Salvation isn’t about Jesus. Salvation IS Jesus. The Spirit of Jesus comes to us as the Holy Spirit. He IS our salvation, our seal.
4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down [Actually, Jesus answered these question in John 3:13]? Whose hands have gathered up the wind? Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is the name of His Son? Surely you know! His name is JESUS!
This week, we had WACK (Worship Arts Camp for Kids). We presented, “Hans Bronson and His Gold Medal Mission,” which came out in 1996. In the musical, the Gospel was presented using the colors of the Olympic flags:
Black– the color of our sin,
Red– the color of His blood,
White– the color of our cleansing,
Blue– the color of our baptism,
Gold– the color of heaven.
In the musical, Hans was encouraged to make a decision to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior, receive salvation through His blood, and then follow the LORD in baptism. The security of going to heaven was the final payoff. In and of itself, it’s a solid Gospel presentation.
If I would add one thing, it would be the participation of the Holy Spirit. What would that look like? I’m not sure. I know that before Christ, we are dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1-3). How can dead people even desire to know Christ? I also know that unless the Father draws a person, he cannot come to Jesus for salvation (John 6:44). So, how can a person have free will if he has to wait for the Spirit to “quicken” him so that he can desire to know Christ? For that answer, we go to Romans 10:13, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” The next verse begins to explain the process:
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” [It’s still a choice] 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
I am a firm believer that spiritual events take place here on earth through physical means. For instance, Jesus “came” in judgement upon Babylon in “the day of the LORD” (Isaiah 13) through the Medes and Persians. When the word about Christ is shared, I believe that the Father is working through physical means (people, the Bible, trax, people’s lives, etc) to “quicken” a dead soul. It is that soul’s response to this invitation that determines the eternal fate of that soul. To accept Jesus is to accept His Spirit into our lives, where He takes full command. To reject Jesus is to reject His Spirit, thus rendering that soul unprepared for heaven and the Father’s house. Consider these verses:
31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Matthew 12:31-32
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. 13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 22:11-13
Consider this narrative: “Hans, if you desire to know Jesus, then realize that it is He who has made Himself known to you today. He invites you to become His. If you give all you know of yourself to all you know of Him, the Spirit of Jesus will come into your life as Lord. Are you willing to accept His invitation?”
- Hans now knows that Jesus is doing the revealing and the inviting;
- Hans now knows that he doesn’t have to be perfect to come to Christ;
- Hans now knows that he doesn’t have to know everything about Christ;
- Hans now knows that he must give Jesus his life;
- Hans now knows that the Spirit of Jesus will come into his life;
- Hans now knows that He WILL be Lord;
- Hans now knows that He is waiting for Han’s acceptance of His invitation.
I know for a fact that the musical planted the seed of the Gospel into the heart of one young girl. I will be praying that the Lord will reveal Himself to her soon and invite her to be His, and that she will happily accept Him into her heart and life as Lord. Please join me in this prayer.
Abba, I pray for my new friend that You will call her to be Yours soon. Move in her heart so that she knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that You are calling her. I am hoping that she will give her life to You even as I did so many years ago. Bind the enemy, Lord. Keep him away from her as she contemplates what she has heard and sung. May another soul be snatched from the flame, O Lord! Amen.