This book was a powerful and sobering message of what true salvation is and how modern-day evangelicalism has turned it into something that Jesus never intended. Salvation is not just saying a prayer and believing that Jesus is God (even the demons believe He is God). It is recognizing our total lost sinful condition and turning to Christ in surrender and repentance, acknowledging He is the only Way to God. Genuine salvation results in a life that is obedient to God. Works do not give us salvation but they are the evidence of it.
“Modern evangelism is preoccupied with decisions, statistics, aisle-walking, gimmicks, prefabricated presentations, pitches, emotional manipulation, and even intimidation. Its message is a cacophony of easy-believism and simplistic appeals. Unbelievers are told that if they invite Jesus into their hearts, accept Him as personal Savior, or believe the facts of the gospel, that is all there is to it. The aftermath is appalling failure, as seen in the lives of millions who have professed faith in Christ with no consequent impact on their behavior.”
The result of these emotional appeals is
“Multitudes declare that they trust Christ as Savior while indulging in lifestyles that are plainly inconsistent with God’s Word – yet no one dares to challenge their testimony.”
“Who knows how many people are deluded into believing they are saved when they are not?”
“Many who think they are saved but live unholy lives will be shocked to discover in the final judgment that heaven is not their destiny.”
“Many sincerely believe they are saved, but their lives are utterly barren of any verifying fruit.”
“True salvation occurs when a sinner in desperation turns from his sin to Christ with a willingness to have Him take control.”
The above song on the video (by Steve Camp), Consider the Cost, sums up the message of this book. For those who don't want to take the time to listen to the whole video, below are the lyrics.
Consider the Cost by Steve Camp
to obey is better than sacrifice
and to hearken than the fat of rams
for what will a man give for his own life
houses or money or land
there's a way that seems right to you
but in the end it leads only to death
but come unto Him all ye weary
come and find your rest
consider the cost of building a tower
it's a narrow way that you must come
to do the will of the Father
is to follow the Son
to love Him more than father or mother
to love Him more than your own flesh
to give all that you are, for all that He is
this is the gospel according to Jesus
many will say, "Lord, Lord" on that day
look what we've done in Your name
"We've prophesied and performed
and Lord, even demons obeyed"
then the Lord will declare unto them
the most terriifying words of truth
"depart from me ye workers of iniquity
for I have never known you!"
oh foolish man, how you built on the sand
trusting in your goodness to save!
for when the rain falls, and the flood
breaks the walls
you will be swept away!
but blessed is he who builds on the Rock
who takes Jesus as Lord to save!
for when the rain falls, he will endure it all
standing firm in His grace!
More quotes from the book:
“…the good news of Christ has given way to the bad news of an insidious easy-believism that makes no moral demands on the lives of sinners.”
“You cannot remove the lordship of Christ from the gospel message without undermining faith at its core. That is precisely what is happening in the church today.”
“Contemporary Christians have been conditioned to believe that because they recited a prayer, signed on a dotted line, walked an aisle, or had some other experience, they are saved and should never question their salvation.”
“Genuine assurance comes from seeing the Holy Spirit’s transforming work in one’s life, not from clinging to the memory of some experience.”
“Teaching theology to a heathen will not bring him to faith in Christ. He may learn the evangelical vocabulary and verbally affirm the truth. He may intellectually accept a list of gospel facts. But without a divine miracle to open his blind eyes and give him a new heart, he will only be a theologically informed pagan, not a Christian.”
“Obviously, a new believer does not fully understand all the ramifications of Jesus’ lordship at the moment of conversion. But every genuine believer has a desire to surrender. This is what distinguishes true faith from a bogus profession: true faith produces a heart that is humble, submissive, obedient. As spiritual understanding unfolds, that obedience grows deeper, and the genuine believer displays an eagerness to please Christ by abandoning everything to His lordship. This willingness to surrender to divine authority is a driving force in the heart of every true child of the kingdom. It is the inevitable expression of the new nature.”
“The pattern of modern evangelism is to give people a pleasing and easy message; take them through a simple formula; get them to pray a prayer, sign a card, or whatever; then tell them they are saved and should never doubt it.”
“If your life does not reveal growth in grace and righteousness and holiness, you need to examine the reality of your faith – even if you believe you have done great things in the name of Christ.”