As I observe the times in which we live, I sense almost a dread at the shocking reality of Christian beliefs. Our times are filled with Christianity, in all shapes and sizes. Some churches which would place themselves under the umbrella of Christianity deny that Jesus is even God’s Son. To me, that is a shocking reality; while others pick and choose which teachings of Christ they will embrace and trash the others as archaic or irrelevant. That is also a shocking reality.
However, the most shocking reality is the beliefs that people embrace about salvation. There are those who feel that they will safely arrive into heaven’s domain because they belong to a certain church, or have completed a course, or have practiced a religious activity. And then there are the myriads of humanity which have been “born-again,” and that also comes in all shapes and sizes!
Salvation: What does it mean to be saved, born-again, converted? Of all the doctrines of the Bible, it is understandable that Satan would work the hardest at distorting this one! What a price we pay for not embracing the whole truth about salvation! What do I mean by that? Read on…
Let’s say that you live in a community that has a wonderful community group, which does a lot of wonderful things. They are very organized, not just a loosely banded group, and they require members to fill out an application. You have attended some of their meetings, have even joined in with some of their activities, but you haven’t filled out the application. Are you a member? No. When it would come time for any votes to be taken or any major decisions made, you would not be included. Why? Because you did not fill out the application.
You may really believe in their cause. You may like them. They may accept your presence happily and wish that you would join “officially.” They may even give you the application and urge you to join; but for whatever the reason, you just didn’t do it.
Salvation: Is it just believing in God? If so, then according to a recent poll 74% of Americans are saved. If you believe that, I have a great deal on some land in Florida I’d like to sell you! 🙂
Is it asking Jesus to be your Savior? I would think that most of you would say, yes.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10: 13
The above scenario about the community group creates the problem concerning someone who purposely did not fill out the application. The spiritual equivalent: someone purposefully no asking Jesus to be their Savior. Why wouldn’t you do that? Maybe you just never got around to it. Maybe you don’t think it’s necessary. Maybe you know the commitment it will involve and you’re not ready to commit. Maybe you don’t believe in that sort of thing. Maybe you think your way or your churches way is good enough. Whatever the excuse, just know that there are consequences for not making that commitment – a big one called hell.
Is it possible to ask Him to be your Savior and still not go to heaven? Yes – it’s not the words, it’s the heart. Is it possible to really, really mean it and not go to heaven? Yes – if you really, really mean it because you just don’t want to go to hell, but you will not admit your sin and forsake it – be saved from it, in Jesus name. How could someone be saved from sin if they don’t want to let go of their sinful life and seek holiness?
“But I believe that God will accept me just the way I am. That’s just your interpretation of the Bible.” Another shocking reality: God loves each of us more than we could ever understand. His love is completely unconditional – I can’t do anything to make Him love me more or less. In fact, He loves us SO MUCH that He willingly sent His Son to die in our place – He, God the Father, placed every one of our sins on God, the Son – His ONLY Son! Wow! That’s beyond my comprehension! And then someone will say that God would accept a person because they are good, even though they refuse to bow the knee and ask forgiveness – asking Jesus to save them? The shocking reality is that many people think that way. How do I know, because I see lives that talk the talk but they don’t walk the walk. There’s no sense of “God” in their lives except when they are in church, IF they even go to church.
Am I talking about sinless perfection? No, just a heart for God, the rest will follow! We, as born-again believers, all have a walk to walk. God knows what it is that He wants us to do to glorify His name. What a wonderful thought!
If the Holy Spirit is urging you to make a decision for Christ, don’t continue to ignore Him!
Revelation 22:7 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Complete in Thee! no work of mine
May take, dear Lord, the place of Thine;
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,
And I am now complete in Thee.
Yea, justified! O blessed thought!
And sanctified! Salvation wrought!
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,
And glorified, I too, shall be!
Complete in Thee—no more shall sin,
Thy grace hath conquered, reign within;
Thy voice shall bid the tempter flee,
And I shall stand complete in Thee.
Complete in Thee—each want supplied,
And no good thing to me denied;
Since Thou my portion, Lord, wilt be,
I ask no more, complete in Thee.
Dear Savior! when before Thy bar
All tribes and tongues assembled are,
Among Thy chosen will I be,
At Thy right hand—complete in Thee.
Aaron Robarts Wolfe (1821-1902),James Martin Gray, chorus (1851-1935)
If you have never made that commitment to Jesus Christ, and you don’t quite understand what salvation is, maybe it would help to read “What is Salvation” at the top.