Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14: 1-6
What does it mean to be saved? How is a person saved? What is salvation? These terms are very common in the church family, but to the outsider or anyone not familiar with God’s Word, they may be confusing. Another term many may have heard, to be “born again.” Let me simplify this and present the Truth, the Love of our Heavenly Father, so much so that He gave us His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for everyone.
The best place to start is one of the more well known verses from the Bible, John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” God’s love for us is so strong that while we were shackled in sin, he gave us the perfect plan for salvation through Jesus. Look at what the bible says in Romans chapter 5 verse 8, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
But you might ask, why do I need to do anything? Maybe you have lived a decent life, you try to be good, follow the laws, you don’t steal or harm others, so what’s the point of salvation? There are several issues in this dialogue, but first and foremost, we are all sinners. God created us out of love, but until we resolve our sins, we are separated from Him and can not have that relationship that we were created to enjoy with the creator. While there are many “good” people on this earth, we don’t earn our way to salvation and we can’t be good enough to find favor in God’s eyes. We have one path to this wonderful grace extended by God, that is through Jesus Christ who gave his life for everyone.
Romans 3: 22 – 24, The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, since there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
I share the salvation message with you today because I have experienced this very gift of salvation through the sacrifice made by Jesus on that old rugged cross. Just as you may be searching for peace in a troubled world, I came to that place in my own life where I felt the calling of God, through the Holy Spirit, realizing that sin was separating me from God, but in hearing the scriptures I knew beyond any doubt that Jesus Christ came down to this earth, He walked among us, dealt with the same temptations, anguish, and challenges that we all face and above all else, He laid down his life for you and for me. Jesus demonstrated a life of complete obedience to our Heavenly Father, to the point that he gave up his own life as a sacrifice for us. God raised him from the dead on the third day and Christ lives, having defeated sin and death so that we can be saved from our own sinful nature.
Don’t be fooled by those in this world that deny Jesus and continue their sinful ways. The bible is very clear in Romans chapter 6 verse 23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Thankfully God gave us the solution to sin through Jesus Christ, who paid the debt of sin for us, by taking our sins upon his body and through obedience to God’s plan, Jesus died on that cross and shed his blood to cover our sins. God raised him from the dead on the third day and Jesus now sits at the right hand of our heavenly Father. All you have to do is believe, take that step of faith, ask Jesus into your heart and you will be saved. Jesus tells us in Revelations chapter 3 verse 20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
So what is required of me to experience this gift of salvation? Surely I need to get my affairs in order and try to be a better person so that God will accept me. My life is not worthy, therefore I will need to clean things up first before I even think of coming to God. All of these thoughts probably pass through most people’s minds as they consider a move towards redemption, but the wonderful thing about God’s free gift of salvation, you do not have to do anything other than to believe in Jesus as the Son of God. Romans Chapter 10 verses 9 and 10 clearly states, “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.” Jesus goes on to say in Matthew Chapter 10 verses 32 and 33, “ So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” In basic terms, it is clear from God’s Word if you believe in your heart that Jesus died on a cross for your sins and was raised from the dead on that third day, you will be saved.
Earlier in my life I felt that urging from the Holy Spirit, that knock at the door of my heart, and I realized that I was a sinner, lost in this world, yet one day I took that step of faith and answered His call. Just as you the reader, if you have not yet made that profession of faith in Christ, you probably feel that same urging within you…maybe you don’t know what that is…but having gone before you to accept salvation, I can tell you beyond any doubt, that urging is the Holy Spirit of God speaking to your heart. We are all spiritual beings that will live beyond this physical life, one day we will stand before our Creator, but if we have never accepted the free gift of salvation, we will be turned away. Hear what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 7, verses 13 and 14,
“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.”
While the gift of salvation is free to all that seek it, the truth is that many will follow the broad path that leads to destruction. Jesus tells us in these verses that the gate to eternal life with our heavenly Father is narrow and the road is difficult, few will find it. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can put this off or that surely if God is love then he will not turn me away. God is love, but for anyone who denies Jesus and fails to confess their sins and make public their profession of faith in the resurrection, there will not be a second chance. Right now, today, this could be your final opportunity to receive salvation through Jesus Christ. Why put it off any longer, why risk your very soul? Jesus went on to say in verse 21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,” and he further states in verse 23, “Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers!”
If you put it off, this most important decision of faith, you could very well fall into this category as Jesus described. On that day before our Creator, you do not want to be the one that cries out “Lord, Lord” only to be told by Christ, “I never knew you.” As we shared earlier in this message, if you accept Jesus as savior, He will acknowledge you before God, but if not, you will be turned away.
Maybe you have searched for many years not knowing exactly what you were looking for, trying to fill that void, but I will tell you right now there is only one way and that way is Jesus Christ. Even the first disciples that had walked with Christ, witnessed first hand his miracles and teachings, struggled to understand the meaning of His purpose which was questioned by Thomas in John Chapter 14, to which Jesus replied in verse 6, Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
The only way to find salvation is to believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, confess with your mouth that God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved. It is that simple. You don’t earn it, you can’t work your way to salvation. As Paul wrote in Galatians Chapter 2 verse 21, “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” You see, to think that we can earn salvation, be good enough or work hard enough is to say that Christ died for nothing. If there were any other way, then why would God have required the life of His only Son be sacrificed on a cross.
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” John 3:3. We received physical life on this earth when we were born. However, a person has to come to that place of repentance, acknowledging that sin is separating them from God, and taking that step of faith to turn away from their old ways, accepting Jesus as their savior, which results in a new spiritual birth and membership in God’s family.
John 1:12 -13 “But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
To be “born again” is to have the Holy Spirit transform our hearts from indifference and hostility toward God to a love of God and a desire for righteousness and holiness. The only way one can come to God and experience what it means to be “born again” is through repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ.
If I make that profession of faith, what follows for me, the new believer, and what does that life look like as we move forward? Staying with Paul’s eloquent words to the Galatians, in verse 20 he explains it this way, “ I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” This free gift of Salvation is the cornerstone of your new life in Christ, and by accepting Jesus as your savior, you will experience the unconditional Love of our Heavenly Father. You become a new creation, having died to the old self, renewed to a life with Christ.
Are you searching for the Truth? As with the beautiful gospel hymn Amazing Grace, I once was lost, but now am found. I was searching and I found salvation, it has made all the difference in my life. Not in the way the world might expect, my life has not been made easier, I am not immune to the same challenges and trials that we all face, but when you take that step of faith, knowing you are a sinner, asking Jesus to come into your heart, you receive not only the free gift of salvation and eternal life with God, but you also receive the Holy Spirit that will now dwell within you throughout your life. The Holy Spirit will guide you and discern the Truth of the Word of God and your faith will grow and the Lord will guide you to the path that He has laid out for you. You will never be alone again and as you join with other believers in fellowship, you will experience the abundant life that Jesus promised to those that believe.
Are you ready to take that step of faith? To turn away from the life you have lived, to confess your sins and accept the free gift of salvation that only comes through belief in Jesus Christ? You can do so right now, right where you are. Say this prayer right now to God and make it your own,
“Dear heavenly Father, I have been searching to fill that void in my life and today I know that the only way to fulfillment is through Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus is the true Son of God, that He came to this earth, walked among us, and gave His life as a sacrifice for my sins. Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected to life on the third day, He defeated sin and death, he paid for my sins so that I can have the gift of eternal life. I confess that I am a sinner, but today I accept Jesus as my savior and I ask Him to come into my heart. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of salvation. Amen.”
Thank you for reading this message. If you just reached out to God and accepted Jesus into your heart, please reach out to us and share your own good news through this link – I have accepted Jesus Christ – We want to pray with you and celebrate your new life as a believer in Jesus Christ and to welcome you into the family of God.
For those that are still searching, maybe you don’t feel like you’re ready to make that decision, we hope to hear from you as well. We want you to know and experience the Love of Christ, the same Love that we have experienced in our own lives. It is the most important decision you will ever make. Please do not let the opportunity of salvation pass you by. Click this link and share your questions and thoughts – I want to know more about salvation
John Stephen Frey, Director and Senior Editor, Life Beyond Horizons
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