Receiving a gift from someone it is indeed a joyous occasion. When we receive a gift did we know it was coming? In most cases we did not. Who is in control of a gift before it is given, is it the giver or the receiver? Of course it is the giver. The receiver of the gift has no control over the gift giving process except to receive. Now the gift of salvation, everlasting life, is the most perfect gift anyone could possibly receive, and of course our Father has control over the gift. We have nothing to do with it, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:23), and “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (James 2: 17) It is so important for us to understand that our Father is the gift giver, and that He makes choices regarding who is to receive His precious gift.
I always thought I had to do something to receive His gift of salvation. We must surely repent. We must also ask Jesus into our lives. Theses things are true but will not happen unless our Father acts first. “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can came to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.’” (John 6: 43 & 44), “And He was saying, ‘For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.’” (John 6: 65), “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.” (John 17: 6), “even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.” (John 17: 2), “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” (John 15: 16). Our Father chooses us we don’t choose Him. If God doesn’t know us it is impossible to know Him. We don’t go to heaven because we want to, we go to heaven because He wants us to. From the above Scriptures we now know the truth. Before we can receive salvation the Precious One must give us to His Son who will then raise us up on the last day. After that happens the tears of repentance will flow, and we will indeed confess that Jesus is Lord of our life.
Many years ago I was involved in a prison ministry at the Raiford state prison in Stark, Florida. On one occasion we were allowed to witness to inmates in the prison library. I noticed a man with his head down on the table, and I could tell he was deeply troubled. At first when I talked to him he would not respond. After a while he indicated that he was once a Christian but had fallen away from the faith when he started drinking. One night he and his wife got into an argument and in a drunken rage he struck her which caused her death. He stated that now he so much wanted Jesus in his life but didn’t think it was possible because his sin was too great after killing his wife. I shared with him the Scriptures mentioned above, and told him that it was not possible for him to want Jesus in his life unless God had granted him access. Once the Lord gave him understanding he raised his head from the table and we had fellowship and prayer together. Knowing the truth makes a difference like it did for the inmate. He was lost in sin trying to figure out what he might do to get back to Jesus. When he understood the truth, that God had made a choice for him, he received God’s gift with great joy. Other blessings I’ll mention here is when, “… God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He Loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2: 4 – 6), “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col 1: 13 & 14), and finally this, “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Col 2: 13 & 14). Now then does God’s choice for us begin after we’re saved? No, it begins when our Father sends our born again spirit to Jesus, when we are still dead in our transgressions. At that point we are made alive with Christ and raised up with Him in heavenly places. Our Father knows there is no way we can please Him apart from His Son. Accordingly purification can not begin until we are with Christ. There is absolutely nothing we can do to deserve redemption, and if people knew this they would not be confused about the Father’s gift of eternal life. In answer to their salvation I’ve heard people say they are not ready for that yet. How would they react if they were told that God was not ready for them yet?
Is there any way we rob our Father of His glory concerning matters of salvation? Yes there is, and it happens when a religious person declares they have led another person to Christ. When people say they have led someone to Christ are they not robbing God of His glory? After all Jesus said, “…no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” (John 6: 65) Our Father gives His chosen ones to Christ. How then can we dare say that we had anything to do with it. God gets the glory not us. We do however labor for the Lord in regards to salvation. “For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” We must talk (plant) with the lost and encourage (water) them as much as possible; however, when the Precious One leads them to Christ we must give God the glory not ourselves.
Christians are being discouraged in segments of our society. The reason given for the discouragement is because voices in high places don’t want people to be offended. Well how offended will people be when they are doing back strokes in the lake of fire. There is only one path to eternal life and that is through Jesus Christ. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4: 12) Does that mean other religions do not lead to everlasting life? Yes, that’s exactly what it means. Why do you think the early church suffered beatings and death? It wasn’t because they gathered together once a week. They went into areas where Christ was unknown, and preached the truth declaring Jesus Christ is Lord of Lords, and king of kings, and that salvation can only be obtained through Him. The suffering didn’t happen just to the early church. Christians have always suffered for Christ, and are doing so around the world today. We should fall on our knees and thank our Father for choosing us for eternal life.
Many people are not sure of their salvation. If you happen to be that person, there is a simple test so you’ll know for sure. If you desire to a part of God’s glorious kingdom, if you want Jesus to be Lord of your life, the Father has already taken you to Christ, and He will raise you up on the last day. Tears of repentance and your confession of Him will follow His acceptance of you. Now for the, “mind blowing,” ending to this message. When did our Father make His choice for us, at the time we actually received His gift of ever lasting life? The answer is NO! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1: 3 – 6).
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