The Way “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
The first day of a fair is always an interesting day. Like all “beginnings” it’s new, with new displays, new location, new missionaries working, and we start fresh with renewed vigor to see God’s work accomplished. But what we see at the fair is society as it is; a real picture of the country we live in with the rich as well as the poor touring the “market place” to see what they will see. We see all types and styles, all shapes and sizes, the sophisticated and the unsophisticated, the religious and unreligious, the saved and the unsaved (mostly the unsaved). But some of the most disturbing things we see is from many who claim to be saved, but are not sure of it, and have no freedom in their salvation. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
Many people claim to know Jesus as Saviour, but are not free. Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices (2 Cor ). Paul tells us here that we should not be ignorant of the devises of Satan to confuse and confound even the elect, the chosen of God. You see Satan will even use Christianity, Christians, a church, a preacher, and religion to confuse us for one purpose and one purpose alone: to prevent others from coming to the saving grace of God, His Son Jesus that they might be saved. Your faith must stand on the Word of God alone and not the wisdom of men (1 Cor 2:5). Satan cannot cause you to loose your salvation; his only hope is that he can cause you to be an instrument of his to prevent others from being saved. If you are truly saved, Satan’s only desire is to cause you not to be fruitful and multiply.
Don’t kid yourselves, Satan will try every device to cause you to be confused and out of God will. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:8) He tried everything on Jesus while in the desert of temptation, while knowing Jesus was the very Son of God. So why would we think Satan will not try every devise on us. We must realize even when Jesus “repelled” Satan’s attempts in the desert; did Satan give up? NO, Satan continued to tempt Jesus even as Satan does us today. Ultimately Jesus willingly submitted to Satan’s final attempt to destroy the Son of God by going to the cross and dying for us. Had Jesus not gone to the cross to pay for our sins, we would have no hope today. But to prove that Satan had no power over the Son of God, Jesus submitted to death and He rose from the grave to prove He is the Son of God and Satan had no power over Him.
The first night of the fair began as they all do with prayer and great anticipation of what God is going to do. But, the very first man who stopped to talk to me was one of these “unsure” Christians. We encounter many of these unsure Christians as we ask our favorite question – “Are you 50%, 75%, or 100% sure you are going to heaven when you die?” The degree of their insecurity varies, but the undeniable fact is, they are not sure. Well, as I began to “drill deeper” into this mans uncertainty about his eternal destination I found in my probing that his problem in like many we encounter at fairs around the country, his “doctrine” was confused with many different thought and beliefs. I spent at least thirty minutes trying to help this man straighten out his understanding of how he can be sure of heaven. Of course it’s hard in such a short time period to correct years of bad teaching and theology. Remember – just because we go to church does not mean we are being taught correctly, and just because the preacher appears to use the bible to preach does not mean he is preaching the Word. We must be vigilant (1 Peter 5:8) because Satan uses churches, preachers, and denominations to keep even saved people in the dark. That is why it is so important to choose a church so carefully. If Satan can keep us confused; then how are we going to tell anyone else how they can get to heaven? In many churches today, the bible in not taught, what is taught is church doctrine or tradition and what is even worse is those denominations that “pervert” scripture to accommodate their “religion” or denomination.
The apostle Paul used the word ignorant about 13 times in his epistles to the 1st century churches. On several occasions he said “I would not have you be ignorant.” How are we not to be “ignorant?” – we must study the Word of God ourselves. You should not submit yourself to the teaching of the Word by any man without your own study of the Word to verify the truth of the teaching. Now, true study takes time and effort, and most don’t even read the bible much less study the bible. We are a lazy people, we want some man (preacher/pastor) to hand feed us the word our whole lives, we don’t want to grow up and get out of our baby Christian clothes and mature. We don’t want to feed ourselves, and we are willing to be fed anything as long as we will let them feed us. Don’t get me wrong it is the preacher’s job to feed us the best “meal” possible, but there comes a time when we must feed ourselves. It is indeed a sad state of affairs in the church that so many “Christians” have not matured. If you are in a “good church,” I’m sure your pastor is doing his best to feed you the best spiritual food from the bible he is capable of delivering to you.
Unfortunately, if you are in the wrong church the pastor/preacher might be feeding you “baby food” and you will never grow and mature. In other churches you might even be being fed “poison.” Poison is a tough word to use, but any teaching you receive which is not supported “on balance” by the Word of God is in my opinion poison. Poison which will eventually diminish your faith, another’s faith, and keep others from coming to the Lord, along with scores of other related problems. And that very poison is why a “churched” person can stand in front of us at an AGM booth and say “I’m a Christian, but I’m not sure.” You’re either saved or you’re not. Don’t be ignorant people – know why you are saved and who saved you! Many people don’t even use the name Jesus to say why they are saved, many don’t even remember until we “dig” it out of them (2 Peter 1:9). Are they saved? I’m not able to judge that, but the bible does say you can know (1 John ).
Friends – please forgive me, but I may “step on some toes” for the next series of “Way” messages, but I feel it is so important to try get people back on the right track (“the way, the truth”). Many churches that are attended by Christians today are not following “the way” of the bible; they are following a man, a tradition, a “teaching,” false doctrine, a new revelation, and many such things, and are being “killed” by the “poison” these church teachings.
In the next series of “Way” messages I endeavor to examine the problems we encounter in the “market place” with people that profess to be Christians. We have these discussions of “lack of assurance” with “Christians” at our booth by the hundreds, if not thousands in a year. We know the problems of the lost, they are lost, but the saved are not lost, and should not be confused about their salvation. You know and see these people every day in your lives and maybe an examination of this lack of assurance will help us all to help others know they are saved. I will attempt to examine the following problems, most of which were expressed to me my the first man I talked to a the Florida State Fair:
1. a lack of belief in the bible
2. works for salvation
4. church membership
5. “gifts of the spirit”
“baptism of the Spirit”
“slaying in the Spirit”
6. “what about evolution”
7. “what about that guy who killed that little girl, if you say he can be saved just like me I don’t want any part of your God”
8. bitter of personal tragedy – death of family member or friend, etc.
These and other questions are what a “saved” person often ask which may cause him/her to not be sure of their salvation, and rightly so they should “examine themselves.” Many other questions including these are asked by the “lost” and some questions overlap, but a saved person which has a solid foundation (the Word of God) to stand on, should not be so confused about their salvation. Nor should any of us be confused by the issues listed above, and my hope will be to resolve some of these questions with scripture you may use to help yourself or others with these issues and questions.
"The Way" is written by missionary Glen Moore based solely on his thoughts and study. If you have any comments - please email Glen at firstname.lastname@example.org