Everett Swanson - Salvation of God - Seattle

Luke 10:25-28, Salvation comes down to two words:  Love God!  We are not going to heaven unless we love God.  When a young man is in love, he doesn't count miles or money; when a young lady is in love, she is willing to give up her country and many other precious things because she is in love.  Jacob was willing to labor for Rachel for many years.  It seemed just like a few days to him because he loved her.  If we are in love with the kingdom we will be willing to sacrifice and serve for His dear sake and people will know it.  Salvation loves God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our minds.  The last one is the mind.  God wants the heart first.  Salvation begins in the heart. 


Do you know that your soul never dies?  Our souls will either be in Hell or Heaven.  Do you love God with all your heart and all of your affections?  There will come a time when an angel will put one foot on land and one foot on the sea and he will say, "Time no longer."  You have run out of time, you have run out of opportunities and you have run out of privileges.  You will choose where you will live.  We need to love God with our souls--the deep part of our being, the part that governs our bodies.  Salvation is a very serious thing because eternity is forever.  Then Jesus turned to the lawyer and inquired how he interpreted these teachings?  He answered correctly, “To love the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, and to love thy neighbor as thyself.”  Jesus said, "This do, and thou shalt live.”  He had it in his head but not in his heart.  His head could not deliver his heart.  In other words, he was dead!  We meet a lot of dead people in the gospel.  They don't love the scriptures, they don't love God, and they don't love the kingdom.  If you are alive, you will love this Kingdom of God. 


We have been having gospel meetings for some Chinese people.  We have been using an interpreter.  In the Chinese language, there are two words for love.  One definition is the common meaning for love, but the other definition the Chinese don't use because it means perfect love, the pure love and the unselfish love.  In the work of the gospel we can use this definition of love because God's love is perfect toward us.  We won't get saved because God loves us, for that is not salvation.  We must love God more than anything else, more than our possessions, more than our family. We must love Him with all our heart.  God will give us this kind of love. 


Our lives are like a loaf of bread.  The first work of the Spirit is to purge out the old leaven.  We can't do these ourselves, but God can do it for us. When bread is being made, all the ingredients are put in: yeast, salt, sugar, flour, and so forth.  Then the dough is kneaded and baked.  The yeast is like the Spirit because it affects every fiber of that bread.  When the Spirit works in our lives, it works in our brain, our heart, our thinking, and our feelings.  The salt is like the love of God because it controls the yeast.  This work of salvation is on the inside.  Do you know what God did?  He was moved by love for humanity and He sent His beloved Son into this world to give us a pattern life to follow.  Then He sent the twelve apostles.  These men were motivated by love.  The sisters having these meetings were moved by the same love.  They cancelled all their own plans and they submitted themselves to the will of God.  They are taking the living message to a dying world.  Jesus was the "Amen” of God.  When God asked Him to come down to this earth to live and die, He said “Amen.”  When God asked him to submit, he said “Amen.”  When God asked Him to love another, it was “Amen.”  Can you pass the "Amen test?"  We might be able to pass the love test and the faith test but can we pass the Amen test?  When God wants us to invite a stranger to a meeting, can we say, "Amen?"  When God moves you to pray for someone, can we say, "Amen?"  He wants to put the love of Christ in your hearts. 


How much do you weigh?  Did you know there is a verse that says you are weighed on a scale?  Not body weight--God weighs our spirit.  You are weighed in the balance.  God has an interesting scale.  He weighs the motives and the spirit.  He weighed this man and he was found wanting.  He weighs our love.  Are we found wanting tonight?  When you leave this meeting tonight, it would be wonderful if our spirit, purpose, and motive were weightier.  We will have a little more conviction, a little more love, and a little more purpose in our lives. 


There was a sinner woman that came into the presence of Jesus.  She was uninvited to this home because of her manner of life.  When she came to this home she was criticized.  She was weighed by Jesus and she was weighed by her critics.  She washed Jesus' feet and then took some expensive oil and anointed His head.  Jesus was moved by her repentance, her broken spirit and her sins which were many were forgiven.  Her critics saw her past but Jesus saw her future The love of God reached down from heaven and touched her soul. 


It tells us, "…she loveth much."  Could this be said at your funeral service that you loved this kingdom much?  When we confess and forsake our sins it changes the balance because God adds grace and mercy.  The critics were left wanting.  This man loved little.  God is interested in the quality of our service.  We could be just lukewarm--a lukewarm attitude toward our soul, toward our spirit, and in our prayer life.  God wants to turn up the temperature of our service. 


Salvation is a serious matter.  Jesus was serious about salvation.  In John 4, we read about a lady that needed salvation.  Jesus hadn't eaten and the disciples wanted Him to eat, but He said, “I have meat to eat that you know not of.”  Jesus was so serious about helping her that He forgot to eat.  One day Jesus went forty days without food.  He esteemed the word of God more than the necessary food.  He was facing Satan and it was a serious matter.  On occasions, Jesus would pray all night because life was serious.  He was a man like us with human passions but He always pleased His heavenly Father. 


Jesus wept on three occasions.  That is how serious Jesus was.  He wept over Jerusalem, His people.  If only they knew the things that belonged to their peace.  We can't find peace and fight against the will of God.  Joy won't come until we submit.  The cost of obedience is nothing compared to the cost of regret.  There are people who are in eternity at this moment weeping because of the choices they made on this earth.  When the rich man went into eternity, Jesus pointed back to the previous days and years and the choices he made that resulted in his destiny.  But the other man, He pointed to the future.  All the past was gone. 


Do you know how great Christ is?  The scripture tells us that it will take all the ages of eternity to show the exceeding riches of His grace and kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  His grace and kindnesses are great.  We will know more about that some day.  Jesus also wept over people.  Wouldn't it be sad if Jesus wept over you?  Do you have a joy that is unspeakable, a peace that passeth all understanding?  Recently, I was at a mortuary with a widow.  Her husband was in the casket.  Some people came by and expressed their sympathy.  The widow responded she was happy because her husband was in eternity.  She said, “He is in a saved eternity where he wanted to be and that makes me happy.”  The gospel made the difference in their lives. 


Jesus wept when He prayed.  Have you ever wept when you have prayed?  Hebrews 5:7 tells us that in the days of His flesh, when He prayed there was strong crying and tears.  Jesus was serious about prayer and He was serious about getting results.  He was serious because eternity was forever.  We don't need to be worried about things that are going on in this earth.  The "Ancient of days" is on the throne.  God is in control and He won't allow anything to happen on this earth to harm His people.  One day God came down and said, “Samuel, Samuel.” There was a work to do and Samuel was prepared to hear the message and react to that message. 


One day many years ago, our older brother Jack Carroll, asked what verse in the Bible speaks more about the urgency of salvation than any other verse. Someone spoke up and responded with that verse in Zechariah 3, "Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?"  Our lives are like that brand.  Our lives were being consumed by this world and God reached down and plucked us out of the fire.  We feel sorry for those who haven't been plucked out of the fire.  One lady I visited recently said, "I like myself just as I am."  She said, "Do I have to change to receive faith?"  Do I have to change to be saved?  


I was in the Potter's House in England.  We watched how that potter took a chunk of clay and began working with it.  That chunk of clay is like our lives.  It is worthless.  The first potter did a work, and then that piece of clay was put on as a conveyor belt and it went to a second potter and he did a work, and then it went to the third potter where the gold was applied to the final product, and then it was fired and put on the shelf.  We saw worthless clay being formed and made into a $20,000 vessel.  Now, this lady said, "I like myself as I am."  We are not worth very much until our lives end up in the hands of the Potter, Christ Jesus. 


1 John 1:7, "As we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin."  The blood of Christ is for a walking people.  They have found the word of God as a lamp to their feet and a light to their pathway.  People watched Jesus walk.  The scriptures are for a walking people.  The kingdom is for a walking people.  We can go to the Sunday morning meeting and speak, pray, and sing because we are in the light and the blood of Christ has washed away our sins. 


It is possible to get accustomed to darkness.  We could love darkness and become comfortable with living in darkness.  If you are eighty years old, you have spent forty years in darkness.  When the earth rotates towards the sun, there is light.  When the earth rotates away from the sun, there is darkness.  We can either choose to live in the light or live in darkness.  In Exodus, God brought darkness upon the Egyptians that could be felt.  They didn't move for three days.  Hell is going to be total darkness for all eternity.  Is that where your choices are going to take you? 


We were once in a home and a knock came at the door.  The man of the home answered the door and two ladies wanted to leave their religious papers for us to read.  Our friend told them, "We've come from different backgrounds and we've had different experiences."  The man of the home then went over and turned the lights in the home off.  He asked these religious ladies, “Where is the piano?  What color is the carpet?  Where is the clock?"  They didn't know.  All they could do was offer their opinions about where things were in the house.  But as soon as the lights were tuned on, everyone agreed on where things were.  Jesus is the light.  We are walking in the light; we will see all things perfectly.  There will be no opinions.  God invites us to love that light.  Then we can have mutual fellowship together and the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. 


I want to tell you a true story about a husband and his wife and their two sons.  The husband was raised in the Truth and the wife didn't know what truth was about.  One day they were down at the horse races. Horses and horse races were their life.  They were addicted to horse racing and gambling.  One day this man told his wife he wasn't going back to the racetrack but he was going to the gospel meetings.  He said, “I want to raise our boys in the Truth.”  The wife said she wasn't interested in the meetings.  She volunteered that he could have their sons and she would take the horses.  He took the sons and left the wife and horses, and he went to meetings and they made their choice.  She is still down at the race track.  She loved darkness and he loved light.  Can you imagine in eternity this lady being asked, “What did you do with your life?"  Her answer will be "Oh, I spent it down at the race track!"  What would her reward be? 


The lawyer came to Jesus and didn't have any light.  He was dead.  He had head knowledge but nothing was happening in his heart.  He loved the law but the Law could not give him life.  Salvation was at his fingertips but he couldn't see it because he loved darkness.  May we invite Christ into our lives so that we will have life, joy, peace, and a new song.