Devotion #2 in Cultured for Reigning


When we enter the religious realm, the issues are narrowed. Why are men translated into the kingdom of God's Son (Col. 1:13)? What is the purpose that constrained God to redeem us (Tit. 2:14), join us to Himself (1 Cor. 6:18), and shed forth His Spirit on us abundantly (Tit. 3:5)? What should be our emphasis in preaching and teaching?


Some suppose the primary purpose served by our salvation is deliverance from hell. Settle it in your mind; this is involved in our deliverance from sin, and, at some time, it will probably appeared primary. The Word of God declares, "ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come" (1 Thess. 1:10). Clearly, God "God hath not appointed us to wrath" (1 Thess. 5:9). I do not question the reality of this proclamation, and neither should you. I am asking if this is the primary reason for our salvation.


Others affirm that the principal reason for our involvement with God is the evangelization of the world. This has a ring of truth to it, and has been "creedalized" by most of the evangelistic community. Again, this is involved in our redemption. Jesus Himself said, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:

teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Mat 28:19-20). In an unparalleled mandate, He said to His disciples, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).


Another segment of the religious world emphasizes our participation in the miraculous. The acme of religious experience comes, according to this view, when you "get your miracle," or, perchance, actually "perform" one. In justification of their view, an appeal is made to texts like Mark 16:17: "And these signs shall follow them that believe . . . " They do not bother telling the people, however, that the Holy Spirit never appealed to these words in their exhortation to the churches. This does not mean they are not true: it does mean that they are not a proper emphasis.


Some are persuaded that the primary activity of man is the worship of God. Worship, according to this view, is the spring from which all valid actions spring. Some contemporary choruses emphasize this point. One of them states, "All I want to do is worship you." It sounds holy, and to oppose it will surely incur the indignation of many. Yet, we are admonished to "try the spirits to see whether they are of God," and we intend to do so. If it is true that worship is the fundamental duty of man, then we will have a clear statement in Scripture affirming this to be the case. If, however, this is not affirmed in the Word of God, no individual is justified in doing so!

There is a place for each of these--but it is not the dominant place. To many, this sounds like heresy-- but that is because they have subjected their minds to the opinions of men rather than the God that created and redeemed them. I am careful to say that this is not to be construed as a criticism or denunciation of these activities. There are few enough people engaged in them. We are, therefore, careful not to inordinately oppose them.