Believers And The Bema -- By: Earl Radmacher

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 08:1 (Spring 1995)
Article: Believers And The Bema
Author: Earl Radmacher

Believers And The Bema

Earl Radmachera

I. Introduction

Several years ago while I was preaching in a church in the state of Washington, the pastor forgot to pray before we proceeded. So, as he was about to sit down he said to me, “Oh, by the way, I forgot to pray. Would you pray before you preach?” And I did. It gave me an opportunity to have a little fun (I think the Lord has probably forgiven me for that). I prayed the shortest prayer that I’ve ever prayed in public. I simply said, “Dear Father, I pray that you will save me tonight for Jesus’ sake. Amen.” And then I quickly opened my eyes and looked around the audience. It was really an interesting sight. People didn’t know what was coming off. They apparently had an unsaved preacher in their pulpit—the pulpit of the First Baptist Church. I suppose they began to think, “Well, I’ve been told that they’re really going to the dogs. And they tell me it starts in the seminaries. And here we have a seminary president to prove it. He has just confessed before the Lord that he needs to be saved.”

I watched the people as they turned to one another and began to talk. Some of them began to clean out their ears because they were sure that they had not heard properly. But, they had heard properly. They were listening to an unsaved preacher. What is even more disconcerting is that you are reading an article by one who is still unsaved. If you were to ask me, “Are you saved?” and I were to give you a biblical answer that is true to my experience, I would have to say, “I have been, I am being, and I shall be saved. Which would you like to talk about?”

Unfortunately, most talk most of the time, if not almost exclusively, is on the first tense of salvation: I have been saved from the penalty of sin. That Scripture calls salvation (Acts 16:31). It also calls that justification (Rom 3:24). But, in addition to what has happened to me, I am being saved every day from the power of sin (Heb 7:25). That the Scripture calls sanctification. Because of God’s faithfulness, I shall yet

be saved one day from the presence of sin altogether. That the Scripture calls glorification. All three of those are called “salvation” in the Word of God. But unfortunately, the typical evangelical Christian has narrowed salvation way down to justification and we talk almost exclusively of salvation as justification or regeneration or what hap...

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