A Voice in the
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Re: From "Start" to "Finish"

Recently while tweaking on things at the website, comparing how things
look/work with Netscape and IE, finding that IE3.02 had little quirks
negotiating JavaScript, I finally bit the 2-hour -download- 'bullet'
and installed IE4. While it still isn't up to the 'standard' of
Netscape 3.04 in some things, I was actually enjoying some of its
features...and was out surfing...just for the sake of surfing...to see
how IE4 works. Just 'doodling'.

As I was surfing I happened upon Dave Hunt's 'statement of faith'. And
noticed no mention of "repentance for salvation". Then, I went to
PsychoHeresyAwareness...I think their's is basically the same. Not
there, either. [Ed: Hopefully, -merely- examples of what Tuesday's
Portion was talking about, statements being 'incomplete', because these
two groups, certainly, -do- proclaim 'repentance' don't they? Surely
they do? I'm -sure- I've read it in their writings?]

But you know...that got me thinking. I've seen a lot of statements of 
faith in my time...and not very many include it.  Everybody proclaims 
'where salvation comes from' ...but fail to give directions on how to
get to the "Start" point...which is 'repentance'.

As I was sharing these observations with a friend, my mind pictured
these 'maze' puzzles Pizza Hut used to have (do they still?) as place
mats.  There's the picture. There's all the routes through it. A person
can see the correct route. But to actually get to "Finish", one must
actually start at "Start" and trace through. You don't get to "Finish"
unless you start at "Start".

There are many statements of Faith, many books on doctrine, many
sermons and teaching sessions; which proclaim, correctly, the lost
condition of man due to sin. (Rom3:23,6:23) They correctly proclaim
Jesus' death, burial and resurrection to pay the penalty for sin.
(1Cor15:3-4) They present God's "gift" of "grace through faith"
(Eph2:8) and everything related to these points. And it is all
-correct- doctrine. It's all there, for the 'receiving'. (Jn1:12)
But they fail in one point. How to get to the "Start" point. The
proclamation which Jesus instructed to be proclaimed.

They correctly include...

    "..Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day.."

but they omit...

    "..and repentance and remission of sins to be proclaimed in His
     name.." (Lk24:46-47)

For the sake of our 'object lesson':

Start = Repentance
Maze  = Salvation
Finish = Eternal Life

A person can look, from a distance, and 'understand' the path through
the maze. But to actually -arrive-at- the "Finish", he must actually
pick up that crayon, start at "Start", trace through the maze, and
-then- he will actually -reach- the "Finish" point.

Another example: Suppose you have an expensive car with all the latest 
gadgets, global positioning driving system and onboard computers. It's 
been detailed with a fine-tooth comb, the engine runs flawlessly, and
has 'flat-proof' tires. You can drool over it's shiny finish, and
'imagine' how smoothly it drives. But unless you have the -KEY- to put
in the ignition, the fact that the car might have been a 'free' prize
isn't going to do you any good. It's not going anywhere! No matter how 
hard you push on the gas pedal, it's just going to 'sit there'.

From our Romans3 study on Sunday, it does no good to agree with the
'sign' on the dock. One must understand the 'NEED' -personally- to
accept the 'life preserver' the Son is offering. That's the "Start"
point.

"Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (Lk13:3,5)

Amen!


Addendum: (3-3-99)

Since writing this a few days ago, I've had occasion to surf around in 
response to requests to link to URLs, checking out this and that, etc.  
While seeing these places, as well as 'checking out' the sites of a few 
people I already know, I've made a point to look at the area where a
'statement' of some kind is made about "salvation". And you know what?
So far, the ones I've looked at... -NONE- of them speak of 
"repentance". Even places where I know the person believes in it.

This morning as I was getting going for the day, meditating on this
fact, it really struck me as to 'why' there is such "apostasy".
Nobody, much, is actually saved! Salvation 'by faith' is preached.
People know about it. But they are not being led to the "Start" point.

A new 'understanding' of Jesus' words, "Go in through the narrow
gate..because narrow is the gate and constricted is the way which leads
to life...  and THERE ARE -FEW- WHO FIND IT." (Mt7:13-14)

Remember, folks, out of all Sodom there was only Lot and his two
daughters who 'made it'. Out of the whole world's population, only
Noah's family of 'eight' who made it.

I wish I could grab each of you by the shoulders and 'shake' you, and
ask, "Do -you- understand this?? Do you -SEE- it??"

      ??? Do you ???

The time is short!  How many of -you- will, sadly, hear His words, "I
never knew you!  Depart from Me..." (Mt7:23)

???

"Behold, now is the accepted time. Behold, -now- is the day of 
salvation." (2Cor6:2)