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Salvation
 
GOD'S PLAN OF SALVATION

Do you believe in God?

Do you believe in God? The Bible says only the fool doesn't. Psalm 14:1a, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God..." If you look into the order that we find in Creation, we can understand the foolishness of this notion.

Mount Rushmore

If we were to look at Mt. Rushmore, and I were to tell you that those faces on the rock formed by chance over millions of years, you would tell me that I was crazy and that it was obvious they had been carved by some man. You would be right! Despite this, there are still people who believe that the men who are represented on the rock face formed by chance over millions of years. It seems far more difficult and unlikely that the complexities of a human being (or in this case four people) would form by chance.

With this in mind, I believe any rational person would have to conclude that there is a God. Of course, if there is a God who created us, then it might follow that He has some rules He expects us to live by. A just God would be bound to tell us what He expects of us, otherwise there would be no justice in the universe. He has done just that in the Bible.

1. What does God expect from us?

Perfect obedience to His Law!

James 2:10-11 says, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law." If our obedience is not perfect and life-long, we are condemned as sinners before God. Since none of us is perfect, we are all condemned in God's sight. Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Ezekiel 18:20a, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die..." Because we are sinners, we can never do enough good to save ourselves. Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

2. What hope is there for us?

Jesus Christ, Our Saviour!

Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." This verse begins with the bad news that we have a spiritual death sentence against us. That this does not simply refer to physical death is made clear in Revelation 20:14-15, "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." The sentence is eternity separated from God in Hell (the concept of a third place called purgatory is foreign to the Bible--there are only Heaven and Hell).

The good news found in the second part of that verse is that God has offered us the gift of eternal life through Christ's shed blood. Since we have a death sentence against us, the only way our sin debt could be paid is for someone without sin to die for us. Hebrews 9:22, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission [of sin].” Jesus Christ, God incarnate, was the only one who could pay that debt. He could pay the debt because He was sinless. 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Since Jesus was God in the flesh, that payment was sufficient for all mankind. 1 John 2:2, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Christ’s blood was shed in our place. Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

3. How do I accept God’s gift?

Just ask for it!

It is not enough that Christ made this payment on our behalf. That payment must be applied to our account. Since we are sinners, our debt has to be paid on a personal level. If we reject Christ’s offer of salvation either through active choice or simple inaction, we choose to pay that debt ourselves. That means eternity in Hell. Luke 16:22b-23a, “...the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments...”

Accepting Christ’s sacrifice, however, is as easy as calling out to God in repentance and pray asking for His salvation. We must turn from our life of sin, recognizing how we have offended a holy God, believe that Christ made an all-sufficient payment for our sins on the cross, and rose in triumph over sin and death through His resurrection on the third day. If we do that and truly believe it in our hearts, God promises He will save us. Romans 10:9-13, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed…For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

4. What if I have never prayed before? How do I do it?

I will offer you a sample prayer. You can and should be willing to use your own words, but you need to be specific about what you are praying for. The words themselves are not so important, because God looks upon your heart. What is important is that you believe what you are saying and asking for. You must acknowledge that you are a lost sinner on your way to Hell. You must recognize that Jesus Christ died to pay for your sins (and that means you personally and not simply everyone in general). You need to believe that Jesus rose bodily from the grave to prove that everything He said was true and that His offer of salvation is genuine. Finally, you need to ask to be forgiven and be saved because of what Christ has done and not because of anything you can or will do. If you do this and truly believe, God has promised you a home in Heaven for all eternity. Your prayer should be something like this:

Dear Lord, I know that I am a sinner and that I have offended you. I know that because of my sin, I am on my way to Hell. I also know that Jesus Christ died to pay for my sin. I also believe that Jesus rose again the third day to guarantee my salvation. I am sorry for my sinful ways and ask you to forgive me because of what Christ has done for me. Please save me now. I thank you for hearing my prayer. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

5. Okay. Now what?

If you were sincere in your heart in asking God to save you and in believing what Christ has done for you, God promises that you are saved for eternity and nothing can ever change that. In John 10:28-30 Jesus said, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” You are eternally saved by the power of God. But there is more to living as a Christian than just being saved. You need to be baptized, find a good Bible-believing church, pray and read God’s Word. If you will drop us an email, we would be glad to help you do all those things. Please also contact us if, after reading all this, you still have doubts or questions. It is your eternal soul that hangs in the balance, so I assure you we will respond as quickly as we can. If you have not already done so, I implore you to make a decision for Christ today.

2 Corinthians 6:2b, “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”