Time after time, He has waited before
And now He is waiting again.
To see if you’re willing to open the door
Oh, how He wants to come in.
Growing up in the typical Southern Baptist Church, one of the popular “altar call” songs is The Savior Is Waiting. Yep, nothing like the slow, emotional song that gives people the picture that Jesus is standing by with a sad, puppy dog look on his face for the umpteenth time just waiting for you to answer His pleading for you to accept Him as your Lord and Savior. This song is the epitome of “easy-believism, free will” salvation. It makes Jesus out to be a beggar. “Jesus wants to save you. He’s waiting in anticipation for you to accept Him and ask Him into your heart,” many pastors say. Hmmmm…..what’s the problem? Is our stubborn will just too much for Jesus to handle?
If you’ll take one step towards the Savior, my friend
You’ll find His arms open wide.
Receive Him and all of your darkness will end
Within your heart He’ll abide.
This verse puts the outcome of a person’s salvation into their hands as noted by the first line: “If you’ll take one step towards the Savior”. This is basing a person’s salvation on something THEY have to do, not on what Christ has ALREADY done on the cross. What kind of Savior can’t save us unless we do the work ourselves? That’s like a lifeguard standing by the pool and yelling to a dead corpse at the bottom of a pool to swim up to the side so he can pull him out: “I can save you but you have to swim up here so I can pull you out!!!” No, a lifeguard goes in and pulls the dead person up, performs CPR, and brings that person to life. If they could swim, they wouldn’t need a lifeguard.
“So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” Romans 9:16
Any effort done by us is the result of God acting FIRST! We cannot respond until God has regenerated us (made us alive) and given us the faith to believe. Regeneration is just another word for being “born again”. Pastors give people the impression that if they repeat some rote prayer, that Jesus will save them. There are innumerable false converts in churches the world over who think they’ve been saved because they repeated a prayer when in actuality their heart hasn’t been changed. They’re basing their salvation on something THEY did but the Holy Spirit has done nothing to change them.
The God of the Bible has chosen BEFORE the foundation of the world whom He would save (Ephesians 1:4). The God of the Bible doesn’t WAIT to see who would be saved, He has predestined those whom He will save and that includes WHEN and WHERE they will be saved. God has declared the end from the beginning and that what He has declared WILL come to pass (Isaiah 46:10).
I used to sing that song with passion and emotion until I learned that God knows who His sheep are and that His sheep WILL be saved at HIS appointed time and not a moment too soon. Salvation rests in the finished work of Christ and not on us saying a prayer or walking an aisle or anything else. It’s all Christ. We contribute nothing to our salvation but the sin that caused Jesus to go to the cross.