Some time ago, astronomers observed bright masses of light in the night time skies; they called them "Nebula," and supposed them to be globs of chaotic matter. When the Herschel telescope came along, they discovered these seemingly confused globs of light were, in reality, distant distinct, individual stars, and not just aimless globs of matter that drifted together.
What the Herschel telescope did for these stars, the Gospel does for man. It seems the majority of men think of themselves as being mixed into a zoological gene pool and assimilated by some means of aimless, universal evolution. However, when the Gospel of Jesus Christ is received in the heart, like that telescope, it brings man out of his ignorance, and allows him to see himself as a separate individual being, and compels him to meditate upon his personal eternal destiny.
Until one has personally encountered Jesus Christ face to face in the Gospel (1Corinthians ) --- until one has personally stood alone in contemplation of
A personal faith allows the believer to enjoy a personal peace. This inner peace belongs to the "individual" Christian himself. Just because I come to Christ does not mean that you will have peace. If you want personal peace, then you must come to Christ individually and personally. Unless you are made aware of the personal and individual nature of salvation, you are going to be nothing more than a "church goer." There is no doctrine in all the Scriptures that teaches a man can be saved by the faith, service, or holiness of another.
The Gospel of our salvation involves: (a) a personal calling (2Thess. ), (b) a personal regeneration (Titus 3:5), (c) a personal perseverance (Rev. 2:10), (d) a personal holiness (Heb. ), and (e) personal service (Rom 12:1-2).
Your sins are washed away in the blood of Christ when you are personally baptized into Christ (Acts ), no one else can be buried with Christ in your behalf. No one can "show forth the death of Christ" in your life by partaking of the Lord's Supper for you (1Corinthians ), it is a personal responsibility. Or, to put it in a modern setting: Just because I go on a diet doesn't mean that you will lose weight!
Too many church members are hiding behind the work of the congregation as a whole. They flatter themselves that the church is growing, while personally doing nothing to help make it grow. On the other side of that coin, they will complain that the church isn't growing, while actually contributing to its decline! It seems that everyone is an "expert" on the problems within a congregation, but few take personal responsibility to become part of the solution. Judgment unto eternal life is personal: "Each of us shall give account of himself to God" (Romans ). Our eternal verdict will be based on how our lives were lived in accordance to God's Word (John -50). But how can we know we are living in accordance to God's Word if we are ignorant of it?! [Illustration: There are over 20 varieties of mushrooms, but only 6 are edible. If all 20 varieties were spread out on a table before you, how are you going to know which ones are edible? -- unless you "know mushrooms."] Likewise, when you are confronted with many different religious doctrines, how are you going to know which is the right one? -- unless you know your Bible!
Salvation is a personal, individual responsibility with personal and individual blessings. The world will not understand your life in Christ because it didn't understand Christ. Don't be a "glob of chaotic matter" that wanders aimlessly through this world that is passing away; be an "individual" that shines in Christ.