salvation is a miracle
Having participated in many discussions in the forums, I have come to a renewed resolve that salvation is indeed a miracle! Those who do not believe are so blind to what salvation means, that they might as well be on another planet. That's how far removed it is from their understanding. I will go so far as to say they are totally devoid of understanding. The language and the "logic" used in their arguments are nothing short of confused, and irrational. For claiming to be more rational than believers, they break every rule in their discussions.
I have understanding of where they are at, because I have been where they are, (metaphorically speaking). I have been on the unsaved's side of the fence, so to speak. But I am now on this side of the fence. The side where salvation resides. Anyone else who is saved will know exactly what I am talking about. The truth is that none of them have been on this side, and are clueless of what we are, say and understand.
There is a constant interchanging of religion and true believers. As a born again child of God, you KNOW the difference. To all the rest, it's one and the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. You cannot appeal to reason, because , as a believer, you are duly categorised as "irrational, believing in myths and fairy tales, superstitious "etc. You are written off as not worthy of an intelligent discourse. It automatically draws into the discussion ridicule, bullying, hateful, and judgmental language.
There are two states of being in regard to the issue of salvation. Simply put, before and after. The before is every human ever born, (Jesus excepted), and the after is every believer who is saved. The Bible goes to great lengths to differentiate between the two. Saved-unsaved, lost-found, dead-alive, righteous-unrighteous, having faith-without faith, light-darkness, sinner-saint...You see NO religion mentioned at all. It's not as if you belong to one religion you are ok, and all the rest are NOT ok. None are OK.
God is NOT a god of any religion. If He were, he'd expect us to join that religion. This, of course is how the unbelieving see it. If Christians preach the Gospel, they are seen as "forcing their religion down someone else's throat". I would have to agree, if that were the case. But it's not. A true christian will NOT PUSH christianity. They will (should) promote Jesus Christ, and what He has done. In fact, the correct term is to lead them to Christ, not push! We are not about proselytising. Taking someone out of their religion and converting them to "our religion".
All this type of thinking and language all comes from a pre-salvation mindset. I am not the least bit surprised that's how the nonbelievers come across. They don't know anything else. Weren't we all that way to some extent. I know of many believers who were totally antagonistic to the gospel, God, and all things related. BUT then Christ came into their lives and it all changed!
How can you "paint word picture" of a rainbow to a blind person? You can't. You have to leave it as it is, because they have no understanding of colour. Spiritually blind people are equally blind to the spirit (world). The Apostle Paul writes that it's foolishness to those that are perishing. And indeed it is. They see us as fools. And worse things than that. There is nothing that we can say or do, that will open their "eyes". Thy refer to themselves as open minded and free thinkers etc, but they are not. They are trapped within their own prejudices and in their narrow world view.
Jesus Himself could not make people believe! He preached, healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, changed water into wine, and even walked on water, but none of these things "made" people believe. Why do we expect it to be any different today. Especially knowing that none of us can truly say we are like Him, though we should be. What's the solution then? How can they "have their eyes opened?
Good question. If we can do nothing to make believers out of non believers, how does the change take place? By an act of God Himself. He is the saviour, and He is the one who converts the sinner to saint. It takes several things all working together for the miracle to take place. But to shorten the list, it's a gift of faith, given freely, by grace, to those who have a desire to know Him. Jesus asked His disciples who does the world think He is. They answered a prophet, teacher etc, but none of them "nailed it" until He asked Peter, what do YOU say? Then comes the profound statement, "you are the Son of the living God"!
It's the following statement that is most relevant here to this topic. Jesus said that "flesh and blood have not revealed this to you, but My Father in Heaven". Matthew 16;17. First of all, for those who are always seeking proof or empirical evidence of the existence of God, Jesus etc will NEVER get a revelation of Him. It does not come from the natural world of our senses. (ie flesh and blood). It ONLY comes from God the Father. Sorry guys, but that's it! There is NO other way. If there were He would have told us about it.
Secondly, it is BY FAITH. That's a word that is pretty much despised by atheists, (in particular). They go so far as to say that faith is unnecessary in every day life. something I disagree with most vehemently. I wrote a Hub on it, HERE. Because God is spirit, and our salvation is spiritual (though it will involve our total being) it can only be received by faith. We don't take some pill or drink some liquid to get saved. We need a miracle to take place within.
The spirit of an unsaved man is separate from God's Spirit, and is referred to as dead in sin. But, the new man is born of the spirit, and becomes alive to God. How can free thinking bring that about? It can't. How can joining a religion make it happen?It can't. How can doing good deeds (works) do that? It can't. Not even baptism can do that, without faith toward God as outlined above. Just because a person goes to church, or is raised in a doctrine (even if it's the christian doctrine) does not automatically make you a believer.
How can anyone hope to be saved without God being involved? Not possible. Another scripture sums it up pretty well. Hebrews 11;6.. for without faith it is impossible to please Him... To involve God, you have to believe Him, that He exists and that He will reward the one who truly seeks after Him. (my paraphrase).
For those who deny God or His existence, there is little left for God to work with. All that can happen is for some crisis, or epiphany to come along to cause one to cry out from the depth of their heart for Him to intervene. I knew someone who went through the Vietnam war and his recount of the mortally wounded was this. The ones that were moments from their death cried out for one of two "people" in their dying moment. God or Mum. I hope it won't take a crisis that serious for you to reach out.
That's why the sinners prayer for salvation is such a powerful thing. It calls upon God to intervene in their moment of need, and "bring about" the miracle of salvation. Except you be born again, you will not enter the Kingdom of God. Do you know who said that? Jesus said it. But the thing I find intriguing is to WHOM it was said. It was Nicodemus, a religious leader. Surely religious leader know this stuff. No they don't, if they themselves have never experienced it. They might as ell NOT be religious, or a leader. It's meaningless in the long run.
I guess what I'm saying is that your religion won't save you. Jesus saves!