by Wylie Fulton
Dear Friend and Fellow-Traveler,
As I sit down to write, I can write on no other theme but the soul’s salvation, and my heart is particularly burdened for those persons who know the Truth — who know the great doctrines of the Bible and are very orthodox and sound outwardly — but the heart has never been touched by the divine call from the Lord God of Heaven. It is not my business to let such souls rest, but to trouble, to shake, to cause them to doubt and fear before God, that they might get a glimpse of their real condition. Then such dear ones will become, not empty professors, but humble seekers after the Lord and beggars for His mercy! And as I write to you, I know not the state of your soul but I do know that a searching will not tear down but will strengthen a true believer.
May God awaken religious people to the emptiness of their profession and the falsity of their faith, show them that their foundation is not the Rock of Ages but a strand of mere shifting sand, and bring them to know something of His exalted position in the giving of His great salvation. Every person who is ever truly saved in Christ must come to a time when he is consciously LOST and in great need. He must come to see that the only salvation we have in the Bible is entirely a work of grace and is wrought by God’s Holy Spirit in the heart of a sinner. Salvation is no outward show, but inward possession of Christ and true saving faith in Him. If a sinner’s heart is never broken as David’s (Psalm 51:17), never opened as Lydia’s (Acts 16:14), and never concerned enough to cry for mercy as the publican (Luke 18:13), then he cannot be a true Christian. Many have an easy-believe profession and shallow acceptance, but are yet mere professors and unsaved religionists. Don’t be alarmed at my indictment — such folk are in good company, for the vast majority in all religious circles are in the same boat. Be they Arminian in doctrine or Calvinistic to the core, most people who are the leaders in modern religious circles are yet in their sins, never having been awakened by the Spirit to face their own individual condemnation and guilt. They have never mourned over sin as sin; they have never sought the Lord to give them repentance and faith, and have never come to the benefit of free justification in Christ.
You say, “But, Fulton, your writings are always stressing the negative, always seeking to disturb and unsettle Christians!” Yes, I want to shake you. If you were fast asleep in a burning house, I would not benefit you if I came by the window and whispered, “Sleep on, dear one! I love you and rejoice to see you resting so peacefully!” Oh, no! If you are in danger, I am going to smash the window, tear down the door, and upset your sleep as I come by force, without any polite introduction or asking permission, to remove you from the deadly conflagration. I am going to shout, “Get out of here!” as I manfully tug on you and shake you from your sleep and push you through the nearest door or window! This is no time for cultural politeness and civic sweetness — your case is desperate; you are slumbering in the shadows of death! Get up! Get out! God help you! Run for your life!
And I know, of course, that the situation as it relates to your soul is infinitely more dangerous than any earthly house fire. Also I am well aware of my inability to either awaken you or remove you from the place of danger, and place you in a secure room — but I am not going to comfort and lullaby you in your stupor. Now, in “shaking you,” I do not want to destroy what is genuine within your breast, or what you may have of a true hope in Christ — the shaking is with the goal that God has in mind when HE shakes, viz. “the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.” (Hebrews 12:27). God is going to arise and shake up and shake off all things of MAN’S making, that the things which are MADE BY GOD might remain. That is the object of an experimental, heart-searching ministry. We don’t want you to rest your soul upon any works of man, but to dig down deep and reach, by God’s grace, the sure foundation: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25). Rock foundation or sand foundation — which is it? A true experience of SALVATION will leave its adherent firmly settled upon the Rock of Ages — “That Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4). Amen!
SALVATION, what is SALVATION? Many ideas are abroad in the land, and probably if you asked the next five people you meet, “What is it to be SAVED?” you would receive at least as many differing answers! But, according to the Bible, God’s Holy Word, there is one thing certain: SALVATION is something that God does for sinners, not something He tries to do, offers to do, would like to do if He could get the sinner’s attention. Almost all the “SALVATION” being preached today puts man into the equation; the sinner must indeed accept it to make it effective, they assure you. “God has done His part; now you must do your part.” Where do we ever find such teaching in the Scriptures? In this Book of God we find that the Lord Jesus received His earthly name for the express purpose that “HE shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). It is a work that Jesus Christ does, and He does it with complete control of the situation, for He saves you as LORD. “Salvation is of the LORD” (Jonah 2:9); here again we find that the SALVATION of a soul is all the work of a Triune God. It’s His work from the councils of eternity past when He decreed to save, to the Cross of Christ where the blood-offering was shed for God’s elect, to the moment of regeneration when God brings a sinner into the participation of salvation. It is HIS work after regeneration, as He brings about the qualities of repentance and faith in the heart; then as He preserves that saved sinner on the pilgrim pathway which leads to everlasting life.
SALVATION means and includes a divine DELIVERANCE. Fallen sinners are captives, sold under sin in our first father Adam, and held in the family of our spiritual father Satan. None can wiggle himself free, but must be cut loose by another and more powerful Power. A lot of our friends know the theories of Calvinism, of evangelicalism, and the letter of the Bible, but you have never been consciously in captivity and experientially delivered by Christ. With pretty notions of truth that are sound as a dollar theologically, one might appear to others as genuine, but in his heart of hearts he must recognize that HE HAS NEVER BEEN DELIVERED! Our Lord came to save His people — the elect who were chosen in Christ from the foundation of the world — and He delivers them by the price of blood poured out upon that Cross and by the power of the Holy Spirit in effectually bringing them every step of the way. “It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23). That is your case, sinner, for you cannot walk out of the prison house. GOD must open up the way and direct you out. If you don’t believe this but somehow think of yourself as having a part to play in your salvation, that is the result of the modern easy-believe teachings and the lack of conviction concerning man’s fallen and helpless condition in nature. Yes, many can speak of Canaan’s land while still slaves in Egypt. They talk about the things of Zion and God’s Word, but their hearts’ affections are still wedded to the leeks and garlic along the Nile. Their affections are set on earthly and not heavenly things. Any who are in this condition manifest that they know nothing of true salvation!
Sinners will never be delivered until they know that they are in bondage and cannot free themselves! In coming to the Lord you must come to know that you are bound by Satan, according to 2 Timothy 2:26, and that you need Christ the Deliverer. God help you to awaken from your sleep and see yourself as you are, even as a lost sinner! I care not what religious impressions you have had, nor how sincere you were, nor the depth of emotion connected with your past profession or dedication — but I care whether you have come to the place of deliverance in Christ. Not many people have been brought there; not many even know the necessity of such a work. And so, while you talk and criticize me and this letter, it helps you not one whit. YOU ARE NOT SAVED, NOT A CHRISTIAN, NOT A CHILD OF GOD, IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN DELIVERED BY THE POWER OF GOD IN CHRIST. And we don’t insist on perfect knowledge of all that is involved in salvation, nor do we demand any such thing as perfect assurance, saying, “I know I am saved.” But it is manifestly true that a person who has been caught and felt his state of captivity is going to know something about his deliverance, if indeed God has reached down and delivered his poor soul! You’ll know as much as one who was healed by Jesus, and when asked who had healed him, and knowing that the Pharisees condemned Jesus as a “sinner,” the healed man replied, “Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25). That’s it! If you were blind, if you were deaf, if you were dumb, if you were lame, if you were bound and in prison — and God in mercy delivered you — you would know something about it. The idea today is to get a sinner to “pray after me” and when he repeats the words, the soul-winner gets him up off his knees and ASSURES him that he has been saved. In reality, nothing has happened between that poor soul and GOD. He has known neither the reality of his bondage nor the reality of Christ’s deliverance!
SALVATION means that you are completely separated from Satan’s kingdom! In Romans 8:29, we see that calling and justification go hand in hand. “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called ... whom he called, them he also justified ... whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Yes, God’s work of salvation is complete. He is the Author and Finisher of salvation to all who are saved, and when once He has brought you down as a lost sinner, seeing that you cannot deliver or justify yourself, your cry will be, “Save me, LORD! SALVATION is Thy work and Thine alone! Deliver me for Christ’s sake!” The sinner who has come to this place will no longer be boasting of his free will, or his decision, or dedication to the Lord, but will ascribe all to the power of the Eternal Covenant God who in His divine predestination chose to save him! Salvation means to be called out of Satan’s kingdom — have you been called and delivered? Is there a time in your past experience when God’s Holy Spirit awakened you, made you to know that you were lost, and brought you to the place of a beggar? All you could do was beg, as He had taken away all your natural “ability” and you faced what grace and salvation truly mean. Your only hope then, and now, was and is the mercy and grace of God. Have you ever been brought to see it? The experience of being brought down in conviction and raised up and delivered in Christ is real to me now, after nearly 50 years.
SALVATION also means that you are justified freely in the merits of Christ alone. There are few people who know what Christ actually accomplished when He died for sinners; most people think that Christ set up an opportunity of which the poor sinner must avail himself. Well, if that be so, all men will be damned! Christ’s work on the Cross avails the sinner nothing unless it was a definite work appointed for a definite purpose by Jehovah God. In God’s eternal purpose, Christ was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” and thus when He actually came and did the work it was a sure work, an effectual work, an accepted work. He could cry from the cross, “IT IS FINISHED!” and that meant that He was finished with His sufferings and God’s purpose to save an elect people was finished, completed, climaxed and done. God will never accept the payment of Christ’s blood for you and then turn around and send you to Hell! God is well-pleased with Christ’s sin-offering, and you ought to be as well. If you stand before God in the completed, accomplished redemption of Calvary, then you are secure. If you stand in a temporary, trumpery, would-be work as the Arminian teaches, then you have no security and are in great trouble! Where do you stand in relation to Calvary, my dear friend, and in relation to the Empty Tomb and Christ on the throne? The Victorious Christ now reigns; God’s answer to man’s rejection of Him is that the Father accepted Him, and His people in Him, and exalted Him to an Eternal Throne.
God separates you to the truth when He saves you. He separates you from both friend and foe, from yourself and all your kin, and brings you into a vital, personal, exclusive relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ alone. If He never separates you, I know He has no purpose of grace in you, for it is the separated, quickened, awakened sinner whom He brings to Himself! So don’t join yourself to these modern teachers and their easy ways of “salvation,” for they are satisfying the itching ears of shallow religious professors. Turn away from all such, turn to the strait and narrow, lonely path that leadeth unto life everlasting. You cannot flee from reality and get saved. Now is the time to face facts.
You must be saved, exclusively, by what Christ did for you. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus is come into the world to save sinners: of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15). Have you seen yourself a very chief of sinners as Paul did? I labor that point, for most poor souls in our day have been deceived, hoodwinked, coaxed into making a statement, being baptized, joining the church, paying their tithes, teaching a Sunday School class, even entering the ministry — all the while, total strangers to God’s way of grace. So, when we speak of salvation we are speaking of all the blessings which God purposed for His elect when He chose them in Christ from the foundation of the world (2 Thessalonians 2:13). Yes, to have salvation we must have the Covenant of grace. But many now reject the covenant concept of grace as too narrow a work of God. You can call predestination a doctrine of the devil if you wish, but remember one fact — God’s Word can never be broken (we read in John 10:35), and whatever He reveals in His Word is true whether you believe it or not! Truth is bigger than any man — if men reject the truth it doesn’t change that truth one bit. Even if the whole world rejects it, it’s still so! God said it; I didn’t; and a Sovereign God will uphold and honor His eternal purposes and His divinely inspired Word as long as this world stands! “For whom he predestinated, them he also called ...” And if there is no predestination, no election, back of your so-called “salvation,” then you have not even been called unto the salvation we find revealed in the Bible.
SALVATION means DELIVERANCE.
SALVATION means you have been CALLED.
SALVATION means you’ve been SEPARATED from the world.
SALVATION means you are JUSTIFIED (or made righteous) by Christ.
SALVATION means you are in God’s hands, SECURED and PERSEVERING unto that Heavenly Home.
Is this the SALVATION that you have? Are you “saved”? Do you know Christ, the Christ of the Bible? Don’t shake it off. Turn to the Word of God, and ask the Spirit to point out your true condition before God. And when He does, I hope to hear from you.
Your soul’s well-wisher and gospel preacher,
Wylie W. Fulton
Wylie Fulton is a Christian author and webmaster. You can visit his website at: http://fountainsofgrace.blogspot.com.
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