Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of November 4, 2007

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Sometimes I preach and teach the Gospel in congregations where we would expect that everyone is saved. I do this to confirm those who are believers and because the Gospel that saves us is also the Gospel that restores our fellowship with the Lord when we are away from the Lord. I have had some interesting experiences because I have done this.

Older people have told me that they never knew that they could be fully assured that they were saved on this side of eternity. They didn’t realize that the Bible was written so that we might know and not hope that we have eternal life.

Some people tell me that they invite the Lord into their hearts over and over again to make sure that they are saved. When I tell them that they shouldn’t have to do that if they have really trusted in Christ, they look at me like I am from Mars.

I have spoken on John 5:24 and have emphasized that when you trust Christ you HAVE everlasting life. I have had very elderly people come to me and ask where that verse was in the Bible and then mark it down. They seem to be hearing it for the first time.

I have discussions with people after I tell them how I was reached with the Gospel asking me to explain how I could have believed that the Gospel was true from the time I was young and not be a Biblical believer until I was twenty years old. They don’t seem to understand the difference between believing that the Bible is true and actually trusting in the promise of salvation by grace through faith in Christ.

Some people tell me that they have always believed. That means that they were born in faith and were not born in sin and unbelief. They were never lost. I understand that many people never marked a date on their calendar when they were saved. Many young people don’t remember coming to Christ with the same vivid memories as Paul did who was saved on the Damascus road, but Biblical doctrine says that we are lost before we are saved. We weren’t always believers. When we trust Christ, we are saved, born again and converted. Those things happen at a point in time.

I am going to start asking my friends privately how many of them actually believe in eternal conscious punishment for the unbeliever. I get the impression from the literature I read that warning people that they might be going to hell is counter productive. It is all right to warn them about cancer, global warming, drinking and driving, and smoking; but it is apparently not cool to warn them to flee from the wrath to come (Matthew 3:7).

I am convinced that the Gospel is still the power of God unto salvation to all who believe it. The unsaved need it and the Christians should enjoy it. The Gospel should never seem like stale manna to us. By the grace of God, I am going to continue teaching it and preaching it as the Lord gives me opportunity. Sometimes the people who are blessed are the ones that we would least expect to benefit from it.

Bruce Collins

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