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  • Writer's pictureDawn

What We Are Saved From

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

If you have ever had a close call that without intervention would have ended badly, you may appreciate this story. Years ago when our youngest daughter was about eight-years-old, we were on a family horseback ride in the mountains. She had a very beautiful and "bomb-proof" pony named Silver. He was white like his namesake and absolutely unshakable. I once had him walk through a flapping tarp tunnel and he actually enjoyed it. He was a wonderful and well-trained pony but like all ponies, he could sometimes have an attitude.


As we began the last leg of our ride and were heading through the forest to an open meadow, Silver decided, for no apparent reason, to take off after one of our dogs. Now our horses loved this butter-stick-looking lab and so why he decided to chase him is beyond our understanding. But he half galloped and half tried to strike him with his front hooves barreling down a heavily forested ribbon trail. It was so sudden and shocking that the good mare I was riding came to a standstill trying to process this flying white streak of light disappearing around the bend ahead. I couldn't even get her to gallop after him - first, because we had just purchased her and she had a small stubborn streak at that time, and second, because up from behind came the sound of the Roman calvary. Like the opening scene of Gladiator, out of the grey, early spring woods, our enormous black quarter horse Travey and my husband emerged at full speed. That huge horse was pounding the trail so hard that my other daughter and I (and our horses) stood in awe as they rounded the bend ahead.


What happened next was a true miracle from the Lord and fodder for any low-budget horse movie. As Silver's momentum escalated, he forgot about chasing our dog and became aware that he was being chased by the black horse of Revelation. That pony was running as fast as he could and our little daughter (wearing a helmet of course) was holding on as he jumped over puddles and careened around bends. Somehow my husband got ahead of Silver and yelled for her to let go of the reins. He then turned his horse to cut off the pony and grabbed our daughter by the back of her coat pulling her off sideways while Silver ran off trail into the dense woods. Had he turned into the woods with her still on his back, she would have most definitely come off seriously injured. But there was an intervention. A heroic save that changed what would have been a terrible outcome into a memorable story that we often remember as "the close call".


During the Easter season, if we are believers in Jesus, we celebrate His life and especially His rising from the dead. We say "The tomb is empty" or "He has risen, He has risen indeed!". But what did Jesus do it all for? I want to appeal to your intellect because the Book of Proverbs states that it is good to have knowledge and to above all get wisdom (Proverbs 4:4-7). I think we forget that God is rational. He is just, and absolutely rational in all He says and does. So imagine if there was a scientist who found a cure for the common cold. He discovered that his only son's blood contained the necessary components for the cure. And the only way to distribute the cure was to drain all of his son's blood, process it and create the medicine. His son would ultimately die but humanity would not suffer from the common cold ever again. Would the scientist do this? Would he sign off on his son's death to cure a cold? Would you? No. No one would because a cold is not life-threatening. Most people get over it in a week or two and it's just a bother but they don't die from it. However, if the same scientist found the cure for all cancer it would be a different story. He and his son may agree that it would be better for his son to give his life so others would be saved.


The problem with the gospel presentation these days is that it is often incomplete. We tell people we have the answer, the cure, for sin but they have no idea what the consequences are and aren't even convinced they are infected. We say "Jesus loves you and came to save you!" and they say "Ah, that's so sweet, thank you!" And they may think "Why do I care if Jesus loves me and what am I saved from?" We sometimes do not tell them that Jesus came to save us from sin, death, and hell because He loves them. For some, just knowing Jesus loves them and cares is enough to turn their hearts to Him but for others, they need the conviction that sin is real and they are guilty of it and need a savior. (Jude 1:23 says; "Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.") Jesus said: "Repent or you will likewise perish" (Luke 13:13). It's not "If you don't believe in Jesus you won't have a good life". It's "If you don't trust, believe, and obey Jesus you aren't going to heaven." This is what John the Baptist and Jesus first preached. Their message is turn from your sin (sin not "mistakes") and repent, because the Kingdom of God is here (Math. 4:17). Jesus was on a rescue mission to snatch humanity from the grip of satan and give us the opportunity to choose Him. To choose eternal life or eternal death. To choose His love for us.


Can you remember when you last heard a comprehensive teaching on hell? Or even the actual word hell mentioned as a consequence of sin? Not many years ago, my husband and I were in a church and the pastor was preaching on Ephesians 5 and he came to verse 5: "For this you know,that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God." Then he stated, "Now, I don't believe this means that if you do these things as a Christian you're going to hell. You just won't have all that God has for you in this life". Just no. We replayed the message over several times to be sure we heard correctly. Sometime later my husband had lunch with this pastor and brought up what he had said that Sunday in his message. Unfortunately, the pastor doubled down on his perspective that a "Christian" who does the things mentioned in Ephesians 5 will not end up in hell. Hebrews chapter 9 discusses what Jesus did for us with His blood giving us an eternal inheritance. So to not inherit the Kingdom of God is not like living in Orlando and just not being able to enter Disney World for eternity. It's not that you just won't have the blessed life. It means you flat out are not going to be with Him in Heaven because unrepentant sin is not allowed in Heaven. Cleverly devised sermons and arguments cannot change the nature of God or the terms He has set forth in the Bible. We need to be very careful that we are not making a God in our image, in an image we like, understand, and can accept versus the God of the Bible. Whether we believe it or choose not to, the terms of eternal life are set and binding.


Human nature has no trouble believing heaven is real - but the topic of hell has become taboo. Our society just cannot stomach the topic and has subsequently redefined what is sin. During the old Billy Graham crusades he unashamedly warned the crowd that without Jesus no one could go to heaven But God sent Jesus because He loves us - It isn't a scare tactic to encourage people to make a choice to receive Jesus and clearly tell them the consequences if they don't choose Him. It is the full truth. The result of this anointed preaching was that millions gave their hearts and lives to Jesus. He spoke the truth, even if it was uncomfortable. And hell is uncomfortable. It is so horrific that Jesus suffered and was beaten so badly that he didn't even look human anymore (Isaiah 50:6, 52:14, 53:1-12). If hell is not an actual place where people end up who do not repent of sin, why would a rational God send His only, precious son to the earth to suffer in our place? If the consequences of sin are not awful, a rational person would not take these extreme measures to make sure others know not to go there. The Bible clearly says in Romans 6:23 "The wages of sin is death." If a person dies in sin, here is what Jesus says will happen: They are thrown down into hell. Not set lightly, not float down, walk down, saunter down, they are cast, thrown (like you would throw something disgusting far from you) into hell (Mathew 5:29, 18:9). Then the whole body and soul are destroyed. Graphically, their flesh and all that covers their bones are burned off, all water, all bone marrow, everything (Mathew 5:29, Mathew 10:28), and worms feed on what remains (Mark 9:47-48). This is not what I want to say, but what Jesus says. There have been people who have experienced the horrors in hell and come back to testify. Three I recommend reading about their experiences are Bill Wiese (23 Minutes in Hell), Mary K. Baxter (A Divine Revelation of Hell), and Laurie Ditto (The Hell Conspiracy). Laurie Ditto's testimony is for me the most horrifying. She is a spirit-filled Christian who worked at the International House of Prayer and her spirit went to hell for unforgiveness. It took her years to recover from the horrors she experienced there.


All of us have close-call moments where something bad could have happened but didn't. Maybe it was a near-miss car accident, an illness that almost took our life, or something nearly happening to one of our children. My daughter could have been seriously injured or even killed had she fallen off her pony. She could have been drug through the woods or trampled had not the Lord rescued her through my husband's quick thinking and brave riding skills. Jesus came to earth to rescue and redeem us from the power of sin and through our family's prayers and His great love and mercy we heard that Jesus is the only way to Father God and Heaven, and we believed and obey Him every day. The impetus for us to tell everyone about Jesus should be to rescue them from destruction and introduce them to the one who really loves them and paid the price they cannot pay. This is the full gospel. This is what Jesus died for and may we be brave enough and very courageous to share it with everyone. May we give Him, the Lamb of God, the reward of His suffering.


*Please watch the following testimony by Bill Wiese - It will encourage you to be thankful for Jesus's sacrifice and want to share your faith.







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