For some reason I found myself in a spiritual reverie the other day, spurred by watching a TV Evangelist make a joke of my faith on national television. I talk about Faith and religion occasionally I am not a pastor, but as you all know I take offense to misrepresentation of faith. On quality and purpose of salvation as preached by most churches I don’t offer an opinion. On the way to salvation if it exists or is needed I do have an opinion. Personally I believe in salvation but not a mystical salvation but one that is worked out in “pain and suffering.” I cannot and will not believe that salvation is easy.
Here are two pastors thoughts on the issue (notice the contradictions).
“In fine, so narrow is the way which leads unto life, that the Lord, speaking by the prophets Amos and Zachariah, calls those who are to be saved brands snatched from the burning, and our Lord everywhere declares the difficulty of salvation.”
Martin Luther (in the “First Principles of the Reformation or the Ninety-five Theses and the Three Primary Works of Dr. Martin Luther”)
“God imparted the faith they needed for salvation, God wants to impart now faith or healing, its just as easy to get healed as it is to get saved”
Benny Hinn (from a sermon in Hawaii)
Benny Hinn and a lot of the fundamentalist pastors we hear on television and over the internet preach simple salvation “just believe.” The point they miss is the one Luther knew, that belief is not easy, thus salvation isn’t either.
We have to examine our faith each day to know the truth. So called Biblical truths are not simple to see. The Bible says God created earth in seven days. If we choose to believe blindly we make God a liar, for science has proven that the earth took many more than seven days to evolve (please spare me the anti-evolution lectures they will be deleted). A long time back I concluded that the bible is true only if it is read as a metaphor. It isn’t a history text I studied history I know that it could not be as there are anachronism in several parts. It isn’t a science text as it records science as magic because that is
the only way early man could understand it. It is however a guide to most things. Its truths are hard to find and its meanings aren’t always clear. So our simple belief ministers, are preaching that salvation is simple only because they don’t understand, which is the easy way out.
What does the Bible say?
2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew (show) thyself (yourself) approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
It Is Hard
Acts 14: 22…..“Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” ~ .
You must apply what you learn.
2 Peter 1: 3-11 / 3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1: 3-11
Salvation is NOT EASY.