George Fox was born at a time when there was a lot of religious confusion here and there. He was born in 1624 at Fenny Drayton, Leicestershire. His father was a puritan, a weaver who was nicknamed Righteous Christer because of his strong conviction for holiness.
George, from his childhood, possessed a gravity and sturdy mind and spirit not usually found in children. As a boy of eleven, he was said to have been sensitive to God and claimed to have experienced the pureness of God™s divine presence.
One day, he accompanied two puritans to a fair and joined in a drinking session. He saw the great difference in the peoples’ religious profession and their moral behaviour. That made him to quickly pay for his drink and leave the place. That set him on a three year search for perfection. He interacted with clergymen (ministers) and separatists but got no satisfactory response from any of them that could give him assurance of salvation and victory over sin.
He then turned to the Bible. He spent long hours in lonely places reading the Bible and praying. In 1647, at the age of 23, he became genuinely saved. Hear what he said afterwards: When all my hope in them were gone, so that I had nothing outwardly left to help me, nor could tell what to do, then, I heard a voice which said,
There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition™, and when I heard it my heart did leap for joy.
He soon became a minister, an itinerant preacher called to go abroad into the world. In one of his messages, he said: Christ has been too long locked up in the mass or in the Book, let him be your Prophet, Priest and King. Obey him. His messages were very powerful bringing hundreds repentant sinners into God’s kingdom.
In 1691, he went to be with Jesus his Lord after a well spent and fulfilled life.
Challenge: Are you really saved? Are you righteous or just religious? Are you born again or you are just a professor of salvation. Give your life to Jesus and live a fulfilled life.
Before the discovery of commercial oil by Shell in 1956, Nigeria had remained a purely primary economy concerned predominantly with agricultural activities. The finding of oil deposits in commercial quantities however brought about the development of the oil industry and other allied industries. Moreover, both the immediate and remote environment associated with this development all came under the influence and impact of the socio-economic improvements that followed. Today, Nigeria is a force to reckon with in Africa and beyond. As with a nation, so is it with an individual.
Everyone is a bundle of talents / potentials awaiting discovery and development. Every youth is a raw material that can be tapped, polished and transformed into a beautifully packaged product. The gold in its raw state remains unattractive and economically unprofitable but after it has been worked upon, it becomes captivating and valuable to mankind. Think about this: For thou has possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb¦ For I am fearfully and wonderfully made¦my substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them (Psalm 139:13,16). This is the testimony of a great monarch and elder statesman who discovered early in life his potentials and fully utilized them.
You possess unique characteristics and qualities that stand you out in life. You are different from every other person. There are no two identical persons on earth, no matter how closely related, even identical twins! Do not try to imitate others or be intimidated by then. Try to be what you are created for. If you live your life on the basis of other people™s impression about you, you aren’t going to be your best. Be what you think you are not what others say you are. For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7a). Avoid imitation and intimidation. How do you do this?
You need to find out what your talent, interests and inclinations are. Find out what career or profession excites and appeals to you. Match your interests with your talents and abilities. Begin to do things that will help you retain this picture or dream. For example, you can share your dream with others of like interests and persuasion.
Listen to people who share similar vision and have accomplished something in this respect. Then prepare yourself towards realizing that vision. For instance, select subjects which combination tends towards that particular career or profession. Do not doubt your abilities or capabilities. Avoid any form of distraction or detractor. Keep your focus.
I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved¦. Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, and that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it because it will surely come, it will not tarry (Habakkuk 2:1-3).
The moment Jesus Christ emerged on the world stage, He did not pretend nor hide His mission. He immediately proclaimed it loud and clear. No wonder it was difficult for him to change even in the midst of oppositions and detractors. Be determined and committed to that particular vision; it may be that which will be a force to reckon with in our modern society. Keep off anything and everything that can hinder you from realizing your goals. Do not be a mediocre. What your mind can perceive, your brain can be developed to become. Self-discovery leads to self-realization and self-realization produces self-actualization.
TOTAL DEPRAVITY, SINFULNESS AND GUILT OF ALL MEN
The total depravity, sinfulness and guilt of all men since the fall of man render all sinners subject to God’s wrath and condemnation (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-6, Romans 51:1-5). Man was created in the image of God, and he was righteous and holy. Man was the crown of God’s creation (Genesis 1:26,27; Psalm 8:5-8, Genesis 1:31). Through voluntary disobedience and transgression, man fell into the depths of sin. In consequence of this, everyone through our first parents (Adam and Eve) became sinners, shapen in iniquity and utterly void of the holiness of God. Every man became totally inclined to evil (Psalm 51:1-5, Romans 3:10-18,23; 7:14-21; John 3:18, 36; Romans 5:12-17, Job 14:4; Isaiah 48:8). As a result of the fall of man (Adam and Eve) all men born through man and woman became sinners through inheritance. By inheriting the nature of sin, man became depraved. There is nothing in the natural man that has not been affected by the power of sin.
The entire nature of man, mentally, physically, morally and spiritually has been affected by sin. The testimony of the Scripture is that the image of God in man has been seriously marred by this great fall. As a result of the fall, and the nature of sin inherited, man became separated from God, totally alienated from the perfect, holy and pure God. This separation is the beginning of sorrow, shame, fear, heartaches and manifold problems spiritually and mentally.
The consequence of the fall of man is that man became totally depraved, and the immediate effect was his separation from the Holy God and a curse upon Adam and his descendants (Genesis 3:1-6, 14-19, 23,24; Romans 5:12; 8:22). God’s judgment also came upon all men. The soul that sinneth shall die. For the wages of sin is death (Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23). The human race has rebelled against God and broken His law, but the love of God constrained the holy God to plan for man™s redemption to fulfill the law that without the shedding of blood there is no remission (Hebrews 9:22). Therefore, God undertook the redemption work for man by sending Jesus Christ to die for him. Jesus Christ became the divine provision of a Perfect Substitute and sin “ bearer (Genesis 22:7,8,14; 3:15; John 3:16, Hebrews 9:22). He became the lamb of God (John 1:29; Matthew 1:21). By the perfect sacrifice of His blood, (I Corinthians 5:7) man has complete protection from the fatal and eternal consequence of the fall, from the curse of the broken law, (Exodus 12:13; Galatians 3:13); complete removal of the guilt and condemnation of sin and full redemption by faith in Christ (Isaiah 53:4-8; Acts 8:32-35; I Peter 1:18-21, 2:24). The atonement is the reconciliation of sinful, fallen man to God made possible through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
God demands repentance from all sinners to avail themselves of the provision of redemption through Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:5-7, Matthew 20:28; 26:28, John 3:14-15). Repentance is the change, which takes place in the penitent™s attitude towards sin. It is the turning away from sin to God. Sincere and total repentance and godly sorrow for sin through the agency of the Holy Spirit are important pre-requisites for salvation. Repentance is the deep inward experience, which makes the sinner turn from sin to God. On the basis of this process of genuine repentance, the sinner asks for forgiveness and pardon based on the promises of God in the scripture, (Romans 8:16, II Corinthians 5:17, I John 2:23).
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
This was the all-important question the Jailor asked Paul and Silas in Acts 16:30 and this is the question every sincere seeker of salvation need to ask.
There are many people who are confused about what they need to do to get saved. Unfortunately, many preachers further confuse the minds of people on the issue of salvation. They tend to turn people away from the simplicity of the gospel of Christ to some complex things that they require seekers of salvation to do before they can be saved. Some recommend that to be saved, one must first be baptized in water; while others feel that one must first of all; turn over a new leaf before one can receive God™s salvation. There are some that teach that sinners must show that they are truly sorry for their sins by punishing their flesh i.e. penance. Some others allege that salvation is not complete until one gs through a particular rite of deliverance where evil spirits are cast out of the person. All these are misleading.
To the question asked by the Philippian Jailor, Paul answered ¦. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved¦ (Acts 16:31). This is all it takes, no more, no less. As you realize yourself as a sinner, you truly repent, confess and forsake them. Then you receive Jesus into your life and believe in Him as your Saviour. When you do this with a very sincere mind and in faith, then you will be saved. (Romans 10:9-10; I John 1:9-10).
This will be followed by very clear evidences one of which will be that you will become a new creature, (II Corinthians 5:17). All you need to do after is to continue to live the Christian life by grace through faith. Read the Bible daily for divine strength and nourishment. Pray always to receive more grace and help from the Lord. Fellowship regularly with a church that stands on the word of God for encouragement, help and other assistance. And then, try to tell other people of what God has done in your life.
The Lord blesses you.
THE BIG QUESTION
Are you really saved?
This is a very important question that every boy and girl must answer. The issue of salvation is one that everyone must seriously consider because it is the only thing that can make one to be qualified for eternity in Heaven.
Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily I say unto thee, EXCEPT a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).
This question becomes very necessary because many of the religious activities and programmes that are springing up today seem to be underplaying the issue of the importance of genuine personal salvation. More religious involvements and activities are being emphasized over the importance of personal salvation.
Most religious leaders are satisfied as long as their members and youths turn up regularly in church and observe other religious ordinances. There are other people who however confuse other things with salvation. They take the fact that they are born into a serious Christian family to mean that they too are saved. Some take their moral uprightness for salvation. They feel that since they do not fight, steal, tell lies, commit fornication etc, it means they are saved. There are some who have been mistakenly baptized in water, who partake in the Holy Communion, sing in the choir, etc, who think that for these, they are saved.
Salvation is a very definite personal experience that takes place in one™s life at a particular point in time. It is an experience that one receives as a result of a very conscious and deliberate decision one take to turn away from all sins and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as one™s Lord and personal Saviour.
The truth is all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We all were conceived and born in sin. (Psalm 51:5). None of us has the ability to do any good. (Romans 10:10-18).
In fact, because we have sinned by nature (we all inherited sin from Adam -Romans 5:12) and by our actions, we all stand condemned before God and are to face the consequence of our sins, which is death “ eternal separation from God in the Lake of fire. (Romans 6:23, Ezekiel 18:4, 20, Revelation 21:8).
No amount of our personal efforts or good works can save us. No religious activity or ordinance can pay the price for our sin and free us from the consequences of our sin. (Isaiah 65:6). Only Jesus can.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12)
Salvation is only by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9). You can become genuinely saved as you acknowledge your sins, (Psalm 51:3-4), confess them before God (Proverbs 28:13), truly turn away from them in repentance (Job 34:32), receive the Lord Jesus Christ into your life as your Lord and Personal Saviour (Revelation 3:20) and believe in Him with the whole of your heart. (John 1:12, Romans 10:9-10).
If you will sincerely take these steps, you can be saved today. When you become saved, you will be totally set free from sin and condemnation, (Job 8:36, Romans 8:1); the peace and joy of the Lord will become yours. Sin will no longer be your master; the spirit of God will always be there to lead you, and you will become an entirely new person (Romans 5:1; 6:14; 8:14-16; II Corinthians 5:17).
So, are you really saved? If not, Why not now?