ETERNAL SALVATION – For The Records


From 2015 when we started George’s Diary Blog to this moment, a lot of thoughts has been shared on the subject of eternal salvation, some of the opinions also came from the notes I havee kept from years before 2015 when God started opening my eyes on the subject of salvation. Some of these thoughts may have been improved and made clearer as we grow. Before I heard the word “OSAS”, I already believed that Salvation is eternal. The reason was simple, that was what I understood as salvation from the day it became clear to me. John 3:16 which I started quoting as a little child says

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH, but have ETERNAL LIFE”

First, the criteria for salvation is the belief in the Son sent by God to the world; Jesus. In a nutshell, that is faith! So, salvation is by faith in Christ Jesus. Secondly, the invitation was given to whosoever and the result of believing is that “whosoever” shall not perish but instead have the life of God. I grew up knowing John 3:16 even before I could read comprehension in school. The doctrine of eternal salvation is accurately and vehemently captured in John 3:16

If you’ve followed George’s Diary, you’ll see a consistent use of the word “eternal salvation” other than “once saved always saved”, while you may find traces of the later, we have been much more consistent with using the word “eternal salvation”. The reason is that many people hinge on semantics to discredit us and therefore I prefer to use those things I know are word-for-word in consistent with what the Bible teaches. This doesn’t mean I believe differently from what many others who use the word “OSAS” believe. Another reason is because of some very few personal thoughts that I have kept to myself until there is more light in that area. The only thing I want to achieve with this article is to make my stand on the doctrine of eternal salvation very clear.

This is the same doctrine for which I have been abused by fellow church-folks, the same doctrine for which many severed all ties with me and the same doctrine for which my conviction is too strong that it had to rob me of the wisdom of reaching a compromise to keep some relationships, especially those who believe that once you don’t believe what they believe, you’re an enemy. The religious folks will always play the major role in the persecution of those who stand for the truth and the funny thing is that they won’t know they are persecuting us, they will always see it as though they are fighting for God.

There are few points that capture a large chunk of our stand, here in George’s Diary and other affiliate outfits and ministries on the doctrine of eternal salvation otherwise known as eternal security.

1. WHOSOEVER IS IN CHRIST is a new creature. We became new in our spiritual DNA, our past loosed hold on us which means that our new life is founded on God’s righteousness and not on sin!

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT

2. There is no place for works for the guarantee of salvation. We act as saved because we are saved, we don’t act to be saved. Paul called Galatians foolish for ever thinking they can earn salvation based on works.

“Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” – Galatians 3:2‭-‬3 NLT

3. A believer cannot lose his salvation, a believer cannot reject salvation. Anyone who claimed to be a believer and later denounced the faith, he never believed in the first place. When people denounce the faith, it is proof that they never believed the gospel. To believe is without doubt; doubting to the extent of turning back from what was once claimed to have been believed

“These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.” – 1 John 2:19 NLT

4. A believer doesn’t sin, but even if a believer does sin, we have an advocate who intercedes on the behalf of the believer. The sin of a believer doesn’t nullify salvation. This is the ever-active work of Jesus! Jesus is the atonement for the sins of the entire world.

“My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” – 1 John 2:1‭-‬2 NLT

5. We rest on the finished works of Jesus, we can’t improve on it or maintain it. If we are in Jesus, we are saved.

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” – Ephesians 2:8‭-‬9 NLT

6. The power of sin has been dealt with. The ability of sin to keep you condemned has been destroyed. You are now subject to God’s grace.

“Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.” – Romans 6:14‭, ‬18 NLT

7. There is only one unforgivable sin and that is the sin of unbelief. It is unforgivable, not because God is lacking in some degrees of mercy but because total unbelief is the rejection of salvation in its entirety. To deny Jesus is the sin against the Holy Spirit.

“But anyone who denies me here on earth will be denied before God’s angels.  Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” – Luke 12:9‭-‬10 NLT

8. The maturity of the believer is not hinged on dos and donts but on the revelation of God’s word, as it renews our mind. We were not given ministers of the gospel to teach what is sin and what isn’t sin, the essence is for the maturity of the saints.

“This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” – Ephesians 4:13‭-‬14 NLT

9. We produce forth fruit as a result of what God is doing in us. It is God working in us to do good works and show forth our salvation.

“Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” – Philippians 2:12‭-‬13 NLT

10. The believer in Christ shouldn’t be afraid of judgment on any grounds because the believer is saved and eternally secured. Our love grows perfect every day in Christ.

“And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.” – 1 John 4:17 NLT

11. The Holy Spirit is the seal and guarantees that we are safe in Christ and that God is with us forever.

“The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” – Ephesians 1:14 NLT

The only grounds on which people who question the doctrine of eternal salvation do so is is these questions “are you now saying we should continue sinning? Do you mean that if a Christian dies in fornication that he is not going to hell? Do you mean that when we don’t ask for the forgiveness of our sins that we are still saved?” But to some extents, these questions show our level of maturity, why should a Christian be thinking fornication all the time? Why aren’t they asking “if I was bitter about someone in my heart and suddenly die, am I going to hell?” Why are they only talking about the sins that we deem big?

The reason we keep debating sin is that we think it’s by moral instructions, that we can get men to growth… No, it’s not. Sin shouldn’t be a subject to dwell on, sin has been dealt with and as we grow in the word of God, we become more like God in the body, we continue to wear off the clothes of sin.

It’s either we are covered or we are not covered, its either we are saved or we are not saved. It is either we are sealed or we are not sealed.

When we discuss the gospel here at George’s Diary and other affiliated organisations, especially as regards to salvation, we don’t teach what we simply read in books or hear others, you won’t find us quoting anyone except the Bible because this is the same gospel that saved us when we were lost and confused. What changed us was the good news of God’s grace and his never-ending love. Our convictions stemmed up from the word when we knew nothing and when we knew no man!

We are so assured of our salvation that “making heaven” isn’t a prayers point you’ll ever hear us pray. When I do something wrong and I come to God in the place of prayer, I pour my heart to him and affirm how I didn’t get it right but I am not pleading for forgiveness to get God to forgive me, I am already forgiven even before I sinned, I simply key into that truth in all humility and absolute reverence to God. I also don’t have anything against people asking for forgiveness if that’s the level they operate in but the more you grow the more you understand what Christ has done and the more you stand on it.

When we keep teaching the word, we will discover that there is a change that comes from the word which moral instructions can’t give. If the gospel is God’s power unto salvation, we are rest assured that the gospel will also produce in us the desired fruits of the Spirit. To keep asking if believers will go to hell when they do something wrong is to outrightly say that the word lacks power and isn’t efficacious.

Jesus said “if you love me, keep my commandment” The Bible tells us further that the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts. It takes love to live for God’s glory and not a list of ten commandments or a persistent announcement and threats of hell. What Jesus asked us to do is to be witnesses for him and not to start marking people for condemnation.

I pray for you today, that as you open up to God and the words of his grace, you are built up and grounded and as you discover your inheritance in Christ, you live more and more for him. May the eyes of your understanding continue to be enlightened in the knowledge of God’s word so that you can be able to do what’s pleasing to God. Amen.

Blessings.

-George O.N-
House of Vasileia

BEYOND ME | The Story


Picture of a worshipper

The pictures came alive, replaying in my head and hauling me into the scene. That juncture that Jesus, in all his power, awesomeness and glory allowed himself to be put to shame, allowed himself to be beaten, mocked and treated like a common criminal. I pictured myself in that scene, I saw myself standing at a corner, watching as he dragged the cross along, scratching off clouds of dust with the end of the long bar of the cross from the ground and stumbling at some steps.

I peeked as the soldiers beat what we call “the hell” out of him. They made jest of Jesus each time he cried out. Then, I turned to look at the Jews, I saw them becoming happy for once with the Roman soldiers, for the cause of getting Jesus out of the way. I saw friends and enemies form a coalition. These Jews were presumed to be friends of God, Jesus was supposed to be their hero! I watched as they were being fascinated with what Jesus was going through.

But then I shuddered in tears, knowing that the very reason Jesus was going through this is me. He was not dying his death, he was dying my death. He wasn’t suffering his suffering, he was suffering my suffering. He was doing everything possible to satisfy the demands of a law that passed the sentence on me even before I was born. In those tears, I could feel his stares, his eyes were red, blood running down through a corner. I watched him look at me saying “it is all for you…”

He wasn’t making an accusation, he wasn’t holding me responsible for his death, he was speaking in a tone that confirms it was the path he had chose to follow in his human manifestation. It was his desire to ignore his divinity and be in my shoes. They couldn’t give him a break, I saw how terrible my sins were, they were as terrible as his sufferings. God’s anger on sin was satisfied with him. It is safer to say that God satisfied his anger for sin on Himself. This was God, choosing to walk like man, choosing to bear the consequences on a flesh he had worn.

He was pushed down and he hit his head on the rock, it was this same head on which crown of thorns has been worn upon. The thorns pierced into him even harder, I heard him shout! I couldn’t behold the sight anymore, I was broken. I threw my face away and then I was hearing hits! At each hit, I would hear him shout in agony. I turned to look, the nails we’re being pierced into his hands and his feet. All this was just for me, the cross was my mine, the suffering was mine but he took it over from me.

After the cross has been raised, I managed to look up and stare at him with misty eyes. Many things happened, was it about the sour drink he was fed with? Was it the mockery? I heard him pray “forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do”. That was an everlasting demand for forgiveness, it was a once and for all demand. I felt strongly that he was saying “I have taken their place and your anger is satisfied by now”.

The teariest moment came when it was apparent that heaven had turned back on him. God turned back on him, put it this way, he turned his back on himself! This was the same man who had healed the sick, who raised the dead, he opened the eyes of the blind, who healed all manner of diseases! This is the same man who has been nailed helplessly to the cross, he had become a sight of mockery. That was supposed to be me, I deserved nothing but that cross…

He cried a cry that was supposed to be mine, he said “Father, why has thou forsaken me?” I fell on my knees, knowing this was supposed to be me, I was supposed to be the one who has been forsaken. Here, God fulfilled the promise he made, he had said earlier “I will remember your sins no more” Why? Because Jesus would take them upon himself. Confirming my thoughts, Jesus said, “it is finished”. The struggle, the wrestle with sin and all the failures were over! The war ended! Afterwards, he gave up and died on that cross, carrying the burden of every man on earth and bringing it to an end.

On numerous occurrences, I break down in tears reminiscing God’s love and mercy. Anyone who doesn’t know God may find this funny or strange. I am the only one who can tell with limited words that I have experienced God, I have seen His mercy and the feeling leaves me only in tears, it makes me recount my steps and know if I have been living a life of appreciation towards that sacrifice Jesus made.

How about those nights God would come to me in dreams as a child, carrying me on his laps and telling me things with smiles all over his face! It might be just a dream to you, but it means a lot to me now. How about that morning when I was woken by a voice, I knew it was him and he gave me an instruction. What about the days his powers had surged through my hands? Experience isn’t enough but I have experienced him to an extent I can’t doubt him any more. When people call us jokers, I only realize their extent of ignorance, I don’t blame them.

God looked beyond me, he looked beyond my flaws and said: “I will be your God and your father, you will be a son”. That was what I became! Jesus died, but Jesus resurrected. His resurrection is another story, exciting experience that resources may not permit me to talk about at this very moment. But I know one thing, by death, he destroyed the powers of sin over me, rendered it useless and declared me holy and free from sin!

If it is by that same word by which the world was made that I was declared righteous, then I am righteous. If he said I am free, then I am free indeed.

Listening to Yadah’s “Beyond Me” keeps bringing back this feeling, it keeps stirring my heart and leaving me with tears upon tears. Only I can tell how God has dealt with me in love. One may ask “but you don’t have money yet. You don’t have your heart desires yet…” No, it’s not about what men can give, it’s about what only God could give. It’s not a fulfilment that money can give, it is not a fulfilment my heart desires can give me. Nothing else can fill this vacuum that only God can fill. I can’t trade it for anything.

The joy of salvation is not something I can source from anywhere else, it is not something I can get from eating certain kinds of food, having certain kind of friends, going certain kind of places or attaining certain heights on earth. It is so beautiful knowing that I am a friend and the son of God, knowing that God’s love and mercy have made a dwelling in me. God didn’t give me a second chance to make things right between us, he made it right and asked me to accept it. He gave me no terms and condition, he gave me no further rules, he didn’t increase the burden. All he wanted was that I accept his offering and I did.

*This title “Beyond Me” was inspired by a song, Beyond Me by Yadah

Blessings

THE PRODIGAL SON – The Story


A certain affluent man had two sons and the younger one came asking for his fraction of the inheritance from his father. Normally, a man’s testament becomes effective when he dies but this young boy wasn’t waiting for that time, he wanted to have what was presumed to be his share. The startling thing is that he wasn’t reprimanded by his father, his father who possibly didn’t pick offence with his request.

As a plausible father, he granted his son’s request, calculated all he had and brought out what was deemed to be his younger son’s share and gave them to him. I like to think that his second son was there while the whole thing was being evaluated. The Bible said he gathered it for some days which means that he spent time ensuring that he truly got what was his share completely.

He left his father’s house and sojourned into a far country. He went to create his brand. You know, we always hear things like “you can’t achieve certain things till you leave your father’s house.” Abraham left his father’s house after all and so it didn’t seem wrong to leave and do his best. He was an enthusiastic, ambitious young man who was full of vision but also full of himself.

He did his estimations, he took a bold step, he took a risk and he made his investments. He obeyed many laws of entrepreneurship but it all wasn’t good enough. He squandered all he had, starting from the cash to other properties! Who knows? Possibly, he also did all manner of bets, played all manner of casinos, went to all manner of clubs; living the best of his young age. You hear those quotes too, right? Life isn’t two, we only live once! Yea, it seemed proper to make his once-living worth it.

When everything was gone, it was dawned on him that he messed up. Of all the alternatives he had, going home to his father wasn’t in the option. He wouldn’t want to face the embarrassment, he didn’t want his elder brother to laugh at him, he didn’t want his father to berate him and chase him out of the compound. Just like some parents treat their daughters who get pregnant out of wedlock, he felt his father would treat him worse. After all, everything that belongs to him has been given to him.

To make ends meet, he applied for all manner of jobs but he wasn’t even qualified for any. The only job he qualified for was to feed pigs! Pigs are unclean animals and honourable people don’t rear pigs! This was what he seemed qualified for. He took up the job but things were getting more difficult. He started appreciating old memories of what the servants usually enjoyed in his father’s house and he thought it would be a nice idea if he applies as a servant! He garnered courage, there was nothing to pack because everything was gone! He had said to himself

“How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.”

While nearing home, he was scared, wondering what would be his fate if his father sights him. He knew his offence, he wasn’t ignorant of it. Making a request wasn’t the offence but his attitude, motive and carelessness was the problem. His request was placed on a platter of selfishness. Somehow, he knew what the judgement would look like but again he just wanted to try and ask his father to make him the least of his servants.

He was still at the gate, his heart was skipping beats, he was lost in thoughts and he walked slowly hoping that this journey doesn’t end soon! But he heard someone call out his name in excitement, it was his father! He never expected that. He strengthened his gaze to see his father running towards him.

He had many thoughts flying in and out of his mind. Perhaps, his father was excited that he finally got a chance to kill him. He might have thought he was running down towards him to draw his sword and slash his throat. He stood his ground though, perhaps saying to himself “I deserve whatever comes upon me today.” But as his father drew closer, he could see smiles all over his face, he could see love written all over his father. His father ran to him, spread his arms and allowed him to fall into his embrace, making him get the feel of security and the comfort of having a father!

He wanted to tell his father what he faced, he wanted to sing apologies into the high heavens, he wanted to give all the excuses in this world but his father wasn’t even listening to him. Even before he realized his mistake, his father had forgiven him. Even before he thought of looking for ways to justify himself, his father already justified him. Till date, his father never heard a line of his plea because he never needed it! He already forgave his son!

Still in that embrace, his father remembered that very day his son was leaving, he had walked behind his son and his entourage, he had stopped by the gate looking at his son disappear into space. He had stood there watching the space with tears silently rolling down his eyes. He remembered sitting at the gate hoping his son would change his mind. Every morning, he would walk down from his room to the gate to sit, wait and hope that someday, his son would return. He wasn’t doing this because he didn’t value the other son. There was a space in his heart each of them occupied. They were both very important to him and he couldn’t afford to lose one. He had continued his daily ritual of sitting at the gate till that faithful day that his son came back to him.

The father didn’t start blaming him for going away, he didn’t start demanding an explanation. Although his young son left him and forgot him, he didn’t leave his son not forgot him, his heart was with him always. His son’s attitude towards him didn’t change him, it didn’t change the way he saw him. Now that his son was back, he won’t let go of him again. His son didn’t come back just because he has been humbled, he came back because he has exhausted all possible options. But his father’s love changed him instantly, it melted his heart and humbled him; working wonders of transformation in him. While he was still trying to explain, his father was already making orders. The decoration company had arrived, the hall was set, cooling vans we’re arriving, dancers and entertainers had filled the compound. Messages have been sent to dignitaries and the Father’s business partners everywhere were getting busy and ready.

The first son just finished for the day. He had assumed the role of the managing director of his fathers business. He could hear sounds of celebration echoing from the compound as he came nearer. He beckoned on one of the servants who was passing and asked him what was going on but he got the biggest shock of his life when the servant informed him that his younger brother just came back and their father is throwing the biggest party in town in celebration of his return.

He was not just shocked, he got very angry! He was there when his younger brother took what belongs to him and left, he was there while his younger brother was away. He has been the one trying to run his father’s business all those while and no one has ever thrown a party on his behalf. He walked out on the servant and started raging towards his father’s room.

On getting there, he met his father laughing with his younger brother. His younger brother was narrating some of his experiences and they would laugh over it. He could not take it. It was obvious his younger brother didn’t come to appreciate his father, he came because he had no other option. Was he going to have a share from what doesn’t supposedly belong to him now?

He noticed his younger brother was wearing one of his father’s favourite robe and on his finger was his father’s ring. He was wearing a reserved scandal too! He had never worn those before! He wondered what his brother did to deserve this, the word “inherited favour” wasn’t familiar to him yet.

“Father!” He called out angrily, interrupting the moment. His father turned to look at him, his brother did the same also. His eyes and that of his brother met, there was anger written all over him but he has got no word for his brother. “Look at him, the prodigal son!” He murmured to himself. Then he faced his father and said to him

“Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you have thrown a party for his return!” He stared at his brother while he spoke

His father smiled, shook his head and walked towards him. He held him on his shoulder and said “come here son”, he paused and continued “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

Do you know who this story is about? It is about God and you! He already forgave you even before you had a change of mind, He was and is still eager to receive anyone to his warm embrace. He isn’t listening to apologies, it’s unnecessary, He already overlooked it all! On the cross, Jesus said, “it is finished!”

Regardless of how you feel, regardless of how other people feel about you, God is in love with you. Why not take a walk back home? It is tough out there but it is beautiful and secure in God’s arms. I know you didn’t work for it, but you don’t have to. I know you don’t deserve it but He said you do!

Blessings.

Based on Luke 15:11-32

HOW MUCH DOES JESUS LOVE US?


There is always that time when we revisit that old question “does Jesus really loves me?” Sometimes, it is hard to believe that Jesus loves us, it is easy to even question if this “Jesus story” is true considering many experiences we might have had. You may have lost a loved one, you may have had people rejected you severally and you may have failed at things even after you had prayed.

One thing is this, God never promised that all the answers to your prayers would be “yes’. He never promised that you would live all your life without experiencing problems and He never said you wouldn’t lose your loved ones. Sometimes, the people we are praying for to live are praying that they leave this earth and sometimes what we want for ourselves isn’t what God wants for us. It doesn’t matter how tough God’s decision is on us, it is usually for our good.

Who would have believed that God orchestrated all the challenges that Joseph faced? Who would have believed that those challenges we’re channels through which Joseph would become glorified? Even Jesus as a human found it tough at some point that He had to pray ” if only this cup shall pass over me but let your will be done!” There is always that point of pain in our lives, some of these pains may be caused by our own decisions but sometimes they are part of our making process.

Hardship isn’t the proof of God’s hatred, it doesn’t mean there is no God! You have parents who love you but sometimes they make tough decisions for you simply because they love you. This is why after the humanity in Jesus declared his own will, he still went ahead to submit to God’s will which was hard to bear. Let’s read the words of Jesus as reported in Luke 22:42

Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Do you see that? Dying on the cross wasn’t something the humanity of Jesus desired but it was the will of God and the human-Jesus submitted wholly to it. You may experience worse things but they aren’t pointers that you are not loved by God. Unfortunately, we live in an era where positive confessions seem to have been regarded as the sole force that controls our lives. So, when you confess money and suddenly meet lack, you are forced to think that God doesn’t love you but that is true! In 1 Corinthians 11:9, we see Paul saying

“And when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything, I kept myself from being a burden to you and will continue to do so.”

Even as God has wrought many miracles through the hands of Paul, there were still those times Paul experienced lack and was in need! You can be in need at times; it as an unhealthy misunderstanding of the scriptures that lead people into the erroneous thinking that God’s promises for His children are usually material things. Some principles in the Bible aren’t iron solid rules. Although obedience to our parents can make us live long in the sense that they will commit certain things and train us in good health, it doesn’t mean there aren’t chances that someone would die prematurely.

If Jesus had lived to a hundred years and still died, we would still be saved but why did He had to die young? Several times that some Christians died young, lots of people keeps assuming that they must have done something wrong but this isn’t always the case. God may not have taken their lives but many times, He allows certain things to happen in His own wisdom. We may not know all the answers but He knows. Let’s progress…

Another reason people question if God loves them is because of their past! But God’s word is clear that we are loved despite what our past looks like. The Bible says in John 3:16 that God loved us so much even while we were lost in sin that He gave up Jesus for our sake! We see in Romans 5:8 that this is the demonstration of God’s love. He wasn’t waiting for us to love Him first, He just loved us despite our flaws. How then can our past or even present issues change God’s mind towards us? It’s not possible.

If God required nothing from our own part to save us, He requires nothing to love us. If God loved us while we were yet sinners, He would continue loving us no matter what! We aren’t loved based on merit but based on God’s grace. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God (ESV), Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it (NIV)”.

Salvation is a display of God’s love, it can’t be separated from God’s love. We can’t talk about salvation without talking about His love because it was His love that caused the salvation of man. God’s love is not something we could or can afford, it is something we simply receive by believing.

You can picture yourself as one of the criminals who was crucified with Jesus on the cross, you would be like the one who believed or the one who never believed depending on your own faith. The one who doubted Jesus played dice, he told Jesus to save Himself and them if He is truly the son of God but the one who believed wasn’t playing dice, he professed his faith outrightly and Luke 23:40-43 says

“But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Jesus didn’t despise this sinner’s non-complex but sincere faith and by faith, the thief tapped into the salvation Jesus had offered. Jesus didn’t judge him for how he had lived his life, Jesus didn’t judge him for not having time to make up with the wrongs he had done, Jesus accepted him without reserve.

Throughout our childhood, we would always sing “yes Jesus loves me for the Bible tells me so…” And as we grow and have some terrible experiences we revisit these songs and we ask ourselves, “how much does Jesus love me?” He loves us without reserve, He is careless with His love towards us and the Bible says in Romans 8:35,38-39

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?… And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

All that is left for you is to accept this love. Whether you are were in doubt or you have never confessed God’s love for you before, you may take some seconds to say this prayer

“Precious Lord, I accept your love for me. I wouldn’t earn it but you just gave it to me freely. I believe that I am loved by you despite my flaws and right now I submit to you as my Lord and my saviour. I receive your gift eternal life and I am born again. Thank you, Lord.”

If you prayed this prayer, kindly reach out to us via georgennad@gmail.com, we have a special gift for you and we would want to share more personal words with you.

Blessings!

GOD CAN USE ANYONE – Don’t doubt it


Previously, I had written about Rahab the Canaanite prostitute whom God used for the purpose of handing the city of Jericho over to the Israelites in my aricle “The Unlikely Ally”.

Remember, the initial time Moses had sent spies to investigate the city, many came back afraid! These people were called God’s people but they didn’t trust that God would hand this city over to them. Yes, they witnessed a lot of miracles but this time, they allowed the present reality to override the memories of the mighty acts of God. (Numbers 13:1-14:4)

They were looking at the size of the giants, they were considering physical attributes, they were judging God’s word which already promised them victory based on their own efforts and they belittled God’s power and indirectly considered the mighty men of that city superior to God. But on another tour into the city, the two men sent by Joshua encountered a prostitute whose name is Rahab. (Joshua 2:1-24)

Rahab would be considered morally bankrupt but this same woman had the simple faith some Israelites didn’t have. She knew her city had mighty men but somehow, she believed that the God of the Israelites has handed the city of Jericho over to the Israelites. Prior to the day the two men encountered her, God had already chosen her to play a role!

Somehow, we are seeing a similar scenario happen in every age! We see how Jesus approached Paul on his way to Damascus (Act 9:1-9) and we see how Jesus had chosen “an enemy” for a great project. It so sad that it is Christians who seem to look down on God’s mercy, Christianity has never been based on works, it has never considered merit, it has never considered efforts. There isn’t any kind of works in Christianity that is not powered by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). In Christianity, we work because we have been empowered and separated to do so, we don’t work to be empowered or to be chosen. Many people still find it hard to believe this.

Rahab was a prostitute but Rahab was a woman chosen by God for a specific purpose! I am not over flogging the subject of God using anyone, we should see even the worst people around us as potential vessels unto honour. In this age, Saul who became Paul would be considered a terrorist and in other words, God chose a terrorist for His purpose. No person encounters God and remains the same. Let me bring it home a bit.

Selena Gomez, Justin Beiber, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Demi Lovato and many more celebrities, atheists all people of diverse religion are all professing Jesus as their Lord and saviour and you think God isn’t raising armies in the most unusual way? Some of these people weren’t convinced by preachers, some of them had personal experiences with God which prompted them into accepting something they had never believed in before or stopped believing in.

Kanye West just declared he is going to focus on “Gospel Music”, Demi Lovato just got baptized, I also learnt Nicki Minaj is leaving the secular music industry. Oh yeah, some things may not be doctrinally correct based on your own analysis but this is what the Bible says “if you shall believe with your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you shall be saved.” The change you are expecting may take time to become a reality before your very eyes but God works in ways you may not even understand and He sees you very differently.

Unfortunately, some Christians are yet to understand what is happening, just like the Israelites who were scared of the Canaanites, they aren’t convinced that God can use the people they regard “worst sinners” and they want to question a lot of things! They would say “but Nicki is still getting naked, but Justin is still doing this and Selena is still doing that… Kanye may not be mentally stable…” This shows that some of us are yet to understand what Christianity is and some of us don’t trust the change that Jesus brings yet! This is why we would regard what God is doing as a publicity stunt!

How God works may be unpopular, unexpected and uncommon but Jesus is changing lives and drawing men to Himself. Like I will always say, there are people God will reach through these people we consider sinners that He may not reach through you. Their lives are testimonies that nothing is impossible with God, this will always leave atheists confused because they can’t understand why people who seem to have all they want suddenly say “they still felt a vacuum which only Jesus could fill!”

What you owe these people are your prayers and not your logic and criticism! God chose them the way they are and you should be praying for them. You should be celebrating what God is doing at this age and when possible, you should be encouraging them. You may not even be better than these people when your profile is opened. Some of us are just very good outside because we keep all our worse behaviours behind closed doors.

The Bible says in Romans 5:8 “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. We weren’t better, we aren’t worth more than the worst person on earth and we have no justifiable reason to think of ourselves better than anyone. It is to this regard that: Jesus said in Luke 6:37 “you shouldn’t judge!” Next time you meet people who seem to be “bad” or morally bankrupt, just know that you just met a potential vessel unto honour. Treat them with respect, treat them with love but be sincere with them about what God wants of them.

Our duty is not to calculate who God can use and how He should use them. We weren’t called to judge people and condemn them, it is anti-christian! We are rather called to love men like Christ would, to show them the love of God in the most sincere way and to reconcile men with God who loves them and have made every possible arrangement to bring them into union with Himself. (2 Corinthians 5:11-21)

Blessings!