Salvation: Going Beyond Charleston (Illustration From S. Lewis Johnson)
S. Lewis Johnson’s Gospel of John series, in John 16, is chock full of great exhortations to study the word of God and the importance of God’s word and its depth. One great illustration to share:
Let’s just imagine a person in England who about fifty years ago has heard about this great city in the United States of America, and since he’s had some relatives have come over here, he’s wanted to come. So he gets on a boat and he leaves England and he comes to Charleston, South Carolina. He finds the country magnificent. Well, it so happens that he’s come through storms on the sea and when he arrives in Charleston, he praises the captain for his skill in bringing the boat through the storms. He praises the boat because the boat has been able to withstand the storms. He thanks them for the fellowship that they’ve had, and he arrives in this country. And then he does not investigate the United States of America at all, but stays in Charleston and about two or three months later goes home.
Well it’s nice of course to have come. It’s nice to have seen Charleston. But he has failed to see the United States of America, with all of the magnificent beauties and glories of this country. I’d like to suggest to you that that’s a picture of many believers. They have come to faith in Jesus Christ. They praise the Lord for the salvation that has come to them. They thank him for the way in which he has brought them through the storms of life to safe harbor. They enjoy the fellowship on the way, but so far as really coming to know the vast land of the salvation that we have in Christ, they’ve staying in Charleston. Isn’t that sad?
Many Christians I know are like that. They thank the Lord for the fact that Christ saved them. They praise Him for the blood of the cross. They rejoice that they are saved, that they are going to heaven. But so far as the vastness of the salvation of God and the truth of God, they have little comprehension of it and little appreciate it. May God help us to realize that it’s not enough to be saved. Salvation is an entrance into the beginning of the knowledge of God. That’s the reason we are saved, that we might know him.