Salvation? What do you need to be saved from? Why would you need salvation? Who needs salvation?
Sin separates mankind from God. If you do not take steps to remove sin from your life and reconcile with God, not only will you live a life on earth that is beneath its full potential because of the lack of God’s presence and purpose in it, but it will ultimately lead to your condemnation to eternal death and torment in hell for your rejection of what God has done for mankind through His Son Jesus Christ to enable you to remove sin from your life and reconcile with God!
The Bible says: “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:7-8 [New King James Version]
Do you meet God’s standards? You are probably a good and decent person, right? You try to live a good life; you do good to others and generally follow your conscience? Let’s examine a few of the Ten Commandments
Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen something? How about your thoughts – have you have ever looked at, and in your mind lusted after another person, or coveted their possessions? You probably don’t consider yourself a murderer but, if you’ve ever hated someone, the Bible says you’ve committed murder [1 John 3:15]! For, according to the Bible, it is out of the heart that evil thoughts come [Matthew 15:19], and God, by Jesus Christ, will judge men according to their secrets [Romans 2:16]. Therefore, even if you have not physically committed adultery, or murder, if in your heart you have entertained any such thoughts, you have committed the applicable sin – and you’ll be judged for it. The violation of one Commandment is a violation of all [James 2:10-11].
Let’s now imagine that you were standing before God and He had to decide if you are to go to heaven or hell, based on whether you have kept the Ten Commandments or not. Do you believe that God would, after looking at everything you’ve done in your life and after looking into your heart, find you completely innocent and accept you into heaven? The Bible is clear that one day, after death, we will all stand before God for judgment [Hebrews 9:27]. If God were to use the Ten Commandments as the standard for judgment, if you are honest with yourself, you would go to hell. In fact, not a single human being could ever be innocent in God’s eyes, and the Bible confirms this. It says, “for all have sinned and they fall short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23]. No matter how good you think you are, how much “good” you’ve done, God would find you to be unrighteous (i.e. not in a right relationship with God).
Instead of God punishing man for his sins (for failing to keep the Ten Commandments), because God so loved the world, He gave his only begotten Son (Jesus Christ) that whoever believes in Him would be saved from God’s condemnation and may have an eternal life [John 3:16-18]. God gave man triumph over both sin and death and gave man the gift of righteousness (a right relationship with God) [Romans 5:18]. This is God’s grace to mankind. Jesus Christ came not to abolish the law (the Ten Commandments) but to fulfil the law on behalf of mankind [Matthew 5:17, Colossians 2:14]. We are now to be judged by whether we, during our lives, believed in Jesus Christ or not [John 3:19-21], not whether we kept the Ten Commandments or not. Today, the Ten Commandments still show us how sinful we are (they are still God’s standard for holy living) but righteousness with God only comes through believing in Jesus Christ [Romans 3:20-26]. Jesus Christ intercedes with God on our behalf for our transgressions as we go through life while holding on to our belief in Him [Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25]. You will realise from the above that it is by God’s grace (through Jesus Christ) to man, because of His extraordinary love for man, that He made salvation available to all and easier than trying to be righteous by keeping the Ten Commandments.
Why do you have to accept Jesus Christ into your life?
Jesus Christ, the Son of God was sent to the earth by God to free us from the penalty for our sins. God presented Jesus Christ as a sacrifice and He (Jesus) was crucified for man’s sin. By simply believing that Jesus sacrificed His life and shed His blood (in the Crucifixion), we are made righteous [Romans 3:24-25, Galatians 3:13]. His blood cleanses us (today) of all sin [Matthew 26:28, 1 John 1:7] and anyone who believes in Jesus is accepted (by God) as righteous [Romans 3:26]. By the stripes that were inflicted on Jesus during the Crucifixion, we were also healed of sickness and disease [1 Peter 2:24]. We receive such healing by faith today. His Crucifixion was also so that the blessing that was given by God to Abraham (i.e. prosperity and success in all aspects of life) would come upon all those who believe in Jesus and that they would also receive the Holy Spirit by faith [Galatians 3:14, 29]. Jesus, though He was rich (being God and owning everything created), also became poor so that we (those who receive Him into their lives) through His poverty may become rich [2 Corinthians 8:9] – i.e. just as He took our sin upon Himself so that we may have a right relationship with God the Father, He also took our poverty so that we may have an abundant life (materially and spiritually) [see also John 10:10].
Jesus Christ is the only One through Whom God’s grace of righteousness (i.e. salvation) can be obtained: “And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 [Amplified Bible] Jesus Himself said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” [John 14:6] Whoever accepts Christ becomes a new creation and his past passes away. [2 Corinthians 5:17 -21] Accepting Christ into your heart and receiving the Holy Spirit (by accepting Christ) constitutes being “born again”. Jesus said unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God. [John 3:3-8]
Jesus was crucified, died and God raised Him from the dead on the third day [Acts 2:24; 1 Corinthians 15:4]. Jesus is now alive for evermore [Revelation 1:18] and is with God the Father [Mark 16:19]. If you are not convinced that Jesus lived, died, was resurrected, was seen by His disciples after resurrection [John 20:26-27] and ascended to heaven (in their presence) [Acts 1:1-11], ask yourself why His disciples established the early church – in the process ten of them were martyred, never denying Jesus? Because they were all living witnesses to the fact that Jesus not only predicted His death but also conquered it, exactly as He had predicted!
Until such time that Jesus returns, the Holy Spirit represents Him by living within those who have accepted Christ and will, among other things, teach them all things [John 14:26, John 16:12-15, Romans 8:11]. Jesus Christ will return (the second coming of Christ) to reward every human being according to his work [Matthew 16:27; Revelation 22:12]. At the time of His return, those who died believing in Christ will be raised from the dead to meet Christ in the air (together with those believers who will be alive at that time [1 Thessalonians 4:15-17] – commonly known as the Rapture). At the time of judgment, those who are found righteous will receive eternal life and those who are not will be sent to everlasting punishment in the everlasting fire (hell) prepared for the devil and his angels [Matthew 25:31-46]. [Full and extensive detail (which is not dealt with here) of what will happen during and after the return of Christ is set out in the book of Revelation. This includes the first resurrection (of dead believers) and the second resurrection of the rest of the dead [Revelation 20:4-5], the capture of the beast (Antichrist) and his false prophet, their being cast into the lake of fire (hell), the binding of the devil for a thousand years (during which time Jesus Christ and all Christians including those resurrected from death, will rule the earth [Revelation 20:6]), the ultimate battle with the devil in which the devil is defeated, punishment of the devil in hell, punishment of those not found in the Book of Life, the creation of a new heaven and a new earth, and ultimately how God will be together with His people (those who are in the Book of Life) when all things are made new and there is no more death, sorrow, crying or pain.]
This is a very short summary of the basic elements of the Gospel that are essential to understand and believe for purposes of your salvation. But, salvation is not just about waiting to go to heaven! Not only does God wish to save you from hell and give you an eternal life (by His grace), but if you follow His Word (i.e. follow the instructions in the Scriptures), by His grace He will, during your time on earth, give you among other things, a purposeful life [Romans 8:28-30]; a prosperous life (in all aspects) [John 10:10]; liberty from condemnation for your past or any bondages you may have [2 Corinthians 3:17; 2 Corinthians 5:17], as well as peace, joy and victory through the trials and tribulations of life [John 16:33].
By accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you will be saved from a life on earth without God’s presence and ultimately, from God’s eternal condemnation and punishment (in hell) that will befall those who do not accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
Perhaps you’ve realised that the storms of life are battering you and you’ve tried in your own wisdom to “handle” life, but you’ve come to realise that your strength or wisdom are not enough? Don’t know where to turn to? Maybe you are desperately searching for the answer to that emptiness in your life because you feel like your life is simply adrift and without purpose? Perhaps your life is broken due to some trouble you are going through in your life? Maybe you were once saved and serving God but through the passage of time, for some reason you backslid in your Christian walk and now your life is no longer in conformity with God’s Word? Accept Jesus Christ into your life and start a new life in Him. Whatever the situation, come as you are to Jesus (and bring your mess)! He is about second chances! Everybody needs this salvation!
1. 1 You shall have no other gods before Me; 2 You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind; 3 You must not misuse the Name of the Lord your God; 4 Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy; 5 Honour your father and mother; 6 You shall not murder; 7 You shall not commit adultery; 8 You shall not steal; 9 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour; 10 You shall not covet (that which belongs to your neighbour)