Saving to the Uttermost

Sin is the enemy we share and we meet at the cross.  The good and the bad are not poor drivers.  Neither are they accidents. Events are vehicles driven for God’s design. Saving grace however is not something thought up and executed.  It is a divine eternal glory made visible.  Something so devastatingly perfect deserves elevated attention.  So if we are going to trace sin back to Adam and all badness back to the consequences of his sin we should also recognize that the only treatment for sin is lamb’s blood.  If we are going to trace sin back to Satan and all badness back to the consequences of his fall we should acknowledge that angels get no salvation. We probably want, right about here, to declare how special the human race is, and make sense of the difference between servants and family in the  divine scheme.  

A Complete Salvation

The unprecedented nature of Christ’s priesthood means that expectations are also out of the box or through the roof (Heb. 7:17-24)

Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.  Hebrews 7:25

Servants and Sons

A certain attitude of debt has dominated  Christian thinking and led to catastrophe of the dead-while-alive kind.  People who are always working to prove they are worthy of God’s gifts proudly own this mindset.  Who would have thought that recognizing God’s gift would not lead to the recognition that we can never pay?

Owners and Winners

Another attitude of gain has captivated  Christian minds and offers victory over everything, including the very things we need to grow: the get-your-needs-met-and-call-it-godliness disaster. 

2 Peter 2:15

Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, 

The means of salvation is not the way of getting.  It remains the ultimate message about friendliness and giving.

These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.  Jude 16

The deliverance and healing service providers trafficking in both fake and quasi miracles are the perpetuators of this Balaam doctrine and lifestyle.
God is not interested in our record of wins.  If there was a human anywhere who could by any means save the world then God’s provision of a saviour is pointless and useless. Who is the  hopeless liar: God or me?  

God does not need any help with saving humanity.  Imagine how individuals and various groups would be lining up for Emmys and seats of authority in the kingdom.  What credit could there possibly be to us?  He saves completely because we were completely lost.  

Finally, the salvation is so complete that after transferring us from the kingdom of darkness, after leading us out of corruption, after forgiving our sins, after giving us His name, and in addition to a shield against sinning (and it is not the law) he gives us a down payment on what’s to come.  Is God now waiting for us to keep every commandment? Do we know them all: food, drink, festivals, offerings, family life, secular sconventions and sacred assemblies?  How about justice, mercy and faithfulness?  
Do you still think that Christ leaves the final disposition of his salvation up to us?  Surely you may want to get credit for saving yourself but do you really want to insult God and everyone who knows you with that lie?

Hurricane Season is not Judgment Festival.

The annual cycle of hot air near the West  African coast turning into destructive cyclones is, far from being an opportunity for God to strike at evil, a testament to divine wisdom and power and care.  What can we say about the people who live in tornado alley or those who live near volcanoes?  Are those lives and property affected the subjects of divine judgment? Are not the rains the rescuing lifeblood of some places?  

It is typical for God to escalate his chastening.  You know! The spankings get more severe.  Judgment, on the other hand, comes after many admonitions and arrives without warning.  This was one function of ancient prophets and righteous men.  If God does not allow our lives to be interrupted we stagnate and we make idols of our accomplishments.  I know of no prophet who actually picked Houston, Barbuda, St Maarten, St. John and Dominica as objects of divine wrath.  Zero.

Remember Sodom and Gomorrah, Bandeh Acheh and Port Royal? All life swept away as in those places is more like judgment than the misery of being homeless and facing the loss of property.   Lives lost in any fashion is painful and all passing of life is a matter of concern to God.  We are convinced that the passing of believing souls is precious to God.  So let’s leave the judgment to God (see the 7 Bowls of Anger in Revelation 15:1 and all of chapter 16)  and know for certain that no place on the planet is ever not benefiting from God’s kindness and generosity.  

May it be that the hurricane season reminds of the seismic activities –  colonialism, the slave trade, the grand American experiment –  that brought the western hemisphere under scrutiny and assured judgment and rouses the spirit of repentance.  We cannot keep saying nice things about ourselves and be credible witnesses of our times.  Even so, every turning point presents opportunities for the living.