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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Personal Responsibility August 17


Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness. Eze. 14:20.

There is salvation for individuals only, and there is personal doom for personal transgressions unforgiven. The selection of these three men is significant. One might expect that from three of the greatest men in the Old Testament some credit or merit might have passed over to their families. But these three illustrious men saved only themselves. They could not save others by their own righteousness.

Though Noah is called "a just man and perfect," "a preacher of righteousness"; though Daniel was an outstanding example of living righteously, a man in whom no fault could be found; though job in the midst of all his suffering and tragedy sinned not; these individuals could save only themselves. This does not deny that they were instruments of salvation to those around them. Noah did save his own sons and daughters. Daniel did undoubtedly influence other Jews, such as the three Hebrews who were cast into the burning fire.

This is why we as individuals are so precious to God; why God spends time and effort with us personally. The only way to act responsibly toward Christ and the truth of God's Word is to read what happened to a man like Paul and make the same decision. This was the most revolutionary event in his life. To hold back on our responsible allegiance to Christ is the greatest sin we can commit. What the crowd thinks does not matter. What Christ wants of us is what matters.

The truth in Christ has actually come to our door. We cannot wait for some greater and more convincing truth to come along. It does not exist. It becomes an alarming symptom when we begin to indulge the idea that we can sit and move with Christians en masse, trim our lamps like the five foolish virgins, participate in the functions of the church believing that all this is sufficient without committing ourselves responsibly and unreservedly to our Lord. Let us be frank. We are going to come through the time of trouble triumphantly only with a clear personal allegiance to God that we will never walk away from.

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