Pristine Grace

A Pressing Question
by Kenny Dyess
A Pressing Question

Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. - Matthew 7:21-23

    These are some of the most somber verses that I find in scripture. This is the final judgement.

    In these three short verses we see the "cream of the crop" of humanity. Here is a vast multitude of imminently religious souls, who have dedicated their efforts, as well as their lives to religious service and endeavors. These are good neighbors, good fathers and mothers, good employees and good friends. They are highly regarded by their fellow man as honest, trustworthy, hardworking, "Christians". Yes "Christians", for everything they claim to have done, was done in the name of Christ. (vs. 22)

    We see this multitude, with one voice, calling upon Christ himself to testify to the things done in his name. The masses are so certain of the value of their service, that they approach the LORD himself unashamedly and inquire of him to testify on their behalf.

    THE ENTIRETY OF THIS MULTITUDE SEE THEIR "CHRISTIAN" SERVICE AS MERITORIOUS.

    Considering the gravity of these few verses, a most pressing question must therefore be asked by those religious folks, looking to their works for assurance.

    HOW IS MY PASTOR NOT TRAINING, TEACHING, ENCOURAGING AND ADMONISHING OUR CONGREGATION TO ARRIVE AT THIS VERY JUDGEMENT?

    This is a somber question that begs an answer. This is a real, future event, where preachers, teachers and some of the sweetest people you know will be found naked before their LORD. They believed their works, done in Christ's name, to be meritorious, but they were, each and every one, dead wrong.

    I have been a Sunday school teacher, song director, mission coordinator and minister in a religious organization that discipled toward this very end. Obedience was paramount and those works were my assurance and evidence of salvation. My focus was on the creature and not Christ. I now, by the grace of God, count all these things as dung.

    The assurance for the child of God is never found within, but without. When our best work is compared to the glorious holiness of Christ's perfections, our works can only be seen as dung.

    The scriptures are full to overflowing with proof texts that tell us there is none good, yet preachers insist on preaching personal holiness that they insist is meritorious before God. They assert that this is the Holy Spirit working in us, but Scripture states in John 16:13-14 that the Spirit will not speak of himself, but will glorify Christ.

    The glorious truth of the gospel is that Christ established a righteousness that is imputed to every soul he represented, personally. They stand as the very righteousness of God, in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21) He met every condition that God's just law required. This judgement is not their judgement, for they were judged in Christ, at the cross. Every sin that I would ever commit was charged to him and he fully and finally satisfied that charge at Calvary. I stand at peace with God, because by his grace I rest in the finished work of Christ alone and have absolutely no confidence in this flesh.

    Christ's righteousness is the only true righteousness that has ever existed and is the only ground of acceptance for any sinner before God. The child of God presently rests in Christ, for he is accepted in the Beloved.

    Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!

Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. - John 6:28-29