Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Not All Have Faith

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you,  and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 NKJV)
Our world is filled with chaos.  We have the problems with the pandemic and as a result we have the problems with educating our children.  The pandemic has resulted in mental health problems and in economic problems.  And of course that all leads to political problems.  Why is there so much chaos?  God is not the author of confusion but Satan is.  I keep wondering how many of us who claim to be followers of Christ today are getting our marching orders from the One who is the Way, The Truth and The Life and how many of us are getting our marching orders from the Great Deceiver, the Father of Lies?  I ask myself often, just whom am I believing?  And why do people who call themselves Christians and who have but One Bible, have such different attitudes about the chaos in our world?  
Tares and Wheat
It appears that one of our problems is that there are tares among the wheat.  (See Matthew 13;37-42).  As I understand it, tares look a lot like wheat particularly in the early stages of growth.  Apparently, at maturity wheat and tares can be distinguished.  Tares may very well be poisonous when eaten.  Tares in Matthew 13 had been deliberately planted in the wheat field.
Paul says he needs to be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men.  Are these men obviously unbelievers?  Maybe.  But since Paul says not all men have faith, it seems that these men have presented themselves as people of faith but they are unreasonable and wicked.  They are obviously resisting the Gospel that Paul preached.  They appear to be the tares among the wheat.  
Christianity is a Mixed Bag Today
As Christians we try to take people at face-value.  If people say they are Christians we tend to believe them (and we should).  Unfortunately, not all have faith. Since we cannot always distinguish the wheat from the tares (particularly in new believers), we need to get back to preaching the Gospel and we need to let the Holy Spirit sort this out for us.  The Gospel will convict an unsaved sinner and will restore one who is backslidden and will confirm a newly saved person.  Christians need the Gospel.
How is A Person Truly Saved?
Ephesians 2:8-10 clearly lays out how a person is saved.  It’s by grace through faith. Works do not produce faith but faith does produce good works.  But the key is to “believe on or trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.”  See John 3:18, John 3:36, John 5:24, and Romans 10:17.  I personally have a real problem with the way the Gospel is preached today.  It is shallow.  There is no emphasis on conviction before conversion.  People are told to do something to be saved rather than being told to believe or trust Someone to be saved.  But I have also observed that many who seem to have conversion stories that seem simple and clear, have thinking patterns that I don’t understand.  And many who explain how they came to be Christians in a way that seems very unclear to me from a Biblical perspective, seem to think the way the Lord thought in the New Testament.  I don’t get it.  But I don’t have to get it, I just need to keep preaching the Gospel and we all need to let the Lord separate the wheat from the tares.  And we need to make sure that we are the wheat and not the tares.
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of January 31, 2021

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