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Unconditional Surrender

By Tim Knowling

In 1945, as WW2 was coming to an end after many years of bloodshed, the German and Japanese governments were given an ultimatum - Unconditional surrender. In other words they would have to accept the terms of the Allied forces. It is all a matter of history now, with many enduring images such as the signing of the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, as the final act of ending a war which claimed so many lives.

There is, however, a war that has been waged for a lot longer and with it many more casualties. Each day, around this world approximately 150,000 people die and the war that is being fought is over the eternal destiny of each soul.

We know that 2,000 years ago the Lord Jesus Christ defeated death at the cross and so if we are a believer we can say with the Apostle Paul, “O death where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor 15:55) But what of those who are still outside God’s Kingdom? The Bible says of un-regenerate man that He is at enmity with God. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Romans 8:7)

James also warned that “ friendship with the world is enmity with God”. (Jms 4:4)
And in Colossians 1:21, Paul said they are, “enemies in their minds by wicked works”.
It is clear, that to even think about approaching God, it will have to be on His terms.

What are His terms?

The Lord Commands us to repent (Acts 17:30,31) and with real repentance will follow fruit. A complete 180° turnaround; our new nature will abhor the life that we once lived in the flesh. Paul preached repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).

As I have ministered across this nation I have met many people who know that Jesus is the Saviour, that it is through Him and Him only that we may be saved and yet they have not come into saving relationship with Him. Of course the scriptures do tell us that even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19).

What does it mean to believe?

I like the parachute analogy. If you know that you are going to have to jump 10,000 feet out of an aeroplane then you’ll not only believe in a parachute but you will put it on and trust that it will save you. Likewise the Bible tells us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 13:14). Which brings me to the next point.

I believe that a great mistake many are making and have made is that of separating the Lordship of Christ from him as the Saviour. This was my own folly and I can almost hear myself saying that ‘I’ll accept Christ as my Saviour as long as I’m in control.’ I like what AW Tozer said, ‘Apart from the Lordship of Christ there is no Saviour-hood’.

We say, ‘Okay, you can have access to the lounge, the kitchen and the bathroom, but you can’t go into the bedroom or the backroom’. If He can’t control all of you, He cannot save you. The fruit of a person completely surrendered to Christ will be evident in his or her life – every part of their life will be affected.

When I surrendered to Christ as Lord of my life, He had someone ready to be moulded into the soldier of the Cross He wanted me to be. We are all called to the ministry of reconciliation and that is the purpose of this ministry—to equip the church with tools to fulfil the Great Commission.

Source: Soldiers of the Cross Newsletter Issue 1

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