Monday, February 17, 2014

Marsha's Musings: According to God's Will (Hebrews 2:3, 4 ESV)

how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (Hebrews 2:3, 4 ESV)

Salvation was told first by our Lord and those who were eyewitnesses to what The Lord told them passed it on.  God bore witness by the signs and wonders told about in Scripture.

It is a great salvation, not to be neglected as I wrote about last time.  

A key phrase here is "according to his will".  God does all things according to His will.  We often forget that.  We try to be the Holy Spirit. We try to force things.  Man wants to see results of their ministry and so they try to force God's hand in salvation.  They set up the atmosphere with certain kinds of music to elicit an emotional response.  They beg people to walk the isle to be saved.  They drag out the invitation to get people to respond.  And then, when the response isn't what they expected and hoped for, they get discouraged and feel that they have failed somehow.  God does things according to His will. 

Then they become ripe for suggestions of how to make their ministries and churches more attractive to people.  They fall for church marketing strategies, and programs.  

Instead of asking people to walk the isle they start asking people to bow their heads and raise their hands and come talk to the pastor after the service privately. 

They impliment all kinds of programs to keep everyone busy. If everyone is busy, busy, busy doing the work of the church, then the pastor can feel good and say that his ministry is successful.

They see some response, and are encouraged that their methods are working.  Or, are they?  Many of the people who profess to be saved later fall away.  But no mind...they prayed the prayer so they are saved...or are they?  Was it a spurious decision in the emotion of the moment or are they really saved?

And in all of this, what is missing?  They forget that salvation is not to be arranged, organized, and manipulated.  They forget that salvation is all according to God's will.  God will save whom He will save regardless of man's flawed methods to manipulate it.  Some are saved in spite of man's manipulations to elicit a response...all praise be to Him!  

Many pastors would save themselves a pile of discouragement if they would just remember that God saves according to His will, not according to man's manipulation of the circumstances, atmosphere and pleading.  The pastor's job is to preach the Word of God and God will do the work in men's hearts!  What a freeing concept!  Just preach the word!  God is faithful and those whom He wills to save will be saved.  

No comments: