Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Why Grace Can Save The Worst Man

by Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold

I want to continue just a few thoughts from what I had this morning, even though I didn't know I didn't get a chance to do all of it this morning. But I want to help you to see something, and then I got a couple of questions I want to ask you.

I said this here microphone was the cross—before the cross, the law; after the cross, grace. Now you can't mix law and grace together. Under the law, you have two phrases that many people use today, saying this is what you must do. They don't seem to understand that when you say that, and do that, you're putting people under the law. When you tell a man that he has to turn from his sins, well that's what the law taught.

When you tell a person that you have to commit your life to Christ—remember under the law in Mark chapter 12 it talks about a scribe that came up to Jesus and says: "What is the great commandment of the law?" He said: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart with all thy mind..." Well that's total Lordship Salvation! That's where God has to be total in control of every area of your life. Love him in every area of your life. That's law. So we know that the law cannot save a man, because a man can't turn from all of his sins, and that a man cannot make Christ the Lord and Master of all of his life. Though you want to try and experiment, and spend your whole life trying, it will not work.

So a man cannot save himself by his works, by the law. So when we trust Christ as our Savior, we are saved by grace. So this is based upon what we do; this is based upon what he did. Now should we trust in what we do to be saved, or should we trust in what He did to be saved? Which would be the best? Trust in what He did to be saved. This is Grace. He did it. On the law, we did it. So is a man saved by what he does? No. So his turning from sin, or making Christ the Lord and master of his life, in order to be saved, is not gonna work.

So what happens if a man trusts Christ as Savior and now he's saved, he has eternal life, and by grace, Christ paid for all of his sins, all of them? Now, how is he to live? The Bible says: "The just shall live by faith." So, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him. So if you receive Christ by faith in what He said, then you serve the Lord by faith in what he said.

Now if you take a person and say, "This is what you must do or you will lose your salvation," and "What you must do is you must turn from your sins and you must make Christ the Lord the Master of your life," what have you done? You have placed them back under what?—under the law. So when you tell them, "You have to keep now the law in order to be saved, to stay saved, and if you don't God will take away your salvation that He gave to you by grace." Does that make sense? This was supposed to be free, without my works, without any of my performance in any way, shape or form; because if it's not eternal it's not worth anything.

When it came to works, the law. Remember [in the Old Testament system]—they sinned, sacrifice; sin, sacrifice; sin, sacrifice; sin, sacrifice; it was never over, you had to stay current. Under grace, we're saved because of what Christ did for us. One sacrifice for all sin, for all time, for every individual, and those who believe that, have His payment put to their account, so I have a sin—a payment—for all of my sins that I will ever commit. So I am saved by grace.

If now I must perform to keep my salvation, then it wasn't free. So now you say you must turn from sin and you must make Christ the Lord and Master, now you pull that person back here under law. This is what you must do. Now should I as a Christian should I depart from the works of iniquity? Yes! Should I allow the Lord to be the Lord and the master of my life? Yes, but I don't have to. Under the law, you have to!

So this is why you have preachers today telling you that, "Yes you're saved by grace, but you have to you must have a change life, and if the change life doesn't materialize in your Christian life, then it's a sign you either really weren't saved by grace at all—because if you were really saved you're not gonna want to go out here and do those bad things—so naturally there's gonna be a change in your life, and if there's no change there's no salvation." So now instead of looking at what Christ did, now you have to focus about what you are going to do, and there's no difference in teaching that, as it is to teach works for salvation. It's the same message.

We're to rest, the rest of my natural life I rest my whole case upon one thing—the work He did! When He went to that cross and He paid for my sins; therefore, I despise legalism, where people are trying to take the Christian and slide them back underneath the law, and as though the keeping of the law is gonna now prove that I'm saved; and if it doesn't and if I don't do it, that I can lose my salvation, because that's what it's teaching. And many people in their mind, if you never see that and never separate that, you can get mighty confused.

So we were under the law with a curse; now we're under grace. But if you try to put yourself back under the law, saying: "Now I must do all of these things or I'll lose my salvation," then you place yourself back under a curse, and you're not gonna be blessed. Remember the reason Christ came and the reason he died, is because God promised to Abraham before the law, He would justify the heathen through faith, and faith alone.

So that the law cannot annul that promise, because this law covenant was based upon us performing, and we failed, we broke, it we didn't keep it. This New Covenant that God made is based upon what He did and He says: "I will save you." Remember under the law, the law could not save the best of man. The best man, the best woman, whatever, the law can't save them; can't save even the best. Under grace it can save the worst! The law cannot save the best. Grace can save the worst. So therefore my life, and how I live, cannot touch my salvation. I am saved because of what Christ did on the cross for me. He gives me this free gift of eternal life because of grace, and this grace says that God will never cast me out. That means what I do or don't do cannot take it away from me. He will never lose me, for no reason.

If He won't cast me out, and He'll never lose me, then evidently my lifestyle; however, I live—good or bad or indifferent—cannot affect my salvation. If he that eats this bread; one bite of this bread and He [Jesus] is the Living Bread—He says: "You will never hunger. He didn't say, "Well you're gonna lose your salvation and have to eat again, and you get hungry because you lost your salvation. Once for all, when He talks about the water to the woman at the well (you drink the water that's in this well, you will thirst again; but the water that I given to you, will spring up inside of you into everlasting life). In other words, and you'll never thirst again. So that's eternal security. This is what He promised. This is why this has nothing to do with the likes of the law. The law couldn't do this, but grace can. So it can save the worst of sinners, and the law cannot save the best of men. So I would rather have grace any day.

Now just because I believe this, does that mean that I'm gonna go out and live a wicked life, because I believe in eternal security? That's what a lot of people try to get me to believe. [They say]: "That doctrine that your teaching is just given people a license to sin!" I am NOT given anybody license to do anything! This was not my plan, it was not my design, this is the Gospel. Eternal security, and if you're not eternally secure you are not secure! It means that you have it to where you cannot lose it! Otherwise, nobody would ever know for sure where they're going when they die. And you won't even know it when you die, if you'll finally make it, because then you'll have to wait until some Judge.

But I can save you a lot of time. I'm not the Judge, but I can tell you what He said. If you die without Christ, you're lost. And if you die in Christ, you're saved. And your works will not determine your destination. Your destination is determined—did you or did you not accept Jesus Christ as your Savior? So I wrote down a few questions. I did this when I was on that little boat we was on you over week. So I'm drinking some coffee and I'm sitting and I'm thinking, "I'm gonna write this question down." So I wrote it down: "Why does 'turn from sin' produce more people living in sin?"

And it was mainly because of a person in India, who emailed me a letter ,of people that he knew that believed in Lordship Salvation, and he was one of them, that thought because he could not measure up, he could not keep this high standard of life, that he lost his salvation and people convinced him that he'd lost his salvation, and he was teaching in a Bible School, a Bible Institute, over in India, North India. So they sent him home to figure out what he was doing, because they couldn't let him teach because he was all messed up. So he thought he's gonna go to Hell, and because he's going to Hell anyway, why not go ahead and do what I want to do and live however I want to live?

Because see, when you have to make Christ the Lord and the Master of your life, and if you're honest with yourself, you know he isn't. It doesn't matter, you want Him to be, you desire it to be; but it's just not reality, because no man can live up to this high standard, because you're going to fail. You're not always going to maintain that spirituality, that level; so therefore, it produces the frustration, the hopelessness, the despair. And when you tell a man that he has to turn from his sins to be saved and he knows the truth of it—he hasn't turned from all of his sins. Well if I'm going to hell anyway, I might as well live like it!

But let me ask you a question: "Is Lordship Salvation, making Christ the 'Lord' of your life—that means you're gonna serve the Lord (e.g., "I promise to serve the Lord," "I commit my life to the Lord"). Well if that is true, would you say that making Christ the Lord of your life, or just believing by faith—which one is real easy-believism?

Now careful, I've often had people accused me—"Yankee you just have that easy-believism." Because I'm not requiring anybody to do anything! I say, "You don't have to keep the law, you don't have to go to church, you don't have to change your life, you don't have to stop anything, you're not the prominent... you can just trust Christ and then live like you please!" That's what you teach, that's that easy-believism!

Alright, and let's say that I said that and it's true. Alright, when it comes to Lordship Salvation, making Christ the Lord and the Master of your life, and committing your life to Christ. They're making it hard! And you've gotta promise to stop these bad things. Promise you're gonna do these good things. I'm really putting it out there, and man that's gonna be hard for you to be a Christian! Being the Christian is so hard because you've got to walk that straight narrow way! You've got to live it! Now that's supposedly the truth. Mine is the easy believism, but it's not mine. I didn't make this thing up. But in reality which would you think is really the easy-believism?

Turn in your Bible to the book of Matthew chapter 7. Matthew in Chapter 7. There's a simple little verse here. And in verse 13 he says, "Enter ye in at the strait gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction." So the straight gate, the narrow gate, is the one that leads to life; and then he says "many" there be which go in thereat, the broad gate, "many" that go into the broad gate. Verse 14, because strait is the gate, narrow, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, "few" there be that find it. Now out of these two messages, one is narrow and the other one is broad; more people go through the broad, fewer people go through the narrow. Well which one would be the easiest? The broad or the narrow?

Now if you're talking to people, and think of how many churches there are, and how many preachers are, are and the message they have' and a lot of preachers are teaching works for salvation—you got to turn from sin, make Christ the Lord of your life, change your life, commit—all these things in order to be saved—why is it that more people believe that kind of a message, then the message that says: "It's free, you have to do anything, it's just by grace?" If the salvation by grace message is so "easy," why don't more people believe it? Which one must appeal to the flesh, if you have a part, if you have to do something? That appeals to the flesh. I get to do something! That would be easier for people to accept, because in your mind you think bad people ought to go to Hell (and you know it), and the good people ought to go to Heaven. So that's the way it ought to be! That's easy to believe, evidently, because more people believe that. But the truth is, it's free. It's harder for people to believe it's free, than you have to do something, wouldn't you think? So who is the one who's really guilty of easy-believism? Us or them?

I don't mind people accusing me of being a person who teaches easy-believism, because I believe that it's easy when you really understand it, and you really get it. When you really see the Gospel, understand that it's a gift, and the reason why you have to be perfect to go to Heaven and you're works could never do it, when then they really see it, it's easy for people to trust the Lord. This is why we try to emphasize so much the clarity of the Gospel, because the clarity of the Gospel is what makes it easy for people to believe; but if you add works to the Gospel it's hard for them to believe. But that's what most people would believe, you've got to do something.

So I guess you would come down to—which is really the easiest: Grace or works? I don't know if I figured it all out, but I do believe that we're responsible to God to teach the truth—and the Bible says it is the gift of God not of works. Isn't that what it says? So regardless of where people come from, and what they want to hear, and what's more pleasing to them—and isn't it amazing how many churches can be packed to the gills and the preacher is preaching a false message, or a "by works" message, by which you have to do something—and the churches that are clear on the Gospel sometimes struggle to keep the doors open. Have you noticed it? Because, which is the easiest?

You see, if we really believe this then, we know that we have a responsibility to win more people to Christ. But if we believe you have to do the other, then there's a thousand churches out there already preaching that! You're already preaching that; but few are telling the true Gospel of how to really know you have eternal life, and go to Heaven. There's the more pressure. If I was the Devil, I'd let them alone; but buddy, I would work on churches like this one. I would do whatever it takes to stop the Gospel coming out of this church! Because we're reaching a lot of people, even though we're a few in number, we reach a lot of people. But remember it's a battle, it's a warfare, it's not easy.

Another question. I wrote down: "Since we are saved by faith, is it faith in what we do, or what Christ did?" If we're saved by faith, is it faith in what we do under the law, or is it faith in what Christ did under grace? Which way is it? This is the message you were supposed to preach. Therefore, we don't try to take people and put them under the law and say, "You must perform." That's law! That's works! It won't work! You're saved by grace alone. Is it faith in my works that I must yet perform, or trust in the work that Christ has already performed? We said, "You're saved by faith." Okay, faith in what? Faith in the work that I must yet perform, or faith in the work Christ has already performed? If I'm saved by my faith in what Christ has performed, it's a done deal; if it depends upon the works that I must perform, it ain't over yet.

That's why [according to Lordship Salvation] you can't know for sure where you're going when you die. This is why we always ask the question: "Do you know where you're going when you die?" And I had a lady tell me the other day, she said: "Oh yes, I'm going to Heaven when I die!" I walked out walked over there to check the mail, and there was a lady at the door. Young lady, the door was locked. And I said, "Are you trying to break into the church?" She turned around and said, "No no no." I said, "What can I do for you?" She says, "I just want to know if you need some people to clean your church." I says, "No, we got all the cleaners we need."

So she came over and she had some literature. And she said, "Can I leave this with you?" I said, "I'll take yours if you'll take mine." So I pulled out my little blue track and I said, "This is my picture on the front." She laughed. I don't know why everybody laughs at my picture, it's not that bad...lol. It's not that bad and so I says, "Can I ask you a question?" She said, "Yeah." I says, "Where you gonna go and die." She says, "I'm going to Heaven." I said, "Are you sure?" She says, "Positive. Positive!" I says, "Is there anything you could do in the future that could keep you from going?" She said, "Well, of course!" She's positive! Can you do anything in the future to keep you from going? Well of course!

Now, what is she depending on to get her to Heaven? Her works! Do you think that's what she believes? She doesn't believe that you're saved by your work, she believes you're saved by grace. But [she thinks], I could do something and lose my salvation. And they don't see it. They just don't see it. And so when I explained it to her, she says, "I ever never heard it like that before." I says, "It's okay, most people haven't." I says, "Once you trust Christ as Savior, He put that payment He made to your account, and you get to go to Heaven on what He did. It's not what you do! I says, "You have never lived good enough, and never will, to deserve to go to Heaven. God says for by grace are you saved through faith, that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast."

This is why me and Hank loved the Gospel, the clarity of the Gospel. I hadn't heard him for about 20 years. I'd come down here and I'd speak, but I didn't get a hear Hank. But I knew where Hank stood, and he had a reputation. Hank was good. He was clear on the Gospel. Hank was a soulwinner. But that's what, when you see it, and you really understand it, you harp on it. If there's anything that we call a "hobbyhorse," this is our hobbyhorse. But what a horse to ride! Because we know that there's so many people that's never understood.

Did you realize that after the service this morning we had one boy trust the Lord, but also we had somebody from Kentucky, that said that they would trust Christ as Savior this morning. And one before that was somebody in Tampa. But they come from a little bit of here and there, you know, no for sure, and there could be a lot of people trust Lord then we have no clue who they are. I had one guy I talked to him the other day and he says, he says, "I like Calvary." I said, "Well great, I'm glad." I says, "Are you talking about Calvary Community Church?" He says, "No, it's over in Clearwater some place, at Calvary." I don't know what Church, I've never been over there, so I don't know what he's talking about. He said, "But there's another Calvary somewhere."

I said, "Do you know where you going when you die." He said, "Yes!" I says, "Is there anything you can do to keep it from going to Heaven?" He says, "Yes!" Does he really know where he's going when he dies? No, he doesn't know where he's going when he dies. 'Cuz he ain't dead yet. He's thinking, "Well if I died today." And they don't understand that they're really not trusting Christ to take them to Heaven. Does it matter? Does this matter? This is Heaven and Hell! If Christ is not your Savior, you're not going to Heaven. And it means that you must trust Him, and Him alone as your only hope of going to Heaven.

If you have not yet lived a perfect life, what makes you believe you will today, or tomorrow, or the next day, you never will. So there's many people who just not clear on the Gospel. You know there's power in this Gospel message, most people just don't know how to present it. And the reason we keep doing the same thing over and over, and over and over, again is because you learn it that way. You'll learn it. Next thing you know you'll be out someplace, and you'll be talking and you'll say it word for word, like you've heard, because it's ingrained in your brain. So it is important.

I love the Gospel because there's not another message like it. And the works does not work. Salvation by grace and grace alone. So you and I that are saved by grace, and we know that, we know that when Christ died he paid for all of our sins. There's no sin to condemn me. I can never be condemned in the future. Because you see, His death became my death, and His death means that I have fulfilled the demands of the law. The wages of sin is death and I died. The law cannot touch a dead man. I am dead to the law, so the law can never condemn me, because I will never have a sin that needs to be paid. Christ paid it all. That's the best news all the world.

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