The original show debuted on January 3, 1956 with Edgar Bergen as host. It lasted barely a year. Then on September 30, 1957 the producers brought it back with Johnny Carson as host. Johnny's career was lagging seriously at the time, but the show and the way he handled it, spending more time on the interviews than the actual questions and keeping the live audience entertained, kept it on the air for another 6 years, until Jack Paar retired and the Tonight Show came calling. The rest, as they say, is history.
Salvation is certainly not a game show. The prizes at stake are far more than the $25, $50, and $75 for three questions. But the question of "Who do you trust?" is still relevant.
I grew up in a time when we were regularly told from pulpits all over the country that we should never say that we knew we were saved, we certainly shouldn't talk about Heaven as something we had a real expectation of. "You can lose it any time," was the doctrine we were taught, and while that is certainly true, we were taught it so constantly and vigorously that we spent our lives looking over our shoulders wondering when death would strike, hoping we would have enough warning to throw up a quick prayer for forgiveness. Otherwise, we were sure, all was lost—especially us.
And what has this done? It has created a generation without hope, one that lives in constant fear, one that doesn't trust God to save them. We have done a fine job of aiding Satan in discouraging the saved to the point that they are indeed no longer saved. They were told it was impossible and they believed it, and so they quit trying. Or if, somehow, they are still out their knocking themselves out trying, uttering prayers for forgiveness every hour or so, their lives are not full of joy, they are full of insecurity and foreboding, afraid they might come across as arrogant enough to actually believe they have a chance.
Would a God of love want us to live that way? What do you think he feels when we talk about him like he is up there watching, just waiting to say, "Aha! Gotcha!" and then zap us when we aren't looking? I would be insulted if my children thought I would do that to them! Why do we think it is "reverent" to think that of God?
We have completely forgotten grace. Grace is not only about your initial salvation. Grace is there all your life. God never expected any of us to know all the facts, understand all the doctrines, and have all our character flaws worked out the moment we were baptized. We keep working on those things, sometimes struggling harder at one thing than another, looking at ourselves honestly and learning as much as we can about God and His Word, repenting when we find it necessary, and grace covers what we haven't yet reached. God said he would do that. He said he loves us and wants us to go to Heaven. He gave up his Son so that could happen? Don't you trust God?
…for they cried out to God in the battle, and he granted their urgent plea because they trusted in him. (1Chr 5:20) Won't God answer your plea to cover your errors if you trust him? If you don't believe that, then you don't trust him.
When we don't trust God's grace, just what is it we really trust? Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. (Ps 20:7) The chariots we trust in are works. We keep thinking we have to be perfect and we must get that way now! Nonsense. Look how Jesus carefully brought Peter along. Look how God dealt with Gideon as he gradually built his courage and faith. He does that for all of us.
But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” (Ps 31:14) Trusting God is a requirement for being his child. No trust means no relationship with the Father.
And here is the bottom line: Therefore, when the LORD heard, he was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob; his anger rose against Israel, because they did not believe in God and did not trust his saving power. (Ps 78:21-22)
When we don't trust in God's grace, we are trusting a doctrine of the Devil, a doctrine he puts out there through his own ministers to destroy our faith, our spirit, and our relationship with God. Don't let anyone steal your trust in God and his power to save even the vilest sinner—even you.
"Who Do You Trust" is not a game show—it is your life.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. (1John 5:13)