Weekly Sabbath Survey
What Do We Get? — 6-21-2014
Have you ever thought about what we get when we become Believers? When you take that step over the line of sometimes-saint-sometimes sinner, to actually declare yourself for Jesus, join His team, what is it you get? Well for starters, you get salvation. This word implies a new start, a new life, old things passed away. The Bible tells after we have salvation, we should not sin, but IF we do, God is faithful to forgive us when we repent (change from that sin) and follow His way. So technically, we are saved from the penalty of sin because of salvation and repentance. What penalty? Well, according to the Bible the wages (results) of sin is death, so if we are forgiven by salvation, we have missed death!
What else do we get? We get JOY. For people who don’t know the Lord, the search for happiness is never-ending. They find it mostly in ownership of things and people. You have happiness in your bride, your new baby, your successful business you built from scratch, and finally getting elected president of the PTA or Garden Club. This kind of happiness lasts until your wife gets sick, your baby grows up to be a smart-mouthed teenager, your business goes into bankruptcy, or your term as PTA president is over. So you began again to find happiness. But when you surrender your life to Jesus you get an instantaneous joy of heart that exceeds happiness by a country mile. There’s a song — “The world didn’t give it to me, and the world can’t take it away. This happy face that I’m wearing, Jesus put it there to stay, The world didn’t give it to me, and the world can’t take it away!!” The Scripture says the Joy of the Lord is our strength.
And then, there’s that peace Jesus promised us. Not like the world’s peace which is so unstable one windbag senator might upset the balance and get us in a war with Boob-a-stan. The peace of Jesus calmed a storm, healed the sick, raised the dead. He walked ALL OVER satan’s power, fulfilled His mission to save us from this fragile, decaying little planet when the time comes. So peace is definitely part of the deal.
Oh, that reminds me, we get heaven when we know the Lord! We get eternal life in a new body on a new earth, and all that heaven and God have for us. We call this our final reward. But it is reserved for our future, not something that is evident so much right here. Heaven is our Great Hope.
Most people do whatever it is they do for two reasons: Fear of Punishment and/or Hope of Reward. The preacher starts dangling you over hell and you can feel those flames licking up your pants legs. You break a sweat and rush down to the front to get saved. Or, another preacher talks about heaven, with a beautiful gate made of a seamless sheet of pearl that miraculously opens to allow you in. Streets paved with pure gold, healing waters like warm springs coming out from God’s throne, and there you are with your Mama and Daddy, your baby sister that died when you were 9, your Grandpa that taught you how to shoot a wild turkey when you were 13, or you grandmother who taught you how to make cornbread dressing to go with that turkey. Heaven is somewhere we ALL want to go.
But there is something else that we get that is better than anything else we have mentioned. It is the thing that makes all the other stuff possible. We get Him. That’s right. It isn’t a typo. We get Jesus NOW in the person of the Holy Spirit. He said, I have to go away because the Holy Spirit cannot be released upon you until I do. He said, Go back to Jerusalem and wait for the power from on high to come upon you.
So then, Jesus went up from them, back to heaven. And on the day of Pentecost in the Upper Room, the fire of the Holy Spirit fell on them all and gave them great power and a holy boldness. This frightened rag-tag little band of Jewish men and women were transformed into Lions of God by the power of God. They turned the whole world upside down and their ministry to mankind continues today through all of us who have believed because of them, followed after them, accepted and put on that same holy power. This power has caused people to write books and music about experiencing God in a way we had not imagined, as in “He walks with me and He talks with me.” This is the best gift ever, when we got Him.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be Born Again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. John 3:3