Salvation: The Central Message of the Prophets

Laws are needed to govern and regulate human behavior in any society. A society without laws will soon degenerate into a jungle of "survival of the fittest".  Even though laws are needed, they don't change people. Laws can modify people’s behavior but it doesn’t change the inner man, the heart which is the seat if all evil. Jesus said" For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.” Mark 7:21-22.

Tough laws are being passed against drug trafficking all around the world, but the drug traffickers find ways of getting around these laws. God gave Israel many laws to keep and the truth of the matter is they broke all of all of them. The law was given to reveals mans inability to keep Gods laws if he doesn't have the nature of God. That's why in Ezekiel, God tells us that "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26.

Man needs a new heart to obey God. An unsaved person has a "stony heart"-A heart that does not want to yield to God. The storyline in the entire Old Testament can be summarized as "mans inability to obey God and God's solution to this problem by sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross"

God used laws, prophets, enemies to turn BACKSLIDDEN Israel back to him. All these methods failed. God's solution to this chronic disobedience of man is Jesus Christ. That's why all the prophets in the Old Testament testified about the coming of Jesus Christ: "for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" Revelation 19:10

The central message of the Old Testament prophets was the coming of a savior who will save man from his sins. The bible tells us that God conceived the idea of man becoming born again even before the foundations of the world. "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Revelation 13:8

Therefore being born again or saved is not an invention of man, a jargon used by religious zealots to woo followers, but a divinely orchestrated plan of God to reconcile man to himself. The prophets lived for and looked forward to the fulfillment of this prophecy. We are privileged to experience a prophesy they couldn't experience.

1 Peter 1:10-11

Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN!

 

Who Can Pay So Much:

Isaiah 53:3-9

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray;We have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

-----------

Chris's death on the cross was a price he had to pay for the sins of the world. As to why God chose that means I can't understand, it's a love that beats human imagination. Whiles we were yet sinners Christ died for us. He paid our debts so we don't have to pay for them. This is what true love looks like. We don't have to pay for his sacrifice; we only have to accept it. We all are like prisoners waiting to be executed only to hear that the son of the judge who sentenced us wants to die in our place.

The best way to explain this is with an Oswald Sanders tract below:

Who Can Pay So Much?

The Russian Czar used to love to disguise himself and mingle with his subjects to hear what they might have to say.

One night he visited the barracks and listened to the conversation of the soldiers.

While passing a tent he observed a young officer sitting at a table with his head on his arm, sound asleep. The Czar tiptoed to the back of the chair and looked over his shoulder. There on the table before him he saw, to his amazement, a loaded revolver. Beside the revolver was a sheet of paper and on the paper a long list of gambling debts.

The Czar noted the total and was about to turn away when, suddenly, he saw that there was something written below the column of figures.

Stepping closer, he read the words: "Who can pay so much?"

Like a flash he grasped the situation. The young officer had gambled everything he had. He was deeply in debt, and he had no way of meeting his obligations. Hence his decision to blow his brains out and end it all.

But, after writing the words, "Who can pay so much?” he had fallen asleep. Soon he would awaken, and then--

The Czar at first decided to report him. Then, remembering that he was a friend of the young man's father, he changed his decision.

Taking up the pen that had fallen from the hand of the young man and dipping it in the ink, he looked for a moment again at the question before him:

"Who can pay so much?"

Then, stooping over, he wrote one word underneath--this:

"Alexander."

Quietly he turned away.

Presently the young officer opened his eyes, picked up the revolver and slowly raised it to his brow. But, just before pulling the trigger, he glanced for the last time, at the list of his debts. Then he read once more what he had written: "Who can pay so much?"

Suddenly he bent nearer. There was another word on the paper. He read it--"Alexander."

In amazement he dropped the revolver from his hand. He had recognized the handwriting. His Czar had been there. With great joy he read again the writing: "Who can pay so much?" "Alexander."

Next morning, sure enough a messenger came with a bag of money from the Czar. His debts were paid and his life saved.

Friend, you, too, have accumulated a debt, a debt that you can never hope to pay--a debt of sin. And when you realize it, you too, will cry: "Who can pay so much?" and then God will answer,

"JESUS."

Yes, Jesus settled the account. He became the payment for your debt of sin. Listen!

"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." (2 Cor. 5:19).

Isn't that glorious? Not imputing (charging against or reckoning to) their trespasses (sins) unto them."

And why not? Because He imputed, charged against, or reckoned, them to Christ.

Your sins were placed to Christ's account when He died on Calvary. Therefore you can go free. Your debt has been paid. "Jesus paid it all." What wonderful news!

But not only did He die to make an atonement; He rose again, and now He lives to save.

"Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin: that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. v. 20-21).

Oh, my friend, believe God and accept His Son. The Lord Jesus Christ, as your Savior, for He has paid your debt of sin that you might go free. Will you do it? Do it and do it NOW.

 

(http://www2.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/docs/smith02.htm)

 

YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN!

 

Bibliography

 

Oswald Chambers

 

http://articles.ochristian.com/article13164.shtml