Posts tagged ‘plan of salvation’

PEOPLE NEED A SAVIOR

Are you saved?  If you were to die today, how do you know you would go to Heaven? 

When I was a kid growing up as a Baptist in a large Midwestern city, these were probably the two questions I heard the most.  Baptists then were all about evangelism.  People needed to get saved.  Period.  I truly have fond memories of joining the adults from our church to go knocking door-to-door to witness, hand out tracts, and ask those two questions.  We were people on fire and determined to win as many souls as possible for the Lord!

I don’t know if the 1970’s were a time of worldwide revival, or if that was just how Christians were…or maybe just how Baptists were.  But there is something wrong today when there appears to be none of that, or at least precious little.  Of course, the world has become a much more dangerous place.  I recognize that, so I don’t think we really need to go banging on doors.  We are just as likely to get our heads banged on in return.  But I do think we have lost the fervor, the fire to seek the salvation of souls.

During my teen years, my family switched denominations.  At some point, I recall someone telling me that “we don’t use the word ‘saved,’ it makes people uncomfortable and confuses them.  Saved from what?  People don’t think they need to be saved.’”  I was an impressionable youth and went along…for a LOT of years.  I think about that little conversation today, and I wonder, “What in the world were you talking about???”  I realize now that it was just another way that Satan has watered down the effectiveness of the Church, and in truth, of the whole Gospel message.  The whole reason Yeshua (the Hebrew name of Jesus) came to earth WAS TO SAVE!!!!  Every human being on the planet NEEDS TO BE SAVED!!!!  And the ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN IS SALVATION through Yeshua Messiah.  The Church was given one directive-  to go preach the Gospel…the message that brings the good news…a SAVIOR has come and died to SAVE the world.

Let’s take a look at what the Bible says.  In Psalm 68:20, King David said that “God is the God of salvation.”

In Luke 2:11 the angel announces, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” This was the good news, of course, that was for all people.

When the Apostle Peter gave his incredible speech in Acts chapter 5, he quoted the prophet Joel and said (vs. 21), “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

Yeshua, Himself, said in John 3:17 – “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Ephesians 2:8 – “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.”

Titus 2:13 – “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”

Acts 4:12 – “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”  [Side note:  This is the reason I call Jesus by His Hebrew name, Yeshua; His given name…given before the time of His birth by God, Himself.]

Hopefully, I have given enough samples to illustrate that the word “saved,” and its derivatives have a Biblical foundation when it comes to the Gospel message.  We are saved from the power of sin over us; the slavery to sin (Romans 6:6-7).  We are saved from the punishment of death as a result of our sins (Romans 6:23).  And we are saved from the wrath of God against the non-believing/in-saved sinner (Romans 5:8-11).

Why would we think that we can express the salvation message better than the authors of the Bible?

Here’s the bottom line-.  Yeshua commanded us to go into all the world preaching the gospel and making disciples of all nations.  We need to tell people they need to be saved, and explain what they need to be saved from.   We need to introduce them to the Savior, and lead them into salvation.

Look at the people in this world.  They are seeking a savior!  You and I know that drugs, alcohol, sex, video games, over-eating, excessive shopping, material possessions, etc., etc., etc. will provide nothing more than temporary escapes from the troubles of this world.

PEOPLE NEED A SAVIOR, and we have the answer! 

We know the one and only Savior who can deliver them from this world of despair, and He is not meant to be kept secret.  We were not commanded to become complacent, and slowly and carefully develop a strong relationship with someone waiting for the perfect time to tell them about Jesus.  But that is exactly what we do.

How many people do you know who have died without ever having been told about what Yeshua did for them because you were waiting for the right time to speak up.  There are four people who immediately come to my mind.  How many came to yours?  Even if it is one, that is too many.  Salvation has become the best-kept secret the world has never known—while we secret-bearers sit back in our Lazy-boys and rest in the knowledge that we are safe.

Personally, I believe that we are living in the end times, and Yeshua is standing on the edge of Heaven just waiting for the word.  When He comes back, that’s it.  Game over.  But even if He doesn’t return next week, over the summer, or for another 150 years, every single day people die, and the majority of them die without having been saved.

Paul said, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”  (2 Corinthians 6:2b).

*All Scripture passages taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

Peace Treaty With God: The Way To Salvation

[This is the gospel message, the plan of salvation.  Please share so others may receive the word of the Lord.]

Here are the plain facts.  We, all of humanity, are sinners.  We start our lives in direct opposition to God.

Romans 3:10-12 (NCV) – “There is no one who always does what is right, not even one.  There is no one who understands, there is no one who looks to God for help.  All have turned away.  Together, everyone has become useless.  There is no one who does anything good; there is not even one.”

It is God versus man.  God versus evil…yes, I said evil.  What is not good is bad, sinful, evil.  As sinful people, we naturally turn away from God.  We do not desire to do good.  But we do know what is right and what is wrong.  God gave each of us a conscience to know this.  Romans 2:15 – “They show that in their hearts they know what is right and wrong, just as the law commands.  And they show this by their consciences.  Sometimes their thoughts tell them they did wrong, and sometimes their thoughts tell them they did right.”

He also gave us the Law, the Ten Commandments.  You’ve heard of them.  They are intended to show us the things that we do wrong.  They are a standard.  A comparison.  Look at your life.  How does it stack up against the Ten Commandments?  When you see the places where you miss the mark, that is proof positive that you are a sinner.  (Romans 3:20 – “No one can be made right with God by following the law.  The law only shows us our sin.”)

The law shows us that we are sinful.  We are not for God, so we must be against God.  In essence, we are at war against God.  Since God is God, He is invincible.  There is no way possible for us to defeat Him.  You cannot stand against Him and have victory.  In the end, everyone will stand before Him to be judged.  Romans 2: 5b-6 – “On that day everyone will see God’s right judgments.  God will reward or punish every person for what that person has done.”

How do we go from being punished by God to being rewarded by God?  Can we do that on our own?  No.  We just don’t have it in us.  It is impossible.  Go back to Romans 3:20 – “No one can be made right with God by following the law.”  So then what?  Is it hopeless?  Are we doomed?  No.  But we are at the mercy of our enemy…God.  Thankfully He is a merciful God.  And because He loves us, even though we have never deserved that love, He has provided a way to become right with Him.  God has offered us a peace treaty.  Romans 3:22-25 – “God makes people right with himself through their faith in Jesus Christ.  This is true for all who believe in Christ, because all people are the same:  All have sinned and are not good enough for God’s glory, and all need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift.  They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ.  God gave him as a way to forgive sin through faith in the blood of Jesus’ death.  This showed that God always does what is right and fair.”  The peace treaty came in the form of Jesus Christ, who died as our punishment, for our sin, but was raised to life again to conquer sin and death.  The only concession you need to make is to admit that you are sinful.  Accept the treaty by faith.  That is the hardest part.  It is a free gift from God.  But to believe that God is real, that Jesus is real and He is God’s Son, and that He actually gave up His life for you, is sometimes hard to do.  It is the only way, though.  You just have to believe.  Accept the peace treaty, and become an ally of God.  No longer an enemy, but a friend.  He can be on your side, or rather, you can be on His.

Romans 4: 6-8 – “David said the same thing.  He said that people are truly blessed when God, without paying attention to good deeds, makes people right with himself.  ‘Happy are they whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned.  Happy is the person whom the Lord does not consider guilty.’

IF YOU ARE READY TO SIGN THE PEACE TREATY GOD HAS OFFERED TO YOU, HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT DOING THAT?  This next step can be intimidating, although there is no reason for it to be so.  Remember, God loves you so much, and He has been waiting all your life to hear from you.  You just need to begin talking to Him…this is called prayer.  But to get you started, I offer the following prayer for you.  You may choose to read it as your own prayer to God, or you may read it and then formulate your own.  It is a starting point.

Dear God,
I know that I am a sinner, and that I cannot do what is right on my own.  The only way to be right with You, and to receive your reward, is to believe in You, and what Jesus did for me.  I want to be right with You, God.  Please forgive my sins, and accept my faith in You.  Please teach me more about who You are.  Thank you God, for Your love, and Your mercy.
Amen.

If you have prayed this prayer, welcome to the family of God!  You may be wondering what to do next.  The most phenomenal thing has happened to you!  The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit if God lives inside of those who believe in Him.  He will guide you as you seek to grow closer to God, and to learn more about Him.  I encourage you to find a church that teaches from the Bible.  Bring a Bible with you when you go.  Read what is being taught.  Ask God to show you the truth.  If a church is not teaching from the Bible, I encourage you to look to another one.

Be patient.  It takes time for God to make changes in your life.  But you will see them, and you will be blessed.

Finally, if you have prayed this prayer, please let me know through this blog.  I would love to pray for you, and I am sure other readers of this blog would pray for you as well.  God bless you!!

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