Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Saved, There is that Word Again
1 Corinthians 10:31-33  NKJV — Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,  just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
Paul’s Purpose
I keep asking myself, “What is the most important thing that we as Christians should be doing in this life?”  And of course the answer seems obvious to me.  If we have truly understood the Gospel and if we have been saved by faith in the Lord from the penalty that we deserve because of our sin, then we have to understand that our primary purpose in life is to glorify the Lord by seeing others saved.  What a waste it would be, to have medicine available for a disease and not take it out of ignorance or rebellion.  In like manner, what a waste it would be for the Lord to die on the cross in order to save us from eternal punishment for our sins and have men and women refuse the salvation (the medicine) that is freely available.   And yet this is often the case.  Some might do it out of ignorance, some might reject the Lord out of rebellion, but none should reject the Lord because of the behavior of those who claim to be Christians.
Our Purpose
Paul said, “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel (See 1 Corinthians 9:16).”  In order to do that he considered the sensibilities of the Jews when he was preaching to them, and he considered the sensibilities of the non-jews (gentiles) when he was preaching to them.  In order to have his words carry weight in Corinth he explains that he was willing to give up his rights in order to fulfill his mission. In order to reach intellectuals in Athens, Paul quotes their own philosophers (See Acts 17:28).  I am quite sure that the Corinthians and the Athenians realized that He was convinced he was preaching the truth.
The Truth
We who are Christians claim to have the Truth.  Our basic foundation for saying that is that we believe that the Bible is true and reveals God to us.  We who are saved give testimony to how God has worked miraculously in our lives.  We base our faith on inductive reasoning.  Inductive reasoning uses repeated experiences or observations to develop theories about how things work.  Deductive reasoning takes those theories and tests them.  So if every time I meet a dog, the dog barks, I might assume that all dogs bark.  That is inductive reasoning.  A scientist might take that theory and find a group of dogs and observe them to see if they all bark. That would be deductive reasoning.  Because there are many things in the Bible that can be proven to be true (historical facts, prophecies concerning the Lord’s first coming, etc.), I accept the things that I cannot prove to be true.  That is inductive reasoning.
We all operate in this life on inductive reasoning.  Many things we believe cannot be proven or tested in a controlled setting.  So, if a person has always paid their bills, we assume that they will continue to do so.  That may or may not be true.  If a person is always angry, we avoid them because we assume they will always be angry whether they have something to be angry about or not.  If a person has been kind or generous or respectful to us we assume that will be their character in the future.  If a person intentionally lies to us, we will likely not depend on a thing that they say, even though some things that they say might be true.
Life Lessons
Christians have to be known for telling the truth if we are going to tell others that we have the truth.  People don’t read the Bible but they certainly know how to read us.  I, for one, realize how necessary it is to know the people I am quoting on social media or to fact check the items that I am sharing. Carelessly sharing questionable or false information is certainly going to affect who will believe me when I share the truth of Scripture.  
And, yes, I want people to believe me when I tell them that I believe the Bible.  More than that I want people to believe me when I tell them that the Lord can be trusted.  I want them to believe that the Lord came not to condemn but to save (John 3:17).   And, yes, I want people to be saved.  There is that word again.
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of August 29, 2021

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