Are You Willing to Be Saved?

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 6
I went to see a person on whom I had been asked to call, trusting that the Lord would give me some word which might be blessed to her.
After a few minutes’ conversation, I asked,
“Are you able to rejoice in the knowledge that you are saved? Do you know the Lord Jesus as the one who has borne your sins?”
Immediately a cloud seemed to pass over her face, and she gave me no answer. I saw she was unable to meet the question, and put another,
“Don’t you think you need salvation?”
“O, yes,” she answered, “indeed I do.”
“Do you see that you have no hope out of Christ, that anything you could offer to God would be worthless, because of the sinful nature you possess?”
“O, yes,” she replied, “I know all that, I have been a regular attendant at church, I was always at the Sunday school, I have heard the gospel time after time, but it never does me any good, I am gospel hardened; the Bible says that the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and that’s just what He has done to mine; I am gospel hardened, and I can’t help it.”
“Then you don’t want to be saved,” I said, “you know you are a sinner without hope, you know that an eternity of misery is before you, but you don’t want salvation, you don’t want Christ?”
“But, indeed, I do,” was the earnest reply, “only I’m too hardened.”
“You really want to see that Christ can save you?”
“I wish I could,” she answered, “but I can’t; many a time the thought of the future makes me tremble, but I try to forget it, for it’s too late now.”
“Do you suppose that Satan would put that wish for salvation into your heart?”
“O, no, of course not.”
“Do you suppose it came from your own heart, which the Word of God says ‘is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked’?”
“Well, I suppose not,” she replied.
“Then, who could have given it to you?”
After a few moments’ silence she said,
“It must have been God.”
“And do you suppose He would give you this wish, and not give you the power to believe?”
“I shouldn’t think He would.”
Taking my Testament from my pocket I said,
“We will answer that question from the Word of God; when we only have the words of our fellow-creatures to trust to, we may find that they are mistaken, but when we learn these things from God Himself we are in no danger of being deceived. His Word says, ‘Let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will let him take the water of life freely’ (Rev. 22:1717And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17)). From this we see that the will is all that is needed, it says ‘whosoever will;’ have you the will?”
“I have,” she replied, “indeed I have, I do want to be saved.”
“You say you want to be saved, you acknowledge that such a wish must have come from God, and you see from His Word that anyone who has the wish to come may do so; now do you think that looks as though you were gospel hardened?”
“O, no,” she answered, “I see I was wrong there.”
“Then we may leave that subject, and go to another; you have the will to be saved, now we will find the way.”
“I know the way,” said she; “it is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and to do one’s duty.”
“We will see if that is what the Word says about it. In Acts 16:3030And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (Acts 16:30), we read that the jailor said to Paul and Silas, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.’ They didn’t mention his duty at all. The Lord Himself says, ‘He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life’ (John 6:4747Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. (John 6:47)). Do you think they spoke the truth?”
“Yes, I believe all that, I know I’m a sinner, and I believe that Christ died to save sinners, but haven’t I to do something?”
“The Word of God says nothing but believe,” I answered.
“But I don’t think I ever could act as I ought. When people get converted they get good all at once, and though I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and have heard all about His death for us, many a time, I’m not a bit changed, and I thought I must be gospel hardened, and have given up trying.”
“I see you have the same idea of conversion which I once had,” I replied, “but it helped me very much when some one explained to me that conversion is a thorough change in our thoughts about God and about ourselves, and it is from this change of thought that a change of life springs. This change of thought is what you need, for you have been greatly mistaken in your thoughts about Him, as well as about yourself. You thought He did not care about saving you, though His Word says He is ‘long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish’ (2 Peter 3:99The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)). You thought you must do something for your salvation, though His Word says,
‘For by grace ye are saved through faith’ – ‘not of works lest any man should boast.’ If any works of yours are needed, then Christ’s work is not sufficient, and His Word is not true.”
“But I don’t mean to doubt His Word, I know it is true.”
“There are many people who doubt that Word, who would be very much astonished if anyone told them that they were doing so. We cannot appreciate God’s plan of salvation until, in some little measure, we learn what we are; but when we really see that we are lost, that we have a nature that cannot please God, and that any attempt to do so must be an utter failure, we are only too thankful for the grace which has left us nothing to do, nothing but to believe on Him, the one who has done all that was needed, who has satisfied God’s justice, so that He can now bless those who deserved nothing but punishment. We must believe what God says about us, for being so perfectly holy, He sees us as we can never see ourselves, and in Romans 3, we read that
‘There is none righteous’— ‘none that understandeth’— ‘none that seeketh after God’— ‘none that doeth good.’
“God commendeth His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:88But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)).