The Unanswerable Question-Part 4
THE UNANSWERABLE QUESTION (4 OF 4)
Now let us consider:
II. The Tragic Possibility
This is found in the words: "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" The fact that Christ's death has made possible salvation for all does not mean that all will be saved. The fact that there is a medicine, which is a sure cure for a certain disease, does not guarantee that every person suffering from that disease will be cured. This medicine must be taken if it is to be effective. In like manner, the salvation secured by the finished work of Christ on the cross, and proclaimed by God in the gospel, will be of no benefit whatever to a person unless Christ is received by faith as one's own personal Savior and confessed as the Lord of the believer's life. Let us note carefully what the Bible has to say as to this: "To as many as received Him, (Christ) to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." (John 1:12) Thus this great salvation, though sufficient for the salvation of all, is seen to be efficient only to that person who avails himself of it by receiving Christ as Savior and Lord. The question is: will you be that person?
There are three tragic possibilities in regard to this great salvation.
First, it may be slighted and treated with utter indifference. There are many who adopt this attitude. They do not deny the fact of God, or the fact that they are sinners, nor even the necessity for the death of Christ to secure their salvation. They treat the whole matter with utter indifference, and live their lives with no reference to God or salvation. Should these people die in this condition they will be as assuredly and eternally lost as though they had deliberately denied the revelation of God concerning this salvation.
Second, this salvation can be coldly, dispassionately and deliberately rejected. There are many such who deny the truth of the word of God, and actively oppose those who seek to preach the gospel. They rebel against the authority of God and spurn the offer of His salvation. By so doing they seal their own eternal doom.
Thirdly, this salvation may be neglected. A person may be convinced of his need as a lost and guilty sinner in the sight of God. He may be certain he is the object of the love of God and the finished work of Christ on his behalf. He may know the way of salvation, and be able to quote scriptures to prove it. He may be almost persuaded to trust the Lord Jesus as his Savior-and yet be lost by neglecting to personally receive the Son of God and own Him as the Lord of his life.
Neglect turns a well tilled field into a wilderness. It runs a once profitable business into bankruptcy. Neglect sinks ships, wrecks trains, automobiles and airplanes. It results in tremendous losses every year in the way of property and life. What is neglect? It simply consists of letting things alone that should be attended to. Is this to be your fate, my friend? An old proverb has it: "The road of By and By leads to the town of Never." To be "almost persuaded" is to be almost saved, and to be almost saved is to be eternally lost!
Now let us consider:
III. The Dreadful Result
"How shall we escape if we neglect this great salvation?" This is the unanswerable question, for God's word holds out no hope whatever for that person who dies slighting, rejecting or neglecting this great salvation. Mark the solemn words of the Bible: "When they shall say peace and safety,' then sudden destruction cometh upon them and they shall not escape. (1 Thess. 5:3) Our Lord declared:
"When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door saying 'Lord, Lord, open to us;' and He shall answer and say unto you: 'I know not whence ye are.'" (Luke 13:25)
It has been well said that: "The way to hell is paved with good intentions." Let this not be true of the reader. Right here and now, own yourself to be what God declares you are, a lost and guilty sinner. Believe that Christ bore your sins and, by His death, satisfied all God's claims against you. Accept the Lord Jesus now as your own personal Savior and henceforth confess Him as the supreme Lord of your life. God's word will then assure you that this great salvation is yours for time and all eternity. Say with one of old: "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation!" (Isa. 12:2) May God grant it for His name's sake!