Basic Battle Training
Chapter 6: The Objective: Salvation Properly Presented in 10 Steps
Having God’s forces properly defined, established, and arrayed we can now look at the ultimate objective that satan seeks to thwart: the firm salvation of a soul.
Much critical content dealing with true salvation is omitted today in an effort to win converts. As a result of these ommisions, many of those "saved" are then lost when they become aware of the realities of the Christian life or, in an equally destructive way, become cookie cut to the soft conversion they received. Today’s salvation package is virtually devoid of eternal values and in its place is represented as "cool" and “in” with ample additions of worldly music, buzzwords, dress codes and ungodly thinking.
Unless all things related to the true realities of the Christian life are fully explained to the perspective convert before they make their decision, that individual will begin the journey ill-equipped to remain in the faith.
With the following steps and information outlined below, converts can properly enter and stay in The Kingdom of God.
Step 1: As seen through His creation, knowledge that there is a God is clearly revealed: Heb. 11:3; Rom. 1:20
Step 2: From this awareness a recognition of His vast power is hopefully realized: The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom: Prov. 9:10
Step 3: With these things known, choice can be made to seek Him!
Note: Birth into the Kingdom of God is by the manifold grace of God in combination with our receipt of His matchless gift. We are not, as some teach, individually "chosen" or "destined" for this meeting…in fact salvation is only found when we seek Him with all our heart.
· In Matt. 7:7 Jesus said, "seek and ye shall find"
· Jer. 29:13 states: "Ye shall seek me and find me when ye shall search for me with all your heart”
The Good News: There IS a plan!
Step 4: Next comes God's interaction through one of His servants or a personal study of His Word revealing pertinent details related to salvation:
- That He is holy (1 Pet. 1:16)
- That we are sinners (Rom. 3:10, 23)
- That God is not pleased with us as we are (John 3:18)
- That God will judge us into Hell if we die as we are. (Matt. 13:49)
- But God is merciful, forgiving, loving and kind (John 3:16-21)
With these things known life’s two paths are revealed:
Reject God and live in the vanity of one's own mind and sin: in death becoming an object of His wrath and justice in Hell and destruction forever (Note: see also "degrees" of punishment in Hell Matt. 11:22, 24; Luke 12:47-48).
Accept God’s provision of His Son with the guidance He will provide. With this one will enjoy the forgiveness of all past sin, and begin to live your life in the wisdom of His instruction (John 3:16-21)
With this acceptance and forgiveness will come:
· Salvation from Hell
· Eternal Life
· Entrance into the Body of Christ
· The promise of rich reward for service to Him
· His Spirit to lead and guide you into all truth
· The joy and fulfillment of being born into God’s Kingdom
Note: At the moment of our conversion we are sealed into the Father's grace and our eternal destiny is changed from sure judgment and Hell to the promise of His Kingdom. From that point forward it becomes our responsibility to work out our salvation with The Father's provided strength and guidance (Phil 2:12).
The bad news
At this point (prior to a decision) the prospective convert needs to be thoroughly briefed to the up and "downside" realities of the Christian life. These details, described throughout the whole of God’s revealed Word, are omitted in most modern efforts (Mat. 13:3).
These realities include:
- Persecution to come (John 15:18,20; 16:2)
- The spiritual battle he will enter (Acts 14:22)
- And the “flesh vs. the spirit" fight he will face (Rom. 8:5-14; Gal. 5:16-24)
- A complete picture and structure of The Kingdom of God, including a total understanding of its "economy" of reward for faithful service.
- Sure problems with friends, family and supposed brothers
Step 5: The next step is up to the hearer. With all the information clearly on the table, it's decision time: To repent and believe by faith the things learned about God and the life presented or to remain in sin and unbelief.
Note: Salvation only comes through believing by faith (Acts 16:31; John 8:24; 3:16; Rom. 4:5; 10:9-10). The Biblical definition of this faith however is not one without consequence, or a "one time experience." Repentance is a quantum shift from your thinking and ways to an adherence to the mind and will of the Father. Continuance in sin is not something that equates with true repentance. As clearly spoken of in James 2: 14-26 "...faith without works is dead."
Step 6: With these things done, salvation provides that:
· You are "Born Again" (John 3:3)
· You become a Child of God (John 1:12)
· You receive His Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14)
· You are enlightened with "the light of the living" (Job 33:27-30)
Onward and upward!
Step 7: From here God’s new child is encouraged to grow from birth through further instruction, personal study of The Bible, and interaction with other older believers. This maturity would include:
· Assurance of salvation (John 3:36)
· Learning of the economy of The Kingdom of Heaven and system of rewards within (Matt. 6:19- 20; 10:41-42)
· Pursuing the Father for "Gifts" or abilities to better serve in the Kingdom (1 Cor. 12; Rom. 12:4-8; Eph. 4:8-13)
· Growth to stability (1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18; Heb. 5:11-6:3)
· Seasoning to strength and maturity for service (Rom. 12:1-2; Heb. 12:1-2)
To the end (or the beginning!)
Step 8: With these things fulfilled the mature man of God can profitably serve God and hopefully persevere through the troubles and realities of the Christian life that will surely ensue (2 Tim. 3:12; Matt. 13:20-21; 24:13; Heb. 3:6,12,14; 6:11; 10:23-29; 2 Pet. 2:20-22)
Step 9: Finally there is death and judgment. Here he will either be:
· Reward based on the value of service in the light of the ability to perform it. (2 Cor. 9:6)
· Or stripes and loss, based on "sloth" or mishandling of the opportunities that were afforded. (Luke 12-41-48)
Step 10: Having been righteously judged and in receipt of reward for your labor, you will begin eternity with whatever it will hold. Hint: …"At thy right hand are pleasures for evermore" (Psalm 16:11)
With the omission of much of this information, it is any wonder that the many "saved" in evangelism efforts today quickly fall away? What job, organization or movement is able to successfully recruit people if they are given half-truths or have important information held back? Surely it is clear from any reasonable perspective that those who enter The Kingdom of God should do so with all the cards dealt and on the table!
With these things in place, there is no doubt that some of the "numbers" will decline…but this measure will quickly be replaced by a quality of believer that will far exceed the supposed multitude.
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