Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Who needs to be saved?
by Erik Momsen
A cleric of a major world religion appeared on T.V. and was rather disparaging of the concept that one might need to be "saved". With great sarcasm he asked questions like; "Who do some people think they are to tell others that they need to be saved? As if they were lost or that some people are better than others. Who does this Jesus think he is that he claims to be able to save people? Are people really that bad that they need some one to come and take over their lives and save them?"
There are even church people who frown at the idea of being saved. Somewhere deep inside, our pride, brokenness or hopelessness tells us we need nothing or nothing can be done for us.
Does humanity need to be saved? We only have to look at the world. Over a hundred million people died in wars in the twentieth century. About half the world is living close to starvation. We are polluting the planet at such a rate that we cannot continue for another hundred years. The rich are getting richer, the poor poorer and the rise in unemployment is irreversible. In many parts of the world violence is the leading cause of death. In this country (South Africa) one in four woman will be raped, often repeatedly. We do not know the percentage of children abused. The most dangerous place in the world is the home. We are not a healthy species.
Jesus' words over Jerusalem and now the world are, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes." (Luke 19:42)
A leopard cannot change its own spots, even if it tries. This country is trying to do this. We are a highly sexually charged nation. We have been sowing these seeds for a few generations and the fruit is a population that is promiscuous. Why do I say that? Aids is the proof. Aids is a disease of promiscuity. Be it hetero or homosexual, it is a disease that is caused by sinful behaviour. We are now trying to cover sinful behavior with latex and the mass media. We are trying to tell a promiscuous society to stop being promiscuous. No matter how much money we spend on advertising we cannot tell people to save themselves. We cannot tell them to change their spots.
At a personal level many people know they are hurting and have lost their peace. We struggle with anger, fear, frustration, greed, lust, hopelessness and desperation. Strangely enough, Jesus calls those who know they suffer, "Blessed". "Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, hungry and thirst for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, persecuted because of righteousness, insulted, -- persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me." Matthew 5:3-11
Those who know they need to be saved have a hope?
What does the Bible (N.T.) say about "being saved?
1) - Uses the word "saved" (sozo) 55 times. It has a wide meaning of rescue, cure, healing, preserve from being lost, set free, etc.
2) - Asks very often "Who then can be saved?" (Matthew 19:25)
3) The people also ask "He saved other why can't he save himself?" (Matthew 27:42). The answer was, "He didn't want to. He came to save us."
4) - Is adamant "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
5) - Says obtaining salvation is quite simple - "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Acts 2:21)
6) - Says salvation is not a work but a gift - "He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy." (Titus 3:5)
7) - Says salvation is a 2 part process - "He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit." (Titus 3:5)
- Jesus gives us new life through his death.
- The Spirit of God renews us as a life long process.
A great story of salvation from Acts 16:26-34:
Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!" The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household." Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God--he and his whole family.
Date Added: 2011-07-19
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