Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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The Problem with the Doing Plan



Luke 5:12-13 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him.


Is the Lord Ever Unwilling?

The Lord had the power to heal and this leper knew that.  However, the leper wasn’t sure that the Lord would want to heal him.  So he approaches the Lord with respect and says, “Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean.”  According to the Old Testament law this leper should not have been in the city, he should have been outside.  He should not have approached the Lord.  He should have been putting his finger over his lip; and he should have cried, “Unclean, Unclean.” (See Leviticus 13:45-46).  This was to keep him from infecting others with his disease.  But the Lord never questioned his presence and the Lord didn’t have to worry about being infected.  When he touched people he didn’t get defiled by them in any way, rather they got cleansed by Him.


But would the Lord be willing to cleanse the leper?  Of course!  The Lord had power to cleanse and the apostles had that power.  The Lord used that power to convince people that He was the Son of God.  The apostles used it before there was a written New Testament to prove that they were commissioned by the Lord to preach as witnesses to the resurrection.  Their power proved that they had the authentic message of God.  Today we have the Bible, verified by scholars, verified by our consciences, and verified by fulfilled prophecies connected with the Lord’s first coming.  Most of us who preach the Gospel today do not have the miraculous power to heal.  While miraculous healings do occur from time to time, that is not the norm.  The Bible has become the final revelation of the Lord for this age, and it no longer needs to be confirmed by unusual miracles. 


The Spiritual Application

Leprosy is a picture of sin.  A sinner is unclean and only the Lord can cleanse him.  We know that the blood (the Lord’s death by crucifixion) of Jesus Christ God’s son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).  That passage is written to those in the “family,” that is to believers.  The blood is available to all but not all are cleansed.  Only those who want to be cleansed and who trust in the Lord are cleansed.  But does the Lord want to cleanse all?  Absolutely!  In 1 Timothy 2:4 Paul tell us that the Lord, “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  Why then does Satan convince people that the Lord might not want to cleanse them?


Some people think that they have committed sins that are too great to be forgiven.  However, God wouldn’t have sent His Son to the cross because of His love for the world (John 3:16), if He hadn’t wanted to save and forgive all.  But Satan has many ways to convince people that the Lord does not want to save them.  I am glad to report that the Lord has never turned anyone away who in simple trusting faith has come to Him for salvation and cleansing.  In Matthew 11:28 the Lord says, “Come to Me, ALL YOU who labor and are heavy laden, and I WILL give you rest.”


Does the Lord Ever Turn Anyone Away?

I have said that the Lord never turns anyone away who comes to Him in simple trusting faith.  However, not everyone comes to him that way. Nicodemus did come with the right attitude in John 3, however.  He came confused and he left enlightened.  He came in darkness and he lift with spiritual light.  He came an unbeliever and he left a believer.  He came lost and he left saved (See John 3:17).  Even those who come with the wrong attitude are not turned away, but those with the wrong attitude usually do turn away because they will not accept the fact that salvation is based on God’s plan and not theirs.


In Luke 18:18-23,  a rich young ruler came to the Lord wanting to know what he could DO to inherit eternal life.  Now it would be possible to go to heaven on the doing plan if we could actually keep the moral code of God, but only the Lord could to that.   This young ruler thought he could do it and when asked what the law said about inheriting eternal life, the ruler quoted from the Ten Commandments.  He mostly quoted commandments having to do with loving his neighbor.  He said he had kept that law from his youth.  But the law says that you are to love your neighbor as you love yourself.  When the young ruler was told to sell all that he had and give to the poor, he couldn’t bring himself to do that.  He didn’t love his neighbor as himself.  He like everyone else that is trying to get to heaven by doing will find that they have fallen short.  And unless we all admit that, we are never going to be able to trust the Lord’s done plan rather than our doing plan.  Even the rich need to be saved.  But they are not saved by selling their goods and giving to the poor, but by trusting in the blood of Christ.  That is God’s done plan.


Thank God!

I can confidently affirm that the Lord is ready, willing and able to save all who come to him in simple trusting faith.  He may not be ready and willing to heal our diseases in our day and age, but He will save, forgive and cleanse everyone who knows that they have a sin problem that only the Lord can cure.  Thank God. 


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of August 23, 2015

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