God has promised and provided a way for every person to receive forgiveness of sin and a new life in Christ.
There is no question, Jesus saves; we cannot save ourselves or others. The fact that God loves you and offers you and a full and meaningful life in Christ is the best news this world has ever received, that is why we call it the gospel, it is good news. What about the Pharisees? Can a Pharisee be saved? Can a pride filled, self-righteous, church-attending person be saved? The answer is yes. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and so was Paul. Anyone can be saved but to do so, we must humble ourselves and repent. This does not mean we call the shots or that we initiate salvation: it is Christ who saves but He chooses to save only those who repent.
In answering the above question, Jesus is saying that the Pharisees have not repented. They have not yielded to God’s process. They religion is man-made. Jesus said, “They are plants that My heavenly Father did not plant and they will be pulled up by the roots.” This man-made salvation frightens me and he goes all the way back to Cain. Joe David talked about the seed falling on hard ground Sunday and I am amazed at how much people do not hear. A couple of weeks ago, I challenged our Senior Adult to build a house in Guatemala. One Senior Adult couple responded but they were visitors. How did they hear the challenge when no one else did? But the stewardship thing is not what bothers me most. My greatest fear is that folks are not hearing or understanding GRACE. It is misunderstood in both extremes. One group believes in a cheap grace where I say, “I believe in Jesus,” and the other group believes they are going to heaven based on what they have done for Jesus. Jesus mentions this group in Matthew 7:21 and following...On judgment day many will say to Me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in Your name and cast out demons in Your name and performed many miracles in Your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from Me, you who break God’s laws.’ Both groups are wrong. Neither group has repented and neither group is repentant. You can create your own religion and you can pick out the rules you want to follow or create them from your own imagination but it is not going to get you in God’s garden. It is TARE RELIGION and there is coming a day when it will be exposed and uprooted. We have to repent: if we don’t we will perish. If sin is not bothering you and I am talking about your sin, something is wrong.
By the way, the Pharisees were cynical, negative, critical and always opposing Christ and His followers. Jesus said, “Ignore them.” This may be my favorite verse in the bible. Don’t allow this bunch to rain on your parade because that’s what they live for. They listen, not to learn or to be convicted of sin but to find fault. Keep your focus on Jesus, not the pharisees.
I going to go ahead and post this blog and I have no idea how it will be dated. Word Press comes out of London and it is 1:46 AM there which means May 16. Usually, if I post after 6:00 pm it goes to the next day but lately, it has not worked that way but here goes.
A great crowd for MOTHER’S DAY, just shy of 400. We probably had 100 visitors with three baby dedications. We also had two professions of faith: Yuri Garnett and Josie Tate Bailey. I went to catch some visitors and forgot to get in line to hug those girls.
I actually got a lot done today which is unusual. Praise the LORD for the ability to work!
I have no official word but I think the Danny Foreman Service will be Thursday. I have a text message that reads…Visitation Wednesday night from 6:00-9:00 at the church. Service Thursday at 3:00, also at DBC with Charles Foreman Officiating. I just confirmed this with Joe David, no mid-week service in lieu of the visitation.
One other thing: Michael Hembree is as bad to poor mouth as the Bear. He told me a few weeks ago that he had one good player. Hey, he has an all star team. That beat us like a red headed step child and the bad thing is–he loved every minute. When you play Hartselle at Hartselle, you have to allow five runs for home cooking but as bad as the home plate umpire was, he had nothing to do with the outcome. As soon as my grandson got on the mound, the strike zone shrank 6 inches at least, maybe 8.
Shugie Collinsworth is a real person: works for LIFEWAY.