From 1 Corinthians 14:6-9, 19; “Now brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? If even lifeless instruments such as the flute or harp do not give distinctive notes, how will anyone know what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking in the air.”
Then verse 19 sums it all up; “Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.” (all emphasis mine)
Going back to my earliest years attending church, and up to the time I called out for Jesus to forgive me and be my Savior at about age 40, there were many messages from various pastors of different denominations that left me either confused or just bewildered. I realize that many were very devoted to the Lord, and they tried to present God’s word to the congregation. However, in some cases, it appeared as if they tried to show off their extensive vocabulary, and they left a bunch of people in the dark.
In one of my earliest college Socialism classes, the professor entered the room on our first day, dressed in a Japanese Kimono. For the next 15 minutes, he spoke to us in what we believed was Japanese, and no one could understand a word he said. This left a big impression on me for future events.
When the Father put it on my heart to be a messenger for the Lord, my first thought was that everyone needs an understanding of the true gospel, or good news, and I pledged I would do my best to present His words for all to benefit from, and in a way everyone can understand. He allowed me to complete a seminary course and to become an ordained pastor. All accolades for anything I have been able to accomplish belongs completely to the Heavenly Father.
He is my Creator, Redeemer, Savior, and absolute best friend. I rest assured that Jesus indeed died so that my sins can be forgiven, and that He did rise from the dead three days later and ascended back into Heaven, and that He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in me until I go to Him, either through death or by the Rapture.
Now for the best news of all; He did this for everyone who will receive and accept His gift. God does not look at our human status as other people do. He sees each and every one of us as an individual that has the right to call on Jesus and be saved (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13). Consider Acts 10:34-35; “So Peter opened his mouth and said, truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation, anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him.”
Going to Romans 2:9-11; “There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.” It should be noted that when Paul referred to the “Greek,” that would be everyone who was not Jewish. Jesus made this plain in John 10:16; “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one Shepherd.”
Through this last verse, Jesus assured us “other sheep” that we have the same privilege as God’s chosen Jewish people to choose to be saved and have eternal life with Him. When we are told that God is no respecter of persons, that applies to the Jewish people as well. Yes, through God’s covenant with Abraham (Genesis 12), they are His chosen, but they must receive and accept Jesus (Yeshua) as their Messiah, or they will not be with Him in Paradise. As stated, all who call on Jesus will be saved. All who reject Him will have chosen for themselves to be cast into the lake of fire forever (Revelation 20:11-15).
During His ministry on earth, Jesus could have overwhelmed everyone with eloquent speech and high-level messages that would have turned most people of His day away from Him. Instead, as He explained to His disciples, He spoke in “parables” using illustrations that the “common” people could understand and relate to.
Speaking of God’s word, we have different translations of His true words available. Some may understand and be comfortable with the King James Version, but others may be intimidated by language used in 1611. There are versions of the New King James, the American Standard, New International Version, English Standard Version, and some others that are true to the original texts but in today’s language. Rather than have an interpretation that will only sit on a table and collect dust, my suggestion would be to look into different true-to-the-word translations and pick one that you will read regularly.
One illustration I have used is that you have just been given a precious gift. You take the gift and place it on a table and walk by it every day but never open it. It’s been received but never actually accepted. You never have the benefit from what’s inside.
On the other hand, you are given a gift, and you open it and enjoy the contents. Once you have God’s word, it should be opened regularly to receive the true covenant from the Father. For someone who has never actually read a Bible, I would suggest starting with the book of John, and then go to Romans. If you will read just a chapter or two each day, you will have the formation of a good habit. As time progresses, it will become a lifestyle, and you won’t feel right if you skip even one day.
One other suggestion: whatever translation you select, get it in a study Bible format. A lot of good questions can be answered by looking through the study notes for each chapter.
So, how are we saved? Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that it’s by grace through faith, and not by works. Romans 10-9-13 gives the straightforward ABCs, which are:
Accept Jesus as your Savior, and confess to Him you cannot be saved except through Him.
Believe He died for our sins and was raised by God to conquer sin and death once and for all. No other sacrifice will ever do.
Call on Jesus to be your Savior, and you will be saved.
Don’t worry about any fancy entertaining words that false prophets may try. They are trying to lead you away from the true Savior of all mankind that will receive and accept Him.
Follow the simple true words given by our Savior, and you will not be led astray. He wants you to be with Him forever. Today would not be too early to call on Him, as He may come to call for His flock to rise up to meet Him in the clouds at any time. You will be eternally glad that you did.
Maranatha – Come, Lord Jesus!