I was lead to the Lord by my Grandfather, who, in 1967 brought me to the Glenrock Pentacostal Holiness Church in Norfolk, Virginia.
I was only 14 years old at the time.
From then on I went to church at least 3 times a week. Twice on Sunday, and for the Wednesday night prayer meetin’. Then, there were weeklong “revival” meetings. Conferences. Church camps. Jesus Festivals. Home bible studies. And the like.
At one time, I figured I had heard some 4,000 sermons.
And never once did I hear even a hint of the Glorious Truth that “God is the Savior of All Mankind, especially of believers”… as reveal in I TIM 4:10. Even though, verse 11 clearly says “THESE THINGS BE CHARGING AND TEACHING.”
Not only did I go to Pentacostal churches, I went to Baptist churches. Assembly of God churches, Charismatic churches, Foursquare, Methodists, I even went to John Jimenez’ Rock Church in Virginia Beach for a while.
Plus, I was somewhat involved in groups that focused on Watchman Nee’s, Witness Lee’s and Gene Edward’s teachings.
Now, to be honest with you, they all did not spend a lot of time warning “the sinner” about the dangers of “eternal hell”. They did some… but not a lot.
But they all clearly emphasized “works” and clean living.
But nothing about what Christ accomplished on the cross.
It was mostly about WHAT YOU MUST DO TO BE SAVED. And what you must do to have an honored place in “the kingdom”.
YOU MUST… acknowledge you’re a sinner.
YOU MUST… repent.
YOU MUST… live a clean life.
YOU MUST… not “backslide”.
YOU MUST… “bear your cross”.
And so forth.
There was nothing about WHAT GOD MUST DO to save his creation.
Nothing about WHAT GOD DID IN THE CROSS OF CHRIST.
Nothing about how God will fulfill his eonian purpose. (Eph 3:11).
“These things command and teach”… says verse 11.
… on the living God…
… who is…
…the Savior of all…
and… apparently if you “rely on the living God who is… is… is… the savior of all… you will “suffer reproach”
1 Timothy 4:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 For to this end [a]we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.
I can attest to that, to some degree… in that… when I came to discover the bible’s teaching regarding God, the savior of all… the brethren from all those churches flat out… “kicked me out”.
Not only did they NOT teach I TIM 4:10… they were not going to let me teach it either. Why?
Perhaps there’s too much money to be made by stringing folks along on a “works” message that involves “endless punishment” if you don’t get with the program.
So, if you’ve made it this far into my message, let me assure you… Good works and clean living are ideal, but salvation is really based on what Christ accomplished on the cross, not on your contribution… as if His work is lacking. In fact, your “good works” are His doing, not your own. (See Eph 2:10) “You are His workmanship.”
After all, He did say (on the cross) “It is finished.” (John 19:30)