Tag: Salvation (home)

If you go to heaven, it's God's fault. If you go to hell, it's your fault. This is the Biblical picture, and if we go beyond we are wrong.

permalink source: Dr. Cotton [AGTS]
tags: Heaven, Hell, Salvation

When Italy started strictly enforcing the seatbelt law entrepreneur Claudio Ciaravolo saw a great opportunity. He invented the "security shirt". It is a white T-shirt with a thick black diagonal stripe designed to give the impression you are wearing a seat belt. The only problem with the T-shirt, of course, is that it doesn't protect you in the event of a collision. In the same way, there are a number of religious rituals we can go through that may look good on the surface, but they can not offer the security of a real, dynamic, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Hypocrisy, Salvation, Religion

Jesus came to raise the dead. The only qualification for the gift of the Gospel is to be dead. You don't have to be smart. You don't have to be good. You don't have to be wise. You don't have to be wonderful. You don't have to be anything...you just have to be dead. That's it.

permalink source: Robert Farrar Capon
tags: Salvation, Grace, Jesus, Gospel

A Safe Place To Stand In the days of the westward expansion in north America, when men saw that a prairie fire was coming, what would they do? There was no way for them to outrun it guess the safe route out. The pioneers took a match, burned the grass in a designated area around them, and then they would take their stand in the burned area and be safe from the threatening prairie fire. As the roar of the flames approached, they would not be afraid. Even as the ocean of fire surged around them there was no fear, because fire had already passed over the place where they stood. Jesus said, "I have come to bring fire upon the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo..." There is no escaping the judgment and division (fire) that has come since Jesus' sufferings on the cross (baptism). There is only one safe place to stand and that is where the match of God's judgment has been struck: The foot of the cross.

permalink source: Brett Blair, www.eSermons.com, August 2001.
tags: Heaven, Hell, Salvation, Judging, Cross

An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him, "How do you expect to get into Heaven?" The boy thought it over and said, "Well, I'll just run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, 'For Heaven's sake, Jimmy, come in or stay out!'" Good luck, Jimmy. It's a plan, but it's not God's plan. And that's the problem--most people have a plan for getting into heaven, but they don't really understand God's plan of salvation by grace through faith.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Heaven, Salvation, Evangelism

behavior, belief, and belonging are three ways to categorize the elements of Christianity also deliverance, discipline, and diligence (taken too far they become passivity, presumption, and paranoia)

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Salvation, Gospel

For three years I was a lifeguard. They fired me because every time I saw somebody raise their hand because they were drowning I said, “Yes, I see that hand! God bless you! Is there another? Yes, God bless you, too!” Okay, I made up that part, but I really was a lifeguard. And one of the things that all lifeguards know is that you can’t save anybody as long as they’re trying to save themselves, because they’ll take you under the water with them. You swim out to them, and they’re flailing around in the water until finally they just give up and collapse. Once they give up, it’s really easy – you just put your arm over their shoulder and swim back to shore. There’s nothing to it. But you can’t save them as long as they’re trying to save themselves.

permalink source: Rick Warren
tags: Salvation, Repentance

One day, while I was grieving over some past failures, I received a letter from a friend who told me how she and her granddaughter had been watching a plane skywrite. The little girl was puzzled when the words began disappearing, but suddenly piped up, "Maybe Jesus has an eraser!" In her innocent wisdom I realized that just as skywriting disappears, Jesus wipes away all things I so bitterly regret. No matter how much we mature as Christians, and try desperately to compensate, memories of our own failures can rise up and haunt us. But, with God's forgiveness, they will fade away--Jesus does have an eraser.

permalink source: Marjorie Holmes, "Heart to Heart," Today's Christian Woman.
tags: Forgiveness, Salvation

According to the book No Ordinary Time, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, the first peacetime draft occurred October 29, 1940. President Franklin Roosevelt and Secretary of War Stimson sat on a stage in a crowded auditorium in Washington, D.C. In the preceding weeks all males between 21 and 35 had been given a draft number, and all those numbers were in cobalt capsules in a big fishbowl on the stage. Stinson was blindfolded with some yellow linen cloth cut from a chair used at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He reached into the bowl and pulled out the first capsule he touched. He handed it to the President who read into the many microphones before him, "The first number is 158." Goodwin writes: No sooner had the president spoken than a women's scream was heard. Seated in the middle of the crowded auditorium, Mrs. Mildred Bell gasped. Her 21-year-old son, Harry, who was supposed to be married the following week, held number 158. Now his future was linked to that of his country. Number 158 was held by some six thousand registrants in different precincts throughout the country, including Cleveland welder Michael Thompson, father of three children; Jack Clardy, a one-armed Negro banjo picker from Charlotte, NC; and unemployed James Cody of Long Island City. In New York, the surnames of those bearing number 158 told a story in themselves: Farrugia, Chan, Re, Weisblum, Tsatsarones, Stoller, Clement. Some were pleased and proud to be the first number called, others said they'd make the best of it, still others were upset at their bad fortune. God draws the number of all those he saves. We are called to be salt and light, to be ambassadors and priests, and there are no deferments. We're enlisted to display righteousness in a wicked world, to help the weak and feed the hungry, to represent the Living God, to tell sinners about Jesus. There is no one who is saved who is not drafted by God to be an agent of grace.

permalink source: PreachingToday.com
tags: Commitment, Salvation, Community, Fellowship

In an era of freshmen ineligibility, crowds packed college basketball arenas to watch him play and then left before the varsity team took the floor. He scored 3,667 points in his three years of college eligibility, averaged 44.2 points per game, and led the nation in scoring three years in a row. He scored over 50 points twenty-eight times in his college career. When he left college, he owned nearly twenty scoring records. In his senior year, he was named College Player of the Year. He played in the NBA for ten seasons and was an All-Star for four years. He is among the top fifty players ever to play in the NBA and was the youngest man ever elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. His name was "Pistol" Pete Maravich, and despite his fame, fortune, and success, he was not happy. After his retirement in 1980, Maravich began searching for a reason to live. In his quest for peace and fulfillment, he dabbled in astrology, mysticism, survivalism, and UFOs. He even contemplated suicide once as he raced his Porsche over a bridge at 140 m.p.h. And then he met Jesus Christ. That personal relationship gave Maravich a new outlook on life and a new sense of purpose. Before long, Pete was sharing his testimony with anyone who would listen. He spoke about the emptiness of his former life without Christ, despite the fact that he had just about everything a young man could ever want. James Dobson heard of his conversion, and invited Pete to appear on his Focus on the Family radio program in 1988. After the interview, the two men played a game of pick-up basketball with several others. When the game ended, Dobson turned to Maravich and said, "Pete, you can't give up basketball. This game means too much to you." Pete explained that he had been experiencing pain in his right shoulder for more than a year, but that it had suddenly disappeared. "I feel just great," he said. Those were his last words. Maravich collapsed on the basketball court and, minutes later, died at the age of forty in Dobson's arms on January 5, 1988. Shortly before he died, Maravich sent a Bible to talk show host Larry King. Inside the Bible was this hand-written letter: Dear Larry, I'm so glad to hear that everything went well with your surgery. I want you to know that God was watching over you every minute and even though I know you question that, I also know that one day it will be revealed to you. My prayer is that you remain open and God will touch your life as He has mine. Once I was a disbeliever. When I could not fill my life with basketball, I would simply substitute sex, liquid drugs, or material things to feed my internal shell-like appearance. I was never satisfied. I have finally realized, after 40 years, that Jesus Christ is in me. He will reveal His truth to you, Larry, because He lives. -Pistol Pete

permalink source: Youth Specialties Email
tags: Salvation, Success, Fame

If Christianity is false, it is of no importance. If Christianity is true, it is of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is of moderate importance.

permalink source: C.S. Lewis
tags: Apologetics, Salvation, Apathy

A news reporter once asked Deion Sanders why he chose to become a Christian. Deion responded, "It happened the night we won the Super Bowl. I just finished ordering my Lamborghini and I lay there in bed thinking every goal I had ever attempted had now been reached. Yet I was emptier than ever before. That was the night I got on my knees. Only God is big enough to fill this heart of mine."

permalink source: Ravi Zacharias e-newsletter Slice of Infinity 1/28/2003
tags: Salvation, Success

He became what we are that he might make us what he is. I've also heard it put as: God became man that man might become God.

permalink source: Athanasius
tags: Salvation, Discipleship, Incarnation

SALVATION MEANS DISCIPLESHIP, NOT FORMULAS In the movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," as King Arthur and his knights seek the Holy Grail, they come to a bridge that spans an abyss of eternal peril. A bridge keeper allows people to cross this bridge only if they can answer three questions. Get one wrong, and you're tossed into the pit. Lancelot is the first tested. The keeper asks him, "What is your name?" Lancelot answers. "What is your quest?" Lancelot answers, "To seek the Holy Grail." "What is your favorite color?" "Blue." "Right," says the bridge keeper, "off you go." Lancelot crosses the bridge, amazed this was so easy. The second knight similarly states his name and quest. But the third question is now, "What is the capital of Assyria?" "I don't know that." The knight is hurled, screaming, into the abyss. The third knight, Sir Galahad, is nervous as he's asked his name and quest, but he answers correctly. "What is your favorite color?" Sir Galahad panics. "Blue...no, yellow--Aaaaahhhh," he screams as he is hurled into the pit. Finally, the king steps up. "What is your name?" "Arthur, King of the Britains." "What is your quest?" "To seek the Holy Grail." "What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?" "What do you mean," asks Arthur, "an African or European swallow?" "What? I don't know that," answers the bridge keeper, who immediately is launched into the abyss. Arthur and his followers thereafter cross the bridge unhindered. Many people's idea of the gospel is that some day we'll get to the bridge to paradise and be asked, "Why should you be allowed to cross?" As long as we answer correctly, we make it across. Answer wrongly, and we're cast into the abyss. The gospel is redefined to be the announcement of the minimal entrance requirements for getting into heaven.... Jesus never said, "Now I'm going to tell you what you need to say to get into heaven when you die." Jesus' good news is we no longer have to live in the guilt, failure, and impotence of our own strength. The transforming presence and power of God is available through Christ right here, right now. To live in that power, you must become his disciple.

permalink source: John Ortberg
tags: Heaven, Salvation, Discipleship

In the spring of 2002, I left work early so I could have some uninterrupted study time before my final exam in the Youth Ministry class at Hannibal-LaGrange College in Missouri. When I got to class, everybody was doing their last-minute studying. The teacher came in and said he would review with us before the test. Most of his review came right from the study guide, but there were some things he was reviewing that I had never heard. When questioned about it, he said they were in the book and we were responsible for everything in the book. We couldn't argue with that. Finally it was time to take the test. "Leave them face down on the desk until everyone has one, and I'll tell you to start," our professor, Dr. Tom Hufty, instructed. When we turned them over, to my astonishment every answer on the test was filled in. My name was even written on the exam in red ink. The bottom of the last page said: "This is the end of the exam. All the answers on your test are correct. You will receive an A on the final exam. The reason you passed the test is because the creator of the test took it for you. All the work you did in preparation for this test did not help you get the A. You have just experienced…grace." Dr. Hufty then went around the room and asked each student individually, "What is your grade? Do you deserve the grade you are receiving? How much did all your studying for this exam help you achieve your final grade?" Then he said, "Some things you learn from lectures, some things you learn from research, but some things you can only learn from experience. You've just experienced grace. One hundred years from now, if you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, your name will be written down in a book, and you will have had nothing to do with writing it there. That will be the ultimate grace experience."

permalink source: Denise Banderman, Hannibal, Missouri (from PreachingToday.com)
tags: Salvation, Grace, Gospel

In his book What's Good About This News? (Westminster John Knox Press), David Bartlett tells this story: "My wife and I have friends who have a wonderfully mixed family, mixed in part because one of their sons is their biological offspring and the other children are adopted. Not long ago they were explaining to the youngest child what it meant for him to be adopted — how he had been chosen, and waited for, and welcomed with joy. As part of the story they also had to explain that Mark, the brother, was their child biologically. When they had finished explaining what it meant to say that Tommy was adopted, he cried out: 'Oh, that's wonderful. Can't we adopt Mark too?' "Paul believes that God has adopted us all, Jew and Gentile, male and female, slave and free, in Jesus Christ. And Paul declares the wonder of that adoption." (Gal. 4:4-7)

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Salvation, Parents

I have a small collection of baseball cards. The card that is worth the most is called "Future Stars" and is valued at $100. There are three players on this card. The first is Jeff Schneider. Schneider played 1 year of professional baseball, pitched in 11 games, and gave up 13 earned runs in those 11 games. The second player is Bobby Bonner, who played 4 years of baseball but only appeared in 61 games, with 8 runs batted in, and 0 home runs. The third "Future Star" played 21 years for the Baltimore Orioles and appeared in 3,001 games. He came to bat 11,551 times, collected 3,184 hits and 431 home runs, and batted in 1,695 runs. His name is Cal Ripken, Jr. Now imagine if you met Bobby Bonner, and he shook your hand and boasted, "Did you know that my baseball card is worth over $100?" You would laugh because you know the worth of the card has nothing to do with him. That's how it is when we come to Christ and point to our good works, our statistics, and ask, "Is this good enough?" If you want to hold up your stats to God, you don't have a chance. But when you put your faith in Christ, his statistics become yours, and your baseball card becomes worth a lot because of someone else's stats. Bobby Bonner and Jeff Schneider's baseball card is worth $100, not because of their statistics, but because of what someone else has done. Citation:

permalink source: Shaun Brown, Newport News, Virginia
tags: Salvation, Grace, Faith

print up checks that say "Pay To The Order Of" and leave the name blank in the "amount" field write down "eternal life" sign it "Jesus Christ" in the memo field write - "a gift--I was thinking of you" at the end of the service have people choose to sign it

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Salvation, Evangelism

A Spanish father decides to reconcile with his son who has run away to Madr. Now remorseful, the father takes out this ad in the El Liberal newspaper: "PACO MEET ME AT HOTEL MONTANA NOON TUESDAY. ALL IS FORGIVEN." Pace is a common name in Spain, and when the father goes to the square he finds eight hundred young men named Paco waiting for their fathers.

permalink source: Ernest Hemingway, "The Capitol of the World", in The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, Scribner, 1953
tags: Family, Forgiveness, Salvation

However much we may wish it, divine perfection does not set in at conversion. But divine infection does." -- Gordon Fee, Christianity Today, June 17, 1996, p. 22

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Salvation, Personal Growth, Spiritual Formation

An Arab chief tells a story of a spy who was captured and then sentenced to death by a general in the Persian army. This general had the strange custom of giving condemned criminals a choice between the firing squad and the big, black door. As the moment for execution drew near, the spy was brought to the Persian general, who asked the question, "What will it be: the firing squad or the big, black door?" The spy hesitated for a long time. It was a difficult decision. He chose the firing squad. Moments later shots rang out confirming his execution. The general turned to his aide and said, "They always prefer the known way to the unknown. It is characteristic of people to be afraid of the undefined. Yet, we gave him a choice." The aide said, "What lies beyond the big door?" "Freedom," replied the general. "I've known only a few brave enough to take it."

permalink source: Don McCullough, "Reasons to Fear Easter," Preaching Today, Tape No. 116.
tags: Salvation, Freedom, Faith, Easter

So, as we have said, the trouble is in our heredity, not in our behaviour. Unless we can change our parentage there is no deliverance for us. ... But here is our problem. We were born sinners; how then can we cut off our sinful heredity? Seeing that we were born in Adam, how can we get out of Adam? Let me say at once, the Blood cannot take us out of Adam. There is only one way. Since we came in by birth we must go out by death. To do away with our sinfulness we must do away with our life. [speaking of depravity of man and God's plan of adoption for us]

permalink source: Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life, chapter 2
tags: Depravity, Salvation

Many a time when preaching in the villages of China one has to use very simple illustrations for deep Divine truth. I remember once I took up a small book and put a piece of paper into it, and I said to those very simple ones, `Now look carefully. I take a piece of paper. It has an identity of its own, quite separate from this book. Having no special purpose for it at the moment I put it into the book. Now I do something with the book. I post it to Shanghai. I do not post the paper, but the paper has been put into the book. Then where is the paper? Can the book go to Shanghai and the paper remain here? Can the paper have a separate destiny from the book? No! Where the book goes the paper goes. If I drop the book in the river the paper goes too, and if I quickly take it out again I recover the paper also. Whatever experience the book goes through the paper goes through with it, for it is in the book.' [speaking of being in Christ]

permalink source: Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life, chapter 2
tags: Salvation

You see, there is a great deal of difference between revival and evangelism. I am so sick to death, I hardly read any reports of meetings that come to me. Everybody is getting half of America saved. If you add all the lists of people saved, everybody in America, the whole population has been saved and filled with the Holy Ghost about six times over in the last ten years. And yet we are as dumb and as dead and as damned as we were when we started off... People come to the altar, yes, but meet them at the door and ask what happened. "Oh, ah, ah, ah, ah. I confessed my sins." There is not one evangelist in fifty in America today preaching salvation. They are preaching forgiveness. "Just come and get forgiven." That is not salvation. Jesus came to do more than forgive us our sins.

permalink source: Leonard Ravenhill, "Baptism of Fire" http://articles.christiansunite.com/article581.shtml
tags: Salvation, Evangelism, Revival

The only answer to all such cavils [universalism, annihilationism] is the cross of Christ. Behind that cross there is no concealed reserve of mercy or love.... Strange it is that they who are most emphatic in asserting that God must give salvation to all men in the next world, are precisely those who dismiss as fanaticism the truth that He gives salvation here and now to those who seek Him.

permalink source: Robert Anderson, Human Destiny: After Death, What?, http://www.newble.co.uk/anderson/destiny/destiny12.html
tags: Hell, Salvation, Pluralism

Consider the man who suffered from a debilitating disease of the brain. At times it would cause him to act irrationally and unpredictably. Under the influence of one such attack, he unwittingly struck out and killed another man. At trial, he was sentenced to death. But when his relatives appealed for mercy and explained the medical reasons for his temporary insanity, the governor granted clemency and pardoned him. But before his friends and relatives reached the prison to share this good news, the man had died as a result of his illness. So he gained nothing from the governor's pardon. Quite apart from the pardon, he needed treatment for his disease. Only then might he have lived to enjoy his release. It is treatment we need, not just forgiveness.

permalink source: Sundar Singh, The Wisdom of the Sadhu, 92-93
tags: Forgiveness, Salvation