Let no man deceive you with vain words. Ephesians 5:6
Certain men crept in unawares . . . turning the grace of God into lasciviousness. Jude 4
The funny thing about a broken clock is that it is perfectly right twice a day. Think about it … that old clock might have been dead for years, but nonetheless, two times a day its little rusty hands proudly proclaim the time as accurately as the space program’s best atomic clock. However, despite this brief momentary accuracy, for all practical purposes a broken clock is still worthless. And that’s a bit the way that salvation is commonly taught and preached these days. It’s often completely right for a moment...but by and large it is still broken.Here’s what I mean … Modern Evangelicals are quick to point to the fact that to spend eternity with Christ we must be “born again.” In describing this necessity to be “born again,” they often highlight the holiness of God and sinfulness of man. They accentuate the fact that man is helpless to save himself and therefore totally at the mercy of God for grace and forgiveness.
Now, this is all very appropriate and even “accurate.” But much like the broken clock that is accurate only for a moment, this is usually where modern Evangelical salvation stops. It started out good, but it didn’t keep going. The result is a salvation that is reduced to a “decision” or a “prayer”—not a new life.Explanations of salvation like these can leave the sinner standing there “broken” without a ticking heart. When salvation is explained this way the results can be devastating. Even the most sincere “walk down the aisle” or the most passionate “sinner’s prayer” is no substitute for Jesus’ words, “take up your cross daily and follow me.” Christianity is a life—not a one-time decision.
The Mass Murderer Goes to Heaven?
A few weeks ago the nation mourned over the news of yet one more homicidal catastrophe. This time a man named George Sodini from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania went into his sports gym with a loaded hand gun and savagely ended the lives of three women and injured nine others. Completing this fit of terror, the deranged killer finally turned the gun on himself and ended his own life as well.
Unfortunately, this type of tragedy is not unheard of on the landscape of modern America. What caught my attention in this case was that the killer left a journal. In his journal the killer mentioned the philosophy that enabled him to perform these terrible atrocities.
Aghast when I read it, I saw that Sodini claimed that his philosophy was the philosophy of modern American Evangelicalism—brought to its logical end. Click to read more...
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Co. 5:10)
What’s the boldest example of evangelism that you have ever seen? For me, it was when I was fresh out of anesthesia school. I was working in a hospital that employed a lot of foreign medical students and residents. Because of all the students, the operating rooms there were usually bustling with all kinds of people—not just the surgeons and their residents, but the X-ray people had their trainees, the scrub techs had their trainees, the lab techs had theirs, etc … I guess you get the idea—the operating rooms were packed!Well, it had been one of my first days on the job there in this teaching hospital. I was just about to administer the anesthesia to put my patient to sleep when he looked up at me and said, “Is this it? Am I going out now?”
I told him, “Yes, I am about to start the anesthesia.”
Then he said “Before you do, I want to talk to the main surgeon who will be doing my surgery. I have a question for him.”
I told the residents nearby, and they quickly ran up to the head of the bed and said that they could answer any questions that he had.He asked, “Thank you, but are you the main surgeon?”
The resident told him he was not the main surgeon—that the main surgeon was in his office and would be coming out soon—but that it would actually be a while before he would get there.
But the man insisted, “I want to talk to him … I must ask him a question.”
After trying a few more times, the resident finally gave up and called for the chief surgeon. He was in his office, which was about 10 minutes away. Click to read more...