Borrowed Truths

It’s Better

Borrowed Truths

It’s Better

“Well, it’s better than the alternative.” I have actually heard these words coming from the mouths of those who profess Christ as Savior, and it has always made me wonder. Of course the conversations were about death, the leaving of the soul and spirit from the body, and although it would be morbid to the lost to have such a discussion, it has always surprised me at how many who call themselves Christians will shy away from the subject of their demise.

It infers a lack of trust, there is no other way to express it, these individuals do not have the assurance of salvation, their faith rests in hope, not fact, the moment of death for them is not something to look forward to, it is to be feared. Many will try to explain away this fear by saying that it is not necessarily what may happen to them after the body ceases to function, but the pain that might be involved with it, but they deceive themselves, for it takes only a few more minutes of conversation with them before they decide that the topic is closed, there is no further need to address this issue. The lack of trust is not so much based upon the saving work of the cross that Christ performed for all as it is with their own knowledge of the truth of their acceptance of Him as Lord, and it is easily discerned that many of these base the presumption or lack thereof, of their salvation upon their own works, thoughts and daily perceptions of themselves.

Even when they realize that there is nothing that needs to be added to what our Lord did for us at the place of the skull, (Mark 15:22) a part of their heart still feels a need to do something else, to add to what cannot be added to, these feel as if they are not good enough, and so by performing some type of work they believe they are accomplishing a form of self-righteousness. By doing these things they believe that God will see them as worthy, they have tried so they are acceptable. The word “grace” is a foreign concept to these individuals, they hear the words “For you are saved by grace thru faith” but the section of Ephesians 2:8-9 that comes after this, “and that not of yourselves” and “not of works” just does not seem to find a resting place in their hearts. They fear death not because of the possible pain that may accompany it, not because they would miss their loved ones or the things of this world, but because they are not sure, their faith is based on emotions, on feelings, not in fact, and so they continuously do not feel as if they are good enough. Their works remain as filthy rags, (Isaiah 64:6) they try to do what they believe they must do to be accepted as good enough by our Lord, and so few if any of their works are performed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

They are usually not submissive to the will of the Spirit of God, they may read the Scriptures and even understand them to a degree, they will feel poorly about themselves after they converse with someone, knowing that they should have brought up something about their Savior, but they rarely if ever apply themselves to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in those moments. They doubt themselves because they will not submit when it is time to submit, and so they see their lack of submission and faithlessness in these moments as one of no assurance in their salvation, they do only in their minds, but not in the presence of others. They fear death because they are unsure of the truth of their salvation, they do not see themselves as worthy because they do not see their works as pleasing to the Lord, they look at their faults more than the work that Christ has performed in them up to this point in their lives. It can be just as easy to assist these in seeing the error of their thoughts about their death as it is with helping them to see what the Lord has wrought up in their lives up to this point, it just takes a little more time and patience.

Ask them to tell you about what they were like before that glorious moment that He came to remove the burden of sin from their life, and then who they are now, not who they think they are, but the actual actions and attitudes of their heart. Leave works out of the conversation for now, these individuals are most generally emotion-based people, and so it is their emotions, how they feel about themselves today in comparison to how they felt about themselves before Christ came into their life that must be addressed first. Usually you will find that they will speak about who they were before Christ in the third person, unbelieving that anyone could do, say, and act like that, and the longer they speak, the more they will see “that person” as reprehensible, concerned with self and the perception of others upon that self, “that person” will be detestable in their eyes.

Now move them to how they feel about themselves today in Christ, not works or deed, simply how they feel about what Christ has done for them since they heeded His call. You will see a different person speaking, and more often than not, tears will be shed, words will stumble and falter, “Behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17)

Now then, onto the works, what are they doing that they did not do before Him, what are their thoughts like, their words, the daily life, how have these changed without them attempting to change them by their own accord. What are they not doing that they used to do, and why not, “It doesn’t seem right anymore” is usually the type of words you will hear, you will see their resolve change, determination will be the look on their face, a determination never to dishonor the Lord in any part of their life. Now you can explain to them that by grace they have been saved thru faith, they have just proven to themselves by their own words the assurance of their salvation, the old man (Romans 6:6) is dying, although not dead yet, he is being slowly killed a little more each day, and they have just shown to themselves that they have had absolutely nothing to do with it, save for a desire to be pleasing to the Lord. They have without even realizing it in themselves been submissive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and all that they have attempted to do of their own free will has been nothing more than filthy rags, they have just proven it to themselves. The assurance has been revealed.

To listen to the will of God, to submit to the promptings of the Holy Spirit is to know the assurance of one’s salvation. To let the perfect love that Christ has for you cast out all fear, (1 John 4:8) that most dreadful fear of all, the fear of death. His sting will be gone, (1 Cor. 15:55) and you will finally know the truth that you are loved beyond all measure, and this my friends is the truth that will set you free. (John 8:32) Nearly every human being has a horrific fear of death, it is the greatest of all the unknowns, but not for the believer who has been set free from that fear, for that is the moment that they know they will be in the presence of their Savior for all eternity.

“It’s better than the alternative?” No my friends, it isn’t, it is a day to look forward to, “Joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5) and that morning of joy for us will never end, our last day here will be our first day there forever, and to be absent from the body and present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8) should be the daily hope of all who love Him.

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