Dr. C. S. Lovett’s
MARANATHA FAMILY NEWSLETTER
Copyright © 1978 L. Lovett
DON’T WASTE YOUR SALVATION!
“I was listening to a famous Christian minister and was shocked to hear him say to his audience, ‘If you have taken Christ as your Savior, there is not one single thing you must do to get ready to meet the Lord!’”
Very clearly what he meant was, if you have received Christ as your Savior, you have it made. You have done all you can do, and your future is secure. And he seemed thrilled to share this news with his listeners.
As you weigh his words, how do they rest on your spirit? Are you thinking to yourself, “Amen to that,” or “How could he say such a thing?”
I suppose many Christians would like to believe salvation was all we needed, but it simply is not true. Faith in the Lord Jesus does not automatically prepare us to meet the Lord or for heaven. If that were so, the Lord could take us home the moment we were saved, but He does not do that. What salvation does do is put us in God’s family as infants with the opportunity to grow up. Actually, it is just the beginning of the Christian life.
GROWING UP IS NECESSARY
When you were born to your parents, did that automatically prepare you for adulthood? No. Infants have to grow into children, and children have to grow into adults. When they do not, it is a tragedy.
Once, when deplaning at Chicago O’Hare airport, I passed by a private room as they were closing the door. But I saw enough. Inside was a 45-year old man in a playpen with a baby bottle in his mouth. His head turned toward me. His eyes met mine. It was chilling, for there was nothing behind those eyes. He was a child in an adult body. It was sickening to hear that famous minister say what he did. I do not think he meant to deceive, but telling Christians they do not have to do anything to get ready for heaven is terrible. If anything, the Bible cries, PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD!
WHAT’S TO PREPARE?
God wants mature people as eternal companions, not a family of spiritual infants. The burden of the New Testament is NOT only getting people saved but people growing in the likeness of Christ after they are saved (Rom. 8:29).
“So then each one of us must give an account of himself to God!” (Rom. 14:12).
If all we have to do is be saved, what is it we have to account for? Our earthly lives obviously and how we have used them to grow up in Christ. Jesus is not just our Savior from sin. He is also our Lord and Master. There are things our Master has told us to do. (Witnessing is an example—Acts 1:8). And when this life is over, He will ask us for an accounting. That accounting is our final exam.
Anytime you face a final exam, you go all out. You cram, you go without sleep, burn the midnight oil, and forego lots of things you would otherwise do, just to get ready for that final.
May I ask, “Did your birth to your parents automatically guarantee your success in this life?” No, if you wanted to get ahead, you had to hustle. You had to get out and make something of yourself. You had to work at it. All being born did was put you in the human stream. From there on it was up to you to make something out of your life. Right? The same is true of God’s family. All our birth does is put us in God’s family AS INFANTS, with the opportunity to grow up in Christ. Again, God does not want a family of babies.
YOU WON’T HEAR THIS EVERY PLACE
A person has to work just as hard to get ahead in Christ as one does to get ahead in the world. If a man wants a good job with Jesus in heaven, one that will put him close to the Lord, he will need to work for it—even sacrifice. It will not be handed to him just because he has been born into the family. AFTER salvation, which is free, we have to work for everything we get. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. That each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).
The truth is ALL face a final exam on our earthly lives and being born again does not cancel that exam. That is because God will not be mocked. A man reaps what he sows (Gal. 6:7). The very fact that we are judged shows more is involved than being saved.
What I am talking about is the law of the harvest. That law not only holds true for planting seeds in the ground, but also for the way a person lives. The Lord leaves the sowing up to us but holds us accountable for what we do with the life our new birth gives us. So just because a man is saved, does not mean he has it made. Yes, he will make heaven, but not as an adult, but rather as an infant and not in very good standing with the Lord either.
From the time a person is saved until the Lord calls him home, the believer is under orders to make daily changes into the likeness of Christ and work hard to qualify for a useful place near Him in His kingdom. Here is something we need to keep in mind: We enter heaven just as we are at the point of death and never change.
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH PHOTOGRAPHY?
If you are, then you know the photographer puts his negatives in a solution to develop them. When he is ready to stop the developing process, he then places the negative in a fixing bath. The development of the image is arrested and never changes after that.
That is what death does to the Christian. It is a fixing solution. It freezes our lives at that point, and we enter heaven just as we are and never change. With our growth frozen, that is the way we appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10).
THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST
I consider the day of our judgment the most awesome fact of Christianity. While it is one of the biggest truths of the New Testament, you do not hear much about it. It is unpopular, so some pastors are reluctant to preach it. They may fear losing their audiences and their incomes. Nevertheless, every single one of us will stand before God for the final exam of our lives. We will be examined on the basis of what we did with our one life on earth and our one opportunity to live for the Lord, rather than for ourselves and our families.
The decision God makes about us on that day is final—and we have to live with it forever. There are no second chances, no makeup classes of any kind. We just go around once and that is it! The place we give the Lord Jesus in our lives NOW determines the place He will give us in that day. That is why we must put Jesus ahead of fame, fortune, family, or fun.
THAT MOTIVATED PAUL
According to his own testimony, Paul said the fact of the believer’s judgment is what moved him to action. “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord,” he said, “we persuade men…” (2 Cor. 5:11). It was the reality of the final exam that made him want to win the race in Christ. He had the final exam “fever.”
If a Christian wants to throw away his one opportunity on earth and live for himself and his family, no one is going to stop him. He has a free will, and the choice is his. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). He will not lose his salvation, but he will find that the law of the harvest stands. It will be a terrible shock to see what it costs to trifle with the Lord. It will be rough seeing what he could have had, if only he had chosen to live for the Lord instead of the comforts and pleasures of this world (1 John 2:28).
HERE IS THE HARD TRUTH
Faith in the Lord Jesus does not automatically prepare Christians to meet the Lord or qualify them for a good job in His kingdom. The best jobs will go to those willing to put Jesus’ interests ahead of their own. And if a person does not like poverty here, he will certainly not like it there. The Lord cautions us, “Lay up for YOURSELVES treasure in heaven” (Matt. 6:20). That means no one else is going to do it for you, and if we do not invest ourselves on earth, we will end up in heaven flat broke.
Do you need help in figuring out how to lay up treasure in heaven? This article features my book Witnessing Made Easy. It will give you more ideas on how to prepare to lay up treasure in heaven as you share your faith with others in non-threatening ways. It also includes ways to witness on your electronic devices.
I am sure you will want to give a good account of yourself as you stand before God on that day. You might burn a little midnight oil and perhaps deny yourself some of the pleasures of the world as you get ready for . . .
YOUR FINAL EXAM!
C. S. Lovett
Copyright © 2020 Personal Christianity
SINCE YOU ASKED
Question: “When near death, some people claim to have ‘out-of-body’ experiences. Some even say they have looked down to see their own bodies lying in the hospital bed. Others claim to have seen heaven itself. Can this be for real?
Answer: Everything we experience on earth takes place in our minds. Once the body is truly dead, all mental activity ceases. The brain is dead. Therefore, it is possible for someone near death to picture things in his mind and think they are actually taking place. The dead are not conscious of anything or to use a Bible quote, “The living know they will die, but the dead know nothing” (Eccl. 9:5). Those making claims today are NOT dead, and their brains are still alive. What they report is the product of their own minds. True, they may have been near death, but they were not dead, and their brains were still alive.
If we could ask him, the best person to answer this would be Lazarus. He was really dead, four days in fact. I am sure Lazarus would say, “All I know is I was sick and the next thing I knew, someone was calling me to come forth!”
SPIRITUAL WALK: “Thank you for your timeless writings and helpful teachings. Your ministry has been a blessing to me, although you wrote many of your books before I was born. Every time I read anything from you, it empowers me greatly in my spiritual walk.” (D.L.—IN)
PASTOR INVIGORATED: “Brother Lovett, while at our Baptist convention, I came across your book DEALING WITH THE DEVIL. Never has a book ministered to me like this one. I have since read two others. I believe you when you say you’ve been raised up to help Christians get ready for Jesus’ coming. You certainly invigorated me, and now I am motivated to help my people get ready too. God bless you for being obedient to His call!” (H.M.--LA )
MINI EBOOKS AVAILABLE
Don’t forget to check out the FREE MINI EBOOKS on our website. Just click on the MINI EBOOKS tab on the menu at the top of our website. You will find short books on how to become a Christian as well as on Christian living. Here is a list of the books available: Beginning to Live, Lovett’s Lights on First John, Salvation Clear and Plain, Trip to Truth, and Your Biggest Decision. You can print them out and share them with your family, friends, neighbors, or anyone.
WITNESSING MADE EASY (2019 edition). Available on Amazon.com and sells for $14.99. Click HERE.
DEALING WITH THE DEVIL (2018 edition). Available on Amazon.com and sells for $14.99. Click HERE.
THE PREPARED LIFE book is available on Amazon.com and sells for $13.99 and is also available in Kindle form for $7.99. Click HERE.
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“Preparing for His Appearing” Since 1951