A Voice in the
February 1, 2000
Q/A Topic: Job wasn't saved?
Response to: Good Church Member? ..but not Saved!
If Job didn't get saved until chapter 40 [Ed: ch42], how could he refer to his redeemer in chapter 19? 25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
And are you saying Job didn't trust in God? What about chapter 13:15? "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:"
Though Job wasn't a Baptist, he sounds pretty confident of his faith and trust in God. Why would God pick a man who belonged to Satan's kingdom as an example of righteousness; one that God declares "was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil"?
"Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Or do you not yourselves perceive that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are worthless ones?" (2Cor13:5)
For you "Bible-believing Christians" this may be one of the most profound studies we ever do. This study is likely not for the openly 'wolves' or other unbelievers. This is for you who think you are 'confident' in your Faith in Christ; to do as this opening verse says, "examine yourselves..." to BE SURE you are in the Faith. What will be presented here will include some things I have wrestled with in my own life. I was saved at age 5, but I don't remember that occasion being one of sorrow, humility and repentance as was the night when my unequal yoke left, when I was like Job in ch42, 'abhorring' myself. I have done a lot of soul-searching, wondering if I actually 'really was' saved at age 5, because what happened the night my ex left was of such a dramatic nature in my spirit and soul that what came after made that which was before seem like unregeneracy, by comparison.
While I might have only been 5 years old, when I have gone back in my memories, if we understand Paul's words "The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God" because a Believer is one in whom "the Spirit of God dwells in you" (Rom8:16,9) that becomes the test of our 'savedness'. As Paul says, to "perceive that Jesus Christ is in you." In my case, while I don't remember every little detail about that evening at age5, nor the -words- I prayed, I have concluded that I -was- saved back then. And the Lord's hand has certainly been on me throughout my life.
However, there are many Bible-believing "Christians" who, when they wrestle with this, cannot come to the same conclusion. They go to the churches with the correct names on the front doors, and are members. They know the correct doctrines, and can recite Scripture till the cows come home. But if they look within their own hearts, which is where Jesus looks (Heb4:12) they cannot discern Jesus' presence there. They don't know. They're never -quite- 'sure'. They continually ask "how do you know when the Holy Spirit is in you?" They have to ask, because they don't know what it is like. They don't have the Lord. And yet they are quite comfortable with Christian expressions, "Praise the Lord", "Lord willing", "Jesus and me", "I'm Heaven-bound", "I love Jesus", "Jesus loves me, this I know..." And they can quote Scripture and preach.
Many would have said, "Look at Billy Graham. Such a man of God. Do you see him? He preaches '...the Bible seeeez!!!'." But we have seen recently, in his own words, he's not sure if he's going to Heaven or not. He doesn't have the assurance of "being righteous" before God.
We already noted that Job expressed, "I have heard -OF- You.." (42:5) According to Paul's test, he did not "perceive that Jesus Christ was -IN-.." him. He only knew -OF- God. He was not yet a "friend of God" (Jas2:23,Jn15:15) He had not yet "believed -INTO- Jesus".(Jn12:11-LITV)
Also, please note the -kind- of "righteousness" Job had. He was "righteous in his -OWN- eyes." (32:1) Yes, he faithfully did the 'works' of sacrifices, and to all concerned, he -appeared- to be righteous. After all, just look at him... we are always seeing the smoke rising from his sacrifices over across the hills. But Romans is full of this discussion how God's Righteousness does not come about through law. "All these things have I kept from my youth..." (Mt19:20) But Job yet "lacked one thing". To be introduced to the Holy God, and to respond.
So, what about the opening question? After all, it was -God- who is saying to satan, "there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.." (1:8)
If I were to claim total understanding of this statement by God, I would be foolish. I wasn't there that day. But let us consider a likely scenario. Also let us realize that God and satan are having an argument. Satan, of course, is the "accuser of the brethren" (Rev12:10) Satan has been challenging God, "I will be like the Most High". (Is14:14) While satan always "seeks whom he may devour" (1Pt5:8), it seems in this instance that God, knowing it was about time for Job to be converted, is challenging satan. Perhaps in a similar way that Jesus challenged His disciples when He asked, "From where may we buy loaves that these may eat?" (Jn6:5) He asks the question to get them thinking and to be aroused to fully see what is about to take place, and it says, "..He said this to test him, for He knew what He was about to do." (vs6) Satan, do your best to Job (take your best shot), but in the end when you're finished, see what I AM ABOUT TO DO with him.
You see, God "foreknew" and "predestined" those being saved. (Rom8:29) "..the foundation of God stands firm, having this seal, The Lord -knew- the ones being His.." (2Tm2:19) God already knew what Job's response would be, when faced with God's glory. But satan (and the other cloud of witnesses-Heb12:1) didn't know this yet. So God 'challenges' satan. You see Job there? See how wonderful ('righteous') he is? He is sacrificing all the time, and living a good life. Well, satan just cannot let the challenge go, without a counter-challenge. If he is to be "like the Most High", he needs to have a "go at" Job, to try to yank him away from God. But in the end, satan would fully understand, were God to say to him, 'Job is Mine, and there is nothing you can do to make things otherwise.'
And along these lines, one little "scare tactic" that many emotionalize during "altar calls". They say things like, "what if a truck runs over you before you get home, and you haven't been saved?" But you see, God puts limits on what is allowed in a person's life, when He knows they are His. He tells satan, "..but save his life." (Job2:6) If a person dies before they are saved, God already knew that they would never repent before Him. And repeated emotional appeals will make no difference! However, they certainly will be without excuse! (Rom1:20)
Recently somebody sent me an e-mail with a "study", which among other things, proclaimed that God is -not- "omniscient". When He asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac the claim is that He, God, didn't know what Abraham's response would be, thus He responds, "Now I know that you are a God-fearer..." (Gen22:12) But such a person clearly does not understand one of God's primary distinguishing features, when compared to any others that are called "gods". He is "declaring the end from the beginning and from the past things which were not done, saying, My purpose shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure." (Is46:10)
You see, when it comes to those "whom He foreknew" and "predestined" (Rom8:29) we are told that He foreknew them "before the foundation of the world.." (Eph1:4) Before we were ever formed in the womb, everything about us -was- (already) written in God's "book". (Ps139:16) So, while Job had not yet come down off of his 'self-righteousness' and 'repented in dust and ashes', God knew what the results would be. Thus, He could proclaim Job as being "righteous". It's already -been- a "done deal" since before the creation. So, Satan, it might be a few more days or weeks yet before he is converted... but Job is Mine! God 'already' saw the end of Job's ordeal, and his salvation.
In Job's case, he was a person who appeared to already be righteous; but he needed to be saved. On the other hand, Saul/Paul was persecuting Christians, a real scoundrel ("sinners of whom I am chief" 1Tm1:15), when Jesus stopped him up short. Remember how Jesus said, "I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Lk5:32) And to Peter He says, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me." (Jn13:8b) If Job was already so 'righteous' that he didn't need God's cleansing, he could never have been saved.
The account of Job -starts- with him being (supposedly) "righteous". But we know that all mankind is BORN in "iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me." (Ps51:5) That when God looked down from heaven, He saw that we've "all turned aside" (Ps14:3) We have no recorded account that Job was born any differently than anybody else. He was born of Esau's lineage. (Job1:1, Gen36:28, Lam4:21) In spite of all his self-righteous arguments, credos, testimonies and proclamations, Job was a sinner.
The savedness of a person is understood by looking into the heart. (Rom2:29, Jer17:9) It is not based on what a person was before God introduces Himself to them; whether they had appeared to be righteous (like Job), or were scoundrels (like Saul/Paul). Jesus sees into that place. He knows each one of us "soul and spirit".(Heb4:12)
Where is your heart? Who is your master? I know of a person not long ago who was falling in love with a "godly woman". All the outward signs were there that this person loves God. But when asked, if the Lord were to required it, would she "give her life for the Lord", she responded to him that she would "go through anything with the man she loved." While such a sentiment is noble, it begs the question.
Many people have died as "martyrs". Catholic martyrs died at the hands of Protestants. Protestant martyrs died at the hands of Catholics. But both Catholics and Protestants (many of those fathers of the Reformation, "great men of God") persecuted and martyred both Christians and Jews. When one reads Fox's 'Book of Martyrs', after about the first couple of centuries the martyrdoms become less and less "for Christ" and more and more "as Protestants". What good is it to "give my body to be burned" (1Cor13:3) if it is not out of loving Him, Jesus Christ?
If even somebody like Billy Graham is not saved, what about you? In the world of that day, Job would have appeared to be like Billy Graham. In Job's case, when met by God, he repented. What will become of Billy? His life is not yet over. He still has time to repent. Let us hope he does before it is eternally too late.
But you see, it is christendom full of "Jobs" who will be screeming and wailing to the Lord in that Day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name..and in Your name do many works of power?" (Mt7:22) We often cite this passage regarding charismania's 'signs and wonders' movement, but let us not also forget the 5 virgins without oil in their lamps. (Mt25) They had "lamps". People could look at them with their beautiful lamps and say, "look at that wonderful Christian". But they were without oil. They did not have the Holy Spirit. (Rom8:9, Zech4:2-6) They are like my ex, who although she played the game of being a "Christian" (and was even baptized in a Baptist church), always saw the "darkness" within herself. (Mt6:23) They are always like the Pope and Billy Graham, doubtful of their eternal destiny. They do not "know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, having been conformed to His death." (Phil3:10) They are not "living sacrifices" (Rom12:1) because they have not "died with Christ" (2Tim2:11, Rom6:2-8) They have only gone 'forward' and made 'committments' to "do better...from now on". And once they've done that, they have learned the jargon, "I'm saved..I love Jesus..He is my Redeemer..I'm on my way to Heaven..He lives, Christ Jesus lives today, He walks with me, and talks with me, along life's narrow way" (just like Job -19:25) But they have not "been to Jesus for His cleansing power". They are not "washed in the blood of the Lamb". In their quiet moments, away from the loud happy singing of the crowd of people who are busy 'praising the Lord', they are not really -quite- sure if when "you ask me how I know He lives?" that He [actually] "lives within my heart" or not.
To the ones who only 'look like' Christians, because they have their "appearances" (1Th5:22-kjv), and are carrying their shiny lamps with no oil, Jesus will say, "I never knew you; depart from Me, those working lawlessness." (Mt7:23) The door will be "shut" and He will say, "Truly I say to you, I do not know you." (Mt25:10-12)
Dear Reader: Has God approached you? Has He been "drawing" you? (Jn6:44) What have you responded? Have you given -everything- to Him? Well, unlike what the modern invitations would suggest, you have -nothing- TO 'give' Him! Modern invitations suggest you give to God everything you have, and let Him make you into something 'better'...to "fix' your life and "heal" you. But a response to such an invitation will not save you.
Rather... you need to DIE! Have you died? You cannot receive a "new birth" (Jn3:3) unless you "fall into the ground and die" (1Cor15:36, Jn12:24)
I dare say that most 'conversions' happen for people who want to make their lives "better". But they have never died. That's the scary part. When one dies "there is no memory...work, knowledge, planning" or -control- in death. (Ecc1:11,9:10) But without death, there is no resurrection with Christ unto Eternal Life. (Rom6:5)
The one beloved was asked, as a Christian, would they be willing to lay down their life for the Lord (because of persecution). But, to even become a Christian in the first place, you must die (spiritually). Die to self, die to sin, die to the world, die to family...yes, and even die to that closest of human relationships...your spouse. (Mt19:25-30)
Dear Reader: we already asked if you have "met God?" Now, a new question... HAVE YOU DIED?
Before tonight's Q/A on Job was mailed, there's already been some upset people; accusing me of going off the deep end where Job is concerned. How can I 'disagree' with God when He said Job was "righteous" in ch1. Just a couple of thoughts, that didn't really fit into the accompanying Q/A, for you to mull over in your minds:
Remember, Job appeared to be righteous. And like we began, the Q/A was written with "Bible-believing christians" in mind. People who consider themselves to be saved...but you're not. When you pray, you feel like your communication goes into empty space...and you only wish you knew "where you could find Him". (When you look at things honestly) God is not your "Friend". If you were to stand face-to-face with Jesus, you could not "look Him in the eye" and say with the song, "Nothing between my soul and the Savior" because you know that "your iniquities have come between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, from hearing..." (Is59:2) You cannot stand before God with a "good conscience". (Acts23:1) Your conscience "accuses" you, (Rom2:15) and you don't want to stand before God because you know your "secrets" will be revealed. (2:16)
But you cannot hide from God. Everything about you is "naked and opened to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." (Heb4:13)