Summary: We are blessed with an abundance of assurance of God;s righteousness and our salvation
January 1, 2018
Reading: Hebrews 10:22
HAPPY NEW YEAR. May it be one of blessings and prosperity. Let us seek prosperity in gainful knowledge and practice of God’s Word and Will for our lives. – AMEN
In my wee hours of the day my readings, prayer and meditation drove me to this message which is not of the lectionary this week. Instead the subject of assurance kept ringing in my head. Is God leading me somewhere? I don’t know, but in any event, I pray HIS blessings on this message.
Here we are, embarking on another year in our journey of life on earth. At this time of year, we hear a lot about “new year’s resolutions”. History has proven that very few resolutions become long lasting in fulfillment. At least that’s certainly the case in my experience.
Why is that? Do we give up on ourselves too quickly and too easily? We continue to be hampered by that old immediate gratification thing, don’t we? We get more impatient with ourselves very quickly, when progress is slow. Proof of that is found in the myriad of quick fix diet pills that have flooded the market and advertising media.
We have home owners or renters’ insurance policies, automobile insurance, health insurance, warranty insurance and on and on.
But today, let’s look at our salvation assurance. Are you familiar with the program: Evangelism Explosion? My good friend Pastor Len Showalter from Jacksonville Beach has truly embraced that ministry in the name of “Len Ministries”. Street evangelism begins with these questions:
“Do you know for sure that you are going to be with God in Heaven? and
If God were to ask you, ‘Why should I let you into My Heaven?’ what would you say?
In other words, what assurance do we have of eternal life after death (salvation) (heaven).
What insurance/assurance do we have?
Hebrews 6:11 “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end.”
Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
2 Corinthians 5:1: “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
What does it actually mean that God GAVE His Son? God sent Jesus the Christ to this world as a flesh and blood member of mankind to share all the experiences of life with us and teach us to hold on to faith and follow the WILL of God. Mankind was not receptive to this truth and rejected Jesus to the point of crucifying Him. That is murdering Him on the cross.
Acts 17:31 “He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
Now think hard about this! We pay big bucks for insurance and we rely on that insurance to protect us and to indemnify us in the even t of a loss. Right? We can even call that an investment, and a wise one at that.
Some of us look forward to retirement and a pension. We have paid into social security or a retirement fund of some kind all our working lives. When we retire, we have faith and some element of assurance that our pension will be there for us, we believe in it, don’t we?
Now, do you ever play the lottery? Come on, don’t raise your hands just follow this train of thought. Do you ever play the lottery? How much assurance do/did you have when you forked over those dollars?
But you/we did it with some element of hope. We viewed the reward worth the risk of losing those hard- earned dollars. There is NO ASSURANCE of any kind that we WILL win anything. Yet we buy those tickets eagerly, chasing a far-fetched possibility of some big prize.
People that diet and exercise do so as an investment in better health. Now here we do have some element of assurance as medical studies have proven that healthy exercise and diet provide better health.
We can learn from this that a positive spiritual diet and exercise is vital to our spiritual life. BUT, it doesn’t stop there! It is vital to our eternal life. When we neglect our faith, prayer, study, worship and daily walk with the Holy Spirit in and among us, we drift away from a godly life. We also influence others, i.e. families and friends who need to experience godly influence. Dropping the kids off for Sunday School and returning home until time to pick them up is not a positive influence. In many like scenarios, kids think something like: “I can’t wait until I am old enough to stay home and play like my parents.”