Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Heart–What is it?
The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked;  Who can know it? — Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. — Luke 6:45 NKJV
And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man. — Mark 7:21-23 NKJV
In the Bible
The heart in the Bible is used in a figurative sense of that which motivates a person.  It involves the intellect as well as the emotions.  In Noah’s day we read, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5) NKJV).”  Mankind thought wrong but I believe that they loved the evil that they were conjuring up in their minds.  The flood did not change that.  God says after the flood, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done (Genesis 8:21 NKJV).”
Luke 6 talks about a good man.  While some men and women are “gooder” than others, before we are saved, there is none good, no not one (Romans 3:12).  The only One who was good when He walked this earth was the Lord Jesus.  Out of His heart came forth good things, but that is not the case with us.
Man’s Way of Salvation vs. God’s Way of Salvation
The Bible is clear that the way of salvation is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Faith is often referred to as believing.  I believe that there are many people who say that they believe on or in the Lord, who have not trusted in the Lord in the Biblical sense.  The Bible says that we are to believe with “all our hearts” (Acts 8:37).  Some versions leave the “with all our hearts” out in this section of the Bible, but it obviously belongs in the narrative.  Earlier in the chapter,  a Simon had believed but not with all his heart.  Peter told him that his money should go into perdition with him because he had believed in Philip and his miracles since he wanted to profit from the Gospel.  He believed in the power of the Gospel, but he had never believed in the Lord Jesus with all his heart.  
Today, many people tell me that they are saved because they have invited the Lord into their hearts.  I realize that the Lord can create in us a clean heart, but before we are saved, our hearts are not clean.  I realize that after we are saved, the Lord should dwell in our hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:17).  But I have looked in vain for any Scripture that tells us that we are saved in some manner other than by faith in the promises of God, which means we have faith in the Lord Jesus.  I know Revelation 3:20 is often used as justification for telling people to invite the Lord into their hearts, but the passage deals with fellowship and not with salvation.  And the door is the door to a local church that needs the Lord on the inside and not standing on the outside.  One person can revive that church.  But to ask the Lord to come and dwell in a heart that is desperately wicked doesn’t seem to make sense to me.  I think it would be better to “believe with all your heart” than to invite the Lord into a heart that is deceitful above all things.  I know some people may have actually trusted the Lord with all their hearts who may not express it the Biblical way, but I am glad I was never told to do this.  I am glad that I have the promise of God that Christ died for my sins rather than trusting in a prayer that God never told me to pray.  
I prayed before I was saved that God would save me.  I thanked God after I was saved for sending His Son to save me and for opening my understanding to the promises of God so that I could depend on that truth.  But I am standing on the promises of God, I am not standing on something that I did that is not even commanded in the Bible.  And for those of you who invited the Lord into your hearts you might want to ask yourselves, “Did He take you up on your invitation?”  And if He did, how do you know that He did?  Another question you might ask yourself is, “When did you first understand that you were a sinner in need of a Savior and when did you get peace about that issue by “trusting” in the Lord Jesus?”
Troublesome Times
We are living in troublesome times.  We may have war come to our own country this time.  Let us all meet in heaven.  We can only do that if we are truly “trusting in the Lord Jesus.”  (See John 3:16-18). 
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of March 13, 2020

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