Declaring God's Plan of Redemption to a Lost and Hurting World
Salvation means being reconciled with God. The Bible tells us that we, as imperfect human beings, are sinful and separated from God. Since God is perfect and holy, He cannot condone sin. Therefore, God must judge us for our sins that we commit. Fortunately, though, God has provided us with an "escape route". Without God's provision for salvation or "being saved", mankind would be eternally separated from God.
"For the wages of sin is death.." (Romans 6:23)
What is "sin?"
Most people would agree that sin would be classified as anything that we do that is morally wrong. Accordingly, sin is our attempt to make decisions in life for ourselves apart from God's wishes and not allowing Him complete control over our lives.
Who is exempt from God's judgment?
No one. The Bible tells us that no one is exempt from God's judgment. God shows no favoritism when it comes to judging mankind for their sins. Unfortunately, some people today believe that God will judge us based on whether "we live good lives" or if "our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds" in life.
The Bible tells us, though, that God has declared that none of us are good. Therefore, it is impossible to escape God's judgment by trying to "be good" because in God's eyes, we will never be able to be "good" enough to save ourselves. God tells us that our "righteous acts" are as "filthy rags" in His sight. (Isaiah 64:6)
"There is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
"There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." (Romans 3:10-12)
God, does however, wants to save, or reconcile with all of us.
"This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3)
How can we receive salvation and escape God's condemnation?
We can escape God's condemnation of sin by "being saved". God realizes we cannot save ourselves because of our imperfect nature. Therefore, God made a plan in order to save us. When God saves us, He forgives us of our sins and declares us not guilty. God also removes the penalty of sin, which is death. In turn, God gives us eternal life. God provides this through the death of His son, Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for our sins.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17)
In order for God to save us and escape His condemnation, we must accept Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross for payment of our sin debt. The Bible tells us that Jesus was our substitute for having to pay the penalty of sin ourselves. Jesus Christ died in our place.
"All the prophets testify about him [Jesus] that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name." (Acts 10:43)
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man..." (Romans 8:1-3)
"He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:2)
"That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." (Romans 10:9-10)
What are we "saved" from?
We are saved from spiritual death. The Bible tells us in the book of Revelation that two types of death exist: physical death and spiritual death. Spiritual death is eternal separation from God after our physical bodies die. Unless we believe and accept Jesus' payment for our sin debt, God will condemn us of our sins and we will experience an eternal "second death" or "spiritual death" after we physically die. Although "being saved" does not exclude us from physical death, we will not have to experience a spiritual death if we accept God's provision for removing our sins.
"Whoever believes in him [Jesus Christ] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." (John 3:18)
In what manner does God condemn us if we choose not to accept His provision for escaping condemnation?
Unfortunately, God's place of judgment for spiritual death is in a place called Hell. Jesus tells us in Matthew 23:33 that those being "condemned" are sent to Hell. Luke 16:22-31 tells us an account of a rich man who died and found himself in Hell. The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms that Hell is VERY REAL and it is a place of "torment". IT IS NOT FIGURATIVE OR NONEXISTENT, as some people would purport and like to believe. As you can see from the following passage, Hell is shown as a real, physical place, being described as having fire and physical boundaries. Those existing there also experience physical symptoms (agony, thirst, etc).
"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, `Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' But Abraham replied, `Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'
You might be reading this about God condemning people to Hell, and be thinking, "Whoa! I thought this website was supposed to be about "God's unlimited love for mankind". After all...we say that on our welcome page here at Pass The Word. Some people say, "Well, if God is a loving God, then it seems totally illogical that He would send anyone to Hell." However, consider the following:
Although God is a loving God, He is also a just God. If we choose not to accept God's "escape route" from condemnation, we have, in effect, sent ourselves to Hell; God hasn't. God has given us a free will, so it's our choice of where we will spend eternity.
Secondly, we have to realize that God is perfect and His justice is correspondingly perfect also. However, as humans, our system of justice is faulty. Since we're not perfect, we might unpurposely execute judgment in an unfair or improper way. For example, when I have to punish my children for something they've done wrong, I might not punish them as I should. I might be too easy on them, might be too hard of them, punish them with a method which isn't very effective, etc. God's system of justice is absolutely perfect. Also, as limited human beings, we aren't able to fully understand how or why God does certain things. For example, we don't know the exact processes of how God created everything in the universe, but we know that He did by observing everything He has made.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Can we be saved any other way than through faith in Jesus Christ?
No. The Bible tells us that by faith in Jesus and his death on the cross are we able to be forgiven of sins, escape God's condemnation, and have eternal life.
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
"And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." (1 John 5:11-13)
[Jesus said]" I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." (John 8:24)
Will you choose God's salvation today?
If you're reading this right now and you are not a Christian, I urge you to receive God's mercy and salvation. Since none of us know how long we will be upon this earth, being saved is not something we should "put off" until later. Being saved is for everyone. It's not just a byword used by Christians in order to make ourselves look better than others. The purpose of becoming a Christian isn't just being part of some special group or "club", either; it is having a wonderful, daily relationship with God, your Creator.
Please see the image below. It shows you step-by-step of how you can be saved and enter into a new and right relationship with God. For more information, see our other page, Eternity: It's Your Decision or e-mail us with any questions you might have. We would enjoy hearing from you!
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