You say you believe God exists.  Perhaps you even say you believe in God, and you try hard to obey Him.  What is the difference between you and the demons or Satan?  James 2:19 (NKJV)– “You believe that there is one God.  You do well.  Even the demons believe—and tremble!”

Mark chapter 5 tells the story of a legion of demons who possessed a man, but when Yeshua (Jesus) commanded them to enter into a herd of pigs, they obeyed…as did every other demon Yeshua commanded to leave a person.

The book of Job records an interaction between God and Satan in which Satan must stay within the boundaries God set for him.

Obviously, Satan and his demons will not receive eternal life with God as a result of their belief in, and obedience to, Him.  So if this is truly the case, what then is the deciding factor?  Faith. Not just belief in God, but faith that salvation comes ONLY through His Son, Yeshua the Messiah.  Now we have more questions:  First of all, what is salvation?  Or at least, what is it salvation from?  Who is Yeshua and how is it that salvation comes only through Him?  And how do I get this salvation?

What is this salvation and why do I need it?  To answer that, we need to head to the Bible, God’s Word.

Romans 6:16 (NKJV) – “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?”

Romans 6:23* – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus [Messiah Yeshua] our Lord.”

In our natural state, we are all slaves to sin.  Sin is anything that is in direct opposition and disobedience to God.  The judgement for that sin is eternal separation from God…spiritual death.  Before you tell me you have never sinned, hold on.  Romans 3:23* – “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:10* – “As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one.’”  Ecclesiastes 7:20* – “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.”  And Isaiah 64:6a – “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.”  Salvation, therefore, is the rescue from the judgement and punishment we deserve as sinners before a righteous and holy God.  In case you think that punishment can’t be all that bad…Revelations 21:8 – “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murders, 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.”

Many people who call themselves Christians have attended church all their lives, sung in the choir, served as deacons and taught Sunday School, but are not truly saved.  Yeshua said inMatthew 7:21 – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

How then do we get this salvation that God offers?  If our righteousness is like filthy rags, as Isaiah said, how can anything we do be good enough to earn salvation?  Very simply, it can’t. You cannot attend church enough times in your life to earn salvation.  Nor will giving to the poor, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, or providing for widows and orphans.  The reason is this: Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”  Not of works.  Through faith. Faith is the only thing that will save you.  Romans 4:4-5 – “Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.  But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.”  Faith.

Who or what do you need to have faith in?  Acts 16:31 (TLV) – “They said, ‘Put your trust in the Lord Yeshua and you will be saved—you and your household!’”  John 3:16 (TLV) – “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son [Yeshua], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 14:6 (TLV) – “Yeshua said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life!  No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”  Yeshua didn’t say He was one of the ways.  He said He is the ONLY way.

What is faith?  And how do you express your faith in Yeshua so that you receive salvation?  The Complete Jewish Bible version puts it this way, using trust in place of faith.  Hebrews 11:1 – “Trusting is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see.”  Faith is a choice, sometimes conscious and sometimes it is something we need to make in a moment of decision.  I have faith that the floor will not collapse beneath me as I walk.  That is faith that I do not ever think about every time I take a step.

But the faith that I have that Yeshua is the only way I can have salvation is a conscious, deliberate choice.  I have chosen to recognize that because of my sin, I am not qualified for salvation or eternal life based on my own goodness.  I have chosen to believe that I am not capable of being good enough to earn salvation.  And I have chosen to not only believe, but to openly express, that Yeshua’s sinless life, sacrificial death on the cross, and resurrection from the dead was everything that I need to receive salvation from my slavery to sin, and be seen as righteous in the eyes of God.  Romans 10:9-11 (TLV) – “For if you confess with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, it is believed for righteousness, and with the mouth, it is confessed for salvation.  For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever trusts in Him will not be put to shame.’”

I have heard people say that they just grew into their salvation.  At first, I questioned it, and after a while I accepted it.  But I don’t now.  And as I feel the Holy Spirit welling within me, I am confirmed in that.  There must be a time when you made that decision to confess with your mouth that you have chosen to put all your trust in Yeshua as your Savior; that one moment of finality when you could say, “Yes.  This is what I am choosing to believe.  I am putting my salvation into Yeshua’s hands and trusting Him to fulfill His promises because I am not able to do it myself.”

If you cannot point to a time when you made this conscious decision, even if it is a better-safe-than-sorry moment, won’t you take a minute to bow your head and confess that you acknowledge Yeshua as the way, the truth and the life; the only way into eternal life with God?

Sometimes it is difficult to know what to say to God when you pray, especially if you are someone who hasn’t been exposed to it much.  If that is the case for you, and you are ready to choose faith in Yeshua, please pray the prayer written below.  I encourage you afterward to begin reading the book of John in the Bible, and contact a local church for support.  If you will share your decision with me in the comments section, I will pray for you as you begin this new walk with Yeshua Messiah.

Let us pray:  Dear God, I acknowledge before you that I am a sinner, and that even my best deeds are like filthy rags before you.  I understand that I can never be good enough, or do enough good deeds to earn my salvation from sin and the punishment I deserve.  Please forgive my sins and make me clean.  I am choosing today to believe that Yeshua is Your Son and that He died for me, and came back to life again, and because of that He is the only way I can be saved.  I accept His sacrifice for me and am now putting my trust in Him for your promise of eternal life with You.  I confess now that Yeshua is Lord.  In Yeshua’s name I pray, amen.

 

*All Bible passages, unless marked otherwise, are from the NKJV of the Bible.

**The name Yeshua is used in place of Jesus because it is the Hebrew name which God gave Him at the time of His birth.