THE WISHFUL THINKER Another in a series of stories
depicting Biblical truths.
The trial date was set. The man had an appointment with judgment. He knew he was somewhat guilty,
but he wasn't as bad as some other people he knew. "There must be a way to earn the judge's favor,"
he thought, "but how?"
Two days later he had his plan. "I'll make an all out effort to impress the judge with good works before
my trial. In fact, I will be the model citizen of our city." The first act occurred on the way to work.
Even though the flames were ten feet tall, he still managed to save the whole family from the burning
building. The second deed almost resulted in his own drowning. After all, it was hard getting the victim's
car door open under thirty feet of water. The third act of righteousness involved feeding all the homeless
within a five mile radius. He would have fed more of them, but he had given the rest of his money to
charity. By now, he had built up quite a reputation in town. He had appeared on television, radio, all
major newspapers and even Compuserve. Still he had a week to wait for the trial. "Surely the judge will
forgive my charges after he sees all my good works."
After two more fires, three more blood donations, five helpful street crossings for little old ladies, two cats
rescued from trees and saving the mayor's daughter from a group of terrorists (which earned him the key
to the city), the trial date finally arrived. Naturally the press was there since the man was a famous
humanitarian by this time. The reporter asked, "So, you feel that your charges will be dropped?"
"Yes," said the man. "I believe that all my good deeds have out weighed my bad deeds earning me
forgiveness." When the trial began the judged asked, "How do you plead?" After showing the
documentary based on his recent life, the man answered, "Your Honor, I guess I'm kind of technically
guilty, but as you can see from my documentary I have done enough good deeds to deserve my charges
The judge simply said, "Guilty! The fine is five thousand dollars and ten years in jail."
"Wait a minute," cried the man, "aren't you going to consider all the good works I've done?"
"Why should I?" replied the judge. "I never said that your good works would gain you forgiveness."
"But I assumed they would," the man replied.
"You should not assume without checking with me first. You can't claim what was not promised."
"But I had faith in my good works."
Finally the judge answered, "Without a promise from me what you had was not faith but merely wishful
PARABLE EXPLAINED THIS PARABLE DEPICTS WHAT FAITH IS NOT
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
The Judge . . . . . . . . . God
The Man . . . . . . . . . Us
The Good Deeds . . . . . Good Works
Silly, yet sad isn't it? The man in the story kept assuming his good deeds would redeem him. However,
no one had promised they would, it was just his presumption.
Many people act this way when it comes to God. They assume they have an ongoing relationship with God
and may even be assuming their eventual acceptance into Heaven.
Some may ask, "Isn't that what faith is? Belief based on assumption?"
Actually, the Bible defines faith as belief based on a promise (Romans 4:3). Before one can have faith,
they need a promise from God upon which to base it (Romans 4:20-21).
"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." (Romans 4:3)
"(20)He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; (21)And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform." (Romans 4:20-21)
Simply put, faith is taking God at His Word. Obviously, a person must first know God's Word (Romans
10:13-14) before they can claim it by faith (Romans 10:17). In fact, every example of faith in the Bible
involved someone believing what God had said (Hebrews 11:1-8) and taking God at His Word (Matthew
"(13)For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (14)How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:13-14).
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
"(1)Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (2)For by it the elders obtained a good report. (3)Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (4)By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. (5)By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (6)But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (7)By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (8)By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went." (Hebrews 11:1-8)
"(5)And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, (6)And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. (7)And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. (8)The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. (9)For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. (10)When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." (Matthew 8:5-10)
You can't believe what you have not heard (Romans 10:14).
You can't claim a promise you haven't been given (I John 2:24-25).
You can't trust in what you haven't been told (I Timothy 4:6-10).
You can't have true faith until you know what God has promised in His Word.
"(24)Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. (25)And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life." (I John 2:24-25)
"(6)If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. (7)But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. (8)For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. (9)This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. (10)For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe." (I Timothy 4:6-10)
This is especially true when it comes to salvation. Please don't get caught like the wishful thinker. Find
out what God's true plan of salvation is.
GOD'S PROMISED SALVATION
FIRST THE BAD NEWS:
1. We must realize that we are lost, sinners that are spiritually dead.
* "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10
* "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
* "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3
* "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." John 3:6
2. As spiritually dead, lost sinners, God's judgment and wrath are upon us.
* "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" Hebrews 9:27.
* "For which things' sake [sin] the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience
[sinners]:" Colossians 3:6.
3. Our good works can't stop this judgment and wrath. God demands death as payment
* "Not of works..." Ephesians 2:8,9.
* "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10.
* "the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Ezekiel 18:4
* "For the wages of sin is death;" Romans 6:23.
NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS!!
4. God is willing to accept someone else's death in our place. That someone is Jesus Christ.
* "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who
gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." I Timothy 2:5-6
* "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for
us." Romans 5:8
5. Jesus has bought salvation for us and now God can offer it as a gift by grace.
* "Ye are bought with a price;" I Corinthians 7:23.
* "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." Ephesians 2:8,9
How does someone accept this gift? Through repentance and faith.
REPENTANCE: means to change your mind and adapt an attitude of not rebelling against God.
FAITH: means to simply take God at His Word, i.e., believe the verses you have just read.
* "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward
our Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 20:21
* "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13
6. Upon being saved and born again spiritually, we become converted to a new creature in
* "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall
not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3
* "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold,
all things are become new." II Corinthians 5:17
3303 23rd Avenue SouthWest
Fargo, North Dakota 58103
Speaking the truth in love
(701) 232-5500 Pastor T. C. Scheving Schedule of Services Sunday School . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9:30 a.m.
Sunday Morning Worship . . . . . 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Evening Service . . . . . . . 6:00 p.m.
Proteens (Wednesday) . . . . . . . . 6:45 p.m.
Wednesday Bible Study . . . . . . . 7:00 p.m.
[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]