The World Tomorrow

Why Religious Confusion - Part 2

by Herbert W Armstrong


Well greetings friends. This is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow.

My friends, in all this religious confusion of this day, you hear that once people just say they’ve "made their decision for Christ" that they’re automatically saved. Well then would it be possible for anyone ever to get "unsaved" after they had once been saved? I think it’s about time we look into that.

Now here we are going through one of the most important books in all the Bible, one of the most MIS-understood, the one that tells you what Jesus Christ is doing now. Jesus Christ is on the job. He’s alive. He’s living. He’s very busy, and He is busy for you, only you aren’t taking advantage of it.

Now we hear a lot about the three-and-a-half years’ ministry of Christ when He lived in the human flesh here on this earth over 1900 years ago. You hear about a dead Christ. And as I’ve mentioned so many times, you hear, about once a year, of a resurrected Christ. But it doesn’t seem to mean much to most people, because they either think He’s still dead, or else it seems that He’s gone way off and isn’t concerned about us.

Do you know, my friends, He’s been on the job night and day, for you, ever since?

Only you’re not taking advantage of it. And the result is that you are suffering many headaches and heartaches. You’re getting yourself into a lot of troubles that you could be relieved of, and be delivered out of, immediately. You’re making a lot of mistakes you don’t need to make. You’re suffering a lot of things you don’t need to suffer just because you don’t realize that Jesus Christ has a certain mission, a function, an office now – and He’s on the job for you as your High Priest.

Now this is a practical thing, and a lot of people, my friends, are failing to take advantage of it. If it’s a practical thing, listen: if any insurance company, I think I’ve mentioned this before, if any insurance company could come along, and for a pretty nice premium, offer you a lot of things. If they could offer you protection when you’re driving your automobile so you won’t get in a wreck. If they could offer you - not just to pay the damages after you get in a wreck - but protection so you won’t get into it.

Well we talk about "having the breaks," or else, "not getting them," in life, or this thing that people maybe call, "luck." It isn’t always just luck either. But if they could cause you just to get the right breaks, and if they could relieve you from a lot of your troubles, you’d pay a lot for an insurance policy if it would really work. But no human being could work it out. There’s no insurance company that could do that.

Communicate through Prayer (PLAY FROM 03:15)

Of course, I suppose, if I’d tell you that there are angels, and that if you are in touch with this throne of grace where Jesus now exists, and where He sits, living and working night and day for you as your High Priest, and that if you would only gain contact with that throne, and if you only could know and understand that there are angels, and that God would put angels about you to protect you and keep you from automobile wrecks, among other things, and plenty of other things along that line; that’s only an illustration.

Of course a lot of you think that’s crazy. Well you’ve heard people say that, "I’m as near as your telephone," and all that sort of thing, when they’re some distance away. But you’re still close enough to be in direct communication.

There’re a lot of TV programs today where people will tell you just call such and such a number, and if you live beyond the city limits call collect. They’re in a hurry to get you to call up. Of course that comes in the commercial. And they are as near as your telephone.

Well now nobody knows how far the throne of God is away from the earth – how far the heaven of God’s throne is or where it is. It isn’t described; it isn’t revealed. Nobody’s ever been there and come back. And we don’t know. We assume it’s quite a distance away from the earth. Nevertheless, it’s just as close as your prayers. And God is there and He has direct communication.

You know we’re just beginning to get certain ideas about communication and modern inventive genius: we had wireless; we had the telephone and then wireless and then we came into radio, as we call it here; they still call that wireless over in England. And now we have learned how to make motion pictures; how to make pictures move; quite a process. And if you have ever seen a certain moving picture that they call Cinerama, you’ve seen a little bit about how motion pictures were invented – how the idea came. It was a gradual development over a long, long period of time. It took a good many men working at it before they invented a way to make pictures move.

And now what does television {1} do? It puts the motion picture and radio all together in one package. And now we have some pretty rapid communication.

Now we can go a little further. Where’s this thing going to end – of talking back and forth? Do you know that you can talk back and forth to the High Priest, Jesus Christ, who is now High Priest, who is now on the job night and day, at any time of night or day, for you? You can get Christ in the middle of the night if you need to.

Now the thing is you don’t have any long distance charge or any telegraph company charge. You don’t have to wait for an operator to make the connection. Sometimes it’s very discouraging waiting for a connection to get through. Usually a telephone company gets us through real quick on long distance calls these days. But once in a while something will happen that takes a little time to get through.

Empathy of Our high Priest (PLAY FROM 06:51)

But, my friends, you can always get through immediately no matter what your trouble is. There’s One you can go to. And there is One that, you read in your Bible, has been in every kind of suffering and temptation that you have, because you read here:

"We have not a High Priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities." (Hebrews 4:15 American Standard Version)

Now you’re having troubles all the time. We all do. You have your troubles. You just think yours are worse than anybody else’s. Now we take little children, little tiny babies before they’re able to talk, and they get to crying around. And we tell them they’re having their troubles and sometimes they try to talk and they, "uh…uh…uh," or something of that sort before they can even form words and put them together. And you know I suppose that you have kidded your children, your grandchildren, just like we have, and say, "Now come on, tell us your troubles."

Well you know sometimes they think they do have troubles. And I want to tell you the troubles of little children are just as big to them as your troubles are to you. Why I tell you, from infancy we have troubles in this world.

But there is One that is divine; One that is ALMIGHTY and has all the power there is; One that, as you read here in the very first chapter of this very fine wonderful book of Hebrews, One who upholds the whole universe by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3).

He sustains the universe; in fact He created it all.

He spoke and it was done, because the power of the Spirit of God leaps when He speaks and does whatever He says. It’s a power greater than any other power, because it created every other power, every force, every energy. And there is One that wields that power.

And there is One whose mercy and compassion toward you is as great as the heavens are high above this earth (Psalm 103:11).

How high is that? You go ask an astronomer: millions upon millions, or billions, or centrillions of light years. Do you know how fast light travels; do you know how far it’ll go in one year? Now take billions of those years. That’s getting pretty high. Space is almost infinite. I guess it is infinite. I don’t know whether we know or not. But whatever it is, and it keeps going and going and going and, apparently, it never stops. And that’s how great is the mercy of this Eternal One who has ALL THAT POWER and wields every force, every energy, every power there is! He controls them; He sustains them.

And it says that He is One that can be touched with the feeling for your infirmities, because He was in all points tempted like you, and yet He never made a mistake (Hebrews 4:15). He was without sin, because He is Almighty. He is not fallible; He is infallible. He can’t make a mistake.

High Priest Is Never Too Busy (PLAY FROM 09:58)

Now why don’t we hear more about the present mission of Jesus Christ? You need Him. As a matter of fact you probably need Him every hour. And I know you need Him every single day. I need Him; we all need Him.

So you remember that song, "I Need Thee Every Hour?" And how many troubles and things are you suffering just because you don’t take it to God in prayer? Now when you want to go to Him, He’s there listening.

I will say this though: He doesn’t listen to sinners. But the minute you repent of your sin, the minute you throw yourself on God’s mercy, the minute you want those sins forgiven, because you’ve repented and you try to turn the other way, and you don’t want to commit sin anymore, and incidentally sin is not the transgression of the way YOU THINK is wrong! Sin is not the transgression of the way some church board has said is wrong. Sin is not the transgression of some tradition or something that people think is wrong.

Sin is the transgression of the will and the law of God (I John 3:4). And His will is expressed in His law! In other words, God is the Sovereign Ruler of the universe. And He has set certain laws in motion. And those laws are living things and they move; they’re inexorable! They couldn’t be abolished, because they’re living for eternity. And when you transgress those laws, they’re going to - well you break them, as I’ve said so many times, they’re going to break you.

Now whenever you have any trouble of any kind, there is Jesus Christ waiting with compassion and mercy. And, as I say, when you repent of your transgression, when you’re willing to learn His way and to do His way and be a doer, not merely a hearer of it, you’re no longer a sinner. When you throw yourself on His mercy and accept the payment that He made for you, to pay the penalty that you’ve incurred, in your stead, you’re no longer a sinner. And His ear is open to your cry.

And you don’t have to wait for a long-distance operator, or a whole chain of them as it might be, to get a connection through. And you aren’t going to get a busy signal. And you aren’t going to find that He’s gone off somewhere, or He’s too busy doing something else!

Now very often people try to get through to me. And they can’t always get through, because so many people want to get through to me. And I have so many responsibilities and things to do that, well now, for instance, someone might be trying to get through to me now, and here I’m in the studio talking to you. I can’t stop this broadcast to go answer the telephone. So they’d be told that, "Well, Mr. Armstrong’s busy. He’s on the air right now."

But you aren’t going to be told that Jesus Christ is busy if you go to Him. He is there as your High Priest. And you not only can go to Him, you can go directly to God the Father sitting right there beside Him. And He is there to plead your case. He is there sympathetic; He is there looking after your interests for you before the Almighty One.

Now I think that ought to mean something. There’s no superstition to it. It’s the most practical thing in the world. And it pays. It pays off, and it pays off big! Well I’ve mentioned that before a good many times.

Faith Required for Salvation (PLAY FROM 13:27)

Now I think we’re coming here to the sixth chapter of Hebrews. And I was posing this question: if you do repent of your sins; if you do accept Christ as your Savior, or if you say, as some say, you make your decision for Christ, well, in the first place, does that save you?

Now there are millions of people in the United States that think they’re saved, and they aren’t. They don’t even know what salvation is. A lot of people are trusting in faith to be saved, but their faith isn’t saving them.

Now " grace are you saved, through faith" (Ephesians 2:8). Well does that mean, then, that you could have faith and not be saved? It certainly does, because there are different kinds of faith. There’s more than one kind of faith. And I want to tell you, my friends, that most people don’t know the kind of faith that it takes for salvation.

Let me tell you once again, as I’ve said before, YOUR FAITH WILL NOT SAVE YOU!

You haven’t got the faith; you haven’t got the righteousness; you have not got anything that’ll save you!

It takes the faith of Christ. And there He is on that LIVING THRONE of God – your High Priest with ALL OF HIS MIGHTY FAITH: the faith with which He walked on the water and didn’t sink, walking right on the water, the faith that calmed the storm, the faith that turned water into wine, the faith that raised the dead, that healed the sick. He had faith, didn’t He? He said, "I know that thou hearest me" (John 11:42), when He prayed to His Father. He knew that God was hearing and that God would answer.

Now He’s right there with that faith. And you can go direct to Him. And you can get a connection through. And He’s not going to be busy, because He can answer a million, ten million, a hundred million people at once. As a matter of fact, all the people on the earth He can answer at once, if they would all come to Him at once. He’s not limited; He’s not human.

I’m limited; I can only do one thing at a time. I can only be here talking to you right now. And if I’m writing an article in, 'The Plain Truth,' for you, if I’m interrupted all the time, I never get my article written. And so sometimes I’m busy.

But Christ is never too busy, because He’s not limited like I am. He is SUPER-human; He is ALMIGHTY! And He can always hear. Just think the troubles you’re carrying around you could be relieved of, because He’s there to relieve you of them.

I want to tell you it works. I get relieved of my troubles. I get into them, too. They come along. Problems, oh that’s life. God intended it, because we’re put here to develop character. We’re put here to be created by Christ into His image. And we’re a new creation, and we’re His creation. And He is creating in us true righteousness and holiness.

Now as I said, however, your faith isn’t going to save you. It doesn’t say, "By your own faith are you saved." Not at all, and you can’t find that in your Bible. "By grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, IT is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8). The faith that saves you is a gift of God. And God only gives it to you through the Holy Spirit; and He only gives the Holy Spirit to them that obey Him (Acts 5:32).

Let me tell you, my friends, a lot of people don’t know what kind of faith it takes to save. You’d better write in for this booklet on 'Faith?' It talks about what kind of faith it takes for salvation.

Now a lot of people just don’t have salvation in the first place. They think they’re saved. They go along serenely; they put a nice smile on their face. They aren’t saved – not a bit. And that booklet tells you why you don’t get an answer to your prayers when you pray.

Millions lack the faith to receive answers to their prayers, to free their minds from fears and worries. That’s the faith that can tap that throne of grace when you’re troubled. Now why don’t you do it? And even when you do, why don’t you get the answer? You probably don’t even know what faith is.

Now this is the kind of faith you have to have, as well as the faith OF Christ that He’ll give you, that comes by a divine gift. And to a very large extent, the reason that most of you don’t know how practical this is, the reason that most of you don’t get an answer to your prayers, is a lack of understanding of what faith is.

Now even the faith that you are supposed to have yourself - most of you don’t know what that faith is. And most of you don’t know what KIND of faith is required for salvation.

You write in for that booklet on 'Faith?' And there isn’t any charge whatever, because we know where Christ is; and we have a connection with Him. And He does hear us when we pray. I want to tell you that. I’ve had answers, my friends, not once or twice, and not even a dozen, or two or three dozen, and not even a score or two times, but literally hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of times!

High Priest Perfected by Suffering (PLAY FROM 18:40)

So I know something about faith. I paid a heavy price to find out. You know we do learn by suffering, and I was just reading to you in the preceding program where Christ learned by the things He suffered.

Well I guess we don’t get it any easier than He did. I’ve had to learn by suffering, too. And some of the things I’ve learned, that I’ve had to pay a heavy price for, and things that came by the revelation of Christ, that He paid the SUPREME PRICE for, are in these booklets. I’d say that those booklets are worth a good many thousand dollars to you. They aren’t going to cost you one cent.

You just ask for them and tell me the call letters of the station to which you are listening. Now I think it’s only fair that you be kind enough to answer that and tell us the call letters of the station to which you are listening.

You know why I ask you that, my friends? Some people say, "Well I’m not going to tell him just what station I’m listening to." Well, we use a lot of radio stations, and radio time costs money. And we find that some stations are more listened to than others. And the only way we know which stations are really being listened to, and which ones are really getting our message to the public – where we get our money’s worth from the radio stations, don’t you see – the only way we know is if you tell us what station you listen to. Well that’s the best way to keep your station on the air on this…that is keep us on the air on your station, let’s put it that way.

And because if enough people are listening, we can’t afford to go off, unless the station puts us off – and we hope that won’t happen. And so, my friends, I have to rely on you to let me know which station you’re listening to. That’s very important to us. And that’s a small thing to ask in return when we send you these things without any charge and without any solicitation and without any follow-up, unless you, yourself, want it and invite it. And you’re going to have to take the initiative in that. We’re never going to come to you.

High Priest - source of Salvation (PLAY FROM 20:45)

Now let’s get into this sixth chapter of this book of Hebrews.

"Therefore, let us leave the [elementary] doctrines of Christ, and go on to maturity." (Hebrews 6:1 Revised Standard Version)

Now let me see, I don’t think I read these last few verses of the chapter ahead. We’d just gotten down to it in the preceding program. He had told us here how Christ,

"Although he was a Son, had learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect [oh He’s perfect now, but He was made perfect; He was made perfect by suffering] being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him." (Hebrews 5:8-9 RSV)

Now notice that He is the source of salvation TO THOSE THAT OBEY HIM! He is NOT the source of salvation to those that say, “Well there are no works; there’s no law anymore. I don’t have to obey.” He isn’t going to be any source of salvation to you if that’s your attitude. No you’ll have to put down that attitude or He won’t save you.

Now salvation is a free gift, and it comes from Him, and He supplies everything that’ll save you. You don’t supply any of it. But you do have to conform to some conditions before He’s going to be willing to do it. So He only gives it to those who obey Him.

"Being designated by God a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek [who is that mysterious Melchizedek? Well here I’ve talked around on this thing again, now, until I’m afraid we won’t get to it this program, but I hope we will by the next one - now] about this we have much to say, which is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing." (Hebrews 5:10-11 RSV)

Oh, my friends, that’s what Paul said to the people back there. Is that true of you today? This was written for all of us. Are you dull of hearing when it comes to these things that are so practical, these things that work, these things that pay off, these things that give you the breaks, these things that deliver you from your troubles, that give you wisdom to know the way, that make life worth living – full and abundant and happy and joyful? I hope you’re not dull of hearing, because those things are so precious – all the money in the world can’t buy them.

"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of God’s Word. You need milk, not solid food [because we feed on the Word of God; it’s spiritual food] for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a child." (Hebrews 5:12-13 RSV)

Now chapter six: "Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ [you know, the kindergarten and these A, B, C, things, but we’re supposed to be a little more mature, my friends], Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ, and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God." (Hebrews 6:1 RSV)

You know, what is the beginning anyway? First you repent! And then you have faith toward God, faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. And you believe in Him in order that you may have the faith OF Christ given to you as a gift from God. Now that’s the beginning; that’s the starting place.

Now most people think that’s the ending! Most people believe today that, well, when you say, “I have made my decision for Christ that ends it; it’s all over; I’m saved!” Oh no, you’re not, my friends. That’s only the beginning.

And I want you to notice that the apostle Paul here says, "Therefore let us leave the elementary beginnings here, this kindergarten thing, the elementary doctrines of Christ." And most people get that elementary thing and they’ve graduated from kindergarten. Most people, spiritually, are 'know-it-alls.' They’ve graduated from kindergarten and they think there’s nothing more! They think they’re already saved!

Now they don’t want any more religion; they want God to just keep His nose out of their business and let them do as they please and be a part of this world – and they think they’re going to be saved.

Let me tell you, my friends, he that hath an ear to hear, let him hear! There’s going to be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth! For when the blind lead the blind they both fall in the ditch! (Luke 6:39)

Now Paul says, let’s leave all these elementary things, the doctrines of Christ, .."and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and faith toward God, with instruction about ablutions [that’s baptizing – water baptism], the laying on of hands [you know that that’s one of the things that very few people in very few denominations, or anything, seem to know much about – this laying on of hands for the receiving of the Holy Spirit – and yet there are a lot of passages in your Bible about it], the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment [and very few even know those things yet] and this we will do, if God permits. For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift [that is the Spirit of God – the Holy Spirit of God] and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the Word of God..." (Hebrews 6:1-5 RSV)

Goodness of God's Word (PLAY FROM 26:11)

Have you tasted the goodness of the Word of God? Have you learned to really love the Bible? Have you learned how interesting, how scintillating, how fascinating is the Bible when you really begin to understand it and it opens up to you? Why my friends it’s the most thrilling book that has ever been written!

And yet to most people what is it? Why it’s so dry and dull. Do you know why? Well they don’t understand it; they don’t understand a word it's saying. But I want to tell you there’s the one book - I should say here I’ve got three Bibles, three different translations right here in front of me. It’s the one book that says more than any other book. In fact I will say this: it says more than all the books that have ever been written by men – the thousands and hundreds of thousands and millions of books all put together. All of them put together don’t say as much that is important to the true values and that really mean something as this one book, because God is the real Author of this book. He inspired the holy men to write this book.

Now then, "It is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened [those who did once repent] and have been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the Word of God [and until they have learned to really love it and enjoy it and have tasted the goodness of it and have had the understanding of it – it means all of that] and the powers of the age to come [have really come to understand about the Kingdom, about the World Tomorrow and the age to come. But my friends I don’t think…well I was going to say not one-in-a-million understands those things. I might be off in saying one-in-a-million, but not very many do. It is impossible now] if they [then] commit apostasy [or if they turn away from the truth] since they crucify the Son of God in their own account, and hold him to contempt."(Hebrews 6:4-6 RSV) It’s impossible to renew them again to repentance.

Now that’s in your Bible. I’m going to describe that and discuss that a little further in the next program.

My friends, is it possible that you can completely lose out? It certainly is. Now I don’t think very many of you have, when you come to understand it; so don’t jump at conclusions. But you be listening.

So many people think they’re saved, and they’re not. Now that might happen to you. Don’t be too sure. You buy insurance to protect yourself. Why don’t you take out a little time as insurance to just check up to be sure? God’s Word says, "...prove all things" (I Thessalonians 5:21).

Why don’t you write in for this booklet, 'What Kind of Faith Is Required for Salvation?' By grace are you saved through faith, but that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Now what kind of faith is that? This book will open your eyes – this little booklet. 'What Kind of Faith? There’s no charge for it, be happy to send you a copy. Put it to the proof and be sure; doesn’t cost you anything. And ask for 'The Plain Truth.' Until tomorrow, goodbye friends.

Footnote: {1} Mr Armstrong said radio, but from the context he meant television