In the 13th Chapter of Matthew, we find two parables illustrating the reactions that an unbeliever can experience when he discovers or is introduced to the Gospel for the first time.
In the first parable (vs. 44), we hear of a man who found hidden treasure on land not his own. He then bought the field in order to claim possession of the treasure. He may have not been actively looking for treasure, but upon discerning its value, he sold all that he owned in order to claim it as his own.
In the second parable (vs. 45, 46), we hear of a merchant who was actively engaged in the business of fine pearls. Upon finding one of great value, he sold all that he had to purchase it.
While both individuals acknowledged the value, note that it was the one who was not necessarily looking for it that experienced the joy!
The Lord Jesus Christ was speaking of the Kingdom of Heaven. The treasure and the pearl represent the Gospel Message.
For some born again believers, the excitement they experience at salvation carries over to a desire to prematurely advance in the course of their post-salvation spiritual life.
While the devotion of such a new convert is commendable, a zealous, but unprepared, believer is “cruising for a bruising”.
He is likely to soon discover the vulnerability and frustration of engaging in spiritual combat (Eph. 6: 12) without first being adequately prepared (1Pet.3: 15) equipped (Eph.6: 13- 17) and empowered (John 15: 5) to execute the life of discipleship.
Like the immobilized thief nailed to his cross, we can do nothing to save ourselves. He could not raise his hands, walk down aisles, receive sacraments, or “do” anything other than to believe in the Person and Works of the Lord Jesus Christ.
One can never be any more or any less saved that he is at the moment of salvation. Suggesting any requirements beyond faith in the Work accomplished by our Lord on the cross in order to be or remain saved amounts to blasphemy.
Salvation was never intended to be a complicated subject or process. The true Gospel Message, by design, was made clear and simple enough that anyone who reaches the age or stage of moral accountability can understand it via the pre-salvation ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
It is what Satan, in the name of religion, appealing to the fallen nature in Man, has added to and taken from what can be Biblically substantiated that clouds the simplicity, clarity, purity, and permanency of the Gospel Message.
Discipleship, on the other hand, is a life-long process that requires preparation and development. It must be actively maintained.
The Greek New Testament word for disciple is “mathetes”, which means to be a technical student in a teacher-pupil relationship. Making disciples out of born again believers is a critical part of the Great Commission, defining the true mission of the Church.
During childhood, decisions concerning the quantity and quality of Biblical teaching are made for us. There comes a time however, when we become accountable for our own spiritual progress.
A person, be it a pastor, teacher, parent, sibling, relative, friend, associate, or stranger cannot be used by God to edify anyone else beyond the level of his own spiritual maturity. The devil, however, can use the spiritual deficiencies of believers to drag others down.
There is no such thing as neutrality in the spiritual realm. Like it or not, we are all tools, either in the hands of God or Satan, advancing or impeding others in the spiritual realm. Your choices do not only impact you!
The one thing that all pastors, teachers, parents, siblings, friends, associates, and strangers have in common is that they are all human. Humans have the capacity to be very sincere, but can also be sincerely wrong. Bullets fired in ignorance can be just as lethal as ones that are fired with malicious intent.
Speaking for God is an awesome privilege and responsibility. But like learning to walk, it takes time to develop the necessary knowledge, balance, and functioning skills. Preparation takes time, but often determines the quality of the end product.
The best part about the crawling stage is that we spend a lot of time on our knees in close proximity with our Caretaker.
Exceeding the speed limit along the narrow road of the post salvation spiritual life can prove to be counterproductive.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.