Professor or Possessor? Do You Have Religion or Christ?

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Harold Vogt was born in Germany, but left there as a young man to make his fortune in California. He found a job and settled in San Francisco. Though brought up to respect and reverence God's Word, his Bible was laid aside and for years was left unread.
During this time Vogt was unhappy. His life was one long attempt to escape thinking about God, judgment and eternity. He well knew he was sinning against light and love; deep down in his soul he knew that it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.
Is this so with you? Are you attempting to get away from God? Do you shrink from being alone? Are you allowing your mind and heart to be absorbed in the business or pleasures or cares of this life, ignoring your soul's best interests? If so, remember that a day of reckoning is at hand. God has appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness.
An evangelist came to San Francisco to hold a "crusade". Vogt attended some of the meetings. One evening one of the workers asked if he were a Christian.
"I don't think so," was the reply.
"Would you like to be one?"
"I wouldn't mind," he answered.
The worker then read a portion of Scripture, prayed, and asked him to do the same.
Vogt left under the impression that he was a child of God. He had "prayed for salvation," and he "felt happy now"—but not happy enough. Something in his heart was still unsatisfied. "Perhaps," he said, "I ought to do more for God and I shall feel better."
So he worked and worked, trying to do good to others in order to obtain peace with God. Still he was restless and uneasy.
Late one night he saw a crowd of people listening to a street preacher who was telling out the "old, old story" of Calvary's cross. He listened for a while, and imagined that the preacher had singled him out-the preaching was too pointed and personal. He went home in a miserable condition; could it be possible that he was not a Christian after all?
The next night, Bible in hand, he was back to hear the same speaker. He was even more uncomfortable than the night before. He began to see himself to be a lost, guilty sinner and, hurrying home with his Bible, he began to read in earnest. For the first time he perceived that the Lord Jesus, by bearing the punishment due to him, had done everything necessary for his soul's deliverance. When he learned what Christ's death had accomplished, he fell on his knees and thanked God for giving Christ to die for him. Here at last his heart could rest!
The next morning Satan went after him with questions like fiery darts. "Are you really born again?" "Are you sure you have got the right kind of faith?"
Satan was defeated. Vogt rested his weary soul, not on what he had done or felt, but on the finished work of Christ; his assurance of salvation depended on the word of the living God.
Can it be that you are merely a "professor of religion"? Or are you a possessor of Christ? Where do you stand? Be honest! Get down to the foundation and ascertain whether you are building for eternity on the sandy foundation of your prayers, good works, happy feelings, resolutions, sacramental observances—or on the "Rock of Ages". Go at once to Him who is able and willing to save all who come.
He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Heb. 7:25.)