SALVATION IS FREE... BUT IT COSTS
The good news is that salvation is completely free! A person cannot earn or merit salvation by good works or human effort. Even though salvation is free there are certain costs that come with the God's love gift. It is these costs that this tract will address. You see even though a person may be saved and on his way to heaven, he may still lose some friends, or be considered an oddball, or suffer persecution, or even die. Salvation is free but it can be very costly to a persons life.
2 Tim 3:12
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
In this world all Christians will suffer troubles and trials after salvation. After salvation troubles may come by family, friends, employment, tares in the church, and those who reject God and sound doctrine.
Well start by looking at the fact that salvation is totally free apart from any works on our part. Next we will look at some of the costs of salvation. Loss of friends, persecution within and without the Church is possible for those who love God and sound doctrine. When a person becomes a Christian it does not mean that somehow life will be a bed of roses. No, there will be times of great joy and other times of pain and sorrow. In fact everyone in this world suffers but at least the Christian has the indwelling Holy Spirit as a comforter.
WORKS DO NOT SAVE
The first point to make is that salvation is completely free. It cannot be earned or merited by good works in any way. This tract uses the term: Salvation is free... but it costs. Do not get the impression that salvation must be merited in any way. It is a free love gift from God to be accepted with a repentant heart. The 'costs' of salvation are after the fact of salvation. After salvation occurs there are certain costs of being a Christian in this Christ rejecting world. It is these costs that this tract will address. The Bible clearly states that salvation is a gift and cannot be earned or merited by good works.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
COSTS OF SALVATION
After a person is saved there are certain costs that must be paid for walking with the Lord in this Christ rejecting world. These costs may be the loss of friends, troubles, or persecutions. We will briefly look at some of the costs of salvation.
- LOSS OF FRIENDS (OR so-called friends)
If you are saved and truly love the Lord and sound Biblical doctrine then you can expect to lose some friends. This is just a fact of life. People who love sound doctrine don't mix well with other people who do not have a heart for sound doctrine. Many people claim to love God but when they do not love and cling to sound doctrine then they really do not love God. That's quite a statement isn't it. I'll say it again: People who do not love sound doctrine do not love God! It is as simple as that. There will be friction as those who are doctrinally liberal feel those who love sound doctrine are narrow, judgmental, and unloving. For many it is considered to be 'loving' to accept all kinds of error. Tolerance is considered 'loving' where love of sound doctrine is considered 'unloving'. Therefore you can expect some that call themselves 'Christian' to back away from you if they are liberal minded and not open to soundness of Biblical doctrine.
Also watch for some non-Christian friends to back away. A Christian no longer has a desire for sin and immorality. Some non-Christians just do not to be around those who are walking with God. Perhaps it is the smell of death or of impending judgment that encourages them to back away. The Bible says:
2 Cor 2:15-16
15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
This can be painful because some people you just do not want to lose as a friend. However these people cannot be forced to accept Jesus and His free love gift. As a result of their own guilt and rejection of God they will back away from you. Others will feel you have become strange or weird because you no longer partake in the sin they love so dearly. A Christian does not love the sinful delights of this worls so many non-saved people will automatically feel guilty if you do not partake in their sin. Also just to know you are a Christian will put guilt on those who willingly do what they know (deep down) is wrong.
1 Pet 4:3-4
3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
All this is a cost of salvation. Yes salvation is free, but it costs. Part of that cost is the loss of some who were once considered to be friends who have chosen to reject God.
On the other hand this may be painful but it is not really a bad thing. The Bible warns about the unequal yoke.
2 Cor 6:14-17
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
When you sit down and think about things then what fellowship does a Christian have with a non-Christian as a close friend? Yes we all have non-Christian acquaintances through work or other associations. This is important as we are encouraged to pray and witness to the lost. We accepted God's free love gift and want others to do the same! However, a Christ rejecting non-Christian will not choose to be around a person walking with God as a close friend. There is just no basis for fellowship and friendship.
With these points in mind let me give an example of potential friction between a person who calls themselves a Christian vs someone walking with God: Lets say several people go out in a group situation. One person in the group was wearing a new piece of occult jewelry on her dress. Her mother bought it for her on her birthday. It was gold plated and was expensive. However it was an occult piece of jewelry which matches one of the signs of the zodiac. This is part of astrology which is fortune telling and occultism. God wants His people to have nothing to do with such an evil practice done by pagans.
10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
It was politely mentioned to this person about the occultic nature of this piece of jewelry and that God's people should not wear such evil. In fact Christians should not have any occultic items in their house. They no longer belong to the devil but rather to God. Therefore the things of the devil should be purged out of a Christian's house.
18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
In light of above, Christians are at different levels in their walk with God. Some may not know that astrology is occultic and evil. However a person walking with God who loves sound doctrine will respond with obedience to the Word of God once they learn. Yes they may not know that astrology is evil but an obedient heart will get rid of that evil as soon as they learn what God's Word says about the subject. The occult is not a light subject. God calls it an abomination. Christians are to have no part of fortune telling and doing something clearly forbidden by God in the Bible. Fortune telling and astrology bears the curse of God in the Scriptures. For God's people they are to stay away from such evil.
The person who was wearing the occultic piece of jewelry has a choice to make. She can show she has an obedient, teachable heart and get rid of the occult piece of jewelry. She may say I have to research further and then go and research on what the Bible says about occultism and astrology. For an obedient heart the end result will be the same. She will get rid of the occult piece of jewelry. On the other hand, this person could very well reject the possibility of getting rid of the occult jewelry. She could rationalize that the jewelry was expensive or sentimental and decide to keep it. Of course to do this would be to reject what God thinks about the subject matter. Should this person reject the warning then it would be expected that she would look at others as narrow, unloving, and legalistic.
Remember, people who love sound doctrine don't mix well with other people who do not have a heart for sound doctrine. Over time friction develops as the liberal professing Christians get offended by the narrowness of simple obedience in the Christian walk. No one told this person how to live their life but in areas of doctrine she and was offended at the narrowness of Christian sound doctrine.
The usual attitude of the professing liberal Christians toward sound doctrine is: narrow, judgmental, and lacking in love. To the liberal for a person to be 'loving' that person must be tolerant and accepting of all kinds of error and false teaching. To do otherwise is to be judgmental, unloving, or legalistic. This is very sad but it is the way things are in this evil world.
The actual problem is not with those who love sound doctrine but rather with those who do not have a heart for sound Biblical doctrine. People will actually back away from you if they do not love God and sound doctrine. You literally become an offense to them even though you do not try to be overtly offensive. Another point I would add is people who do not love sound Biblical doctrine do not love God. A person may profess love for God but if he really does then that love will also be manifest in a love for soundness of Biblical doctrine. People who claim to love God but in reality reject sound teaching and Biblical doctrine are just hypocrites who do not love God at all.
To conclude this section just remember that one of the costs of salvation and walking with God is the lost of so-called friends. Your unsaved friends may not want to have anything to do with what they consider 'a Bible thumper' any more. Also, you will meet liberal professing Christians who do not love God or sound doctrine who will also back away from you while moaning (or gossiping): narrow, judgmental, unloving, or legalistic. This is one of the costs of salvation. I would say it affects all true Christians in some way.
The next cost of salvation is persecution by those who reject God and sound Biblical doctrine.
2 Tim 3:12-13
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
Who said Christianity is a bed of roses and that once you become a Christian you cease to have any trials or tribulations? Certainly not God in His Word, the Bible. God uses our trials and tribulations to build character and trust in the lives of His children. Walking with God involves both good times and bad ones. However God is ever present to encourage and comfort as we go through our trials. As the Christian grows and matures the trust in God also grows.
1 Pet 4:12-13
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
Even though the trial we are enduring may be painful and firey the Christian can be assured that God is in control. God is able to work all things out for our good. All we have to do is learn to trust Him in the good times as well as in the bad.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Trust is an interesting quality. It is easy to talk about but not that easy to do. Yes it is easy to say: 'I trust God'. But when the hard times hit and you are in the midst of a fiery trial, do you still trust that God is in control? Do you find yourself worrying and fretting when things are going wrong? Well worry is the opposite of trust. However as a Christian grows he learns to trust God in a greater way through all situations. Trusting God is truly a growing process as the Christian spends his years walking with God in this life.
One of the trials Christians have to go through is persecution. There are many people in the world who reject God and His salvation. Once a person does that they either become indifferent to Christianity or they become hostile to it. Those who are hostile to Christianity will do whatever they can to cause damage Christians. Persecution can be light or it can be heavy.
An example of light persecution would be a Christian working in a company where the other employees drink, party, and engage in all kinds of sin. The Christian employee would not be interested in such activities. As a result people would think he is strange and come promotion time the last person to be considered would be the Christian. Heavier types of persecution would involve mockery, beatings, jail, and death.
The following are some examples of different types of persecution a Christian walking with God may encounter:
- Church troubles. One example is the laughing revival. I have heard testimonies of people who have had this demonic movement come into their church. The pastor and many others in the church get involved. There are some Christians however who see the danger of this evil movement and even dare to speak out against it. They think it is strange and demonic when people bark on the floor like dogs, roar like a lion, laugh like a drunkard, pass out, convulse like one with epilepsy, or vomit out "words" of the Lord. As a result of their warnings these 'loving' so-called Christians in the laughing revival from hell heap abuse on these people calling them every bad name that comes to mind. Of course the common terms the professing 'Christian' uses are: narrow, judgmental, and unloving. Many true Christians have been wounded and have been forced to leave this type of an assembly to find another even after 10 or 20 plus years of faithful attendance. This type of thing is happening today and is a form of persecution by the tares from within the Church.
- Dorcas from China. Salvation was free but it cost Dorcas. I heard this story from a missionary speaker years ago. Dorcas was a young lady who was gloriously saved. She lived in China and began to grow in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus. Dorcas began to ride her bike to nearby towns to carry messages and help out in the home churches in these towns. In China there are lots of home churches as it is illegal to preach and worship with the same freedom we have over here in North America. Eventually Dorcas was caught by the authorities. She was jailed for her related crimes of being a Christian. In jail she was raped and beaten. Eventually she was killed and went home to heaven to be with Jesus whom she so dearly loved. Yes for Dorcas salvation was completely free.... but it cost. Her life changed after she met the Saviour and the end result was persecution and death. This type of story is just one example of someone dying for the cause of Christ. Dorcas is not the only one who has paid the cost of salvation with her blood and death.
- Family troubles. There are situations where a person comes to Christ. His family however is hostile against Jesus and Biblical Christianity. When the family hears of the conversion it is a major tragedy. It is almost considered a defection of a traitor from the 'family religion'. At any rate that person can be on the receiving end of lots of persecution and troubles from his own family. In extreme cases the family would disown that person all together. I've even heard of some who would have a funeral to morn the loss of that family member. Then they would live as if that person was dead. Yes salvation is free but it costs. There may be a price to pay from within your own family by those who reject God and His salvation in the Lord Jesus.
Hebrews 11 costs
The Bible has a record of many faithful men and women. It is found in Hebrews chapter 11. The following is the Biblical record:
4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.
24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Notice that some of the above suffered and even lost their lives for their faith in God. Yes salvation is free... but it costs. The costs will involve suffering or even death in some extreme cases. Christians are commanded to take up their cross and follow the Lord Jesus.
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
In this tract we have looked at the some of the costs a Christian will face after salvation. There can be loss of friends, trials, persecutions, and other assorted troubles. We also showed that a Christian that loves God and sound doctrine does not mix well with a professing 'Christian' who is liberal minded and rebellious to God and sound doctrine. We also made the statement that people who do not love sound doctrine do NOT love God. The costs of salvation can be very painful and many Christians have even been martyred for the cause of Christ over the past 2000 years.
Whatever happens the questions must be: Are you willing to pay the price? Yes salvation is free... but it costs. Do you love God and sound doctrine and are you ready to stand up for the faith once delivered to the saints?
16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
Are you willing to be a Berean who is willing to test teachings and doctrines with what God has already revealed in the Bible? Are you willing to reject false doctrine that does not line up with the Bible? Are you willing to take the abuse and persecution from those who do not love God or sound doctrine while professing to be Christians? Yes salvation is free... but it costs.
10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
Click YOUR back button.... or click here:... Return