A PICTURE OF SALVATION
READ IN THE BIBLE (2 KINGS 5:1-17)
In various places in the Bible, the Word of God, there is recorded for our learning accounts or stories which are “A PICTURE OF SALVATION”. (See the message, “The Kindness of God”, taken from (2 Samuel 9), as an example of this). The story of a man called Naaman, in (2 Kings, Chapter 5) and the historical record of his miraculous cleansing is “A Picture of Salvation”. Naaman was a LEADER, who was also a LEPER. He had to become a LEARNER and be brought LOW that he might be LIFTED up and be given LIFE. From this story, and by way of outline, we want to consider the following:
1. THE MAN
read in, (2 Kings 5:1a) “Now Naaman, captain of the
host of the king of
2. THE MALADY
We read regarding Naaman in, (2 Kings 5:1b) “BUT HE WAS A LEPER”. Naaman was not only a LEADER, he was a LEPER. Naaman, both as a man and with his condition of leprosy is a picture of the natural man, unsaved and in his sins. Consider the following;
Naaman, as a
captain in the Syrian army in Old Testament days, was not part of the nation of
being a Gentile, was a STRANGER to the promises and covenants of God and had no
claim on God’s blessings. It says of the
Gentiles in the flesh (the natural unsaved person still in their sins) in, (Ephesians ) “(They are) without Christ, being
aliens from the commonwealth of
3. Naaman, like any unsaved person, has a spiritual malady, a spiritual sickness, a spiritual disease. What a commentary on the best of men. To the world they are honorable, good men, gracious and kindly men, generous and loveable. But, out of sight, there it is, the awful disease. Man suffers from an even more dreaded disease. The disease of sin, the precursor of death, for “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). How many there are in the world like this. Really nice people, kindly and generous, good neighbors, fine friends, even perhaps involved in religious activities. But, (1 Samuel 16:7) “Man looketh on the outward appearance; but God looketh on the heart”. They are marked out for death, for “the soul that sinneth it shall die”. Naaman was a leper, and as such he was in a helpless, hopeless condition with an incurable disease. The natural man is suffering from “the leprosy of sin”. Leprosy, in the Bible, is a type or picture of sin. God says in His word that man is a sinner both by nature and by practice. Sin is universal, (Romans 3:23)”ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. (Ecclesiastes 7:20) “There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not”. God is a holy God therefore He cannot tolerate or overlook a person’s sin. His Word is clear that says, (Ezekiel 18:4)”The soul that sinneth it shall die”. If YOU endure the penalty for your sins, you will be doomed and damned eternally. Naaman was saved from his leprosy. You can be saved from your sins. This brings us to;
4. THE MAIDEN
We read in, (verse’s 2 and 3) “And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid, and she waited on Naaman’s wife. And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria, for he would recover him of his leprosy”. This little maiden was, no doubt, taken captive in one of Syria’s battles with Israel. She was taken to Naaman’s house to be a servant for his wife. In this story she is an example for us of what a faithful Christian should be. She knew the dread secret that her master was a leper. She knew of his need and she knew where his need could be met. She showed both courage and compassion. Those of us who are saved and “born again” by the Spirit of God have been commissioned to, (Mark ) “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”. WE KNOW THEIR NEED. We know that God says, (Romans 5:12) “As by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”. We know from, (Hebrews ) “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”. We know unless a person gets saved, they will die in their sins and their spirit will pass into a condition of conscious misery there to await the resurrection of their body. At their resurrection their spirit and body will be reunited to stand before the Judge (the Lord Jesus Christ) at the “Great White Throne”. Before that throne, the books will be opened and they will have to face the record of all their sins. Every sinful thought, every idle word spoken and every sinful act committed will be revealed. Another book will be opened which is the “Book of Life”. They will see that their name MIGHT HAVE BEEN written there but IT IS NOT. Nothing can be worse in this life time than to miss having ones name written in the “Book of Life”. The reason for this is because of what it says in, (Revelation ) “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire”. The hymn writer had this on his heart when he wrote;
Lord I care not for riches, neither silver nor gold
I would make sure of heaven, I would enter the fold
In the book of Thy kingdom, with its pages so fair
Tell me Jesus my Savior, Is my name written there?
Dear reader, how do YOU answer this question? Is YOUR name written in the book of life? If not, there is a message of hope for YOU.
5. THE MESSAGE
It says in, (2 Kings 5:3, 4) “And she said unto her mistress, would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria, for he would recover him of his leprosy. And one went in, and told his lord, saying, thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel”. The MAIDEN knew more than her MASTER. She not only knew his need she knew where his need could be met. She said in effect, “Go to the man of God, wash and be healed”. Dear reader, we have a message for YOU, the “Message of the Gospel”. The message is as it says in, (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; He was buried and He rose again the third day according to the scriptures”. Like the little maid, we who know the Lord Jesus Christ as our own personal Savior, know there is hope of salvation. We know from experience where help is available. The preaching of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ can heal the worst of sinners who believe its message. We know the only place where help can be obtained and we have absolute confidence in the power of the message. (1 Corinthians 1:18) “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God”. Dear reader, what is YOUR response to the preaching of the cross? Are YOU offended? Do YOU think the message is foolish? Please don’t make that mistake.
6. THE MISTAKE
It is hard for many to believe that God’s way of salvation can be so plain and simple. There are many people who stumble over its simplicity. In (2 Kings 5:5-13) Naaman made a number of mistakes that are similar to the mistakes that many people make when it comes to their salvation. Notice these mistakes;
· HE WENT TO THE WRONG PERSON
He was told to go to God’s man but instead he went to another of his own choosing. Many are like this today who go to their rabbi, their pope, their pastor or their preacher instead of going directly to the Savior. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said in, (John 14:6) “I am THE WAY, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me”. Furthermore, we are told in, (1 Timothy 2:4, 5) “(God) will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth, for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”.
· HE TOOK THE WRONG PRICE
Naaman thought that such a great blessing must surely demand from him a great price. Many think the same thing of God’s salvation. But, it says in, (Isaiah 55:1) “Ho every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price”. God offers salvation as a free gift, therefore, all you have to do is receive it by faith. (Romans 6:23) “The GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. Salvation from sin is free to you but it cost God everything He could give. He gave His only begotten Son. (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. The Lord Jesus Christ paid the price of our redemption in His own blood. (I Peter 1:18, 19). YOU could not possibly add anything to the work of Christ on the cross.
· HE EXPECTED THE WRONG PROCESS
When Naaman heard the terms of his cleansing, he said, “I THOUGHT”. In (2 Kings 5:11) Naaman thought he would see something, he thought he would hear something, and he thought he would feel something. Many today are like this they have their own thoughts as to how God should save them. But, God says, (Isaiah 55:8) “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord”. Salvation can only come on God’s terms and in God’s way. There are multitudes down in hell today who missed God’s salvation because they said, “I thought”. They thought they could be saved some way other than God’s way.
· HE ADOPTED THE WRONG ATTITUDE
Naaman was angry at God’s man and he was angry at God’s message. When he was told how he could be cleansed it was not at all what he expected. He went away in a rage. Fortunately for him he had a wise servant who said to him, “If the prophet had bid thee to do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it”? There are many like this today who believe they “must do some great thing” in order to be saved.. It is most humbling to learn that there is nothing you can do to be saved, you need only to believe. It says in, (Ephesians 2:8, 9) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”.
7. THE MIRACLE
It says, regarding Naaman, in, (2 Kings 5:14)” Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child and he was clean”. Naaman bowed his will and obeyed at last, without question, the message of salvation. He was cleansed in a moment and a whole new life for him began. Dear reader, it will be the same for you. If YOU have never bowed to the claims of Christ, who paid the price for your salvation by His own blood, do it now. Abandon your own ideas as to how God should save you. Confess your need as a sinner and obey the Gospel. Jesus Christ died on the cross for YOUR sins. (John 3:15) “That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life”.
Dear reader, if you remain unsaved it will not be because God does not love you or because God’s Son did not die for you, but it will be because you have not believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Which will it be for you, reception or rejection of the Savior? You are traveling the “HIGHWAY OF LIFE”, passing through time into eternity. Now that you have read this message, you have come to the “CROSSROADS”. Which way will you go? Will you continue to reject the Savior and God’s free gift of salvation? Or, will you believe in Him and receive Him as your Lord and Savior? It is your decision and your responsibility.
Please give this matter your most serious attention. Will you be a believer or a non-believer? What will your eternal destiny be? Will it be the eternal bliss of Heaven or the eternal torment of Hell and the “lake of fire”? YOUR ETERNAL DESTINY DEPENDS ON YOUR DECISION.