Who Will Be Saved?
Marsh Swamp Original Free Will Baptist Church
August 26, 2001
Year C, Pentecost, Proper 16
Who Will Be Saved?
Philip R. Taylor
4Hence listen to Yahweh’s word, you insolent men, rulers of this people in Jerusalem.15Because you have said, ‘We have made a treaty with Death and have struck a pact with Sheol. When the scourging flood comes over, it will not touch us, for we have made lies our refuge and hidden under falsehood.’16So the Lord Yahweh says this, ‘Now I shall lay a stone in Zion, a granite stone, a precious corner–stone, a firm foundation–stone: no one who relies on this will stumble.17And I will make fair judgment the measure, and uprightness the plumb–line.’ But hail will sweep away the refuge of lies and floods wash away the hiding–place;18your treaty with Death will be broken and your pact with Sheol will not hold. When the scourging flood comes over, you will be trodden down by it;19every time it comes over, it will seize on you, for it will come over, morning after morning, day by day and night by night. Nothing but fear will make you understand what you hear.20For the bed is too short to stretch in, the blanket too narrow for covering.21Yes, as on Mount Perazim, Yahweh will rise, as in the Valley of Gibeon, he will storm to do his work, his mysterious work, to do his deed, his extraordinary deed.22Stop scoffing, then, or your bonds will be tightened further, for I have heard it: it has been irrevocably decided as regards the whole country by the Lord Yahweh Sabaoth.
22Through towns and villages he went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem.23Someone said to him, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He said to them,24‘Try your hardest to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.25‘Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself standing outside knocking on the door, saying, “Lord, open to us,” but he will answer, “I do not know where you come from.”26Then you will start saying, “We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets,”27but he will reply, “I do not know where you come from; away from me, all evil doers!” 28‘Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrown out.29And people from east and west, from north and south, will come and sit down at the feast in the kingdom of God.30‘Look, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.’
LET US PRAY…COME HOLY SPIRIT, FILL THE HEARTS OF YOUR FAITHFUL
WHAT IS SALVATION?
SALVUS – PUT BACK TOGETHER – MADE WHOLE
WHAT ARE WE SAVED FROM?
EVIL FORCES WHICH CORRUPT AND DESTROY THE CREATURES OF GOD. EXAMPLE FROM ISAIAH LESSON.
HOW ARE WE SAVED?
GOD CHASES AFTER US…WE RUN AWAY.
JESUS TOLD US TO STOP RUNNING AWAY, HE SAID, “METANOIA”…CHANGE DIRECTION…CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT YOURSELVES…YOUR NEIGHBORS…YOUR ENEMIES…YOUR GOD.
CALVIN…GOD ELECTS SOME AND NOT OTHERS.
GENERAL BAPTISTS…GOD CALLS US ALL…FREE WILL.
PAUL SAID WE ARE SAVED BY FAITH… BY OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD…A RELATIONSHIP SEALED IN BLOOD…THE BLOOD OF JESUS…A RELATIONSHIP THAT NOTHING CAN DESTROY.
35Can anything cut us off from the love of Christ—can hardships or distress, or persecution, or lack of food and clothing, or threats or violence;36as scripture says: For your sake we are being massacred all day long, treated as sheep to be slaughtered? 37No; we come through all these things triumphantly victorious, by the power of him who loved us.38For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nothing already in existence and nothing still to come, nor any power,39nor the heights nor the depths, nor any created thing whatever, will be able to come between us and the love of God, known to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.
MY OWN EXPERIENCE OF SALVATION…SAVED DAILY BY MY MOTHER WHO CARRIED ME IN THE WOMB…SAVED BY THE MIRACLE OF CAESARIAN SECTION…SAVED BY THE PRAYERS AND TEARS OF THOSE WHO SAW ME ABUSE ALCOHOL FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS…SAVED BY THE SMILE AND HUG FROM MARSHALL THIS MORNING…SAVED BY THE INNOCENT BLOOD, PAINFUL DEATH, AND GLORIOUS RESURRECTION OF MY LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS.
WHO WILL BE SAVED?
JESUS IS ASKED A QUESTION…HE DOES NOT GIVE AN ANSWER…HE GIVES A TEACHING.
THE DOOR IS NARROW…ENTERING WILL INVOLVE STRUGGLE…THE DOOR WILL BE CLOSED…MAYBE SOON…THOSE FROM EAST, WEST, NORTH & SOUTH…THE LAST WILL BE FIRST…THE FIRST WILL BE LAST…GOD WILL SURPRISE US.
OUR GOD IS A GOD OF SURPRISES…
ABRAM & SARAI…SURPRISE!
JESUS…BORN IN A CAVE…NAILED TO A CROSS…RAISED FROM THE DEAD…SURPRISE!
AT THE END OF TIME…THERE WILL BE MORE SURPRISES.
REVELATION TO JOHN, CHAPTER 7, VERSES 9-17
9After that I saw that there was a huge number, impossible for anyone to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands. They shouted in a loud voice,10‘Salvation to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’11And all the angels who were standing in a circle round the throne, surrounding the elders and the four living creatures, prostrated themselves before the throne, and touched the ground with their foreheads, worshipping God12with these words: Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and strength to our God forever and ever. Amen.13One of the elders then spoke and asked me, ‘Who are these people, dressed in white robes, and where have they come from?’14I answered him, ‘You can tell me, sir.’ Then he said, ‘These are the people who have been through the great trial; they have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb.15That is why they are standing in front of God’s throne and serving him day and night in his sanctuary; and the One who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.16They will never hunger or thirst again; sun and scorching wind will never plague them,17because the Lamb who is at the heart of the throne will be their shepherd and will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.’ …SURPRISE!
WHO WILL BE SAVED?
THE TRUTH, BELOVED, IS THAT I DON’T KNOW.
I CAN’T EVEN TAKE CREDIT FOR MY OWN SALVATION, MUCH LESS JUDGE YOUR SALVATION.
WHAT I DO KNOW IS THIS…
GOD LOVES ME, GOD LOVES YOU, AND GOD WILL NOT LET US GO TO HELL IN PEACE.
WE MUST STRUGGLE TO CHANGE…THE DOOR IS NARROW…THE DOOR WILL SOMEDAY BE CLOSED…AND GOD WILL SURPRISE US ALL.
AND NOW UNTO GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON, AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT BE ASCRIBED ALL MIGHT, MAJESTY, POWER, DOMINION, AND GLORY, THIS DAY AND FOREVERMORE. AMEN.