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SALVATION GOD'S WAY
(From A Printed Pamplet By Brother Tom)

One of the most important questions ever asked in the history of mankind was when the Phillipian jailer asked Paul and Silas, "What must I do to be saved?(Acts 16:30).

Life is only for a short while, so we should make sure that we prepare for eternity. Eternity is time without beginning or end, thus it could be called endless time.

So much of our time is spent for the temporal and visible, even when we are aware that we need to prepare to meet God. Paul said in 2 Cor. 4:18, "We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

There are so many ways to describe being right with God. The major two ways of testifying of what God has done in saving us is to say either, "I have been born again," or "I have been saved."

"Saved" is a very good word. The New Testament word "saved" means safe and sound. It is the opposite of being lost. Fifty-seven times the word "saved" is used in the New Testament Scriptures. The simple conclusion at which we must arrive is that if you are not saved, then you are lost. Jesus used a similar word when he said in Jn. 3:16, " For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." To "perish" in the sense that Jesus used it, is to be given over to the eternal misery of hell fire and separation from Holy God forever and ever. It has the idea of being put out of the way entirely and completely from all that is good and holy.

Some people have the idea there are many roads to heaven and that as long as a person is sincere in what he or she believes, that heaven will be their home. The Bible of course does not agree with that thinking, because Jesus said in Jn. 14:6, "I am the way the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me." That narrows the matter down to one single way!

There are various ideas about what constitutes being saved. Let’s consider what some of these false roads are.

First, some believe that church membership will make them qualified for heaven when they die. That is about like saying that joining the staff of a zoo makes you one of the animals who live there. It is like saying that if you become a part of the water in a lake, that you suddenly are transformed into a fish. Jesus said in Jn. 3:7, "Ye must be born again."

Others think when they are water baptized that makes them a part of the family of God. Water has nothing to do with getting you into a saving relationship with God. Power is not in water, and even in one’s obedience to the commands of Jesus, but power to save is in the blood of Jesus Christ (1Jn.1:7). Jesus never taught that baptism takes one to heaven. He is no respecter of persons, but he told the believing, dying thief, "Today, thou shalt be with me in paradise"(Lk.23:43). The thief on the cross had not been baptized, but still Jesus promised that in a short time, the repentant thief would be in paradise. Some think Jesus made an exception for this man, since there was no opportunity to him to be baptized; however, if He made one exception, then there would have to be others for the Lord to be completely fair about the matter.

Both church membership and baptism involve our works. The Scriptures clearly tell us that it is, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.

Still other people consider that doing good deeds for others will make them acceptable to God. That could not be so, for if that were possible, then it would not have been necessary for Jesus Christ to come to bleed and die for sinners. Calvary would be non-essential if any of the works of man could justify or save in the sight of Almighty God. Ephesians 2:8 declares salvation is, "not of ourselves, it is the gift of God." The prophet Isaiah said, "All of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags"( Isa. 64:6). Your works, as far as making you acceptable unto God, has as much value as an old pile of dirty, filthy rags. They give you no advantage in receiving God’s favor above anyone else. At the best a man can do, he cannot do enough, he cannot be good enough, for God to bestow salvation upon him.

The consequences of being lost are far too great to remain in that kind of condition. Let’s think together about some of the consequences of not being saved by God’s grace.

1- You will be deprived of the peace and joy that comes through being saved.

Jesus said in Jn.10:10, "I am come they might have life and they might have it more abundantly." The lost person is missing more than he or she even imagined by remaining in a lost condition.

2. Hell is sure for the person who rejects God’s love gift in His Son.

In Jn. 3:36, Jesus said, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." The wrath of God will come upon the unsaved person for time and eternity in an unending, scorching, blistering hell, where there is weeping, wailing, and knashing of teeth. Many scholars say that Jesus spoke more of eternal wrath and hell, than He did about heaven.

Though a person may laugh at the idea of hell, after he has been there for one second, he will no longer deny the existence of hell. Hell is a place of literal fire where bodies are tormented forever and ever, yet the bodies are never consumed. Heaven is an eternal place and so is the lake of fire (Rev.20:10). There will be a conscious existence in the regions of the damned. People will face the miserable consequences of rejecting Jesus Christ while the ceaseless ages roll, worlds without end.

A wife of a man who had just been converted said to her husband one day, "Can you tell me where hell is?" The young Christian said to his wife, "Yes, I know where it is. It is at the end of a Christ-less life." If you live without Christ in this life, you die without Christ at the end of your earthly existence.

3. You miss heaven if you have not been saved. Man has always longed for a utopia or an ideal society. The trouble is that he looks for it upon the earth. Anything sinful man touches becomes corrupt. The reason our society is so evil, is because of the wicked hearts of men.

Heaven is a place prepared by God that has not been spoiled by man. It is a prepared place for a prepared people.

The most important thing you can do is to allow Christ to come into your life as Lord and Savior. There is no excuse for a person going to hell. The Apostle Paul wrote in Rom. 10:13, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." "Whosoever" means you and me.

Jesus said, "What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul" (Matt. 16:26)? Your soul is worth more than anything else in this world. The soul is the life principle of the body that does not die at the time of death. Every soul will spend eternity somewhere. Your body would not be alive if it were not for your soul being inside of it.

The most important question a person could ever ask is, "What must I do to be saved?"

I hope in the remainder of this pamphlet that by the Word of God, and the powerful work of the Holy Spirit of God, that I can make plain the way of salvation to you.

There is not a series of steps you need to go through to be saved but you do need to know the convicting work of the Holy Ghost and what Jesus has done for you. This lays the groundwork for your coming to the Lord Jesus for salvation.

What is conviction? Some have defined it as, "a causing to see." Jn. 16:8 in speaking of the Holy Spirit says, "And when He is come, He will reprove." The word "reprove" in Jn. 16:8 speaks of "a convicting, telling a fault, bringing to light, and exposing." As you are convicted by the Holy Ghost, He will convince you that you are wrong, telling you that only the Lord Jesus Himself can make you right. He will thoroughly convince you that you are a lost sinner in need of salvation.

Also, salvation involves the matter of "repentance." Jesus said, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Lk.13:3). Repentance involves a change of mind and of direction. It is a turning from sin and a turning to God. Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica and said, "Ye turned to God from idols"(1Thess.1:9). That is what true repentance does in the life. It involves a sorrow for sin, to the degree that a person wants to serve sin no longer.

Reliance is an essential part of one’s personal salvation experience. When I refer to reliance, I am talking about faith. The Apostle John’s Gospel is one of "believing." The word "believe" has the idea of committing to another person. It is a relying upon, depending upon Jesus Christ, and trusting in His person. We trust His shed blood to take care of our sin problem. Acts 10:43 says, "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."

Let me share with you some of the basics about how you can be saved and what is involved.

1. Be convicted by the Holy Spirit that you are a sinner, lost without God.

We will never come in humility to the cross, unless we are willing to face up to our sinful condition. Rom.3:23 says, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

2.Realize the wages of sin is death.

Romans 6:23 says, "The wages of sin is

death." Death must mean eternal separation from Holy God forever. You will be lost to all that is righteous and holy if you remain unsaved.

3.Know that God has provided for you a way out of sin’s penalty and power through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom. 6:23 tells us, "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Jesus has paid the price for sin, through His own redeeming, spotless blood, so that you can go free I owed a debt I could not pay, but thank God Jesus paid a debt He did not owe. I am speaking of the "sin debt."

4.Cast yourself upon the mercy of God for salvation, looking to His cross for what you need to be saved.

Romans 10:13 states, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." I have seen some folks in life that knew they needed to be saved, but have not been willing to call upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. If you are lost, are you willing to call upon His name in prayer and reach out for the salvation that comes from Christ? Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, except by me." What a glorious promise is found in Jn.1:12, "But as many as received Him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God." God seeks the sinner to draw that person to Himself.

As you cast yourself upon the mercy of God, as a hell deserving sinner, and reach out by faith for salvation in Christ, you can be saved.

Will you face your sinfulness?

Will you turn to the Lord Jesus Christ now?

DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE!


SERMON FROM  DR. TOM WALKER
ZION HILL BAPTIST--MARION, NC- USA

 

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