Actually, I'm going to let David Platt do the preaching. I was powerfully moved by one of his Secret Church video teachings yesterday and felt like I had to share. Here's the link (forward to the end, about 65:00), but I'm also going to give you his words, right here, with my commentary. (All emphases are mine.)
Believe in the historical resurrection of Jesus, but don’t stop there; that’s not salvation. Mere intellectual belief in the resurrection of Jesus is not salvation. The demons believe in the resurrection.
[Did you catch that friends? The demons know Jesus rose from the dead. Know it for a fact! They were there! Satan was, too!]
If the devil himself were here tonight and I were to ask him, “Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God?” he would say, “Yes.”
If I were to ask him, “Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?” he’d say, “Yes.”
If I were to ask him, “Do you believe He died on the cross and rose again?” he’d say, “Yes.”
If I were to ask him, “Do you believe He is the only way to be saved?” he’d say, “Yes.”
If I were to ask him, “Will you commit to live a moral life and come to church and get involved in leadership?” he’d say, “Yes.” Because you can believe and do every single one of those things and not be saved.
[Christian friends, do we really understand this???]
But do you know what the key question is, the question that would change everything in that conversation? If I were to look at the devil and say, “Do you repent of your sin and surrender your life to Jesus as Lord?” and he would say, “Absolutely not.”
[That magic word: “Lord”. Master. The one whom I intentionally submit to and allow to run my life. We Americans are so hung up on our “freedom” . . . ]
This is why this is so important, because this is exactly what we’ve done today. [We, the church.] We’ve said, “Believe in Jesus, pray a prayer, get involved in church, maybe even lead in the church, live a good life, and you will be saved.” That is a lie. It’s a lie. Scores of professing Christians have believed half of Romans 10:9, and they think they are saved from their sins when they are not. They’re headed to everlasting suffering...some of you...and you think you’re safe. No, believe in the resurrection of Jesus, and surrender to the lordship of Jesus with your life. This is what it means to be saved.
[Surrender to his Lordship. Don't “make him” Lord. He's already Lord – of everything. Surrender to his Lordship and stop fighting.
I'm convicted today that I and so many of us have things in our lives that we KNOW we are not willing to surrender to his Lordship. And I think it's very important that we consider deeply whether we can truly say we are saved if we are quite clearly refusing to give him control of something that he very obviously has the right to control and wants to change.]
There are scores of people -- scores of people here tonight -- giving lip service to Jesus whose lives are not surrendered to him as the absolute authority, the one who reigns supremely over you and rightfully determines and directs everything in your life, and I want to call you, urge you, to surrender your life to him and confess him as LORD.
Is He my Lord, or isn't He? There's no doing this part-way and getting by, I'm afraid, friends. It's an all-or-nothing thing. Here's praying that every one of us identifies that thing (start with one thing) that we're refusing to give Him control of and starts to believe that God can be trusted about that, too.