Blind Sinner or Church Member: All Need Jesus
By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms:Good Morning!
We are getting into some sticky wickets here in our walk through the Larger Catechism. It is often the case that parents, family members, friends, etc… want to believe that relations are in the kingdom of heaven based upon a verbal testimony, baptism, church membership, or some other outward means of confirmation. Yet, in our lesson today the Divines make clear that there is only one way to salvation: Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are in good company in stating this claim. For it is the very word that our Redeemer shares with the disciple Thomas after the latter inquires about the path forward. The only way men are saved is through the Son. Good intent, wishful thinking, and a hopeful longing will not allow a transference of one holy person’s vow to Christ to someone who has no desire to be named with the Lord in their active life.
In the Q/A’s today there are two pertinent examples dealt with concerning this matter. First will be the case of an individual who for whatever reason has never had the opportunity to listen to the faithful proclamation of the good news. Second is the man who is a member of a local body of believers yet has for purposes known to them refused to “close with Christ”. Each of these are lamentable situations in their own way. As we discuss both of them the manner in which to deal with the problems mentioned will also be the same. Regardless of whether Paul was preaching in a synagogue or in the midst of a pagan market his sermons contained content unchangeable, for his call was to preach the gospel to all men.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.
The Church cannot forsake nor forget the simplicity of its calling to sinners. Our Savior came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. We are given the same message to give unto a fallen world, whether it be to a group of Amazonian tribes who have never had the pleasure of learning of Jesus, or a man or woman that has religiously attended worship for a generation. The same offer is given to all who need to hear it, which is everyone:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
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