Okay, I admit it. I am a Dr. Phil fan. Sure, he is a showman out to make a buck. Sure, his theology pretty much is the pits. On the other hand, he is entertaining and full of good common sense. But, I digress, as none of that is the point.
I listen to stuff, and I am usually thinking in the back of my mind what something actually means. Usually if your meaning is whacked, I will catch it. In his show lead-in, he has all of these cool little snippets of the show, and all sorts of supposedly pithy, meaningful quotes. Now, I actually hate most meaningful quotes, as most times they actually have no meaning, but are just words strung together to sound fancy and smart.
He has one on his lead-in for this season that just makes me NUTS! Here it is:
I’m going to lead you to the threshold of change!
Wow, Dr. Phil, that’s really sweet of you. I appreciate the fact that you are going to take me to the threshold of change and…THAT’S IT! Taking me to the threshold of change and stopping is actually pretty mean. Since I know Dr. Phil doesn’t mean it that way, it’s just an empty phrase that sounds good and means zip. This is good intentions devoid of any meaning.
Here is another phrase that sounds good, but is empty of meaning:
“I’m gonna work my way to heaven!”
Doesn’t that sound great? In fact, it sounds downright honorable. The problem is, it is just empty words devoid of meaning. Well, that’s not true either. Those words do mean one thing. Those words mean a person is no closer to Heaven than if they had done nothing at all! In fact, if that is how we are attempting to gain God’s favor, then we aren’t even on the threshold of change.
What’s the problem?
Micah 3:4 Then shall they cry unto the Lord, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Exodus 32:33 And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
Guess what? We can’t change that, no matter how hard we try!
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Titus 3:4-5 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
In our natural state, we sit at zero. We are below zero, having been born separated from a perfect and Holy God.
John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
We are NOT even close to the threshold; we can work until we drop, and we remain as separated from God as if we did nothing.
What is our solution?
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Acts 16:30-31 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Jesus is not like Dr. Phil. He brings no one to the threshold of anything; He changes us completely.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
My friends, quit hovering on the threshold; quit thinking you are even NEAR the threshold of salvation. Repent, believe and be changed completely today.