Monday, November 10, 2014

Being Good Can't Get You In, Being Bad Can't Keep You Out - Or, the Father Writes a Will

I once talked to a young man who told me he could not be a Christian.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because I like my beer too much. I'd rather be able to drink beer."

He did not say this mournfully, but defiantly. He waited for me to start pleading with him. I did not, because this is a typical attitude of the non-elect.

It is illustrative of how some Christians view salvation. Be very, very "good", and Christ will save you. Be bad and His blood is not sufficient to wash you clean.

The contrary view, held by many is, "If we are saved by grace--no matter how bad we are--and 'once saved always saved', why can't we sin as much as we want? After all, we can't lose our salvation."

Now I'm going to say something that may shock you, but this person is correct! So what happens when a person, once saved, continues to sin? First they do remain saved, but the Holy Spirit begins to work on them to counter their sin natures. Yet the Bible plainly tells us that we can resist, or grieve, the Holy Spirit. The result of this can be as drastic as death--an early death--to save such a one from continuing in sin.

I offer my little parable to try to explain this. Suppose a very wealthy father writes a will. In it he stipulates that no member of his family will ever be disowned, no matter what they do. One of the family members says, "I'm going to live it up. After all, my father promised never to disown me."

The family lawyer--let's call him Mr. Preecher--calls him aside. "I don't think you have read all the conditions in your father's will. Sure, you will never be disowned, you'll always be a family member. But your father has great land and wealth. The will says that your riotous living will disqualify you from inheriting any of these. You'll still be a family member, but you will lose your inheritance."

The famous parable of the prodigal son is always poorly taught. Remember, the son is forgiven by his loving father. But he has wasted his inheritance--spent it all. Now that he has returned to the farm, he will end up working for his brother. He will have no share of the farm.

No comments:

Post a Comment