Do You Have Enough Faith?? (part 1)
Ever struggle with faith? No need to answer. Every believer struggles with faith. Think of Paul's admonition to Timothy to "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life . ." (1 Timothy 6:12), or Peter's comment "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:7). Then of course you have the famous heroes of faith listed in Hebrews chapter 11, some of which seem of questionable character (think Rahab the prostitute, Samson the womanizer or King David the homewrecker and murderer), but who nevertheless staked everything on God's promises and are found listed here as heroes!
So let me ask, how much faith does it take to be saved? There are those (I used to be one) who argue against deathbed conversions. "They are just saying a prayer to escape hell, just using God after sinning all their lives!" we hear them say. But didn't we come to Christ to escape hell? Haven't we sinned all our lives- and continue to do so?? People talk like this because they think in their hearts that we must somehow deserve God's mercy, and of course,
Remember Luke's account of Jesus' crucifixion?
"And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise" (luke 23:39-43)
Here is a justly condemned wicked man about to step into eternity. He knows he deserves what he's getting and he knows Jesus is at least good, and evidently has heard somewhere that he will inherit a kingdom. Do you believe that Jesus is good?
As far as we know the thief had never been to church, never been baptized, never read the scriptures or given money. All of his wasted life has come to one, final, desperate cry, but he makes it to the right person. "Lord, remember me when you get your kingdom!" was his last hope. And it was enough.
Remember the man who came to Jesus with his demon-possesed son, to whom Jesus said "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23). He instantly burst into tears, "Lord I believe . . please help my unbelief!" (v. 24) and Jesus healed his son. The man had come to the right place, just as the thief on the cross came to the right place. Struggle to believe? Come to Jesus with your weak, pitiful faith and cry out "Lord help my unbelief!" , or "remember me Jesus when you come in your kingdom!"
And He will -