Dr. C. S. Lovett’s
MARANATHA FAMILY NEWSLETTER
SALVATION—A GOOD INVESTMENT?
"Dr. Lovett, I was discussing what it takes to be saved with some of my girlfriends and one said a person has to repent and be baptized. Another said, we must confess Jesus before others. I was arguing that salvation is a free gift, and all we have to do is accept it. It seems to me that if you have to do anything to receive salvation, it is not free. Am I right in this?"
SHE WAS RIGHT
To this day Jesus offers the water of life freely. The only requirement: One must be thirsty. It takes very little to be saved. All a person really has to do is WANT Jesus. Salvation is something God gives freely to all who want it. They need but to ask. That's the only work involved. Salvation has to be free, for none is rich enough to buy it or good enough to deserve it. But the salvation one receives is BARE SALVATION.
When Jesus enters a person's heart, the believer is instantly saved. Simultaneously, he is baptized into Christ's church and becomes a member of the family of God. The moment he is saved, he has BARE SALVATION ― I mean, with no works of any kind. Now you may not be familiar with the term "bare salvation," so let me explain.
Before I entered the ministry, I was a building contractor. When building a house, you first dig the trenches, pour cement in them and you have a foundation on which to construct your house. No lumber, no plumbing—nothing. It's just a BARE FOUNDATION. Everything else comes AFTER the foundation has been poured.
Once the foundation has been laid, you can go ahead and build the house—any way you like. The foundation of the Christian life is Christ and He provides it all free of charge: "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 3:11). When a man receives Christ, the foundation for his future life is instantly laid. From then on it is up to the believer what kind of a life he will build on this bare foundation. The apostle Paul warns each Christian to be careful how he builds on his bare salvation:
"If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the DAY (of judgment) will bring it to light. It will be revealed with FIRE and the fire will TEST the quality of each man's work. If what he has built SURVIVES, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will SUFFER LOSS, (yet) he himself will be saved (bare salvation), but only as one escaping through the flames" (I Cor. 3: 12-15).
For someone who has done no works, those flames will leave him with his bare salvation, but any reward he could have had is GONE! Rewards are earned, the foundation is free.
CHRISTIANS EXPECTED TO BUILD
All believers are endowed with gifts of some kind and all are expected to use their gifts for Jesus. Investing in Jesus is building on the bare foundation. There is no reward for bare salvation. That is supplied by God. Every believer is capable of serving Christ in some way and all of us will be judged INDIVIDUALLY for what we do with our salvation:
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things DONE while in the body, whether good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:10).
Know what that verse is all about? It refers to how a person builds on his bare foundation. You know the poem, "Only one life, 'twill soon be past; only what's done for Christ will last." Those words summarize what I’ve been saying. If we want treasure in heaven, we must get busy and earn it now. No one is going to do this for us—certainly not Jesus. He’s the One who told us to do it for ourselves. But it will be too late for that when death strikes.
God looks for changes in us every day. CHANGE is the most important word in our Christian vocabulary. Our talk should be sweeter today than it was yesterday. We should pay our bills better, be kinder in speaking of others, be careful with our spouses, serve our employers more faithfully, raise our children more diligently, and display more peace in anxiety situations. We should even drive our cars better and pay our taxes cheerfully. Those are reasonable expectations. If we don’t change now ― while there is time ― WE’LL ENTER HEAVEN AS WE ARE AT THE POINT OF DEATH ― AND NEVER CHANGE! There is no “before and after” in eternity.
ALL RIGHT, SO YOU'RE SAVED
Since it takes such small act of faith to be saved, I have no problem accepting the fact of your salvation. But do you have the faith TO STAND? I mean, when trouble strikes, do you say, "Thank you Lord," ― or do you say, "What am I going to do now?" or, "How are we going to handle this?" Do you have the faith to trust Jesus when things go wrong, things like losing a job, your child accidentally struck by a gang member's bullet, or you're diagnosed as having cancer? You could assure me you have such faith, which means you wouldn't have a single worry in the matter.
But most Christians worry, don't they? They worry plenty. Why? Their PROBLEMS are more real to them than the Lord. Why? They haven't gone beyond BARE SALVATION.
FROM A DEAR READER:
"Dr. Lovett, I need your help. My husband died recently leaving me alone to raise five children. My boys have smashed our car and now we can't get insurance. On top of that, they have robbed me, forged my name on checks. Now I'm in danger of losing my home. I know the Lord can help me, but when I go to pray my thoughts are so filled with my problems it's just too hard to pray."
Why do you suppose this lady found it so hard to pray? The answer: her problems were more real to her than the Lord. And why was that? She had neglected the one thing that could make the Lord real to her―the Word of God. Because we serve an UNSEEN LORD, it's tough to be a committed Christian. We can't reach out and touch Jesus. He lives inside us as an indwelling Spirit. We, on the other hand, live in a world of things we can see and touch, things we can taste, smell and hear. To us that's the real world. For most Christians, money in the bank is more solid than the promises of God. Even lunch is more real than Jesus.
SO HOW DO WE MAKE HIM REAL?
We must find at least five minutes a day for the Word. With a busy schedule, you may have to get up early in the morning to find the time. Be in the word together, if you are married. That's the best way ― husband and wife together. Now five minutes may sound like very little time, but the moment you try giving it to Jesus, Satan will make it a real fight. I guarantee it is a lot tougher than it sounds. Just try it and you'll see what I mean. Finding time for Jesus is a measure of the place we give Him in our lives. You can be sure of this: THE PLACE WE GIVE THE LORD IN THIS LIFE DETERMINES THE PLACE HE GIVES US IN HIS KINGDOM.
We have the Holy Spirit on the inside and the Word of God on the outside and that's all. If we neglect these, what we build on the bare foundation will be nothing but wood, hay and straw and quickly consumed in the judgment fire. We'll suffer SHOCKING LOSS AND END UP IN THE GHETTOS OF HEAVEN.
It would break my heart to see you there. Surely you don't want to end up like that. So think soberly about what you are building on your bare foundation. If you'll give God those five minutes a day you'll build something very special and find that your salvation is a . . .
C. S. Lovett
(Edited by Marjorie Lovett)
© 2017 Personal Christianity. All rights reserved.
THE PREPARED LIFE BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!
This book was written by Dr. Lovett before he “graduated to glory” in 2012 and was recently published for Kindle readers only. We are happy to announce that it is now available in paperback form so all readers can enjoy its wealth of information regarding our Christian lives. Here is a preview from the introduction to the book:
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
That verse tells us God has already prepared a “wealth of spirit” beyond imagining for those who love Him, and all we need to do is prepare ourselves to receive it.
Right now you have a tremendous opportunity you can’t afford to miss. The prepared life is an abundant lifestyle. The process of growth and change into the likeness of Christ is exciting. The power of Christ’s Spirit working through you is absolutely thrilling! You know who you are, why you are here, and where you are going. Not only will you be prepared to deal with today’s problems, you will also be ready for the future with an outstanding place at Jesus’ side in the kingdom.
Why You Need to Prepare
The last days are upon us. Current events are quickly setting up for end-time prophecies to be fulfilled. Israel is the country to watch for the first sign that the seven-year tribulation will soon begin. Israel is totally surrounded by enemies. The middle-east is in turmoil, racing to get nuclear weapons, and determined to wipe Israel off the map. In America and other countries, God is replaced with gold, immorality is king, and lawlessness is queen. America, Israel’s main support, is soon to collapse both morally and fiscally, leaving Israel to fend for itself. Christians will once again be persecuted for their faith. Unsuspecting Christians will be caught off-guard and not know how to cope with the satanic onslaught.
How to Prepare
No matter what stage you are in life, you can have the power to (1) overcome the problems of today’s world, (2) be steadfast in all you do so you can fulfill your purpose in life, (3) be secure in your faith, (4) be able to withstand all the devil’s onslaughts, and (5) be totally prepared to meet the Lord.
This book is your guide for victorious living under any circumstance. The first part is about the gifts God gives us at salvation, including the Holy Spirit. Then there are chapters about the Spirit, who He is, and what He does; and then how to find your special gift. The rest of the book focuses on four directions of your life with specific “Spirit power actions” that enable the Spirit to work through you.
With each step, you will notice many positive changes the Holy Spirit is bringing about in your life, and you will be increasingly prepared for your ministry. Go as far as you are able and God will be pleased. Being close to the Lord and seeing the Spirit’s power guiding you in your daily life is more wonderful than words can describe!
This book is now available for purchase on Amazon.com and Smile.Amazon.com.
Click here to order your copy.
If you have questions or comments, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.