Why is it that religion has begged, cajoled, and with quavering voice pleaded with sinners to accept Christ? Is God trying desperately to get everybody "saved" before it's too late? Does God really NEED you so desperately — RIGHT NOW? Here's what your BIBLE says.
WHAT ABOUT IT? IS there a great struggle going on here below — between titanic spiritual forces, the forces of GOD, opposed by the forces of Satan the Devil? Is God engaged in a desperate struggle with a cunning Devil — trying to SAVE the world, while a contemptuous Satan laughs and gathers in most of humanity on his side?
Is God Fighting the Devil?
The sum total of ALL evangelistic effort, or missionary work, of altar calls and religious endeavor seems predicated on a fervent race against time! The Devil seems to be winning, if such a frantic struggle exists. What about it? Have you ever wondered why it is the Devil seems to have ALL the special tools, the knack and know-how, the ingenuity and craft with which to trap his victims — while God seems to have NONE? Think about it. Society, with its bright lights, entertainment, and pleasures; the movies, TV, novels, records, dances, parties; cigarettes, liquor, sex; money, position, travel — all of this appeals NATURALLY to the average human being! The Devil seems, according to this reasoning, to have just about all the advantages. But, goes the faulty idea, God has virtually NO weapons! Against the NATURAL desire of the average human for the pleasures of the physical senses, the broken-hearted voice of "religion" seems to say, "No!" "DON'T!" "GIVE up!" "Go WITHOUT!" ''ABSTAIN!" Have you ever attended a "good old-fashioned revival," or evangelistic campaign? Have you heard a hoarse-voiced, perspiring evangelist in broken, quavering tones, while the measured pulse of the choir softly chants "Just as I am," plead emotionally: "WON'T you come? With every head bowed, with others praying for you, WON'T you step out into that aisle and come down to the altar? Give your heart to the Lord RIGHT NOW, TONIGHT!" Does God, to you, seem to represent giving up everything that is "fun" and enjoyable — going without the real pleasures in life, while the Devil seems to have a corner on the market of delight? Such ideas are utterly FALSE! Believe it or not, there is NO GREAT STRUGGLE to GET THIS WORLD SAVED — NOW! Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to send PEACE on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword" (Matt. 10:34). He explained, when His disciples asked Him why He spoke to the public in hidden meaning, in parables: "Because it is given unto you [His disciples] to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given... Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand" (Matt. 13:10-13). But why? If Christ were so desperately trying to PLEAD with people to "get saved" and escape the wiles of the Devil — would He have deliberately HIDDEN His meaning from them — obscured the very message of SALVATION? That's what He said! That's exactly what He DID! Read it, in His own words, "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which saith, 'By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand: and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; LEST at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them' " (Matt. 13:14-15). Strange words, indeed, IF God were desperately trying to SAVE THIS WORLD! But He is NOT trying to save it, NOW! Christ DID NOT try to save it, THEN! And, since God is NOT — NOW — trying frantically to save the world, just how badly does He really NEED you?
Does Christ Suffer From Inferiority?
Think about it! How has "Christ" been presented to you? Usually, when you think of Christ, do you immediately think of DEATH? Do you imagine a DEAD person, hanging on a cross? Or, like many, do you immediately imagine the manger scene — thinking of Christ as a sweet little BABY, wrapped in "swaddling clothes" and being sheltered in His mother's arms? Or perhaps you have a picture of "Christ" in your home — or in your Bible. Look at the picture. See any POWER there? See any FORCE? Any driving, magnetic, irresistible, positive, masculine ZEAL and ENERGY? Or do you see, instead, a picture of WEAKNESS? Ever seen artist's portrayals of the Devil? If you have, you've noticed a "devilishly" HANDSOME look. Dark, intense, alert, piercing eyes — strong, craggy masculine features; powerful jaw; jutting, strong nose; the very picture of FORCE and ENERGY! Christ is pictured as having LONG HAIR, as looking almost FEMININE — while the Devil is pictured as having SHORT hair, if any. But take away the halo from the pictures of "Christ," and remove the tail, pitchfork and horns from the "Devil" and look again! Then read what your own Bible says about it. Notice! "Doth not even NATURE teach you [inspired the Christ of the Bible], that, if a man have long hair, it is a SHAME unto him?" (I Cor. 11:14) Read further! "He hath NO FORM NOR COMELINESS [not outstandingly "beautiful" or "handsome"]; and when we shall see Him, there is No beauty that we should desire Him" (Isa. 53:2). Paul said, "For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah" (Heb. 7:14). Judah means the house of Judah: the tribe of the JEWISH people! Remember also that Christ was betrayed with a kiss! And for the express purpose of buying that all-important SIGN, POINTING OUT TO HIS ACCUSERS JUST WHO HE WAS, the Pharisees paid Judas a GREAT deal of money! But why the bribe — if Jesus was so OUTSTANDINGLY different He would have been easily singled out in ANY crowd? Put it all together. Christ was a Jew. He wasn't any different in appearance from any other Jewish man of His day. He didn't have long hair, and He most certainly did NOT have an inferiority complex. But what about the "Christ" YOU have always just taken for granted? How have you thought about Him? What HAVE you thought about religion? about altar calls? about "receiving Christ" and "salvation"? Hasn't it all been a little CONFUSING to you? No, the Christ of the Bible, the LIVING Christ who is very much alive at this precise second, does not have a terrible inferiority complex. He is NOT suffering because He so desperately needs ALL people to believe "on" Him right NOW, or believe "in" what HE DID! But THIS WORLD IS SUFFERING — and suffering because it will not BELIEVE WHAT JESUS CHRIST SAID!
A Deceived World
Without realizing it, you have probably been believing the exact opposite from what the Bible really says. Your Creator tells you this is a DECEIVED world — that a great spirit being, Satan the Devil, has succeeded in blinding the vast majority! "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ... should shine unto them" (II Cor. 4:4). Satan the Devil is called, symbolically, a great dragon, "which deceiveth the WHOLE WORLD!" (Rev. 12:9) But how many really believe the plain word of God? How about you? Do you really BELIEVE this world — yes, ALL of it — has been deceived? Do you believe YOU could have been? And remember — a deceived person does not KNOW he's deceived — he THINKS he knows the truth! Satan the Devil has turned this world to deception — has caused it to believe in LIES! He is called the first liar, and the father of all lies (John 8:44). So, today, the average person believes Christ came to DESTROY His Father's laws, to FREE us from LAW — to DIE to get us saved, and that He is trying, desperately, to SAVE THE WORLD, TODAY! And none of this is true! Christ's death did NOT destroy the law, did NOT, of itself, save us! And Christ is NOT trying to save the whole world, today! Here's the proof!
What Christ DID Accomplish
Jesus said, "THINK NOT that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am NOT come to destroy, but to fulfill!" (Matt. 5:17) He came to MAGNIFY the law of God, making it far more binding upon us, making it spiritually applicable! If you have not yet read our inspiring booklet on the TEN COMMANDMENTS, then write for it, immediately. He said, when asked the WAY to salvation and eternal life, "IF thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments!" (Matt. 19:17) He came, KEEPING God's commandments, to set us "an example; that ye should follow His steps!" (I Pet. 2:21) Christ came talking of the LOVE of God. But He didn't leave us guessing about what kind of love is Gap's love! Notice! "For this is the love of God, that WE KEEP His COMMANDMENTS; and His commandments are not grievous!" (I John 5:3) John was inspired to write, "And hereby we do know that we know Him [know Christ!], if we KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS!" (I John 2:3) He went on to say, "He that saith, 'I know Him,' and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (I John 2:4). Paul was an instrument of Christ's. Christ spoke THROUGH Paul (Gal. 2:20). Notice what Paul was inspired to say about whether the LAW was "done away!" "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, 'Thou shalt not covet' " (Rom. 7:7). Paul showed how the law pointed out WHAT SIN IS, and said, "For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23). Sin is the breaking of God's law — His TEN COMMANDMENTS (I John 3:4). Paul said, "For we know that the law is SPIRITUAL" (Rom. 7:14). He said, "Wherefore the law is HOLY, and the commandment HOLY, and JUST, and GOOD!" (Rom. 7:12) He said, "I consent unto the law that it is Good!" (Rom. 7:16) Do you still think Christ came to DESTROY His Father's laws? Not if you believe and tremble before the sacred WORD OF GOD, you don't!
Does Christ's DEATH Save Us?
What about the broken-hearted appeals of religion, today? Have you seen the signs on rocks, barns, billboards, and automobiles — "Christ DIED TO SAVE SINNERS"? Probably, you have. But that is NOT IN THE BIBLE! Shocking as it may sound; the Bible nowhere says we are saved by the DEATH of Christ! Now read carefully what the Bible does say. Let's understand! When we break God's LAWS, which were given us for our protection, our BLESSINGS, our GOOD, we become sinners! And sin cuts one off from God! The ONLY way we can ever be forgiven our sins, and be reconciled to God, against whom we have sinned, is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ! "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there IS NONE OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Christ DIED to pay the penalty for SIN! And everyone has sinned (Rom. 3:23). Paul wrote, "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly!" (Rom. 5:6) "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, Christ DIED for us" (Rom. 5:8). But does the simple acknowledgement of Christ's DEATH save us? Can a person be truly SAVED — be given an ETERNAL inheritance, just by confessing he believes Christ did live once, and that He DIED? Not according to the Holy word of your Creator! "Much more then, being now Justified by His blood..." (Rom. 5:9). Then the DEATH of Christ, the shedding of His life's BLOOD, was required to JUSTIFY our guilty past! That means to forgive us our wrong-doings, our sins, our transgressions of God's spiritual and Holy law! It removes the BARRIER our sins had set up between us and God. It reconciles one to God — establishes a connection. It ALWAYS takes Christ's blood to forgive ANY sin, at ANY time, ANYWHERE! But it takes MORE than Christ's death to SAVE US! Read it, in your own Bible! "Much more then, being now justified [having our past sins forgiven] by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath THROUGH HIM... For if, when we were enemies we were RECONCILED to God by the DEATH of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we SHALL BE SAVED BY HIS LIFE!" Yes, it takes a LIVING High Priest, and a soon-returning KING to really SAVE us! It takes the shed blood of Christ to forgive and atone for our sins, but it takes a living Christ to resurrect us, or to CHANGE our vile bodies into His glorious form (Phil. 3:21). Forgiveness, reconciliation, justification come with Christ's BLOOD. But final SALVATION, the gift of ETERNAL LIFE — being conducted into His Kingdom, CHANGED from flesh to spirit, that is accomplished by His LIFE! Do you still believe Christ's DEATH "saves" sinners? Not if you believe the Holy Word of GOD, you don't!
Did Christ Try to SAVE the WORLD?
Obviously, if Christ tried to save the world then, He lost the battle. Still obviously, if Christ is trying to save the world NOW, He's fighting a losing battle! But is Christ SO WEAK? Not at all! This just is not the only time of salvation. This shocking truth is made plain in a free article entitled "Is This the Only Day of Salvation?" Write for it immediately. The Devil is only ALLOWED a certain span of time to work on human nature — to appeal to carnal vanity, and the lusts of human flesh! Satan is able to accomplish only what the great Creator ALLOWS! God is the RULER! Christ is the soon-coming KING of this earth! He will RULE it, with a rod of iron (Rev. 2:26-27). Christ came to deliver a message to His disciples (John 12:49), and to commission them to preach it to the world (Matt. 28:19-20). He even predicted most people WOULD NOT repent, and be converted! "If the world hate you [He said to His true followers], ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because you are not OF the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (John 15:18-19). He predicted, "I have given them thy word [He was praying to the Father] and the world hath hated them, because they are not OF the world, even as I am not of the world" (John 17:14-15). He said His true servants would be ridiculed, impugned, injured, even MARTYRED for the truth they would preach (John 16:2; Matt. 24:9). He warned His servants, "... beware of MEN; for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and you shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles... and ye shall be HATED of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall BE saved!" (Matt. 10:17-22) Do you STILL think Christ had any illusions about saving the world, either then or now? Not if you tremble before the very WORD of that Christ, you don't! So, after all, just how badly DOES God really NEED you?
What Is God DOING, Today?
Obviously, He's not conducting broken-hearted appeals — not struggling desperately to plead, whine, argue, beg or wheedle people into repentance! Jesus did nothing of the kind — nor did Peter, Paul or other Apostles — nor is the living Christ, through HIS true ministers, today! He is NOT trying to SAVE THE WORLD, NOW! But God IS WARNING this world! Jesus Christ gave His servants an awesome responsibility! He commissioned them to preach the Gospel of the KINGDOM of God, as a WARNING, as a WITNESS AGAINST THEM! (Matt. 24:14) The world is hearing that warning message, and with increasing power and force every single year! God thunders to us a stern WARNING about the future. He warns us where our frightful crime, divorce, lusts, hatreds, bigotries and violence are taking us! He commands us to REPENT, before it's too late! But He doesn't have to beg. He doesn't need to bargain! Almighty God demands TOTAL surrender — absolute and unconditional! "REPENT, or ye shall all likewise perish," said Jesus Christ (Luke 13:3, 5). "REPENT ye, and believe the Gospel," He said (Mark 1:15). "REPENT ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19). To those who WILL repent now, Christ offers a free salvation — a conversion NOW — and a responsible place WITH Him, in conducting the most vitally important work being accomplished on earth. And He offers MORE — He offers a change — at Christ's coming — from mortal to immortal, and a position of RULERSHIP with Him in His soon-coming RULE on this earth! "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" (Rev. 3:21). "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father" (Rev. 2:26, 27). But He's not begging. He's not pleading. And He doesn't really NEED you. No, YOU NEED HIM! You need Him DESPERATELY, you need Him BADLY, and you need Him URGENTLY! Christ doesn't need to ask you — you need to ask Him! Christ doesn't need to plead with You — you need to plead with HIM to grant you real broken-hearted repentance — to fill you with His precious Holy Spirit! It's time you asked and answered some mighty serious questions! Just what is a true Christian? And what is real repentance? Just what is salvation, and how do you really receive it? We have booklets on all three subjects. You need to prayerfully STUDY those booklets, and also the revealing booklet on WATER BAPTISM! Find out just how earnestly YOU NEED GOD, and exactly why! So before you forget it, WRITE for those booklets, if you haven't yet read them. And remember, if any of you do feel YOU need to talk to one of God's own called and chosen ministers about your own private spiritual needs — we are readying, once again, our summer tours. Each summer, teams of ministers and advanced students from Ambassador Colleges call upon, and visit with thousands of persons in their own homes — all over the world! But we never call upon anyone who does not specifically request a visit. We only want to help, to serve — but not to force God's truth upon anyone who does not sincerely want it. So if you would like one of our teams to call upon you in the coming months — please write and let us know immediately. But whether you want to be visited or not — BE SURE you read these vitally important booklets. They're FREE, of course!