Posted on this site 11th April 2007
THE WAY TO THE ETERNAL CITY
By H.A. Baker (1881-1971)
[Part 3 of 3 Excerpt from “The Three Worlds”: Facts]
I supposed I had to feel eternal life to get it, but found that when I believed
it, I got it; then I felt good because I had it. I hoped for eternal
life when I should die; I discovered that he that truly, repentantly,
"believeth on the son hath eternal life" now.[John 3:36.]
Then I learned that "eternal life" is the everlasting life of the
eternal city, the life of the endless New Heaven and New Earth; that
this eternal life is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of adoption given to
the sons of the abiding Kingdom of God; that we have as much of heaven
as we have of the Holy Spirit; and that this down payment we have of heaven is the
pledge of the fulness of this eternal life in the Holy Spirit we shall enjoy when we discard this encumbering body of clay.[1 John 5:11,12.]
The foregoing statements are statements of facts. These facts are scientific facts as scientifically provable as that honey is sweet. The sweetness of honey is not a matter of reason. It is a matter of taste. It is a matter of experience.
The salvation of God is a matter of experience with those who have
tasted that the Lord is gracious. The common experience and common
testimony of all who taste honey corroborates the fact that honey is
sweet. Honey always was sweet, but men had to taste it to know it. The common experience and common testimony of all who come to God corroborates the fact that God does save sinners. The man who never tasted anything sweet cannot judge honey. The man who never really turned to God cannot judge the love of the Lord. Salvation is a matter of personal experience. It works a definite change in a man’s life.
This is an empirical experience as provable as the fact that when a
toothache leaves a man he has ease from the pain. The man himself is
the only true judge of this fact. A sinner can know that his
sins are gone and that he is at peace with God. He can know that his
soul was in pain and that all the pain has left him. He has peace. The
man himself is the judge.
of men in all walks of life, wise and foolish, high and low, rich and
poor, old and young, black and white, in days of old and at the present
time, of every race and people and tribe and tongue, upon the witness
stand of truth testify with a united, consistent, harmonious testimony
that God saved them from sin through Christ and that they have had a
miraculous change of heart and life. This testimony these witnesses
have so proven to be facts in their own personal experience that
thousands of them in many lands and of many races have been willing to
die as martyrs in dependence upon the absolute reliability of these
is today in every land a cloud of such witnesses whose testimony can be
examined. The evidence of such a miraculous change of life as they
claim can be observed by any careful observer. If such testimony does
not prove facts, how can any empirical fact be proven?
These matters are definite things:
a man has had a change of heart, or he has not had; a man has been born
twice, or he has been born only once; he is in his Father's house, or
he is out of it; he is on the King's Highway, or he is off; his face is
toward the eternal city, or his back is toward it. If he is saved, he
is entirely saved. If he is lost, he is entirely lost. He is either
surely saved, or surely lost. He is a child of God and joint heir with
his Son, or he is a selfish child of the devil and joint-heir with the
pagan. Hence, the things pertaining to the Lord's salvation are definite, clear, provable facts.
certainty of these facts can be corroborated by personal experiment. Do
what I did, and you will get what I got. Seek the way I sought, and you
will find what I found. This is as provable as the fact that H2O makes
water. Combine the elements in the wrong proportion, and you get the
wrong reaction. Combine them in the right way and you get the right
reaction. When a man tries to buy salvation by "doing what is right",
by being "as good as anybody else," by trying to fool God with his
"goodness(?)" or by trying to climb to heaven on his own ladder, he
will get the wrong reaction. When a man will confess to God that he is wrong instead of right;
that he is poor instead of rich; that he has every fault he ever
criticised in anybody else; that he may—if the truth were known—be
worse than anyone else; and that if he can ever hope to walk on the
golden streets of the city of unselfish love, it will be only because
God makes him fit—when a man thus comes to God, he will get the right reaction. An unconditional surrender to God will be a complete capture by God. Those who stop fighting God will find God.
If any man comes to God, God will come to him. If this coming is
honest, this reaction is as certain as that H2O makes water. The proper
union of a sinner with Christ will always make a saint. This is a scientific fact. Try the experiment. Here is the challenge.
Los Angeles calls Shanghai by wireless, or New York tries to talk with
a city across the sea, there may be no response. The voice is in the
air but nobody hears it.
Radios on the two shores of the ocean are not on the same wave.
There is no response, no reaction. When the two radios in the two
cities are tuned to the same wave, there is clear communication.
Although the speakers are invisible, their voices are as distinct as
when speaking face to face.
The selfish man is working on the wrong wave. God is sending out his message day by day, but the selfish man cannot hear because he is not tuned in.
When he is in grave danger, or as he is dying, he sends out a self
interested, desperate S.O.S. but God, in turn, cannot hear because the
call is sent out on the wrong wave, the selfish-sinner-wave.
When the sinner tunes in on the honest-repentance wave,
God can hear. This is the only wave that works, but it always works.
When an honestly repentant man (one who is honestly willing to forsake
selfishness and wholly obey God) sends out an honest S.O.S. on the honest wave,
he will always get an answer from God. Although the speaker is
invisible, the communication will be as distinct as when speaking face
between earth and the golden city in heaven can be as clearly
established as that between any two points upon the earth. Invisible
messages can as quickly and as distinctly travel back and forth through
space between this temporal and that eternal shore as between the two
shores of the Atlantic Ocean or between one shore and the other of the
wide Pacific. If man in his limited wisdom
can devise a means whereby he can make his will known in messages that
inaudibly travel through space, conditioned upon an understanding
between sender and receiver, cannot our Allwise, Almighty God,
whose thoughts are as much higher than our thoughts as the heaven is
higher than the earth, set up a delicate instrument in the souls of men
whereby he may talk back and forth through space with his children on
this far-away shore? When the understanding between sender and receiver
has been arranged the communication is assured. I have experimented for
years. This system works. I have "tuned in" and tried it over and over.
Tune in; try it yourself. You will hear from heaven.
"Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."[John 6:37] Try again. "Whosoever will may come." Keep on coming. "To him that knocketh it shall be opened."[Luke 11:10.] Knock, knock, knock. Examine every motive. "If any man willeth to do His will[John 7:17.] (God's will) he shall know of the teaching whether it is of God. A right "will" brings sure knowing. Willingness to obey all light now seen leads into more light.
to follow all truth at any personal cost will lead into more truth, to
Him who is "the Truth," "the Way," "the Life"; to the eternal city; to
the New Heaven and the New Earth; to God.
were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd of
your souls - - - I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his
life for his sheep - --. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and
they follow me; and they shall never perish."
(JOHN 10:11; 27:28) II PET. 2:25)
CONTRACT FOR HEAVEN ESTATE
will accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, as my sinbearer, as my
God, as my Guide; and I will to obey all the will of God as revealed to
me through the Bible and the Holy Spirit.
Sign this contract and on your knees confirm in audible words to God.
With God's help walk in all the light you get and you will be guided in a harmonious life of service, now and forever.
Part 1 - Unselfishness
Part 2 - Works?