The Truth and The Sacrifice.

Oxygen is critical. We don’t think about that often though. We live and breathe and don’t think about breathing in and out oxygen. It fuels our cells and blood and body. It is so needed. Yet it is most often ignored. Until the day that you get your head held underwater. You fear drowning. You don’t know what to do. You feel scared and helpless. You run out of the oxygen that you stored up in your lungs after a deep breath and can only now breathe in water. And this doesn’t work. Water can’t do what the oxygen does. At last the hand holding your head down in the water releases and you come up to breathe. The experience however changes you. It changes your perspective. You suddenly realize how important oxygen is. You can’t live without it. You never want to put yourself in a situation like that again where you cannot partake of this precious thing – the oxygen that will keep you alive.

The sacrifice of Jesus is so important. Unlike some groups, I fear hell because of the chance that I am not attached the the sacrifice of Jesus and thus will not receive a pardon on judgment day. The pardon comes for those who are Christ’s through repentance, faith and baptism in his name. I both fear and thank God through the sacrifice of Christ. I fear damnation rather than salvation because I deny Christ and deny the payment he offers. I thank God because of the sacrifice of Christ. From this my personal desire for holiness and hunger for righteousness comes. I desire truth and not falsehood. Godliness and not sin.

For others however, their connection to God is not through the sacrifice of Christ. There is no true gratitude for this offered pardon. Sure they say the right words and speak of Christ dying for their sins, but it is vain repetition and not from their longing heart. For them their joy and expectation is because they belong to the group that possesses the truth. Because of this, their corresponding fear of hell comes from the separation from this group or mixing of their truth with falsehood. Their gratitude to God is for His giving of His truth to them and through this showing the path to the Kingdom that others don’t see. It is this opposed to gratitude for God because He will save them from His wrath and open the doors to the Kingdom and that He has given them His truth because of the sacrifice of the Christ.

Do you see the difference here?

One group views God and salvation in light of the precious sacrificial death of Jesus the King of the Kingdom.

One group views God and salvation in light of possession of the truth.

I am banking on the sacrifice of Christ. I need it, badly. I have sinned. In fact, I have done nothing good at all. Because I have recognized this I have also recognized that the death of the King of the Kingdom instead of me is such a big deal. Because of it I will serve God. I will forsake my family and my home and follow Christ. I will cease from sin and live holy in light of the coming Kingdom. And I have a tremendous sense of joy and gratitude to God for giving me His truth, and the true gospel to speak. The truth about the only true God and Jesus Christ who He has sent. But I can’t get this backwards.

Fear God not because if you leave the truth possessing group you have been told you will be leavened-infested heretics and go to hell. Fear God because He has the power of life and death in his hands and will only give life to those who have connected themselves to the pardon-giving sacrifice of Jesus.

What does the death of Jesus really mean to you? Is it some vain and empty saying? Something to think about and meditate on once a year just before Resurrection Sunday? Do you cry at the thought of his death instead of you because you are an emotional person and cry when sad things happen or do you cry because he died instead of you?

Get this fact into your hearts. And then live for the one who died for you. Seek the truth and hold fast to it. Abhor evil and falsehood and erroneous doctrines of men. Keep yourselves free of the leaven of the world. Live holy and separate lives. But don’t forget about the sacrifice of Christ. Salvation does not come through the possession of truth. Possession of truth should come from hearing the gospel, understanding the atonement and seeking it as a by-product of your conversion.

My brothers and sisters, figure this out. Once you figure this out, do whatever is necessary to connect yourself to this sacrifice, for it is the only thing that will save you on that final day. Get your head out of the water and breathe in the breath of life.

“Almighty Father. Thank you for your son. I need that sacrifice so badly. I am so wretched and helpless and sinful. Thank you for providing it for me. Please show me what it is I need to do to partake in it. Whatever it takes.”

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by JohnO on December 2, 2006 at 5:50 pm

    I think that is correct. The ones who truly believe the gospel, repent, and follow Jesus are the ones who are saved. They are saved because they are associated with Christ and his death. And because of that association – they will rise like Christ rose. Christ has paid their wage of sin. It doesn’t matter what name, or group you attend. It doesn’t matter whether they meet on sunday, wednesday, or friday. Jesus the judge is not a respector of persons – he doesn’t judge you based on who you think is “in” or “out”. He doesn’t judge you based on how good your group is. You stand before him alone.

    Reply

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