Monday, February 12, 2018

FISH: Jesus is calling you

Step 1: Realize that you are dead in your sins.
Step 2: Answer God if he is calling you, because he will pursue you until you do.
John 6:44 - No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.

The classic Augustinian/Calvinistic view of salvation that I follow is that when Adam and Eve sinned, all of their children, us, were born in sin and cannot approach God unless blood is shed.  It should be our blood, but God was merciful and sent a Substitute, the perfect permanent one, in Jesus Christ.  He died for the sins of his church and now sends the Holy Spirit to change our hearts so that they can love him.

The Pelagian view, which I consider unchristian, is that Adam and Eve’s sin did not cast all their children into sin.  We are born neutral and can made good, moral decisions to save us from our sins.  Jesus did not die as our Substitute because we did not need one.  He was simply a good, moral example of self-sacrifice.

Then, there’s the Arminian view, which is Christian.  Men and women are born with original sin and must have Jesus die in their place in order to have a good relationship with God.  But they can feely come to Jesus for their salvation without any coercion.

It’s Christian, and I count Methodists and Nazarenes who follow this view as brothers and sisters in Christ, but I don’t agree completely.  We have wills, but they aren’t free.  We can make decisions, but not for the Lord until the Holy Spirit changes our hearts so that we can truly love God for the wonder that he is.

So now, I turn to Simon Peter.  He was a fisherman and a good Jew with no real direction.  And then Jesus called him to be a disciple.  He learned under Jesus for three years and then saw his master crucified, which was not supposed to happen to the Messiah, in his opinion.

On the night before Jesus was betrayed, Peter vowed that he would die with him.  Then, three times, he denied he even knew Jesus.  He also betrayed Jesus that night.

But here is the wonder of God’s mercy.  When Jesus died on the cross, and you believe in him, then that death had your name on it.  It didn’t made salvation possible for everyone but uncertain because of free will.  It made a definite salvation for all that the father intended to save.  And if you believe in Jesus as your Lord, then you have received that salvation.

Peter had received it.  Here is John 21:15-25

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Peter thought he was done and went back to his meaningless and unsuccessful job as a fisherman.  But Jesus lovingly showed him his sin, forgave him, and made him the leader of the disciples.  Not only did he call Peter to be a disciple; he called him to salvation.  And he wooed him until he followed.

Is Jesus calling you?  Then he will have you.  He will change your will and your heart so that you don’t love sin anymore and that you love him even more than you hate sin.  He did it for me and is still doing it.  This offer is open to you, too.

Found by Jesus
Instead of being lost in your sins
Salvation is definite
How could you reject such a salvation?

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