Albert E. Farley
In the November 30, 2011, issue of the Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram, a front-page headline read, “Heroic Actions.” The article told of two-year-old twins being rescued from a house fire by their grandfather and father. The little children suffered severe 2nd and 3rd degree burns and are now being treated at the West Penn Burn Center. The father was also burned on his face, ears, arms, and chest and was treated and released. The assistant state fire marshal said, “Another 60 seconds and (the second child rescued) wouldn’t have made it.” Truly, these children were scarcely saved!
The Bible tells of several individuals and groups of men and women who were scarcely or barely saved. Let us notice some of these for our examples and admonition – that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.
LOT AND HIS FAMILY. Genesis 19:15-17. Lot was righteous, but his desire to have good grass and water for his flocks and herds took him into a very wicked city. If it were not for the grace of God, he and all of his family would have been destroyed. Through God’s mercy, two angels lifted him, his wife, and two daughters over the wall to safety. Even then, after being scarcely saved, his wife looked back and was killed instantly!
CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. Exodus 14:5-10; 21-29. After 400 years of slavery, Moses led the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. Pharaoh and his army of 600 chariots pursued them. The Red Sea blocked their escape. Moses cried, “Stand still and see the salvation of the LORD!” God caused the sea to part, and Israel went across on dry land. When the Egyptians followed, God caused the sea to return, and all of the Egyptians were drowned. Can we not see that Israel was scarcely saved? And, even though they were saved with a great salvation that day, all of these, later, (who were 20 years old and above), with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, sinned and fell in the wilderness. 1 Corinthians 10:1-12. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” See Hebrews 3:12.
THE SPIES AND RAHAB. Joshua 2:1-7; 6:20-25. The spies were barely saved when Rahab hid them. When Israel came, the walls fell. Yet, Rahab’s house, though built upon the wall, was spared. She and her family were barely saved when every other person in Jericho died! She became a part of Israel and became an ancestor to Jesus Christ!
NAAMAN, THE LEPER. 2 Kings 5:10-14. When God’s prophet, Elisha, told Naaman to dip seven times in the Jordan, Naaman became very angry. He thought the prophet would come out, strike the plague, call upon his God, and do some great thing. He went away in a rage. However, his servants convinced him to obey the command, and, when he did, he was healed of this dreaded disease! How close was he to going home unhealed and fated to die the slow, agonizing death of a leper? Truly, he was scarcely saved!
RICH PEOPLE. Matthew 19:23-24; Mark 10:24-27. Jesus said, “Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!” He said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” When the disciples asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus said, “With men it is impossible … with God all things are possible.” No man can serve two masters. Matthew 6:24. The love of money is the root of all evil. 1 Timothy 6:10.
ALL RIGHTEOUS MEN AND WOMEN. 1 Peter 4:14-18. “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
Dear friends, the Bible clearly teaches that all have sinned and come short of God’s glory and the wages of sin is death. Romans 3:23; 6:23. We can become righteous only through obedience to the gospel of Christ (God). 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:8,9. If we do so, even then, we will scarcely be saved! What about us? “When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6, 7. It is by His marvelous grace that we may be saved through faith and obedience to the gospel of Christ! Ephesians 2:8, 9. After Jesus died upon the cross, was buried, and was resurrected, He appeared to witnesses about 40 days. He then gathered the apostles together and said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Mark 16:15, 16.
Yes, baptism is essential to our salvation. Jesus said it was. He also said that after we have done all, we will still be unprofitable servants: doing our duty. Luke 17:10.
Also, after being saved by grace, will we have compassion and, with fear, help pull lost sinners out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh? Jude 20-23.
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