture is then to say that you believe in the Law of the God of Scripture and the judgment of the God of Scripture as well as the salvation of the God of Scripture. It’s that narrowness that offends the sinner because the sinner wants to hold on to his sin.
The rejection of Christianity is not intellectual. It’s not some intellectual problem, “I just can’t get there intellectually.” There are endless reasons, logical reasons, to believe in the God of the Scripture and the Scripture that God has written. It’s moral. It’s moral. They love the darkness because their deeds are evil, not because they can’t process it intellectually, but because their deeds are evil and they cherish those.
We always say that people aren’t truly saved until they are truly aware that they are lost. See, that’s why you can’t just go in and say, “ Hey let me tell you about this wonderful message. Jesus loves you. God loves you just the way you are. He wants to bless you; bump you up a few notches on the scale of success. Help you hit home runs. Straighten out your slice in golf. Make you feel good about yourself. Give you “Your best world…your fulfillment…your purpose.” That’s not the gospel.
The gospel is: He wants to deliver you from your sins, which are going to condemn you to eternal hell. And until a person understands the reality of their lostness, and fully comes to grips with that, that they have sinned against God, violated God’s Law, that they cannot remedy that, that they are headed for hell, that they will never have any purpose in this life, any meaning in this life, and certainly in the life to come, apart from salvation through Jesus Christ. They don’t reach a level of desperation, which drives them to a true salvation.
(HT: Refocusing Our Eyes)