God’s Faithfulness Unto SalvationBro. Ron Rupé
5/29/2005 6:00 PM
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
Two things are striking about this reading:
1. The jailer’s question, "What must I do to be saved?" (or "What must I be to be saved?") God works a work on us to cause us to desire to do.
2. The positiveness (or lack of doubt) of the disciples
When you call on the Lord, there is no doubt that you will be saved! We don’t have to worry about being rejected; if we call on God, he will save us. On God’s part, salvation is a done deal. So, if you’re not saved, don’t blame God or anyone else. No one else can keep you from being saved.
God is ready to do the work. What is our part in it?
Isaiah 55:1-3, 6-7
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
God is near and he can be found by you even now. This scripture starts by grabbing your attention. God isn’t passive about this. He wants you to be saved. When you come, you’re not trying to force God to do something he doesn’t want to do. He’s begging for you to come.
"…every one that thirsteth, come ye…" This reflects on our part. You can’t do anything to get your soul saved, but you need to be thirsty. If you don’t desire salvation, you won’t be saved. Often these will blame their lack of desire on others.
"If you come your soul shall live…" Are you thirsty enough to seek God, forsake your way, and turn to God? If you’re thirsty enough, you’ll do these things. When you come to God, he will have mercy and he will abundantly pardon. If you have drifted or slipped away, return – he said he will have mercy.
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
If you’re asking, "Is the invitation for me? Does God really want me?" there are three invitations just in this verse. It also talks about being thirsty. The thirst creates the will. "…take of the water of life freely…" "Freely" here means gratuitously or free of charge. We don’t deserve it, but it is freely ours. We don’t earn it, but we can have it without charge. Since it is freely given, we can have as much as we want of it. If it wasn’t freely given, we’d have to be frugal with it. If you need to be saved, come and take in abundance. His grace is abundant and free, and we can have a full supply – as much as we need.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." There is no reason not to be saved. Salvation is only a prayer away for those who call for it. "Who-so-ever" = All and any and every one who calls, now, later, or forever after, shall be saved. It is ever this way. The Lord is rich unto all that call upon him. If you call, he’ll be rich to you.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
"What must I do to be saved?" "Draw nigh … mourn… weep…" He will draw nigh and lift up if we come to him this way. The prodigal son had to realize his condition and turn. When he turned , what did the father do?
And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
This is the scripture in James played out. God doesn’t wait until we come all the way, to do his part. When we first turn, God will meet us there. This father saw the son while he was still a great way off. He saw him because he was looking for him! It’s not hard to be saved; it’s not hard to return.
And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Doing doesn’t save you, but being something will lead you to salvation. It’s being thirsty, lonely and tired… longing for something. This will draw you to God.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
God won’t despise someone who is truly sorry for what he has done. He won’t reject someone who comes in repentance seeking salvation. He won’t reject such a one as that.