Disciples Come In All Shapes and Sizes, Part 7 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #42)

The Bible says in John 10:28: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from Chuck Swindoll. He said: “Emmanuel. God with us. He who resided in Heaven, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, willingly descended into our world. He breathed our air, felt our pain, knew our sorrows, and died for our sins. He didn’t come to frighten us, but to show us the way to warmth and safety.”

Our topic today is titled Disciples Come In All Shapes and Sizes (Part 7) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

There are many commands to be obeyed by Christians, but to become a Christian only requires receiving the gift of eternal life from our Lord.

Some years ago in another country, I was literally accosted after an evening service by a group of American missionaries working in that country. They had been infected by the lordship/discipleship/mastery Gospel, and having read the thirteen pages I had written about the subject in 1969, they were anxious to debate the issue. I did not know them; they were uninvited; but I could not avoid meeting with them. So we talked for quite a while that night.

Finally it came down to an illustration. I posed this case to them. We all knew, even at that time, that smoking had been proven a serious risk to one’s health. I asked about a hypothetical person who wanted to be saved, but he smoked. Furthermore, he knew full well that smoking was endangering his health, and he realized that if he became a Christian he ought to give it up. But he was unable to do so, nor was he even willing. So I asked these folks, “Can he not be saved until either he gives up smoking or is willing to give up smoking?” Reluctantly they admitted that their view compelled them to say no, he cannot.

Now, suppose such a person made a profession of faith that, as far as one could tell, was genuine. Could he truly be saved and continue to smoke, knowing that is a clear violation of God’s desire that we take care of our bodies? If he continued to smoke till the day of his death, would I be forced to conclude that his profession was not genuine and that he had not been saved all that time? Or could I be assured that in spite of that area of initial unwillingness when he came to Christ and continued disobedience while he lived the Christian life, he nevertheless would be in heaven? The answer is a resounding yes.

These are important matters for all of us to consider carefully as we seek to clearly present God’s good news.


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