Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Myth of a Maintenance-Free Salvation




Hebrews 2:3

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;


The Myth of a “Maintenance Free” Salvation

People today are so careless with their salvation.  They neglect their salvation and expect it to be in perfect working order.   You must maintain your salvation for it to benefit you.  The “cares of life” are greater to some people than the “care of their salvation.”

Contrary to what “Once-Saved-Always-Saved” (OSAS) and Calvinist advocates teach, you can forfeit your salvation due to neglect.  There is great danger in telling people otherwise.  It is vastly important that we warn people of the dangers of neglect.  If you do not maintain your walk with God then you can be sure that you will find yourself lost in the end.

I spoke to a man some years back that I grew up with and attended church with when I was a youth.  I asked him about several of his brothers and he replied, “One does not go to church at all, and one goes sometimes.  Another one attends church with me when he does go.”  He seemed not bothered in the least by their flippant attitude about Church attendance and seemed to suggest to me that it was normal for Christians be that haphazard in service to God.  This is the way it is all over today!  People do not maintain a relationship with the Lord.  They attend Church meetings, read their Bible, and pray whenever, however, or if ever they want to.

Some years ago a couple purchased a spa (hot tub) at a business that I was working at.  They had the spa for one whole year and we never heard one word from them in that time.    Then they called said they needed a technician because the spa would not work anymore.  The spa was still under warranty so I was dispatched to determine what the problem was.  When I arrived I lifted the cover and was almost overwhelmed with the stench.  It was nasty and smelled like a sewer.  The only service this spa needed to get it back in good working order was a good cleaning.  During that year they had not cleaned the filters, had put no chemicals in it, did not run the clean cycle or perform any other maintenance on the spa.  The customer told me, “The only reason we bought this spa was because the salesman told us that it was ‘Maintenance Free’”.  These people had bought into the myth of something being “Maintenance Free”. 

Nothing in life, natural or spiritual, is Maintenance Free!  Everything must have attention.  If you neglect things they will breakdown and begin to fail.

1.                 Your relationship with God requires maintenance.

2.                 Your marriage requires maintenance.

3.                 Your friendships require maintenance.

4.                 Your home requires maintenance.

5.                 Your car requires maintenance.

6.                 Your pets require maintenance.

7.                 Your yard requires maintenance.

People today want the benefits of salvation without the bother of salvation.  They want the blessings, they want to go to Heaven, but they do not want to obey the Lord.  They do not want to pray.  They do not want to bother with going to Church and reading their Bible.  They have bought into the lie of the maintenance free salvation!

People today in the marketplace are looking for products that are either “No Maintenance” or “Low Maintenance.”  This will not work in the Spiritual realm!  Your salvation will cost you something to maintain!  It cost Jesus everything to purchase for us this great salvation – it cost His life.  If we are going to walk with Him then it will also cost us our lives.  We are instructed in scripture to, “Present your body unto me a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto me which is your reasonable service”.

Salesmen use the “No Maintenance” tactic as a selling feature.  Most of the preachers today are no better than a “Used Car Salesmen” making untrue and false claims to sell cars.  They fail to tell people that they are going to have to pray, read their Bible, go to Church meetings, give, sacrifice, fast, and walk in Holiness.  They do not tell the whole truth!  Half-truths are as bad as whole lies!  People buy into this false gospel and are soon disillusioned when they encounter their first bump in the road.  Their minds are filled with doubt and guilt and they cry out in frustration.  Instead of getting sound Biblical advice from a Godly minister they are further instructed in this myth that “sin is really not sin” to them anymore and they just need more greasy grace to carry them through. This is the kind of salvation that Joel Osteen is selling, and like a used car salesman he makes the claim to his followers that it is “Maintenance Free”> 

If people today treated their natural workplace like they did the things of God they would have been fired long ago!  They would not dare miss work without calling in to their boss but they will miss Church meetings anytime they want to.  They are never late to punch in at the time clock but they see no problem whatsoever in dragging into Church fifteen minutes late.  They go to their jobs and give 100% but when it comes to God they give as little as possible.

A maintenance free salvation is a myth!  If you are going to live for God then you are going to have to give your all to God!  If He is not God of all then He is not God at all!  If Jesus is not everything to you then He is nothing to you!

Preventative Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance is checking and caring for something of value so that it is always in good order.  Why is it that people understand this principle when it comes to their car or lawn mower but are completely clueless when it comes to their soul?  Spiritual Breakdowns occur when we neglect proper maintenance.  The cost of breakdowns (Hell) is much higher than the cost of Preventative Maintenance.  It is cheaper to change the oil than it is to change the motor (about $30 dollars for an oil change as opposed to $3,000 for a new motor)!

Every person that has ever backslid did so because they failed to maintain their salvation.  They may point their fingers at others and say, “I got out of Church because so-in-so hurt me” but that is a cop out!  The Bible tells us in James 1:14, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” 

Backsliding occurs more from what we do not do than from what we do.

James 4:17

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

The maintenance is in the doing!  The maintenance is in obeying.  The maintenance is in keeping His commandments and doing his will!

John 14:15

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Neglect is failing to maintain.  Neglect is our fault, not God’s!  If we are lacking anything in our walk with the Lord then it is our fault and not God’s.     

High Maintenance Salvation

We have been given a “High Maintenance Salvation”.  I have heard people refer to their wife or girlfriend as being “High Maintenance”!  This simply means that in order to maintain a good relationship with her the man had to do a lot of extra things or spend a lot of extra money.  Folks, if you are going to have a good relationship with God then you are going to have to give Him your all!  That, my friend, is High Maintenance!

I thank the Lord for my wife and daughter!  When they go shopping they head for the markdown rack.  They are just at home in a Goodwill Store as they are in J. C. Penny.  While these traits are admirable in the natural, we have to know that in the spiritual our God will not take any cast offs!  He wants the best!  In the Old Testament when a lamb was brought to God for sacrifice it had to be the best – if it was inferior then God would reject it.  That is high maintenance!

How are we going to escape God’s wrath and judgment if we neglect this great salvation?

Jesus pardoned the Adulterous woman and then gave her the maintenance program: “Go and sin no more.”  This was her responsibility!  She had to maintain what the Lord did for her that day.

Jesus healed a man that was sick for 38 years then later He saw him and told him this in John 5:14 “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”

Jesus gave him the maintenance program, “Sin no more” and if he failed to maintain what Jesus has done for him then Jesus told him the results Wouldl be, “lest a worse thing come unto thee.”

Matthew 12:43-45

43When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

44Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

45Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

Jesus cleaned the House, but the owner did not perform the needed Maintenance and left it empty and now the devil and seven others have moved back in.  If we fail to do the maintenance required then we open ourselves up to a breakdown.  It is not enough to start on this journey – you must pick up your feet and keep on walking.  No one will make it if they do not fulfill their part.  “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”  Not, “Reject so great a salvation” but “Neglect”!  Neglect will lead you to destruction just as surely as rejection will.

This great salvation that we enjoy cost Jesus everything to secure and is going to cost us everything to maintain!  There is no such thing as a maintenance-free salvation!  If you make it in the end it will be because you walked according to God’s Word.

Matthew 24:13

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Jesus gives all kinds of promises to the Overcomers.  Do you know who the Overcomers are?  They are people that keep up the maintenance on their salvation!

Revelation 2:7

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Revelation 2:11

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Revelation 2:17

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Revelation 2:26

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Revelation 3:5

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Revelation 3:12

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Revelation 3:21

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Revelation 21:7

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Needed Maintenance

Prayer- This is like breathing to the Believer!  If you stop breathing in only a few minutes you will die.  Prayer is ours to do.  God will not make us pray but He does bid us to the altar to pray.

Bible Study- This is our food and water!  A man can live without food for two to six weeks depending on his health, but can only live without water for three or four days.

Fellowship- We must be faithful to the assembling of the saints together.  Every Christian needs to be a part of a local Body of believers if at all possible.  This is where we fellowship with God’s people and are taught the Word of God.

Baptism in the Holy Ghost- Not only must we be filled with the Spirit but we must also be refilled with the Spirit.  The oil must be replenished as it is burned up.  The Baptism in the Holy Ghost is the plan of God for every Born Again Believer.

Giving- We must be givers.  We may not have a lot to give but we must give from the little that we do have.  If we can learn to give now with our little then God may entrust us with more.

Witnessing- The Bible teaches us to let our “light so shine before men”.  This is part of walking with God.

Holy Living- It is our responsibility to live holy lives before the world all around us.  It is our part to do. 

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