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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Who Is Safe, Anyway?

Foolishness is seeing a hole and falling into anyway. But would you appoint the government to have "hole" inspectors keeping people from going out because of possible holes? We seem to think that we can be always and perfectly safe by allowing the government to inspect and curtail our civil rights.

Nothing from this world will keep us perfectly safe. Giving up freedom for safety will eventually destroy freedom and safety.

Truthfully, I can't really define safety anyway. Is it never losing my job or always having someone else pay my bills? Is it the absence of danger or the absence of failure? No, I believe it is more dangerous to have nothing to live for. I believe it is more dangerous to know that I have an expiration date than to know that there is Someone who controls the date I will eject from this earthsuit and go to be with Him.

God's people have never been safe from famine or the sword. We walk in His will. It does not keep us from cancer or terrorists. It does not release us from company downsizing or traffic accidents. It doesn't even keep us out of traffic jams!

And yet it is safe.

Safe, not because of the circumstances, but there is Someone standing on the other side of the circumstances. He may heal or protect. He may, but He does not say to us that He will always do so.

He tells us that He will always love us. He promises to take us home with Him someday. He wants us to spend an eternity with Him.

He tells us to follow Him. Will that mean that we will always be safe? No, not like people are defining safety. Sometimes His safety requires that we give up our physical lives. Sometimes we are poorer because we have walked with Him. Sometimes we are threatened.

Yet, He is the only One I can really trust. No one else can promise to stand on the other side of the circumstances.

Psalm 20:7 (ESV) 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.


Anonymous said...

Concerning salvation, it is about our safety on earth, but not specifically about that. It is about our living on earth, but not specifically about that,too.  It is a way of life, but it is not merely a way of life; it is NOT optional. It is about us sojourning on the highway of holiness (Isaiah 35:8-10) to our Promised Land, Heaven.

Our destination is Heaven.  This should be our preoccupation.  It is not about safety on earth or safety in our earthly life, although we should want not to prematurely be incapacitated or end our life.  If safety or long life, per se, is not what it is specifically all about, why can't we be incapacitated or take or end our lives, as we wish or be careless about our lives?  It is because we are not our own; our lives have been purchased by God with the blood and life of Jesus - we belong to God.  What does God purchase us for; have you wondered about this?

God purchase us, primarily, for living with Him in Heaven, for eternity.  God purchase us so that we could be in eternal life.  There is no such a thing as us living forever in this mortal body of ours.  All men must die once, said Scripture (Heb 9:27).  In other words, there is not even such thing as a man, he dies and be reborn again to live another mortal life, and then to repeat it, over and over again. It is not appointed of men or destined that way - to live forever in our earthly life as mortal men.  

We, who are believers, are in eternal life alright, but we are currently in the earthly phase of the eternal life or Kingdom (of God) Living, and is temporal, a short time in the eternality of life.  Unless we have embraced this, and accept this, we cannot truly appreciate and understand what is going on in our earthly life even as believers.  Yes, we cannot fully understand, but as long as we understand on death, we transit to the most perfect place, Heaven, nothing is fearful when we are having the promise of God that He is with those who love Him and are following Him, in this earthly journey of ours.

John 10:27-28.  - 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

What people need to understand is that there is the past tense, present tense and future tense to salvation.  When we entered into salvation, we were saved, at the moment of entry or conversion. Afterwards, we are being saved, and in a time to come, our salvation is consummated with us reaching Heaven to live with God.  If we die upon entry into salvation, we are saved, go to Heaven to live with God.  When we do live on, after entry into salvation, we are being saved or in salvation.  


Anonymous said...

Cont. From above

This being the case for us who are still alive, what the John 10 text, quoted above, tells us is that we need to listen to the Word (and His Spirit, the Holy Spirit), we need to be known by Jesus (and we also need to know Jesus, for, knowing is a 2-party thing; you know Jesus {not "know about Jesus"} and Jesus knows you; you cannot be knowing Jesus when Jesus does not know you!), and we need to follow Him, Jesus.  

Jesus said, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish" (2nd death, not 1st death or physical death), after stating the conditions in verse 27.  We are in salvation, but if we listen NOT to the Lord (His Word and His Spirit), and we follow Him, NOT, He just may say to us, He knows us, NOT; eternal life, we may NOT be assured of.  When we listen to the Lord, and we follow Him, no one can snatch us out of the Lord's hand, but if we choose (we are still with volition) NOTto listen to the Lord and follow Him, it is no snatching; and you are risk (of straying too far off).

The Apostle Paul said, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me." -Phil 1:21-22a

The Apostle Paul's saying of "to live is Christ", is very much saying the same thing John 10:27, we work with the Lord to be saved - we listen to Him, we follow Him, and that means we need to obey Him, and serve His purposes.  Paul said, "fruitful labor" for him.  Nowadays, we commonly hear preachers said that fruit has nothing to do with works; well they are wrong.  It is not about works, specifically, but by our works, we know if we have fruit in our character; the proof of the pudding is in the eating.  Paul said, "fruitful LABOR". To live is Christ is NOT just basking in grace, that many overly grace preachers are teaching.  

Why all of these talks about how we live or what we are to do, that we are in salvation? It is because it matters (what have been said thus far, and there is more), so that we have confidence that we are safe.  I am NOT talking about being safe as in we don't get hurt or die physically, but we are confident if we die now, we are saved, i.e. we go Heaven, be consummated of salvation.

Paul said, "to die is gain". Why? Why gain? Gain because we go to the most perfect place, Heaven; we be consummated of salvation - we be glorified, and live forever in bliss.  It is precisely because Paul had been living a life that was in Christ, and thus he said, "to live is Christ", that he could claim "to die is gain", that he would be saved if he passed on; he had been according to John 10:27.


Anonymous said...

Cont. From above

You would have noticed that I specifically mentioned we need to LOVE Him, apart from the need to follow Him. Is loving God important for us who are in salvation? Absolutely.  Very simply, if you do not love God, why would God have you in Heaven for!  To incur His wrath!  Love is a choice; we need to choose to love God in salvation, and grow in that love for God, until it surpasses all things.  Are you loving God all the time?

The apostle Paul summed the present tense aspect of salvation nicely in Phil 2:12 - we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.  The prophet Hosea, in Hosea 4:6 said that God's people die for lack of knowledge.  Do we lack the knowledge of what is involved in our being in salvation, that we may work out our salvation, such that we can say as apostle Paul said, "to live is Christ, to die is gain"? Can you say, "if I die now, I am saved, I will go to Heaven", even when it is NOT once saved, is always saved?

Scripture said, we can expect there will be trouble because we are living in this (fallen) world. There would be trials of all sorts, afflictions, even persecutions.  What is safety to you? What do you think is God's safety about? It is this: That your name and my name continue to be written in the Lamb's Book of Life (and NOT blotted out).  Can you and I have such a safety? Yes, because God is faithful, but you and I need to love Him, listen to Him, and follow Him, for in so doing, we can overcome till the end, even unto death, and receive our consummation of salvation, be glorified in Heaven.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions