by Wylie Fulton
Dear Concerned Soul,
Let us continue to think upon the ONLY THEME on which I can write at this sitting — that is, experimental salvation. We have sought to show something of what salvation is and what it means, and some reasons why many fall short of God’s deliverance. Maybe this is your trouble.
Many people seem to seek the Lord in a haphazard way for a time, and then they give up in despair. One of the reasons is that they look too much at PEOPLE instead of staying with God’s Word and looking to Christ. If you focus attention on people — even good people — you can only become confused. One will tell you one thing, another quite a different story. If you watch one, you’ll learn the ways of the world, or perhaps the ways of one particular religious view, but you will probably not learn what God says in His Word. So, I admonish you: Turn your eyes away from any human “ideal person,” and look to Christ alone. The Bible says, “Look unto Me!” LOOK TO CHRIST! Is this what you are doing, my friend? Have you ever come to a sense of your helplessness and knew that you couldn’t work your way to Heaven, and knew that no person in your life could help — so, in your desperation, you looked alone to Christ? The Bible makes it clear that none of us can be saved as long as we fix our attention on humans. Are you looking to me for relief? Then you cannot be saved. Are you hanging onto every word and thought of some preacher whom you admire? Then you will surely be deceived. Are you following that preacher? Is that all you know? Is that all you have? Then, if I could, I would blindfold you to all preachers and other human authorities! You’ve got to shut them out, before ever you will look to Christ alone! And I know you will never do this unless the Holy Ghost prevails with you.
The Lord Jesus said, “I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that you have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” (John 5:41-44). In other words, Christ says, “I receive not honour from men, and if you are saved and following Me, you won’t receive their honour either.” That’s so. If you ever get saved, you will be brought to the place where you don’t care what anybody thinks about you. They may even accuse you of going crazy over religion, but you see and know yourself as a poor helpless sinner, and that your only hope is Christ. So you say, “Regardless of the cost, I am going to Him! I see in Him something that my family and friends do not see. I see in Him the ‘Pearl of Great Price,’ and I desire Him above all these earthly things or earthly friends. Give me Christ or I die!” Now, that’s the cry of a truly convicted, awakened sinner — that’s the cry of a sinner who will get saved, and if it never was your deep conviction and heart cry, then I doubt your profession. Such a sinner goes to the Scriptures for the right information, and he cannot be sidetracked from the Bible. He begins to call upon the Lord, on the solid basis of Scripture, and he’ll use Scripture promises as a basis for his prayer.
A sinner who is coming to Christ is one who has come to find his whole nature is totally wrong inside out and outside in. He sees that the only answer to all his questions and the only fulfillment of all his needs is CHRIST. Under the weight of sin and condemnation, like Paul, he would call himself “the chief of sinners,” and the more he searches the Bible the more he sees his wicked condition before God. The more he calls on the Lord, the more he feels to be guilty and far away from Him. The Lord is stripping off his covering and bringing him out into the light, that God might search him and plant within him the root of righteousness. Once this sinner thought himself to be in good condition and that his prospects for Heaven were bright; now he feels to be at the gate of Hell. Once he made a loud profession of religion and was active in church work; now his hand is placed over his mouth while there ascends from his soul the one cry, “Guilty, Lord!” He was happy and cheerful once as he carried forward in all the duties of religion; now he is miserable and sad. He knows now that all his works of righteousness produced a stench in the nostrils of the All-Holy One, and that his best performances have been judged to be nothing better than empty profession and filthy rags. This is the position of a sinner when for the first time in life he faces himself as he really is. For the first time in his life, without excuse or alibi, he is a guilty sinner lying at the footstool of God’s mercy. That mercy is in the hands of a sovereign God who can save or damn, and he knows the fact. He is not unaware of how his friends look upon him in disgust. The truth is that he knows they don’t know what he knows; he sees that they don’t see what he sees; and he realizes that only God can show them. He doesn’t fight his family and friends, for that is merely a fanning of the air and setting of sparks that won’t benefit either himself or his opponents. So he becomes quiet before God and man — “That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God ... For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:19, 23).
When God gives him gospel liberty and saves him, then he can freely and fully sing Mr. Newton’s hymn, emphasizing the words, “I once was lost but now am found!” Amen and amen.
Let me drive home this one point: If you are now saved and a true believer in the Son of God, if you now have that “good hope through grace,” then you know that once you were lost! So, if in your solemn reflection, you cannot recall a time when you were bowed down under a sense of LOSTNESS, you are not now SAVED. SALVATION of which I write is still a mystery to you. You have the right theory, but your experience is deficient. When I meet professing Christians who say that they are saved and have never known a time of conviction that they were lost, then I know that is a DECEIVED person. My heart reaches out to such! Are you one who never was under Holy Spirit conviction? Or, are you under His conviction even now as you read this?
May the Holy Ghost of God impress His truth upon your heart and conscience even now. That is the prayer of:
Your soul’s friend, for the Lord’s sake,
Wylie W. Fulton
Wylie Fulton is a Christian author and webmaster. You can visit his website at: http://fountainsofgrace.blogspot.com.
Discuss this article and other topics in our Discussion Board