Most if not all people have heard the word salvation. It is a very churchy sounding word, but what does it mean? And do you need to know about it? As usual with my devotional questions, the short answer is either yes or no. In this case, the short answer is, yes you do need it. How do I know you need it? Because everyone needs it. So what are you being saved from? And what is salvation? Let's take each question one at a time and then tie it all together.
What do you and I need to be saved from? Great question, we need to be saved from all the times we have broken God's rules or laws and the punishment, which is death and eternity separated from God in hell. Lawbreakers are criminals in our world and are taken before a judge and are given the proper sentence based on the law. It is no different for God. We get most of our laws from God's law so it makes sense that God's system of laws and justice would work the same way. It would only be fair that the one who created everything gets to decide what happens to His creation.
You might say, "Well I don't believe in God so I don't care about His rules, or that doesn't apply to me". Ironically that would be His first rule and you have now broken it and need to be forgiven for that. Saying God doesn't exist when He clearly does isn't a get out jail free card. God is very real and His laws and rules apply to everyone.
Let's look at the evidence against you. If you have told just one little lie ever in your life then you are a lawbreaker or sinner. Most everyone would say that lying is bad or stealing is bad. Well God thinks so too and those are two of His rules that just about everyone has broken at least once in their lives. So if you lie you are considered to be a liar, if you steal you are a thief, right? So if you are a lying, thief who has rejected God then you would be a sinner or a rule breaker and you would deserve to be judged and punished for breaking the law. Really if you think about it it's a very fair system that God has created.
We have all been born with this sin nature or you might say we are born with the desire to break God's law. There is good news I promise. I know it sounds harsh and it sounds hopeless but it isn't at all. Keep reading and you will see there is a happy ending in this for anyone who believes and has faith.
How do you know you have sinned? In the Old Testament God gave Moses the ten commandments. Most of you know some of these laws or rules but do you know all of them? Remember you are a rule-breaker by God's standard if you break just one of these just one time.
Exodus 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
Exodus 20:7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it, you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
Exodus 20:15 “You shall not steal.
Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
These are the laws that we are to follow per God's standards. These ten laws or rules were given to us so that we would know when we have sinned and are in need of forgiveness. God knew when He gave these ten laws to Moses that we could not live up to His standard so He had a plan from the beginning of time to send His only Son to earth to take our punishment, that we fully deserve so we could live.
What is salvation? Salvation is the beautiful free gift that God gives to every lawbreaker if they will accept it. You can't earn it, you can't work for it, and you can't buy it. I know some of you are thinking, "Well I am a good person and God loves everyone so I am just fine; I don't need to have anything forgiven. I will just keep being a good person and God will let me into heaven". Remember just a moment ago when I said you can't earn it and that everyone has sinned at least once? That includes all the people who say they are a "good" person. In God's rule book, just one sin ever in your life no matter how much so-called good you do still makes you a sinner. One who will be eternally judged by Jesus Christ. See you can't be good enough because it is based on God's standards, not yours and God's standards are so much higher than ours that we can not live up to His standards without the help of His son Jesus Christ.
How do you get salvation and why would you want it? First, you want salvation because it is the only way to get into heaven and without it, you spend forever in hell a place so horrific and painful that we don't have words to describe it, separated from God and His love. So that one is easy. Everyone wants to go to heaven where you spend eternity in a place that is indescribably beautiful and full of love and peace and happiness that can't be measured.
The New Testament section of the Bible gives us a beautiful road map of how to get salvation and why you personally need it today, right now. There is a timer that only God knows when it will run out and your chance to accept His gift will be gone. We don't know when that time is, the evidence shows that the time is very short and will run out soon. Here is the road map and some more encouragement to help you.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
We must accept the gift by believing with all our heart, mind and, soul that Jesus Christ is the only savior of the world. Don't believe the lies that there are many ways to heaven. It isn't true! Jesus Christ is the only way.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
No matter what you have done your sin can be forgiven. Jesus already took your death penalty over 2,000 years ago on the cross.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.
John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
There are many more verses that I could share but you see the point. God is speaking to you right now. He has shown you the need and He has shown you that He loves you. The empty feeling you have that you can't seem to fill no matter what you have or do is the empty space that only Jesus Christ can fill.
Let me introduce you to your Savior, the only one who can help you, the only one that can get you the golden ticket to heaven.
His name is Jesus Christ, you have probably heard His name before. You might even have some idea as to who He is. Unfortunately, there are a lot of lies out there about Him and who He is. So here is the real story, the truth. He is the only Son of God. He was born of the virgin Mary, He lived here on earth as a man while also being God, He came to earth for the sole purpose of being killed on a cross, was buried in a tomb for 3 days, and was raised from the dead by God. Why would anyone do that you might ask? He did it because He, like God, loves you so much that He couldn't just sit by and watch all of us be sentenced to hell for the crimes we committed. When Jesus was on the cross he took every one of your sins and suffered the consequences and took the punishment for your crimes so that you could stand before God one day and be found innocent of all charges. That is a love that can not be expressed in words.
What do you have to do to receive the gift of salvation that I have been talking about? It is simple really. There is a prayer that you can pray, most people call it the Sinner's Prayer. If you are ready you can say it right now out load, don't wait. God wants you in heaven. Don't worry about where you are or what you have done, all sin can be forgiven. Ready? Here it is, say it and believe it with all your heart, mind, and soul.
Lord Jesus, I know I have broken your laws and I am a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe that you died on the cross for me, that you were buried and God raised you from the dead. I ask that you come into my life as my Lord and Savior and I will do whatever you ask me to do.
If you prayed that prayer and believed, then you can be assured that you have been saved and will be in heaven. You have just made the best decision of your life! You made a promise just now to live the rest of your life serving Jesus. That is a big promise that God expects you to keep. But you now have the Holy Spirit of God living in you to help you every step of the way. You have just joined God's eternal family and as fellow brothers and sisters, we are here to help you as well.
Please reach out to us if you prayed this prayer and let us help you on this beautiful journey. You are never alone in this. Find a good Bible-teaching believing local church to help you. We are made to be with other believers, to pray for each other, and to help each other. Tune in each Sunday night as we teach the bible verse by verse to help you have a deeper more meaningful relationship with your Savior, Jesus Christ.
Know that you are welcome here and that we love you and Jesus loves you.
God bless you and welcome to the family!
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