Tuesday, May 30, 2006

In or Out?

"We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice say to me in Hebrew, 'Saul! Saul! Why do you continue to persecute me? It is hurting you to keep on kicking against the goad.' 'Who are you, Sir?' said I. 'I am Jesus,' the Lord said, 'whom you are persecuting. But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for the very purpose of appointing you my servant and a witness to me of the things which you have seen and those which I shall yet enable you to see. I will continue to rescue you from the Jewish people and from the heathen to whom I am going to send you, to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from Satan's power to God, so as to have their sins forgiven and have a possession among those that are sanctified by faith in me.'" (Acts 26.14-18)
I cannot say that I have ever heard the voice of the Lord. Consider, however, what Paul confesses Jesus told him: "I will continue to rescue you from the Jewish people and from the heathen to whom I am going to send you, to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from Satan's power to God".

Wesley elaborates in his Explanatory Notes:
Through the power of the Almighty, from the spiritual darkness wherein they were involved, to the light of Divine knowledge and holiness, and from the power of Satan, who now holds them in sin, guilt, and misery, to the love and happy service of God: that they may receive through faith - (He seems to place the same blessings in a fuller light) pardon, holiness, and glory.
It's pretty stark, isn't it? There isn't any wiggle room; there is no shade of gray. It's either darkness or it is light and it's either Satan's power or God's power. I submit to you that these are real categories that God recognizes. Consider this verse:
It is God who has delivered us out of the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of His dearly loved Son (Col 1.13).
Imagine the entire world in one of only two groups. The saved and the lost, or sheep or the goats...there are different ways to express it but it all boils down to one thing---The Test of Life has only one question:

"Concerning the Kingdom of God, are you In or Out?"