Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has shared many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. In today’’s broadcast we examine the relationship between the accidents of time and spiritual salvation.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Accidents of Time and Spiritual Salvation
"A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he sends forth judgment unto victory and in his name shall the Gentiles trust." "He would have all men to be saved, and to come into a knowledge of the truth." Matthew, Chapter 12, Verses 20 and 21
Brothers and sisters, we live on an imperfect world and we are subject to the accidents that occur on this planet. Quite often, the accidents of time in the forms of disasters such as storms, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, tsunami, diseases, and various other kinds of accidents cut short our mortal life, and many children and adults die who have not made a final choice concerning salvation. We know that the heavenly Father is not only just but merciful as well.
We have developed a concept concerning salvation that unless a person believes in his heart and confesses with his mouth, he cannot be saved. But such a narrow concept concerning salvation cries out against fairness, not to mention mercy. The heavenly Father loves all of his children, even those who have not developed to the point spiritually where they know him. Such statements as "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork" only demonstrate the reality of the Creator, but they shed no light on the Father’’s saving grace.
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." It becomes apparent that the soul must be given an opportunity to know him, before it can make the decision to accept or reject him. You cannot consciously reject that which you do not know or accept that which you do not know. We know that the Father’’s spirit and the Spirit of Truth live within us. But this spiritual indwelling is a spiritual consciousness, not an intellectual one. And so the recognition of the heavenly Father as personal must be recognized spiritually. It must be an experience of the soul and not an experience of the intellect.
The soul is like a newly born infant. Its consciousness of the heavenly Father is not very great. It must grow and develop so that its consciousness of the heavenly Father grows. As the soul grows, it makes itself known to the material mind. It presents a certain hunger for truth and thirst for righteousness in our minds. There is definitely an impulse for perfection. How do we explain the phenomenon in our minds of not feeling ““right?" Who or what has told us that we are not ““right?" How do we come to know that we are imperfect? Without some absolute standard, we cannot know. There must be something inside of us that compares us to something or someone else--some standard that is far above our starting point. This standard is none other than the Father’’s spirit, the "image of God."
The Father said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." A brief analysis of the Father’’s command reveals the nature of this likeness. The Father is spiritual and perfect. He has free will and all of the attributes that we associate with a person. Therefore, to make us in the Father’’s image is to endow us with free will and to make us spiritual and perfect. It is this "image of God" that makes us aware that we are not ““right."
When we compare ourselves to this image of God, we see that we fall short of its standard. We have a long way to go before we can match the image that lures us on. When we compare ourselves to this image, we declare like Job, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now my eyes see you. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Our souls cry, "We are as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags." Yet at the same time we begin to strive for perfection, to hunger for truth and thirst for divine righteousness, never stopping until our souls are identical to the image of the Father.
This "image of God" was made personal over 2,000 years ago, when the Son of the Father took on the form of flesh and revealed this image to mortal man. Mortal man knew of the image of God within his soul, but then beheld this image revealed in his Son, Jesus, revealing the way of salvation and perfection to mortal man. By believing in him, we receive salvation for our souls. Although this salvation was revealed to the intellect, it is not intellectual. It requires the exercise of faith for the material consciousness to know the truth of this salvation. When the soul accepts salvation, then forthwith do the fruits of the spirit begin to manifest itself in the outer life. Thus, we see that though the intellect may confess salvation on behalf of the soul, the intellectual confession does not confirm the soul’’s salvation. That confirmation only comes from manifesting the fruits of the spirit, which is the proof that salvation has been accepted.
It requires times for the soul to recognize the divine spirit and agree to salvation by manifesting the fruits of the spirit, which is really agreeing to abide by the Father’’s will. All of the Father’’s children must be given time to make this spiritual decision. Jesus told us that there are many mansions in his Father’’s house. In these mansions on high, the soul is given further time to grow and develop and make a final choice for the Father’’s will.
Even though the accidents of time may cut short temporal aspects of the divine plan, the divine plan being eternal goes on to the next phase of existence, where it continues to unfold. Once a soul comes into existence, either actual or potential, it must be allowed time to develop, to grow and make a final choice concerning the Father’’s will. If the child perishes before it begins a separate existence from the mother, either intentionally or unintentionally, it still must be given a chance if either the mother or father survives. Once the factors of male and female are united, a potential soul exists, and this soul must be allowed to develop and to choose, for the Father is fair and just. It would be neither fair nor just for the Father to allow the circumstances of birth to doom a soul, either in the womb or out of the womb.
The accidents of time occur because of the lack of complete coordination and control of forces. This control is also imperfect, and we are all being perfected at the same time. When everything is perfected, the accidents of time will be a thing of history. No more shall we witness a mortal life being cut short because of accidents.
This concludes today's message on understanding what if effects the accidents of time have upon spiritual salvation. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.