by Dr. Charles Stanley
Saturday August 28, 2004
InTouch Early Light Devotional
Tragedy in the Church House
Every Sunday, many people all over the world sit in church buildings, listen to the Gospel, and then go their own way with a false sense of security. They are quite convinced that if they were to die, they would go to heaven. To them, it's quite simple. They think, Heaven is where the good people go, and since I'm good, I'm going there. Oftentimes, these really are good people by most community standards. In fact, their conduct is often superior to some who have been saved and are committed to Christ. Like the rich young ruler who came to Jesus (Luke 18:18-23), they have kept the commandments as best they know how but fail to recognize how needy they actually are. Their confidence is based on the notion that since God loves everybody, He certainly wouldn't let any good person go to hell.
The problem really boils down to a misunderstanding of what salvation is all about. Salvation is not a behavior modification program built on self-effort, but rather a transformation of the inner man. When you are saved, you receive a new disposition that the Bible refers to as "born again." This new birth means that Jesus comes into your life to express Himself through you. Yes, it does result in good conduct, but this new behavior comes from the Holy Spirit living within you rather than from your determination to improve yourself. Your life will thereafter be based on a moment-by-moment submission to the will of God, from which you will derive purpose, direction, and meaning - as well as the genuine security only He can give.
Are you looking for an outreach that will inspire your children to grow in their faith? Visit Teen Connection (www.teen-connection.info), the official teen outreach of In Touch Ministries. Be sure to check out the latest interviews with Atlanta Braves' pitcher Russ Ortiz and Dove award-winning band, downhere.
For free one-on-one mentoring online from Dr. Charles Stanley, visit