Vol.XVI No.X Pg.3
December 1979

Serious About Salvation

Dan S. Shipley

One of my golfing friends asked the local pro if taking golf lessons from him would guarantee a better score. The wise pro replied, "Not until you get serious about golf!". Obviously, this instructor had learned an important lesson from indifferent students; namely, that those who don't care don't succeed. Many still need to learn that lesson, especially in the spiritual realm.

Even in the Lord's church there is much evidence of much complacency. In fact, I see it as one of the most dangerous enemies of Truth today. Many Christians are just not serious about getting to heaven! The empty pew says it. The man who becomes careless and negligent about worshiping God is a man who is not serious about going to heaven, all excuses to the contrary not withstanding. I read somewhere that participation is one of the most obvious indicators of interest. For the Christian active participation in spiritual activities such as Bible classes and worship services is but an expression of faith. Do we say more when we call it an expression of interest? One is cause; the other effect. When only half as many participate in Sunday evening services as in Sunday morning services, what does it prove? (Other things being equal, of course) IT PROVES THE PRESENCE OF A SERIOUS PROBLEM! — and Christians who think otherwise have an even more serious problem! Every Christian who identifies with a local church agrees, in essence at least, to give of his time, talents, resources, and influence to help make that church what God would have it to be. Doing less hurts the church and dishonors its Head. We say that sinners need to hear the gospel and that saints need to be edified. But conduct a gospel meeting` for that very purpose and hear again the incriminating testimony of the empty pew. Are we really serious about serving God?

Precious few, if any, Christians have not been exhorted to involve themselves in personal evangelism. We know the value of a soul (Matt. 16:26). We know that only the gospel can save lost souls (Rom. 1:16). We know that the fields are "white unto harvest"; that the time is short; that the laborers are few —but how many are involving themselves with reaching the lost in a meaningful way? Many unsaved souls say it too —"some Christians are not all that serious about going to heaven! — or helping us get there". And, if we would but listen, we could hear similar testimony from other sources as well.

For example, our closed and little used Bibles are harbingers of spiritual weakness. None can deny it. The man who has no interest in reading and reflecting upon the scriptures cannot be very serious about his salvation. Neither can the man who has forsaken prayer and introspection. When thoughts of Christians are seldom centered on "things that are above", it is evident they are not headed that way. Seriousness about salvation flavors every facet of life. It means to "seek ye first" and we must not deceive ourselves into thinking less is good enough. Think of what great things could be accomplished if ALL of God's people got serious about getting to heaven!