Posted by: Bro. Lawrence D. | September 12, 2008

Agonizing Over Fear Part 2

I could start off this post by saying “Please disregard my last post on fear.”. But I will not. I want you to read that post. As embarrassingly honest as it is, I will use it as an object lesson. Here’s the message so that you can stop reading now if you want to, “Don’t let the standards of men allow you to doubt your salvation.” That’s it!

Today many men are preaching a subjective standard by which believers are to test their salvation. Subjectivity does not allow for a true test. Just imagine yourself in a classroom taking what was told to you would be a multiple choice exam. But when you looked down at the paper, all the choices were “A” even though there were four different answers. Answering “A” would be both right and wrong. In the end, the teacher would subjectively decide what grade you would get depending upon which “A” he/she believed you intended. Would you except that standard? I doubt it. How could the grade be fair? How could you know, really, whether you answered correctly or not. You couldn’t. And neither can a subjective standard for testing your salvation provide you with dependable assurance of your salvation.

Another problem is the fact that these men suggest that your behavior is the foundation upon which you should trust in order to know whether or not you are saved. They even go so far as to tell you what you should be feeling in your heart, thinking with your mind, and intending with your thoughts. What?! Salvation is built upon what Christ did, not upon what you now do! Examine Him! Did He satisfy God’s wrath for the sins of all those who trust in Him? Did He forever secure the salvation of those who come to Him for rescue? Did He promise that “all who come to Me, I will in no wise cast out”? Do you believe He did all these things? If so, then why replace an examination of Him, Who is perfectly Holy and Righteous and gives eternal life, with an examination of you, who is neither and can only provide eternal damnation? 

Now let me show you what someone who taught this “self-examination” stuff admitted back in 1661. This is just an excerpt :

 

Matthew Mead, 1661

“You almost persuade me to be a Christian.”
Acts 26:28

Reader, You have here one of the saddest considerations imaginable presented to you, and that is, “How far it is possible a man may go in a profession of religion—and yet, after all, fall short of salvation; how far he may run—and yet not so run as to obtain.” This, I say, is sad—but not so sad as true; for our Lord Christ does plainly attest it, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in—and shall not be able!” My design herein is, that the formal, sleepy professor may be awakened, and the hidden hypocrite discovered; but my fear is, that weak believers may be hereby discouraged; for, as it is hard to show how low a child of God may fall into sin—and yet have true grace—but that the unconverted sinner will be apt thereupon to presume; so it is as hard to show how high a hypocrite may rise in a profession—and yet have no grace—but that the true believer will be apt thereupon to despond. The prevention whereof, I have carefully endeavored, by showing, that though a man may go thus far, and yet be but almost a Christian—yet a man may fall short of this, and be a true Christian notwithstanding.

Judge not, therefore, your state by any one character you find laid down of a false professor; but read the whole, and then make a judgment; for I have cared, as not to “give children’s bread to dogs,” so not to use the dog’s whip to scare the children! Yet I could wish that this book might fall into the hands of such only whom it chiefly concerns, who “have a name to live—and yet are dead;” being busy with the “form of godliness,” but strangers to the “power of it.” These are the proper subjects of this treatise. May the Lord follow it with his blessing wherever it comes, that it may be an awakening word to all such, and especially to that generation of profligate professors with which this age abounds; who, if they keep to their church, bow the knee, talk over a few prayers—think they do enough for heaven, and hereupon judge their condition safe, and their salvation sure—though there be a hell of sin in their hearts, “and the poison of asps is under their lips;” their minds being as yet carnal and unconverted, and their conversations filthy and unsanctified.

If eternal life be of so easy attainment, and to be had at so cheap a rate—why did our Lord Christ tell us, “Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leads unto life—and few there are who find it?” And why should the apostle perplex us with such a needless injunction, “to give diligence to make our calling and election sure?” Certainly, therefore, it is no such easy thing to be saved—as many make it; and that you will see plainly in the following discourse.”

(BLD) First of all, notice how he made it his aim to awaken the “sleepy professor”. Let me tell you something straight up, right now. You can not awaken, scare, persuade or influence a “sleepy professor”. Read Matthew 7 and tell me those people in verse 22 weren’t supremely confident. So much so as to stand before Our Lord and Savior and tell Him all their accomplishments. Please!

Secondly, notice how he knew the possibilities of discouraging the “weak” believer. How did he know that? Could it be that he knew he would be offering subjectivity? I know I’m asking this almost 350 years later but what about the guys who do it today. Do you ever notice how they “want to make it clear I’m not talking about perfection, I’m talking about direction.”? What if your current direction appears backwards, even to you? Does that mean you’re not saved? Wow! And ask yourself, does a pure gospel message have to be prefaced by the preacher with what he is not saying?

Thirdly, he denies that eternal life is easy to obtain based on a misinterpretation of Christ’ dear words about He Himself being the “narrow gate/way”.

The rest you can figure out on your own. I know that you are starting to see the trouble with trusting anything other than Christ for your salvation. The only fear that any believer should have is the fear commanded by the bible. The loving, reverant fear of God. Any other fear is not of God! Be blessed! I love you!

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Good post here. Why is it the Gospel message made to be so hard? Is it not simple? I think so and we must trust in Christ Jesus alone for our salvation. I know the times I have sinned, I will think to myself, “I am not saved!” But looking and obeying the Scriptures proves otherwise.

    Lots of times we use Matthew 7 to justify certain moral acts we do. But like you have stated context is key. Jesus Christ begins teaching on the two paths in Matthew 5. Why doesn’t Jesus say if sining and in Me, get back on the narrow path? Exactly because if you’re in Christ Jesus, you’re already in the narrow way!

    My wife and I read the post, thought it was wonderful. May His grace be with you

    Karsten Miller

  2. So the narrow path isn’t a set of moral rights or wrongs?

    Brother as we both agree the risk of shaking the faith of one of these little ones is not worth the value of shaking a false professor. In other words. Just say you had a wasp hide in the tree, on the tree were the most beautiful blossoms that will become a harvest of apples. What happens if we set the tree on fire to kill the wasps? Is there a better way? Sure there is. Or it seems like we throw grenades in friendly zones to snuff out a couple of terrosit. The false professor has already put on civilian clothes so you can tell who he is.

    Allow Jesus to be herd seperator, we will do what we do and preach Christ and Him crucified Jesus knows those who are his and lets not offend one of his young ones that isn’t worth the risk my brother.

  3. I’ll say this the preacher never really checking his own self out first. You are either in or out with Christ thats it. None of this save this week because i came to church. Then next week i don’t
    no if i’m really save because i sin. These types up and down rides can drive you in the nut house by these types of preaching. I came from that type of preaching. The problem is there is no balance in
    this type of preaching. They are trying to fear people to Christ or to stay with him.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: