Monday, July 18, 2016

The Total Package (Doug White)

          Tonight's entry is again by Doug White, a college friend from Harding University and now a pharmacist in Louisiana. Doug is a Biblical scholar and edits a great bulletin for his congregation. Prayers for me in Vietnam.

There have been baseball players over the years that have been very good defensive players. They made great plays on defense, great gloves, great throwing arms. Maybe even excellent running speed.
          But when it came to taking their turns at bat, on the offensive side of the game, they were absolutely horrible hitters. Couldn't hit their way out of a paper bag.
          These players were called by fans and coaches, "Good glove, No hit" or "all glove, no bat."
          These players never did last for the long run in professional ball. The team management always found another player who had just as good of a 'glove' as these folks, but they could also hit. They had the total package.
          Mickey Mantle, #7 of New York Yankees fame, was such a player. Lightening fast in the outfield and on the bases, good arm and glove.
          He could also hit for power (536 home runs) as well average. He could hit the ball just as far right handed as he could left handed.
          He had the total package.
          In weight rooms/gyms across the country I've seen numerous guys who work out religiously with the weights. They know all the exercises, number of sets, number of reps, etc. They know all of the routines and all of the foods to eat and all of the foods to avoid, to get 'cut' and 'buffed.'
          But many of these guys avoid one thing. They do Not like and will not, exercise their legs. In weight training the legs are the largest muscles of the body and therefore a good leg workout is very strenuous.

          It hurts, and it is tiring.
          Plus, these guys want to work on enlarging the 'pretty muscles,' the biceps, triceps, chest, etc. The muscles that are the most visible to othrs. And therefore, the legs get slighted in the workouts and they end up looking like the person below.
          They have not used the total package. They have left something out.
          We have people who study and quote their Bibles the same way. They want to cherry pick certain Scriptures that suit them and avoid others.
          They are not using the Total Package.
          As regards salvation, people will tell me, "All you have to do is Believe in Jesus to be saved and I believe, so that's that."
          True statement? The statement is true except for the "all" part.
          James tells us in 2:19  You believe that there is one God, you do well; even the demons believe and tremble.  
          Satan and his angels 'believe'. Are they going to Heaven?
          Like the good glove in baseball, 'belief' is only part of the package.
          There is one passage that gets thrown at me pretty regularly. It's been preached as a sole way to Heaven in some congregations for years, which has given thousands a false sense of their salvation.
          It's in Romans 10:9 Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.
          This is also known as the 'Roman road to salvation.'
          That's it. Just confess. And then there's that 'believe' again, just like Satan does.
          Now, do I believe this Scripture? Absolutely! Every word.
          Back to the Total Package. Do you see the word 'only' in this passage? 'If you ONLY confess and believe you'll be saved?"
          To our baseball analogy. "If you can catch grounders well and throw people out you can play major league baseball."
          True statement? You bet!
          But, what else goes with that statement? AND.............if you can also hit the baseball on a regular basis to go along with this, you can play professional baseball.
          If my Mom said, "You go to the store and buy some lemons I'll make you a lemon pie."
          True statement? Yes Sir!
          But, if I did that ONLY, could she bake the pie? NO.
          She ALSO needs, a pie pan, pie filling, crust, sugar, etc.
          So, I'm told, just 'Believe and confess Jesus." that's the Roman road to salvation.
          OK. Speaking of the Total Package, let's turn to Mark 5.
          At the beginning of the chapter Jesus confronts a man possessed by a demon. He had been living in the tombs and no man could tie him up.
          When the man saw Jesus he ran to him, and the demon spoke to Jesus saying, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
          So, I ask you, did the demon  confess the Lord Jesus, as Romans 10 commands us? Absolutely!

          He believed as well.
          Is he Heaven bound? Absolutely not.
          You see, God didn't create Hell for you and me, even though if we follow His will there will be some extra room for us.
          God originally created Hell for Satan and his angels. These demons et. al.

          Mat 25:41  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

          To tell you the truth, when discussing topics such as this with my friends, I'm convinced that they all 'kinda sorta' want to go to Heaven without actually 'doing' anything, especially being baptized.

              Mark 16:15-16 And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

              "See, see," they say, "It doesn't say in 16 that if we are NOT baptized we'll die.
              (Of course we could go to the countless other baptism, blood, washed, buried, etc Scriptures, but we'll stick with this one for now.)

          So I tell them, "What if I made this statement, 'He who eats food and digests it shall live."

          "Would that be a true saying?" 'Why yes, they'll say."

          So then I follow up with, "So, I don't have to continue on and say, ' He who does not eat and does Not digest will die.' Do I?"
          And they'll say, "No, it's pretty obvious."

          And I'll tell them, 'It was pretty obvious when Jesus said it in Mark 16 as well. He who believeth not AND is baptized not, shall be damned.
          People will just cherry pick these passages, talk about the grace factor and then just go with it.

          If we are to succeed as athletes, we must try to have the total package. If we have a weakness, we must recognize it and try our best to improve on that weakness.
          We must treat out Bible study the same. Study the entire book and if there is an area of it that we are lacking in, get to it!
          2 Timothy 3:16 ALL Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 

          ALL Scripture- the Total Package!

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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