Issues and Answers

Salvation: Beautifully Simple & Simply Beautiful

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Philip Dunham


Series Code: IAA

Program Code: IAA000335

00:30 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn
00:31 and welcome again to Issues and Answers.
00:33 No matter where you are around the world
00:36 we're so glad that you're tuning in
00:38 and I know you're going to be glad
00:39 that you caught this program because today
00:42 we are going to be talking about salvation.
00:45 The simplicity of salvation.
00:48 The Bible says-- actually these are Jesus words
00:51 that are recorded in the Bible and John 3:16.
00:54 He said, "For God so loved the world
00:56 that He gave his only begotten Son,
00:58 that whosoever would believe in him should not perish,
01:02 but have everlasting life."
01:04 You know, that is such a great promise
01:07 and sometimes we have a tendency to believe it up here
01:13 but we can't believe it down here.
01:15 God wants all men to be saved
01:18 and He wants us to learn to turn to Him in simple trust.
01:22 And here today to share a lifetime of learning,
01:26 a lifetime of experience with us
01:29 is Pastor Philip Dunham from Salem, Oregon.
01:32 Philip, we're so glad and I should call you
01:35 Pastor Dunham out of respect.
01:38 That's all right.
01:39 Well, we're just so glad that you have joined us today.
01:43 You were a conference pastor for many years.
01:46 You have been retired for 18 years. Yes.
01:50 That's retired as a fulltime employee
01:52 of the Seventh-day Adventist Conference
01:55 but tell me you were still fully employed
01:59 by the Lord, are you not?
02:00 Well, Shelley, in these 18 years
02:02 I have done 14 interim pastorates.
02:06 I have written two books
02:08 and countless numbers of seminars
02:11 and camp meetings and other speaking appointments.
02:14 Well, we're thrilled that you're here.
02:17 And I want to get to a very personal question first.
02:20 You have written two books? Yeah.
02:22 The first was, "Blinded by the Light." Yeah.
02:25 The second was "Sure Salvation." Yeah.
02:27 What was it in your heart or in your mind
02:31 that got you to the point--
02:33 when did you recognize the simplicity of salvation,
02:36 the assurance of salvation that you could have.
02:38 Where you very young and have you preached
02:41 this all your life or was this something
02:42 that as you grew older and matured in the Lord
02:46 you recognized it's a whole lot simpler than what you thought?
02:49 Shelley, this is hard for me to say
02:51 because it was about halfway through my ministry.
02:56 I talked about Jesus, I lead people to Jesus,
03:00 I shared righteousness by faith.
03:02 But about halfway through my ministry
03:05 the Lord really helped me to understand the simplicity,
03:09 the beauty of salvation.
03:12 So that it just fueled me
03:14 and it's been over flowing me ever since.
03:18 As soon as I met you Pastor Dunham
03:20 I knew that you had assurance of salvation
03:23 and peace in you heart.
03:24 Before, I even knew who were because,
03:26 it just radiates from your face.
03:28 When you learn that halfway through your ministry
03:31 and its nothing to be ashamed of because I've met pastors
03:34 who have said it wasn't toward the end of their ministry
03:37 that they really recognize
03:39 that because sometimes theologians
03:41 can make this is a complicated topic.
03:44 Yes. But when you learn that it was a life changing for you?
03:48 It was life changing, Shelley.
03:50 Do you know that when I went home
03:52 from a week long seminar and I was preaching
03:55 to my congregation of the thousand people--
03:58 we had two different services on the Sabbath morning
04:02 and people began to say, "
04:05 Pastor I don't know what had happened to you?
04:08 But keep it up." Glory to God.
04:11 And my wife said "Honey I would like to find
04:16 what you've found." Oh, wonderful.
04:19 And you know really it's-- it could have been
04:22 I would like to find who you found. Amen.
04:25 I believe I knew Jesus before,
04:27 I believe I was converted
04:29 but somehow there is kind of epiphany
04:32 and you would see something more clearly and I did.
04:36 And it's blessed my heart ever since.
04:39 And that's one of the reasons
04:40 I wrote the book "Sure Salvation."
04:42 Because, when I get blessed I like to pass the blessing.
04:45 Amen. To be a channel of blessing.
04:48 Yes. Amen.
04:49 Why is it that sometimes theologians
04:53 can make it seems so convoluted.
04:55 I grew up Pastor Philip, not knowing the true gospel.
05:01 I had a love affair with Jesus Christ.
05:04 But the denomination in which I was reared
05:08 thought that you had to be perfect to be loved by God,
05:12 the Father and so I was so fearful of the Lord
05:15 God the Father it took me nearly 40 years
05:20 to get to that point where I was set free to understand.
05:24 Sometime Shelley,
05:25 theologians have a way of confusing us.
05:29 And let me illustrate that.
05:32 "Or do you really have a grasp of soteriology
05:35 and stereological terminology such as justification,
05:39 sanctification, regeneration, forensic
05:43 righteousness, extrinsic righteousness
05:47 predestination, and election?
05:50 Schleiermacher elects all men subjectively,
05:54 Lutherans all men objectively,
05:57 Armenians all believers and Augustinians
06:02 all foreknown is God own.
06:04 Regarding the application of redemption,
06:07 Martineau says that simultaneity doesn't exclude duration
06:14 since each cause has duration
06:16 and each effect also has duration.
06:19 Right?" What did you just saying?
06:21 I don't understand the word of what you just said.
06:23 Isn't it just amazing? Yeah.
06:24 Now that's a quote from someone's--
06:27 That's a quote from some theological jargon.
06:31 Some theological gobbledygook.
06:34 That's a good word. About salvation.
06:36 And then Shelley,
06:38 there is the text that you quoted at the beginning.
06:40 John 3:16. Yes.
06:42 "For God so loved the world,
06:44 that he gave his only begotten Son,
06:46 that whosoever believes in him
06:49 should not perish, but have everlasting life."
06:54 And I think I can relate to that text
06:57 better than the theological musings.
07:02 And it gets you know--
07:03 as they pontificate on all of these things--
07:05 That's the word.
07:06 Sometime the sophistries that gets so sophisticated
07:08 and it makes people look important and intelligent. Yes.
07:12 But they can loose the true meaning of the gospel.
07:15 Contrast that for us then if how would you present it
07:19 if you if I were not a Christian
07:21 and you were trying to tell me
07:23 how I could be saved what would you say to me?
07:26 Well, I want to share that a little more in detail
07:31 but I wanted to mention too
07:33 that one pastor had 600 outlines on John 3:16.
07:39 Oh, mercy. Can you imagine that.
07:41 Mercy. You speak 600 outlines, sermons on John 3:16
07:48 and you know what he said.
07:49 If all the bile were destroyed expect John 3:16 anyone,
07:55 anywhere could be saved
07:58 by believing this of quoted and cherished verse.
08:01 Amen. Isn't that interesting?
08:03 Yes. And then one inspired writer said this.
08:09 For the terms of salvation are here
08:12 laid out indistinct lines
08:14 if one had no other text in the Bible
08:19 this alone would be a guide for the soul.
08:22 Amen. Isn't that beautiful and simple?
08:25 In other words if you had a Bible
08:27 and it only had two covers and one page
08:31 and on the one page one text John 3:16
08:35 that would be enough for salvation.
08:38 Absolutely. I can relate to that, Shelley.
08:41 Absolutely. Now how would you then tell me if you met me?
08:46 Let's say that you and I were on airplane together
08:49 and I found out that you're a pastor
08:52 and I asked you Pastor Phil, I don't--
08:56 if I told you I don't know
08:57 that I really believe in salvation.
09:01 I believe there is a God
09:02 but I don't know that I'm saved.
09:04 What would you say to me?
09:05 You know, what I have used
09:06 in the past this little pamphlet.
09:11 Okay. It's out of print now but you can get them
09:14 from different places and in Christian bookstores
09:17 it would be called the 'Four Spiritual Loves.'
09:20 All right. But another gentleman and I have made this
09:24 and we have printed a half a million copies of these
09:26 and I would have shared the four simple steps
09:30 that are in the pamphlet.
09:32 God loves you and He has a special plan for your life.
09:37 All of us are separated from God by sin.
09:40 Christ has bridged the gap between man and God
09:45 and then we must receive Christ as a personal Savior.
09:50 Amen. So those are the steps
09:52 and then I would invite a person to accept Christ.
09:57 And in this little pamphlet there was a place
10:00 that mentioned two-hearts.
10:04 And one was a simple heart
10:08 and one was the Christ filled heart.
10:11 And I would ask the person
10:12 which heart do you think represents your life.
10:16 Whose is in control is what you say?
10:17 Whose is in control?
10:18 Who is on the throne of your heart?
10:19 Who is in the throne of your heart?
10:20 Amen. Absolutely yes.
10:23 And so if a person shows then there was a simple prayer
10:27 that they could pray to ask Christ to come into their life.
10:31 So that's bottom-line salvation.
10:32 That's a bottom-line salvation.
10:35 And do you know there is writer
10:38 that I appreciate so much in the book
10:41 that I appreciate so much it's called, Desire of Ages.
10:45 And it says "It is when Christ is received as a personal Savior
10:51 that salvation comes to the soul."
10:54 One sentence, "When Christ is received
10:59 as a personal Savior salvation comes to the soul."
11:04 And that involves in it the recognition
11:07 of needing a Savior doesn't it?
11:09 Oh, yes.
11:10 Because that kind of brings in that repentance idea that--
11:13 Conviction. Conviction of your sin.
11:16 Yes. And then when you understand
11:18 that you need a Savior
11:19 and you just said reach out to Him.
11:21 Say Lord, I need you.
11:23 I can't change myself so help me.
11:26 That's when He comes in.
11:28 And He will hear that cry. I know.
11:30 And never failing like He will hear that request. Amen.
11:35 You know, when we are talking about
11:37 the simplicity of salvation
11:40 I remember the thief on the cross. Yes.
11:43 And do you know that is such--
11:45 I'm so glad God put that in His word
11:49 because we're looking in Luke 23:42, 43
11:54 about a dying thief and a dying Savior.
11:59 And this really underscores the simplicity of salvation.
12:04 Because, do you know that there was a 22 word
12:09 exchange between the thief and the Savior.
12:12 Isn't that amazing?
12:13 Depending on which translation you have.
12:17 Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingdom."
12:21 And He told him "I want you to tell you today
12:24 you're gonna be with me in my kingdom."
12:27 22 words, you know not 40 Bible studies.
12:31 Not long weeks of preparation.
12:34 And what did the thief have?
12:37 He had salvation.
12:39 Well, how can you go from a perfect flop
12:43 to a perfect man, a perfect mess
12:46 to just plain perfect in ten seconds?
12:50 Accepting the Lord Jesus Christ.
12:51 Accepting the Lord Jesus Christ and it's beautiful.
12:55 So he went from ranch to redeem.
12:58 From lost to saved, in that short time.
13:02 Well, I bet you can really
13:04 if you have got time to do seminars
13:06 and camp meetings I bet you can preach this, can't you?
13:10 This is message that preaches.
13:11 There was a preacher who would say
13:14 about a certain text, that preached.
13:17 Yeah, amen. And this would preach.
13:19 And that's what when Jesus said
13:22 that we were to go out and make disciples.
13:26 You know, He was saying, go teach them the things
13:28 that I've told you but it begins
13:31 with the good news of the gospel. Amen.
13:34 That God doesn't expect you to change things on your own.
13:38 He knows how powerless you are over sin
13:41 but He sent His Son Jesus Christ.
13:43 That you, He that Jesus might bright their bondage of sin
13:48 and that you can come in to the family of God
13:52 and learn to be dependent upon God to do these things in you.
13:55 Yes. Isn't that beautiful?
13:58 Do you know Shelley,
13:59 I have been so impressed as I've studied the word.
14:04 You know, people talk about well,
14:07 what about battle in the merge?
14:09 What about climbing the spiritual ladder?
14:11 What about living up to all the light that we have?
14:14 Living up to all the light.
14:15 What about sinless perfection sanctifying ourselves
14:20 and reaching the goal of godliness and godlikeness?
14:24 Do you know, let me share something right now with you.
14:27 "Salvation is a gift" Ephesians 2:8. Exactly.
14:32 "Christ himself is a gift." Exactly.
14:35 2 Corinthians 9:15 "Justification is a gift."
14:39 Exactly. Romans 5 "Sanctification is a gift."
14:44 1 Corinthians 1:30 "Repentance is a gift."
14:48 Is a gift. Acts 4:30.
14:50 "Faith is a gift." Amen.
14:52 Romans 12 "The Holy Spirit is a gift and grace is a gift.
14:59 And forgiveness is a gift." Amen.
15:02 Acts 5:31 "Victory over sin is a gift.
15:08 A new heart is a gift."
15:11 I've a text for everyone of these. I know.
15:13 "Righteousness is a gift and eternal life is a gift."
15:18 And it's not too hard to accept a gift.
15:21 No, you know what?
15:22 I think sometimes I preached
15:24 that sermon that you just talked.
15:27 I teach that when I go out.
15:29 And just recently I was somewhere
15:31 and as I was teaching these things
15:33 I had a very influential businessman
15:36 who came up to me afterward and you know what he said.
15:38 What? He said, that is too humbling
15:42 to believe that's all true,
15:43 that all I have to do is sit back and receive.
15:47 And I--the Lord put a holy boldness in my heart.
15:50 Normally, I'm pretty sensitive
15:52 and I just looked at him and I have said,
15:54 what was Lucifer's sin?
15:56 What was original sin? And I said it was pride.
15:58 It was when he let this come up in him
16:02 that he thought that he could be like God.
16:05 And I said if you,
16:07 if you're proud God's going to humble you.
16:11 But if you will humble yourself God will exalt you.
16:14 And it's all about learning to receive from the Lord.
16:18 Amen. That's what it's all about.
16:20 Yes. Shelley, I was studying with a Buddhist young lady
16:25 in Kauai when we lived there.
16:28 We had to live in Kauai.
16:30 Yeah, bless your heart that's tough assignment.
16:33 And I didn't follow the normal course
16:36 of studies that I share.
16:38 The first seven studies
16:40 that I studied with them was about Jesus. Amen.
16:43 And when I finished those I said Pauline,
16:47 what does this sound like to you.
16:49 What do you think about Jesus at this point?
16:51 And she said it's too good to be true.
16:55 Yes. And I said I know what it is but it's true.
16:59 Amen. Yes.
17:00 And, you know, you known it
17:02 by personally experiences well,
17:03 because like you it took me many years
17:07 and I had been part time ministry for many years
17:10 and especially on the sanctification part.
17:13 Because, I was working--
17:14 I use to get hung up on Philippians 2:12
17:17 where there is he said,
17:18 "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
17:21 Oh, yes. And I wouldn't look at Philippians 2:13 it said,
17:24 it was not in your own strength
17:26 but for its God who works in you to will
17:29 and to act according to His good purpose.
17:31 And what happened to me is that I was so busy
17:36 trying to sanctify myself until this might interest you.
17:39 I don't know if you know this
17:40 but when the Lord took me on a study of the temple--
17:44 the sanctuary and when the Lord taught me the truth
17:48 about the Ten Commandments
17:49 that they were nailed to the cross.
17:51 And I started studying on the Sabbath.
17:55 It was my first Sabbath that I celebrated.
17:59 That I knew freedom from performance
18:01 that I was totally could receive the grace of God,
18:05 the gift of sanctification.
18:08 Because He says in Exodus 31:13,
18:10 that the Sabbath is the sign for us
18:13 to remember that its God who is sanctifying us.
18:16 Amen. I love that.
18:17 And the New Testament says that Jesus is sanctifying us,
18:20 he says the word sanctifies us the Holy Spirit sanctifies us.
18:25 So all God's asking of us is to cooperate.
18:28 Amen. To believe, to receive, to abide.
18:33 Amen. And what you--
18:35 That's beautiful what you've just shared
18:37 because what you found was rest.
18:41 Freedom. And that's what the Sabbath is about.
18:43 Yes. And not just physical rest but resting in Jesus Christ.
18:48 For it is God who works in you
18:50 to willing to do of his good pleasure.
18:52 Amen. Now you have a certain parable
18:58 that you've said that you'd like to share with us.
19:00 Yes. That really tells us about the simplicity of salvation.
19:06 Yes. It is so simple but let me share it.
19:10 Yes. "In the city of Chicago one cold dark night
19:14 a blizzard was setting in and little boy was selling
19:17 newspapers on the corner,
19:19 as the people were going in and out of the cold.
19:22 And the little boy was so called he couldn't sell many papers.
19:26 And he walked up to a policemen and he said,
19:28 'Mister, you wouldn't happen to know
19:30 where a poor boy could find a warm place
19:32 to sleep tonight would you?
19:34 You see, I sleep in a box
19:36 up around the corner and down the alley
19:38 and its awful cold in there, to night.
19:41 Sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay.'
19:44 And the policeman looked down at the little boy
19:46 and he said 'You go down the street
19:49 to that big white house and you knock on the door.
19:52 And when they come out the door
19:54 you just say John 3:16 and they will let you in.'
19:59 So he did, he walked up the steps,
20:03 he knocked on the door and a lady answered
20:05 and he looked up and said, 'John 3:16.'
20:09 And lady said, 'Come on in, Son.'
20:12 She took him in sat him down and split bottom rocker
20:15 in front of a great big old fire place and she went off.
20:18 And the boy sat there for a little bit
20:21 and he thought to himself.
20:22 John 3:16. I don't understand it,
20:26 but it sure makes a cold boy warm." Amen.
20:29 "And later she came back and asked him are you hungry?
20:33 And he said, 'Well, just a little.
20:35 I haven't eaten in a couple of days
20:37 and I guess I could stand a little bit of food.'
20:40 Lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down
20:43 to a table full of wonderful food.
20:46 And he ate and he ate until he couldn't eat any more.
20:49 And then he thought to himself 'John 3:16...
20:53 Boy, I sure don't understand it,
20:55 but it sure makes a hungry boy full.'
20:58 And she took him upstairs to a bathroom
21:01 to a huge bathtub filled with warm water
21:05 and sat there and soaked for a while.
21:07 And as he soaked, he thought to himself,
21:10 'John 3:16... I don't understand it,
21:13 but it sure makes a dirty boy clean.
21:17 And the lady came in and got him,
21:19 and took him to a room
21:20 and tucked him into a big old feather bed,
21:23 pulled the covers up around his neck,
21:25 kissed him goodnight and turned out the lights.
21:29 And as he lay in darkness and looked out the window
21:32 at the snow coming down on that
21:34 cold night he thought to himself,
21:38 'John 3:16... I don't understand it,
21:41 but it sure makes a tired boy rested.'
21:45 And the next morning the lady came back up
21:47 and took him down again to that same big table full of food.
21:51 After he ate, she took him back
21:53 to that same big old split bottom rocker
21:56 in front of the fireplace
21:58 and picked up a big old Bible
22:01 and she sat down in front of him
22:03 and looked into his young face.
22:05 'Do you understand John 3:16,' she asked gently?
22:10 He replied, 'No, Ma'am, I don't.
22:13 The first time I ever heard it was last night
22:15 when the policeman told me to say it.'
22:18 And she opened the Bible to John 3:16,
22:21 and began to explain to him about Jesus.
22:24 Right there in front of that big old fireplace,
22:27 he gave his heart and his life to Jesus.
22:31 And he sat there and thought, 'John 3:16.
22:35 I don't understand it,
22:37 but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.'
22:41 Oh how precious. Isn't that a neat little story?
22:46 How precious and how true
22:47 spiritually that applies just perfectly.
22:50 Yes. You know that's wonderful.
22:52 Can you share some also I know that our viewers
22:55 would love to may be grab a pen and a paper
22:59 and let's look at some scripture promises.
23:02 Some assurance of salvation
23:04 or the simplicity of salvation for--
23:09 from the Bible for our viewers.
23:12 There so many texts-- Yes.
23:15 And in this book 'Sure Salvation'
23:17 I have included some and called them
23:19 extreme assurances and promises and I love it.
23:23 And I love this and Isaiah 61
23:25 and we don't usually think
23:26 and terms of the Old Testament
23:29 as beautiful things on righteousness
23:32 and salvation but listen.
23:34 There is a lot of it. Oh, there is a lot of it.
23:36 Yes there is. "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
23:39 my soul shall be joyful in my God,
23:43 for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
23:48 he has covered me with the robe of righteousness."
23:52 Notice Shelley, he God has cloth me
23:57 with the garments of salvation.
24:00 He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.
24:04 Amen. "As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
24:08 and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."
24:11 I love it. God cloths us with salvation.
24:15 Some of us are so busy trying to cloth ourself
24:19 and we're missing the point
24:20 because He has told those in Isaiah 64:6
24:23 that you righteousness is about filthy rags before the Lord.
24:26 Yes. It's got to be that we come to Him and let Him
24:29 cloth it with Christ robe of righteousness.
24:32 Yes. You know we tried to make ourselves holy.
24:37 Impossible. It's impossible.
24:40 There is only one being in the universe
24:44 that can make anything or anyone holy.
24:48 And that's God.
24:49 And you know I believe Philip,
24:51 isn't it Hebrew 12:14 regards says,
24:53 "Be holy as I'm holy."
24:57 It is a commandment but He also tells us everywhere
25:01 that anything He commands of us He is gonna do for us.
25:04 Right. And the only way that--
25:07 I mean there's so many promises on sanctification
25:09 that show us it's all God's work.
25:11 He tells us to make it efforts as he empowers us.
25:14 We need to-- I mean He can't sanctifies
25:16 if we never pick up the book.
25:18 Right. We do make an effort
25:20 but the actual work is something that God doe sin us.
25:23 Amen. "For it is God who works in you
25:27 to will and to do for His good pleasure."
25:29 Exactly. I'm so thankful.
25:31 He is the one that does the work. Amen.
25:34 It's not my sweat and blood Shelley,
25:38 that I'm trusting in.
25:39 It's His bloody sweat that I'm trusting.
25:44 That's really good. That's very vivid.
25:47 Okay share another couple of promises.
25:49 Yes. I love this.
25:52 John 5:24 "Most assuredly, I say to you,
25:57 he who hears My word and believes in Him
26:01 who sent Me has everlasting life."
26:05 Amen. So what is?
26:07 That means right here in here now.
26:09 That's it right here now. Right.
26:10 "And shall not come into judgment,
26:13 but has passed from death into life."
26:17 Praise the Lord. I love to read things like that.
26:19 Yeah, always want to keep a balance.
26:21 We're going to have you come back Pastor Phil,
26:23 and do some more programs.
26:25 I just don't want to leave any viewer today with the idea
26:28 that we're talking about once saved always saved.
26:31 We're talking about the simplicity of salvation
26:34 but you don't believe in once saved always save, do you?
26:37 No I don't. Why not.
26:38 I find that it is not taught in the Bible.
26:41 And I could share examples of that but no
26:48 "Not once saved, always saved."
26:50 So God never takes a choice from us.
26:52 There is that opportunity that you can't apostasies,
26:55 divorce yourself from the Lord.
26:57 That's pretty stupid to think
26:58 but we have actually seen examples of that have we not.
27:01 Yes. And there are two extremes,
27:04 eternal security on the one hand
27:07 and infernal insecurity of the other hand.
27:11 And those are polar opposites.
27:13 They are and they're both unbiblical.
27:16 Totally. Yes.
27:17 So we are going to have you come back
27:20 and I'm so glad that you've agreed
27:21 and next time we're gonna actually
27:23 talk about assurance of salvation.
27:25 It's simple but you can also have assurance.
27:28 Thank you so much for being here, Pastor Phil.
27:31 You're welcome. It's been a pleasure.
27:33 For those of you at home don't forget John 3:16,
27:37 "For God so loved you that he gave
27:39 his only begotten Son.
27:40 That if you will believe in Him,
27:43 that you will not perish, but have everlasting life."
27:46 Now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
27:49 the love of the Father
27:50 and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
27:52 be with you today and always.
27:54 Thank you.


Revised 2014-12-17