I honestly thought the first chapter was riveting! I also had in my mind that chapter two couldn’t possibly be just as good. WRONG! I have read it three times this week and came away with something new each time.
I am an avid believer in predestination. As a family, we’ve been learning more and more about this topic. This chapter hit the nail on the head! There are so many great quotes but, this section was one of my favorites!
The modern-day gospel says, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for you life. Therefore, follow these steps, and you can be saved.” Meanwhile, the biblical gospel says, “You are an enemy of God, dead in your sin, and in your present state of rebellion, you are not even able to see that you need life, much less to cause yourself to come to life. Therefore, you are radically dependent on God to do something in your life that you could never do.”
The former sells books and draws crowds. The latter saves souls. Which is more important?
In the gospel God reveals the depth of our need for him. He shows us that there is absolutely nothing we can do to come to him. We can’t manufacture salvation. We can’t program it. We can’t produce it. We can’t even initiate it. God has to open our eyes, set us free, overcome our evil, and appease his wrath. He has to come to us.” (pg. 32)
Most American churches are NOT teaching this. I am so very thankful that we go to a church that truly preaches the gospel. There is not set prayer in the Bible. There is no box to check or lines to repeat to become a Christian. So many have been deceived. The portion in the Bible where Jesus preaches the sermon on the mount breaks my heart. To know that so many have been deceived and honestly feel they are headed down that narrow path. As David mentions, Jesus wasn’t preaching to the atheist or the irreligious people. He was speaking to the devoutly religious people of that day.
“According to Jesus, one day not just a few but many will be shocked-eternally shocked- to find that they were not in the kingdom of God after all.” (pg. 38)
Friend, this is true for our churches today. Maybe even for someone reading this book or blog. It’s not about a prayer, a walk down the isle or “accepting” Jesus. It is truly about surrender. Surrender of our sin, taking up our cross and following Jesus.
You cannot accept or invite Him…
“Jesus is no longer one to be accepted or invited in but one who is infinitely worthy of our immediate and total surrender.” (pg. 39)
A deep sigh is coming from the depth of my heart and soul. I honestly feel the need to write this tonight. Please, please if you have a question about your salvation turn to Him. Pray and seek out the Word of God. I know many who are deceived, who believe their salvation is their choice. In a me-centered world we have to surrender our lives and hearts to the One who is worthy. He calls us and brings us to Him.
My favorite quote is near the end of the chapter on page 39.
“We seek after him, and we discover that he is indeed the great reward of our salvation.”
The greatest reward is truly our salvation.
“Oh God, open eyes, open hearts…do your will and have your way.”
Please visit Marla’s blog if you are interested in the Radical read-along.