Summary: 3rd in the Series on the Book of Ruth. God’s grace is extended to those who will heed the call. Strangers to His Kingdom are welcomed because they choose to answer the call of God in their lives.
A Stranger Saved by Grace
Book of Ruth Series
By Pastor Jim May
Ruth 2:8-9, "Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn."
This young woman was a Moabitess, a worshipper of idols and a servant of Chemosh, the god of the dead. Her name was Ruth and she was a lost Gentile without hope. Then one day a miracle came into her life. Out of Israel came a family that was to bring her a message of hope, mercy and grace. Though she couldn’t have understood what was happening, God was leader her into a whole new life.
The land of her birth held little hope for anyone. Though they might be a strong nation and they might have hope of having the things of this world, there was no hope for eternity. The best that they could hope for by serving their gods was an eternal death, a state of existence where you were dying always but never dead. It would be an eternal hopelessness, but there was no other way. Most of her family and countrymen just accepted this as the norm and would never know of the hope of an eternal life in Heaven. They just went about their daily lives trying not to think of things eternal, living one day at a time until death came unawares and they entered into eternal death.
But Ruth was one in a thousand who was hungry for more. She wanted more than just to exist. She wanted to live. God saw that hunger in her heart. God knew that she would want to know Him and serve Him and so He made a way for Ruth to find the path to the Truth.
Last week I was taking care of a little business down at the bank. After we completed the business at hand the lady who was helping me began to inquire about the church and what we taught. She told me that was attending one of the largest Full Gospel Churches in the area and had come out of the Catholic Church. She was having a hard time reconciling her Catholic doctrines with the Full Gospel doctrines and was really confused about some issues.
Let me ask you this question. It’s the same question that she had. Suppose that there is a man or woman, somewhere in the world, that has never heard the name of Jesus, and never heard the message of the gospel. Can that person be saved? What do you think is the answer?
First let me tell you her thinking and let’s see if you agree. In her own way of thinking she said that she believed that if any who had never heard the name of Jesus and never heard the message of the gospel, and yet they knew that there was a God somewhere and they did all they could to be as good as they could, that God would somehow understand and they would still go to Heaven in spite of their ignorance.
Now what do you think? Is she right? Does God wink at ignorance? Will God allow someone who never hears the gospel and never has the opportunity to accept Christ to go to Heaven based upon their own goodness?
Of course the answer is NO – no one can go to Heaven based on their works alone. Their good works does not make them righteous and will not earn them one merit with God.
Isaiah 64:6-7, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities."
Now I would hope that everyone who attends this church would know that by now but when I run across someone who goes to a church similar in doctrine to ours and I find that they don’t understand the importance of the Cross, the absolute necessity of the shed blood of Jesus Christ and its power to wash away sin and the impossibility of going to Heaven through any other means than believing in and trusting in the Blood of Jesus alone, then I get concerned. That is the primary message of the entire New Testament. Without the name of Jesus, and without faith in Him and in His shed blood, there is no salvation. Don’t ever forget that.