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Must Read: John F. MacArthur's "Hard to Believe: The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus"

After reading the book "Hard to Believe: The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus", it's very hard to find somebody who'd really give a real hard preaching.  Way back in the past, the first edition had a typographical error that made it look like it taught works salvation.  Fortunately there was the revised manuscript that is present in today's copy.  Having been left out of the blue of the revised manuscript and the mistake done by the editors made me think MacArthur taught "works salvation" and mistook Lordship Salvation for what it wasn't.  It's time to really tackle on the reality of the whole idea of what it means to be "Hard to Believe".

One of the worst heresies creeping in the Evangelical circles today is a perverted view of eternal security.  While salvation can't be lost but there's a warning that there are many who claim to be saved aren't saved.  After reading Arthur W. Pink's classic "Eternal Security" it's very easy to why the "Easy Christianity" crowd declares that Pink is burning in Hell.  The real view of eternal security according to the Bible doesn't only teach once saved, always saved but warns there's a big difference between those who are truly saved and those who aren't truly saved to start with.  Alternatively, eternal security has also been called as the Perseverance of the Saints or the Preservation of the Saints.  This doctrine teaches that fake converts will sooner or later depart while true converts are destined to endure to the end (1 John 2:19).

Reading the book mixes the emotions of the true believer.  Sometimes, it may give them doubt they're saved but it also assures them they're saved when they remember they're bearing fruit for Christ.  It may also make any true Christian slam their heads when they'll discover all the heresies exposed done by the "Easy Christianity" crowd.  It exposes how "Easy Christianity" has become more and more rampant, how many people think that people can get saved and stay the same, how it's become mistaken to be works salvation to teach salvation truly changes people's lives by the grace of God which while grace is free but it's not cheap.  It's not "Free Grace" vs. Lordship Salvation but Cheap Grace vs. Lordship Salvation.  Grace is indeed free, it's undeserved but it's not cheap.  Salvation cost God the Father His only Son the Lord Jesus Christ.  Only fake converts would dare teach that there are people who'll get saved and still remain the same, in turn they teach a license to sin.  True converts may still sin but they don't live a lifestyle of sin.

There's always the attack on real hard preaching.  Most people don't want it as Isaiah 30:10 and 2 Timothy 4:3 warns people would rather hear comforting lies than the real hard truth.  You can see there are people who are like the stubborn sheep in the midst of hungry wolves who feed them pleasant lies.  The man who speaks the truth is bound to be kicked out and should expect to be kicked out  When it comes to preaching the Gospel there is always a high cost.  While reading the Foxe's Book of Martyrs, one can read of all the horrible atrocities that good thing the book doesn't describe them in detail or put graphic imagery in them!  There's always that high cost for following Jesus because going for Christ is going against the world.

The world could care less if you attack salvation by faith alone in Jesus Christ.  They care more if you do and want to get rid of anybody who upholds the truth that man can't save himself, that man's a sinner, that sin must be called sin, Hell will be more than hot enough for the wicked, that nobody's righteous unless God imputes them with righteousness, that salvation changes the person, that salvation is only in Jesus Christ and He changes you for the better then you might expect to get stoned.  If you stand by Jesus, the world's going to hate you and if you won't, they're going to love you.  John 15:18-19 and James 4:4 makes it clear you can't be accepted by both man and God.  Life will get more complicated for all who are truly saved because they're saved, they're going to sooner or later keep enduring even if they may stagnate for awhile, God always finds a way to bring them back.

Salvation is free but it's difficult to believe because of a love for sin and self-righteousness.  People in their sinfulness have a hard time believing the Gospel that declares the bad news that they're not righteous, they're helpless sinners and they're on their way to Hell, that Jesus is the only Way and that salvation is from sin and not in sin because either they want salvation by self or salvation to sin instead of salvation from sin.  How many people refuse salvation either because they're self-righteous or they love their sins.  Worse, you have people who are both self-righteous and sinful at the same time.  Many religious people believe they're saved by their works yet they live like they have a license to sin.  Many people refuse to leave their false religion because it may cost them their fortunes, deals and fame.  Worse, becoming a Christian may mean you lose your popularity.  Today, it's a real nightmare that there are also people who think they can accept Christ and still be part of the world when that's just plain impossible.

Reading the book is also encouragement to a minority in the right.  Sometimes, Christians can feel as frightened as Peter or Elijah in times of danger.  Elijah thought he was the only last worshiper of Jehovah God in Israel but there were really 7,000 who still love God.  The book itself should at least help get Christians who are in their temporary state of hiding out.  One way or another, we need more books like this to hasten the restoration of discouraged Christians to speak for God.  The infinite value is that what is done for Christ lasts forever.  Christians may go ahead and suffer in the world that they don't belong in but in the end, the infinite value is that it's all worth it when they see Jesus.

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