“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1 Cor. 15:19)
This is a truth hidden in a sense behind a fallacy, if indeed Christ is not risen, neither shall we rise, if the Lord Jesus Christ is not who He said He was, then we who have devoted our lives to Him have wasted the only life we had.
This is how the lost see us, it is how those in every religious organization on the planet view us, no works, only grace through faith, a belief that they will never attain to.
I have contended with many over the decades and the truth of 1 Corinthians 1:18 has been shown to me far too many times. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” They see us as no less than fools. How can anyone believe that there is an invisible sky daddy up there, no one has ever come back from the dead, much less this Ghost, this Holy Spirit that you claim lives within you.
Fools for Christ.
We need a crutch they say, some form of inner assistance to make it through this life, we are not strong enough to make it on our own, to stand on our own two feet. Religious organizations mock us, grace to them is a foreign word, pride has blinded their eyes, man must do something to earn his salvation, while others will say, “Yes, Jesus Christ died for our sins, but it was not enough, without some work done by us we will be eternally damned.” His grace is not sufficient, we are fools for Christ in their eyes my friends, and we are mocked, ridiculed, hated and even persecuted for showing them the truth of those verses of grace.
“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31)
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” (Eph. 2:8)
To them John 10:9 is a lie, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
With those I speak of there is always another way, another path to the Kingdom of the Lord God, and even the most deceived will say that yes, we must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, but that is not enough, you must do this, perform that, you must add something to His sacrifice.
There are fewer of us than you might like to believe. “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:14)
The deceptions are great, and in reality they start with us, our old nature demands to be recognized, it demands to be a part of the gift offered and refuses to accept that there is absolutely nothing that we can offer that the Almighty will accept concerning our salvation. My friends, even our faith is a gift from God.
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44)
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17)
The door is open, the truth has been shown to all who will listen, salvation awaits everyone who will simply believe. Our adversary does all he is allowed to do to keep this truth from the minds of men, he assists them in the pride that dwells within them, he shows them the path of works, and most have taken that path. The deceits are subtle, and only the Holy Spirit can show you the error of those who claim some work, some deed is required by us, Spiritual discernment is not possible without the Holy Spirit.
After a while those who see you as a fool will either grow tired of you, or become angered with you, there is no third option, and the days of persecution may be approaching fast.
Grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone, there is no other way to be saved from our sins, to be hid in Christ from the wrath of God.
At first they will pity you, then call you a fool, from there you must make the decision, will you stand or flee? “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” (Heb. 10:38)