Three men were standing on the coast of a volcanic island. The lava flow was approaching; slowly and steadily; and their only hope was to swim across to safety on the neighbouring island. The first man jumped off the cliff and began swimming but sadly drowned a quarter of the way across the strait.
The second man then jumped and managed to swim halfway across the strait but he too sadly drowned. The third man resolved to pace himself and jumped. He managed to swim three quarters of the distance before he drowned in absolute exhaustion. So sad. Suddenly; a fourth man arrived at the cliff face and dived into the channel. He swam; crawled and did everything he could to stay afloat. then - in a cry of desperation - he shouted; "HELP!" at the top of his voice for as long as he had the energy to do so. A Jewish guy then miraculously appeared in a dinghy and proceeded to throw him a lifeline before hauling the drenched man abroad before taking him to safety.
The fourth man was told that his three friends had all died trying to traverse the channel and reach safety on their own merits. The man who managed to get 25% of the distance shared the same fate as the other two who managed to get 50% and 75% across respectively. They never managed to successfully attain the 100% distance. The man who managed three quarters of the distance was no better off than the man who only reached the quarter mark. So sad.
The fourth man asked the Jewish guy: "Why didn't you save them?" He answered: "They were too busy struggling in their own strength to call out for help." You see; the fourth man was just as hopeless as the other three but he realized his hopeless situation and acknowledged his need and that he couldn't save himself.
So it is with True salvation my friends.You can be 99% good; 1% bad or vice versa. You will never be 100% and therefore out of fellowship with your Maker for eternity. You will always fall short because of your sin and your sins. Your only Hope is to ask the LORD Jesus Christ to save you. Period. No need to struggle and sweat. Just ask Him to save you and cover your sins [be your personal 'atonement' for your sins]. His blood will then render you 100%. In other words - good enough for God; heaven and eternity. Not due to your efforts but solely due to His Gift and His effort and His Person. Period. Sink or swim? It's your choice!
Real Bereans [Acts 17:11] are truly needed; watchmen must warn; evangelists must compel; DO NOT BE DECEIVED and watch that periphery!
God bless you and God bless Israel ... Keith JS ... 08-April-2010