The Process of Individual Salvation :: By Gene Lawley

In a chronological look at the process of an individual coming to salvation in Christ, there are Scriptures that track those steps. It is evident in those Scriptures that God allows mankind a free moral judgment that He does not violate. Strange, isn’t it, how God retains His sovereignty, yet allows His creation of angels and mankind to exercise that free moral agency?

For instance, that first angel who decided he wanted to become like God, even to usurp His authority; so he rebelled and became known down through the ages as the very essence of evil, the devil, Lucifer, Satan (see Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14). Likewise, Adam and Eve were given a choice as to which way they would go—to take the way God warned them against, or choose obedience to Him. They chose to disobey (see Genesis 3).

Mankind was then saddled with that fallen nature from conception and birth to a life of separation from God, and a life of hopelessness and moral degradation in a sinful existence.

But according to Psalm 139:13-16, God tracks the life of every individual ever conceived in the womb in His book. As a matter of fact, He has seen that mankind retains the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong—the knowledge of good and evil—embedded in his conscience. This is told to us in Romans 2:13-16, that even without the direct knowledge of God’s laws, man is aware of his free choice to do good or evil. Thus, he is held accountable to God for his choices. God has a plan for mankind, and it is called “judgment,” and it will ultimately come at the “Day of the Lord,” an “Appointed Time” in the future.

The experience of Saul of Tarsus in Acts 9 tells us how God uses that embedded knowledge of right and wrong in a person’s conscience to awaken him to his need for forgiveness and restoration to a spiritual existence in favor with God. Romans 3:20 says that “by the law comes the knowledge of sin.” That knowledge either chases a person away because of his fear of exposure, for who likes being declared guilty, or it will open his heart to the need for mercy and forgiveness, and then he responds to God’s ever-present call for repentance and acceptance of the gift of salvation as offered in Romans 6:23. The directive in the Word for that is found in Romans 10:13, “For whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

There is a problem, however.

How does one who is born spiritually dead in trespasses and sins have any way to respond to an invitation to call on the Lord? It is an attribute of God’s character called grace, unmerited favor with God. Unmerited, not earned. He says in Romans 5:20 that “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”

A couple of verses give us an idea how this works. In John 6:29 Jesus said, “This is the work of God that you believe on Him whom He has sent.” And, John 6:44 says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Jesus says, “You must be born again!” in John 3, and “must” is a very strong and exclusive declaration. No one can repent of that one sin which will take them to hell unless the Spirit of God intervenes. All who are born of Adam’s heritage, and that is everyone—all humanity—are already condemned to that judgment, as John 3:18 clearly says, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Therefore, as the John 3 context indicates, the Spirit of God searches out that person who realizes his sinfulness through the “goading of his conscience” with the reminders of God’s laws against sin (see Acts 9 and the conversion of Saul of Tarsus).

It is established over and over again with each account of a person’s conversion that one who is born again must come to know that he is a sinner before God, and there he must find a remedy for his sinfulness. Paul the apostle then wrote to Titus this: “…not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”

It is a sure thing that no one will be in heaven who does not want to be there. God’s love is balanced with His justice. That is, His love will overrule His righteous justice. (It is called “grace.”) There, He allows man to choose His salvation. This is the trail of “free moral agency” that has been evident in the Scriptures since the creation of the angels, and the highest one chose to defy the God of creation. So it is that Jesus says, in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any person hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and live with him, and he with Me.”

Apparently, many are called—the door of their heart is knocked on—but they have chosen that wide road that leads to destruction and do not open the door to the Lord. Within this framework the Biblical concepts of “election,” “predestination,” and “chosen” fit in as God, in His foreknowledge, sees all these things come together.

In a later article we will see how the manner of this relationship of the believer with God in Christ continues in the Christian’s growth into maturity in Christ.

Contact email:


Oh, Oh, Here Comes Chicken Little! :: By Gene Lawley

One of the loud cries, primarily of those who do not believe God has any interest in concerns of this world, is somewhat like that of the fictional Chicken Little. In that story, something hit him on the head, and he began to yell to all the people of the town, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”

We are being told repeatedly that worldwide temperatures will rise to levels you might hear in a discussion of how to cook your Christmas turkey dinner, as well as the “unescapable fact” that in a very short time the ocean levels will rise to engulf the continents! The simple answer to this cry of fear is to point them to the rainbow that often brightens the sky as the sun reflects off of the moisture in the clouds after a rainfall. According to Genesis 9:13-16, God promised to never again flood the earth:

I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”

The forecast told by Peter in 2 Peter 3:10 is not a pretty prospect for the end of time when God again judges the earth:

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

That event is several centuries in the future, however.

Current events are filled with the sense of hopelessness, of despair, of clamoring for someone to do something to ward off this coming disaster of climate changes that will overcome the world.

Three dictionary companies have issued their choices of the “word of the year.” Oxford Publishing selected “climate emergency,” actually two words, but claimed they are inseparable. The On-line Dictionary chose “existential,” a word that showed up in the mid 1900’s meaning “hopelessness” and “despair.” Merriam Webster claimed “they” was the top new meaning of a word.

Note that the first two show how much the “global warming, climate change” fear is being embraced by the world’s population. Note also that Time Magazine has issued its 2019 “cover of the year” picturing a sixteen-year-old girl from Sweden who has come to America preaching the fear of this planet’s inability to care for its inhabitants and somehow we must reduce our population dramatically and quickly.

The third word of new meaning for 2019 offered by Merriam-Webster is “they.” That reflects the progress of the “gender manipulation frenzy” and sexual revolution that has captured so much attention and demands total submission to those claims of superior rights of expression of their sexual orientation.

No wonder there is a sense of hopelessness and despair that is seemingly ready to engulf the world. There is “no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18).

One woman wrote that if parents do not believe there is a God, yet their children are having greater progress in good character traits, grades, and well-being, they should lie to their kids, saying they do believe in God. She says, “even though you believe you will go to a grave and turn to dust.” What she does not realize is that kids can see through their hypocrisy and lifestyles that deny that lie.

The reader who seeks truth and would believe the Scriptures would do well to read the forecasts of Jesus as He tells of what is to come when God’s judgment comes upon the earth in the last days. These are told, primarily, in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.

In Luke 21:7-28, Jesus tells the future events to His disciples, of the soon-coming, then, of the destruction of the temple and of Jerusalem, the signs and times of the last days of this age, and the coming of the Son of Man at the end of the age.

In Luke 21:10-19, He tells some details of the destruction that is to come upon the earth in the last days, which seem to be happening in these days:

“Then He said to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls.’” 

Finally, in Luke 21:25-27, He says this: “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” 

Next, He says this: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near,” and then tells of the coming declaration of statehood for Israel—coming several centuries in the future (May 14, 1948).

The key thought in the passage is “when these things begin to happen, look up….” The question is, “are they beginning to happen—even 71 years ago (May 14, 1948)? Yes, there is no doubt, for sure since 1948.

The fearful destruction of no livable earth that accompanies the cries against “climate change” is demanding a gigantic reduction in the earth’s population. That is the cry of that Sweden girl—the earth will not be able to support a population of its present size.

But God, the God they do not recognize, has a population reduction plan. It’s called “judgment!” The prophets of old tell us in the Word of God of that plan.

The population total is a moving figure, but right now it is estimated to be 7.7 billion. The stated goal of the promoters of a New World Order is to reduce the population to only one billion, or maybe 500 million. Two reasons are behind those figures—those few are more easily controlled and the earth’s support systems could handle that number.

Of course, those calculations arise out of a mindset that does not recognize God in any manner. If those “Chicken Littles” were to check out the prophecies of the Bible, they would discover how their fears are totally unnecessary.

Let’s look at the population problem, specifically. When Jesus comes to “snatch away” those who have been saved by His grace, and soon to occur as the world begins to experience the seven years of tribulation prophesied by the Apostle John in Revelation chapters 4-19, a great multitude of the population will be reduced. First, an unknown number of Christians will disappear as Jesus comes and snatches them away to be with Him. Then, many will be killed by the devastating judgments that will occur.

After that “snatching away” will come the Gog-Magog war reported in Ezekiel 38-39 in the nations around Israel as God judges them. Many will die, for it will take seven months to find and bury all of the bodies of the dead.

At one time, in Revelation 9:15, one-third of mankind will be killed. Two hundred million from the kings of the east will die as they attempt to conquer Israel. A great multitude who do not take the “mark of the beast” will be killed and are shown in Revelation 7, standing before the throne of Christ in heaven. In Zechariah 13:8 we are told that two-thirds of the Jewish people will be killed, and the remaining one-third will be hidden away in the wilderness. That seems to be what is left after the final conclusion of the confrontation of those who took the “mark of the beast” and followed the Antichrist to defeat, for the Scripture concludes with, “And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse” (verse 21).

A rough calculation with estimates as necessary concludes with between four and five million (but quite likely far less) of Jews will survive. There is no indication that any Gentile mortals, saved or unsaved, will survive the tribulation period. The Scripture is clear that none who take the mark of the beast will be saved, and it is unknown how many who do not take that mark are able to avoid death by the hand of the Antichrist, if any.

Therefore, Chicken Little, an over-populated world will not be a problem. Contrary to the fears of the “chicken littles,” there is hope for the believer in Christ. Titus 2:12-13 tells of that “Blessed Hope” that we look for: “…teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Jonah, in his prayer from the belly of the great fish, stated a very important truth: “Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love” (Jonah 2:8).

Contact email: