Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Chastening by the Lord

Hebrews 12:7-8 NKJV — If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 

My Personal Chastening

I have been laid up with a bum knee for a month and will be incapacitated for another month and one-half all because I was doing what I thought was the Lord’s work.  I was injured when I jumped off a platform and had my leg buckle.  I had been helping in the preaching of the Gospel in a drive-in meeting in the parking lot of the building where our assembly of Christians meet.  So I have had some time to meditate on why I am being chastised. 

First of all, it gives me great encouragement to know that God the Father considers me His son. According to our verse above,  I am not a child without a Father.  Second, I realize that some chastening is designed to teach endurance, patience and perseverance. I am not sure that I am excelling at that. So is there something for which I need correction?  I don’t think a loving Father would ever correct a son without telling him why He was correcting him.  We should not have to go on a fishing expedition to find out what the correction is for if our chastening is to correct us.

My Conclusion

I am sure that there are many reasons why others might think I need correction.  But the thing that haunts me is the fact that I do not speak out when I hear the Gospel being preached in an unscriptural way.   The Bible says repent and believe.  Repentance is the change mind that allows us to take God at His word.  It may be a change of mind about our sinnership or about the issues of life after death.  But when we are telling God how to save us, we have to have our minds changed and allow Him to tell us how to be saved.  That only comes through the hearing of the word of God.  Preachers of the Gospel are not used car salesmen who close deals.  We are preachers of the Word and the Spirit of God uses the Word of God to change people’s minds.  The word of God will convince us of sin which is rooted in unbelief and it will give assurance of salvation when a person is ready to accept the promises of God as bedrock truth.

The Bible says to preach a crucified and resurrected Christ.  It also says that faith comes by hearing and that hearing has to be the hearing of Biblical truth.  Much of the Gospel that I hear tells people to do something rather than giving them something (actually someone) to trust.  In Acts 8, when  Philip preached (in a Bible study) to the Ethopian official, he began at the Scripture that the man was reading (Isaiah 53) and preached unto Him Jesus.   In Acts 16 when the jailor asked “What must I do to be saved?”, he was told to believe on the Lord Jesus.  He was not told to do something, he was told to believe in someone.

I personally am not depending on a decision, though I made one.  I am not depending on a prayer though I prayed when I trusted Christ.  I am not depending on my invitation for the Lord to come into my heart.  I found out that He was inviting me to believe in Him.  I am not depending on an altar call or a confession.  I am depending on the truth that Christ died for me.  It is faith in the Lord that comes through faith in His promises that saves.  Only those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ are saved.  We preachers need to give people truth to trust rather than giving them some method for trusting the Lord that is not found in the Bible.

Do people come to know the Lord if the emphasis has been on what they should do instead of whom they should believe?  Yes, but only if someplace in the process they  have believed on the Lord Jesus.  In view of the present state of affairs in the world, we who are saved, believe that the Lord is about to come.  Then comes the tribulation period and I wouldn’t want any of my friends to go through that.  I won’t be able to change the habits of Gospel preachers, but perhaps I can stir the consciences of those reading this who have never really depended on the bedrock truth that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  That is truth that you can take to the bank.  Don’t depend on what you did, get your eye on what Christ did for you.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of June 28, 2020

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