By Norman Midgette
False hope! It abounds everywhere. For those who do not want to obey the gospel of Christ and still hope to be saved they have company, both ancient and modem.
God does many good things for the heathen who are lost but woe be unto them if they mistake this goodness for salvation. Here are some examples.
Jesus said. “… for he maketh the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust” (Man. 5:45). God does this for the unjust. When he has done it they are still as unjust as before. They may have the sun and the rain but they still have their sins. Paul confirmed the same thing in Acts 14:17 when he said, “And yet he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave you from heaven rain and fruitful seasons, filling your hearts with food and gladness.” Even if you have a bountiful crop in your garden or you have a good job and can buy all the good food you want that does not mean you are saved. The heathen have gladness and joy and life often go their way and the obstacles are so few. Woe to the man or woman who interprets this to mean they have the fellowship of God and are saved.
There are those who think God has answered their prayers and because of this falsely believe God has saved them. Such would be a tragic conclusion to draw. I may not always know how God works but I do know this: “We know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshiper of God, and do his will, him he heareth” (John 9:31). In Proverbs 28:9 God said, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” The prayers of Cornelius had gone up “for a memorial before God” (Acts 10:4), but even after the an-gel of God told him this, Cornelius would have been a very mistaken man if he had concluded he was a saved man. We know this is true because shortly thereafter the Holy Spirit told Peter to go to the house of Cornelius and speak to him “words” by which he and his house would be saved (Acts 11:14). What God does with your prayers has nothing to do with how he deals with your sins.
And finally the greatest thing God has done for you while you are an alien sinner is to have Christ die for you. “But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Just because he died for you does not mean you are saved else we have universal salvation.
Many good things have come from God to the alien sinner. Do not mistake any of these as signs of your salvation. There is only one thing that will save you. That is your faith in and obedience to the gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16; 2 Thess. 1:7, 8). Until you obey the gospel, all the rain, sun, fruitful seasons, and gladdened hearts will not save you. You are still lost. It is time you let go of these false hopes and obey the gospel where there is real hope. Confess your faith in Christ, repent of your sins, and be baptized for the remission of those sins (Man. 10:32, 33; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). You will be lost no longer and you will still have all of these blessings plus many more. Take your stand with Christ today not just with his blessings.
Guardian of Truth XLI: 16 p. 5
August 21, 1997