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Parable of Instant Salvation vs. Incremental Slavation

Two people fell into a deep mine shaft. Laying at the bottom of the dark pit, they both had suffered multiple limb and skull fractures, broken ribs and painful internal injuries. With no food, water, light or ability to sit or stand up, the situation was desperate and life-threatening. Time was running out.

Then a voice from the light above them called down, “Don’t be afraid. I will lower a harness on a winch that will save you in no time. All you have to do is trust me and slip the harness under your arms and I will pull you free.”

One person cried out, “I’m ready, please get me out of here. Help!” Suddenly he felt the harness drop next to him. In searing pain, he struggled to fit himself into the harness and yelled, “I’m in, pull!” The cable tightened as the activated winch lifted him out of the pit and before he knew it brought him to the surface and into the sunlight. “Thank God I’m saved! How can I ever thank you?” was all he could blurt out in sheer exhaustion and relief.

The other person called out, “I guess I’m next. Could you just lower a long ladder down here? That winch noise bothers me and I’m not sure if it will hold my weight all the way up. The harness might slip. The motor might fail. The cable might snap. I would feel more comfortable and in control, if I could just climb up the ladder step by step carefully, safely and gradually. The quick instant way out might work for others, but I’m not sure if it’s right for me. By now I’m so acclimated to the dark and dank that I’m not prepared for the shock to my system of coming back into fresh air and sunlight so suddenly.”

After much back and forth, finally, the rescuer said, “Fine. Have it your way.”

Our Savior Lord Jesus offers us the harness of his cross to completely and instantly forgive all our sins who by repenting faith realize our desperation and paralyzed inability to escape sure doom put full trust in Christ’s winch to do all the heavy lifting. Passive accepting of immediate rescue, Top-down. So, few victims take him up fully on his gracious offer. Most victims prefer the long ladder to climb out of their pit gradually step by step with the help of God’s ‘stairway system’ of grace application. Bottom-up co-operative effort during their whole life until (hopefully? maybe?) final deliverance at death.

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