Are we saved when we accept the Messiah?
A hostile Christian (of the Nimrod-Tammuz persuasion) recently wrote to the Messianic BRI and, among other things, impertinently asked me: “When, were you saved?”
I put the same question back to him. He referred to his conversion experience which, he said, occurred at a particular place, and time of the day, and he even gave me the anniversary of that special date in his life and the specific circumstances surrounding it. Not too many folk can do that. He was also adamant that he alone “chose Christ.” I know that Billy Graham could give the time and place when he first accepted God’s Son as his Saviour. His wife, on the other hand, never ever had a specific time and place that she could recall…she “always” believed in the Lord even as a little child. In fact, it seemed there never was a time when she did not believe.
Everybody’s experience of the Lord is different.
I am told forthrightly by my Bible that God “has saved us [speaking of Christians] and called us [Christians] with a holy calling [please note the order here, first we are saved then we are called to worship the One who has already saved us] not according to our works [and that includes our decision-making ability to choose the Lord], but according to His own purpose and Grace, which was given us in the Messiah Yeshua” — given when? — “BEFORE THE UNIVERSE BEGAN” (2 Tim 1.9).
Blessed assurance! How GLAD am I that my assent to Mashiach’s will in His Grace, His calling, and His election, was a mere response to my already-saved position — my acceptance of His sacrificial death on my behalf (as important as I would like to believe it is) was really an afterthought on my part; it was a mere response to the Gospel of my (already-attained) salvation …an already accomplished fact.
There are some Christians who do not like the way I pen my literature or the way I emphatically and enthusiastically express my Jewish view of the Gospel of salvation. They do not like my stylistic emphasis on God’s salvific Grace, nor yet my readiness to eagerly applaud God’s Salvific Sovereignty. Like kids in a schoolyard boasting about their fathers I can confidently say, to those who hate Jewish thoughtform and who despise the Gospel of God’s Grace: “My God is bigger than your god! My God is not the Local Village Idiot, like yours. My God is not the Fast Fading Smile of some Cosmic Cheshire Cat, like yours. My God is logical and consistent and…dare I say, endlessly affectionate, doting and loving?”
Most people make God in their own image, or after the image of their own earthly father, and such a creation of the human mind naturally carries with it terrible flaws, obscene character deficiencies and blatant inconsistencies.
- It was Blaise Pascal who asserted that “we like to be deceived.”
Really, isn’t it high time to repent and give glory to the One who endlessly loves us with a kenotic Sacrificial Love, and who is soon to return in the Person of His Son to ask an account of those who supposedly believe in Him and love Him? After all, He loved us so much He would not permit the thought that we could save ourselves by our own works and capabilities. He loved us so much that He saved us before our human birth — way back in eternity — even long prior to the Big Bang, before Space-Time began.
That, my spiritual brethren, IS unconditional love.