Even Demons Believe, Chapter Five

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5. First Sit Down

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  • Will he not first sit down … ~Jesus

Jesus did not say, “Come on down to the front of the church and accept Me as your personal Lord and Savior.”Jesus did not say, “Come get your blessing.” Nor did Jesus apply rules to your life in order to receive salvation from hell. Jesus said that anyone even remotely thinking about becoming a Christian must first “sit down and estimate the cost.”

He said, “sit down” and consider very carefully what it means to follow Him. Without emotional fanfare, Jesus calls all who desire His salvation to “sit down” and do some very sober thinking. Jesus never worked the crowds in order to gain followers, rather He always called for them to quietly “sit down” and “estimate” the cost of being saved. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower …” and just “suppose one of you wants to” be a disciple … then “sit down.”

  • Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, “is fellow began to build and was not able to nish.” (Luke 14:28–30)

Many did not count the cost of laying a “foundation” only later to quit. Therefore do not take lightly Jesus’ words about counting the cost. If those who did count the cost later decided it was not worth finishing the tower, then how much more should you, with sober thought, consider what it will cost you? Sad to say, many are “ridicule[d]” today because they counted the cost but later became unwilling to pay the price for full redemption from sin. Indeed, the next passage reveals that many of Jesus’ “disciples,” not mere travelers, le because the crucied life became too much for them.

  • From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. (John 6:66)

Many might think this all sounds like salvation by works and an attempt to earn God’s salvation. But truthfully, Jesus declared that in order to receive God’s free mercy, we must let go of all. Those who whine that this is salvation by works miss the whole point. Disciples simply respond to God’s mercy everyday. Like “rain” that falls on good soil, it produces a “useful crop.” If the soil becomes hard, nothing of value can grow. If a man hardens his heart, cutting of the power of grace, he will forfeit eternal life. A disciple simply says “Yes” to the grace of God every day. is is the test, to say “Yes” to God at all times out of love for Him. If we do that, God can keep us from falling. God will never, however, force a man to be saved if he is unwilling to allow grace to ow through him. If we refuse the grace that crucies self, then we will be cut off, “thrown away,” and eventually “burned” in hell.

No man who truly wants to be rid of the sins in his life considers this a cost at all. “In his joy” the true disciple sells “all” to buy the “treasure” of God’s grace and mercy. In short, it only sounds hard and legalistic to the hard-hearted. For only the hard-hearted and hard-headed refuse to give up all in exchange for a “treasure.”

  • The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. (Matthew 13:44)

The treasure of Jesus is “hidden.” God doesn’t give knowledge about the message of the cross to everyone. It is too valuable and powerful for God to let the wicked trample upon it. Many religious church goers never find this treasure. While many who do nd it never go back to it because they didn’t “sit down” and think about the matter between themselves and God. They lose the treasure through confusion.

Once a man nds this treasure, he conceals it or keeps it to himself. Indeed, he hides it again, so that others are not aware of why he is selling everything. He becomes very quiet, contemplating alone what he has found between himself and God. Unlike so many who go out to nd opinion aer opinion about what others think about Jesus, this man realizes the value and ponders it between himself and God. Those with bad hearts go from person to person, book to book exposing the treasure to the evaluation of men. They take before sinful man that which the Holy Spirit has opened their eyes to. They treat the treasure of grace as if it were a trinket found in the sand on a beach. How sad to watch so many, as God points them to the treasure, go out and become thoroughly confused as to whether Jesus, or the message of the cross, really is of God. Finally in their confusion they give up and refuse to dig up again the treasure they found earlier. The treasure became tarnished by man’s hands, voices, commentaries, and watering down the gospel. Those who will not “sit down,” with the treasure of God hidden again, will never nd eternal life. It is “good” for a man or woman, when they discover the message of the cross, to “wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”

  • The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:25–26)

Truths To Ponder, Beliefs To Examine

  1. What opinion do you have about the way of salvation?

  1. What opinion do you have about the way of salvation?

  1. What opinion do you have about the way of salvation?

1. Which Way to Salvation?

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  • This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls …” (Jeremiah 6:16)

Every church has their method for getting to heaven, so how can a person know the correct path? With all the
different beliefs and opinions about what it means to be a Christian, no wonder so many people feel thoroughly confused. In fact, many have given up the search for God altogether because the task to discover the truth seems too overwhelming. Additionally, many today falsely think that opinion equals belief, and if we think something sincerely enough, God will accept us. To further compound the problem, multitudes of hypocritical “Christians” claim they know God. All of these things and more frustrate those with an honest search for God.

To find the answers, we need to follow Jeremiah’s direction: “Ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is” and then “walk in it.” Through these God-given words we will find “rest for” our “souls.”

In Luke 7:48 Jesus told a woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” God forgave every wrong thing in her actions and thoughts. Those words are the sweetest words a man or woman can ever hear.

God’s forgiveness should set us free and light our hearts aflame with an undying love for Him. In order to hear those words, we must first consider what it means to be a Christian. Otherwise, we place ourselves in danger of being “denounced” by the very God who touches our lives with love and power. As the following Scripture demonstrates, Jesus disowned those whom God had touched in a powerful way because they would not “repent.” With this in mind, let us look at what it really means to be a Christian, how one becomes a Christian, and the requirements to keep from being “denounce[d]” by God. In short, let us see the truth according to Jesus.

  • Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most ofhis miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. (Matthew 11:20)

When Jesus walked on the earth, He made Christians in a very odd fashion. Jesus won souls, as we shall see, in a manner that may surprise most. This book examines how someone becomes a Christian according to Jesus.

Most individuals, who consider themselves Christians, have responded to God’s love in a way that would not receive Jesus’ approval. As Paul stated in the book of Romans, they did not “submit” to God’s way of salvation and instead “sought to establish their own.”

  • Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. (Romans 10:3)

Every church and denomination has their methods for saving individuals. Each has “established their own” way of salvation. But God declared long ago that only “one” way leads to heaven.

  • … one Lord, one faith, one baptism … (Ephesians 4:5)

Each man must make a decision to either submit to God’s righteousness or embrace man’s religious ways. God’s righteousness grows eternally, but the peace and security of man offers only empty hope.

In the church today, we have established many different ways to become a Christian. People can come forward after a sermon, raise their hands, attend classes, speak in tongues, or repeat the words someone tells them to say. The salvation calls, coming forward to accept Jesus, vary from church to church, but which one is of God? Let us go back and look at how Jesus made someone a Christian. We will look at Jesus’ salvation call, and if it does not match up to ours, let us repent and “submit to God’s righteousness.”

Truths To Ponder, Beliefs To Examine

  1. What opinion do you have about the way of salvation?

  1. What opinion do you have about the way of salvation?

  1. What opinion do you have about the way of salvation?

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