SOS advisor Pat Fraher concludes his series 'Define Eternity' with this entry, delving in to what it means to fully surrender your life to Christ. Watch this video to hear Pat explain his heart and vision for this blog series.
In part 1, we defined eternity in the worst possible scenario... in Hell. In part 2, we looked at eternity in the best possible light... in Heaven. Hopefully by now, you have decided that you would prefer eternity in Heaven over Hell. Good choice. In this last part, I am going to share the ’secret’ to salvation. It’s not a secret if you’ve been in the Word, but salvation does come right down to it. This is where the rubber meets the road.
The Secret to Salvation: Surrender
Surrender: 1)To cease resistance and submit to someone’s authority. 2)To give up or hand over something. People don’t like that word. It implies having weakness. It implies a loss of freedom. It implies defeat. In this world, strength, freedom, and victory are celebrated. But the context that ‘surrender’ is used in makes all the difference in the world. When we look at it in terms of our Salvation, surrender becomes our secret to victory.
We do this by ceasing our resistance to HIM by trying to live our own lives, and submitting to HIS teachings and authority with our obedience. Trusting in Jesus is handing over our lives to HIM, and relying on HIM to be responsible for our salvation. Once you understand the concept of surrender, the consistency of the Bible begins to become clear.
We as Christians hold to the teaching that our salvation comes from a gift of grace from God, through our faith in Christ. The question then becomes what exactly is ‘saving’ faith?
Faith is defined as “belief in, devotion to, or trust in”. We learn that whoever so ‘believes in HIM’ shall be saved. Believing is defined as accepting that something is true. Biblical belief is accepting Jesus is who HE said HE is...our Lord and Savior. Devotion is defined as having a deep love, commitment, dedication, and enthusiastic loyalty to (Christ). Trust is faith and belief in someone, or reliance on someone for being responsible for someone or something. When we plug in these definitions, we can see what ‘saving’ faith really looks like.
Saving faith in Christ is accepting the truth of, being devoted to, and the relying on HIM as being our Lord and Savior. Lord means ‘one who has power, influence, or authority over another; or master. When we accept his being Lord, we submit to his authority in our lives. When we’re devoted to HIM, we love him deeply and are enthusiastically dedicated, committed and loyal to HIM. When we trust HIM, we are putting our reliance on HIM for our salvation.
We are called to surrender to God, and HIS will. Obedience, repentance, and devotion are the evidence of surrender. Obedience, or submitting to the authority of God, is expected, and has always been expected.
The Old Testament is the story of the Jewish people and their struggle with obedience. The first of the ten commandments is about God wanting to be first in people’s lives, ahead of any idols. The New Testament continues linking obedience to faith.
Perhaps the simplest verse about obedience is Matthew 17:5 “While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” Jesus said in Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Clearly, Christ is expecting obedience from his followers.
Repentance, or ‘giving up, and handing over’ your life of sin over to HIS will is also a form of surrender. Repentance has always been expected by God.
Ezekiel spoke of repentance: “But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die."
Jesus said in Luke 5:32, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Devotion to God has always been expected. Moses told his people in Deuteronomy 6:5, “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."
In the New Testament, Jesus said the Greatest Commandment is to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ It’s not called the Greatest Suggestion. It’s the Greatest Commandment. Devotion to God issurrendering to HIS will, and has always been expected. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commands.”
Now go back and look at some of the people mentioned by Jesus who will NOT see the kingdom of God. In Matthew 7:21 Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” These people knew and professed Jesus was Lord, but did not surrender their obedience to HIM. In John 3:3, Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” People who don’t surrender their lives through repentance won’t see the kingdom. Jesus said in Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You can not serve both God and money.”
If you are devoted to money, you are not devoted to God. Period.
Matthew 19:23 - "Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Surrendering for the rich is hard because they hate giving up control of their lives.
Luke 9:23-24 - "Then he said to them all: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
Luke 14:33 says, “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”
HE wants total commitment of your life. All of your things become HIS things. Total surrender.
Paul teaches us that surrendering is a paradox, however. Once we surrender, we are not weak, but strong in God’s power. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” We haven’t lost our freedom, but have gained it from sin. Romans 6:6 “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— “ We haven’t been defeated, but have won eternal life. 1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Surrender today before it’s too late.
Surrender today before it’s too late. If you are interested in Heaven for eternity, join us at REF Conference 2019. All of the information you will need for salvation will be presented. If there’s one thing you should be sure of, it’s your salvation.
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