Salvation (What is the Gospel?)
Someone asked this question today, “how do I know I will go to heaven”? I answered and I thought I might take the opportunity to share it here with those who read, those I love, those I have been praying for, some for years…
If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Job 14:14
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Heb 9:27
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. Job 19:25-26
We will all see God when we die. But will you see Him as your Savior, or will it be for the final judgment at the Great White Throne? There will be no more chances there.
God loved the entire world so much, He gave us His only begotten Son Jesus, who came to die for our sins on the cross, so that we might have eternal life with Him. That is — if we will believe upon Him (Jn 3:16; 1 Cor 15:3-4).
The opposite is, that we not believe upon Him. We can be an atheist, an agnostic, believe all paths lead to God, believe our religion leads to God, or that our good works will get us there. That is all unbelief, because we have not believed upon Him.
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. John 8:24
Why did He send His Son?
Man sinned, man had to be the one to die/pay the penalty. God warned the first man that if He disobeyed Him, He would surely die. But even with the first sin, God showed His mercy to us. Even though there would be consequences for our rebellion, God still promised to send us a Savior (Gen 3:15). One who would be for ALL PEOPLE, and would be Christ the Lord (Lk 10:8-12). Jesus came as fully man, and fully God. Man, so that He could pay the price for man’s sin (1 Cor 15:45). He is God come in the flesh, Immanuel (Is 7:14; Matt 1:23), so the solution would be eternal (forever) and give those of us who believe upon Him eternal life as a free gift (Rom 6:23; 5:16-21). We have all sinned (Rom 3:23), each and every one. Falling short of His glory means none of us can do good enough in the sight of God to be reconciled to Him. We completely miss the mark of being perfect. Do you know that nothing imperfect, not even a lie can enter heaven (Rev 21:27)? We have all lied at the very least. The Word of God tells us if we break one of God’s laws, we break them all (James 2:10). Let me ask you on a personal level. If someone had wronged you, refused to make it right with you, would you allow them to force their way in your home to live, just because they thought they were right? And God is right and just, we are not.
So spiritual death (or eternal separation from God in hell – Rom 6:23a) is unfortunately the destination for all who do not believe (Jn 3:18, 36). There are only two choices, and I am hoping that you will believe the good news and be given the free gift of eternal life.
A lot of people think they do good works, we just cannot quite fathom not earning something. We earn respect, or wages, or even love. Yet the Bible is clear about our works in God’s sight – they are as filthy rags (Is 64:6). He loves us, not because we are worthy or have earned it, but because of who He is. It is by His grace through faith in Him that we are saved, not of any works, in case we should boast (Eph 2:8-9; Rom 4:4-5). So there is nothing we can do, before or after, to earn (or keep) our salvation.
God first showed His love for us (1 Jn 4:19). How did He do that? By commending His love for us (ALL) by dying for us (EVERY PERSON), while we were still sinners (Rom 5:8). Yes, God loved sinners, all of them, the whole world. He hates sin, it separates us from Him. But He loves you. <3
Jesus paid the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross for them. It was finished at the cross – HIS CROSS (Col 2:14). The word Jesus used (tetelestai) when He said “It is finished” upon the cross, means >>‘paid in full’ (John 19:30). Jesus was buried, and He rose again in three days as the Scriptures said (Isaiah 53 and more), proving He is God and has the power to take His life back up again (as He said in John 10:17-18). Also this proves we (believers) will also rise again to live everlasting, as His firstfruits (1 Cor 15:20-23; James 1:18).
He has become our righteousness (1 Cor 1:30-31; Rom 10:4).
Everlasting life is free, a GIFT, and it is forever/eternal – (Rom 6:23, Eph 2:8-9). We don’t make exchanges or promises in order to receive a FREE GIFT. Notice how many times ‘gift‘ or ‘free gift‘ is used in this passage in Romans 5:12-21.
John 3:16-18; 36; 5:24; 6:40,47 among many others, tell us that when we believe, that we have eternal life, that same eternal life which God who cannot lie, promised before the world began (Titus 1:2), that His Grace that brings salvation has appeared to ALL (Titus 2:11).
We can KNOW we have everlasting life. That when we believe, we have presently, at that exact moment, been given eternal life (1 John 5:9-13). We can KNOW that we possess it — hold it in our hands, because we have believed the witness, the record that God has given of His Son.
We cannot lose it! We are passed from death unto life, from darkness unto light (Jn 5:24; Col 1:13), never to be lost, never to be cast out (Jn 10:28-30; Jn 6:37), and kept by the power of God (1 Pet 1:5).
AFTER we believe we are sealed with His Spirit of promise, until the day of redemption (Eph 1:13-14; 4:30). We have an inheritance in heaven, undefiled, waiting for us (1 Pet 1:4). The Lord comes to dwell in us (Rom 8:9) and we are placed into His body — the church (1 Cor 12:13; Eph 4:4-6). We are likened to how it is supposed to be in marriage; flesh of His flesh, bone of His bones, never to be separated again (Eph 5:28-32). We have no condemnation (John 3:17-18, 36; John 5:24; Rom 8:1)
I pray that those who may not yet know Him, will realize that none of our effort can be a part of this great of a salvation.
That they will come to the one who loves them and gave Himself for them (John 15:13).
He loves everyone, but cannot abide sin. There is one way to be made whole, to be reconciled to God, to be saved from eternal death — Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31). How? He does the saving, He becomes our righteousness in the sight of God, we are made perfect already forever. Clothed with His garments of righteousness (Rom 10:4; Heb 10:10, 14; Is 61:10-11)
For John 14:6 tells us that there is only one way to the Father, that is through His Son Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life. There is no other god who can save you, no other way.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12
To read more fully, see this free gospel booklet online by Pastor Tom Cucuzza of Northland Church.