SALVATION . . . Accept No Substitute

 

            Father God in heaven, in the name of Jesus Christ, Your only begotten Son, I pray this prayer today.

            May Your hand be upon each person who reads this. I ask a blessing for each one and I ask Your guidance for them to fully understand the content of this entry and the courage to act on my suggestion for their family, friends, and church family. I ask this, Father, in the name of Your Son and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May everyone who reads this say “Amen.”

As a Christian, I’ve noticed certain things that happen when I’m in a crowd or even mingling with other self-proclaiming Christians. Even at family gatherings.

Here is an example of what happens to me. I walk into a room at a family gathering and suddenly the room clears out. When it happens, I feel a pressing need to check my hygiene. You know, blow into a hand or sniff under an arm, that type of thing. Just to be sure my deodorant still works.

I now understand why it happens, although it took me awhile, and it doesn’t have anything to do with personal cleanliness.

This action from others prompts the question, “Are they running from the Lord?”

This surfaced in my mind again one day last week, as cool air blew over lush grass and sweet smelling floral, and found its way through my open window. It was accompanied by the sound of birds singing as they flitted from fence to tree to feeder, as they socialized in our bird-friendly and sheltered backyard. They seem to feel safe – like humans do when they have salvation.

I decided to explore why the question periodically comes to mind and the circumstances that bring it.

These people who flee the room when I enter are running from their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit (who resides in every Christian)—not from me.

Many people sit in churches and other religious facilities believing they are saved because they pray to God. But the truth is, if He’s the only one they acknowledge, then they aren’t. They are not saved unless they have accepted the full pardon of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

            The Bible, the Word of God, tells us plainly that we must come through His Son Jesus Christ if God is to hear us. If we don’t accept Jesus’ pardon for our life, yet we want to know His Father, we are trying to enter the back door into heaven and it will definitely be closed to everyone who rattles the door knob. (1John 2:23, John 10:38, Ephesians 5:20, Matthew 11:26)

            I would ask this of people who run from Jesus:

“Don’t want anything to do with grace, or goodness, or eternal life with a loving God?”

“A God who won’t throw you away, won’t destroy you for all eternity?”

Are you, or do you know, someone who sits in the pew each worship day and looks around feeling confident they are saved in the Lord—just because they have been raised in a good church family?

These people just know that their salvation must be secure. They followed the church rules and participated in all the programs and Wednesday night worships.

They may have even joined the choir or sang special music, playing an instrument their parents started them on at birth…well, maybe made a choice which one they would play at that time.

I can testify personally that He, God Almighty, will extend every opportunity to bring you into His glorious family, to bring you life and not death. Through the saving Grace of His son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The most loving and wonderful thing you can do for these people, whether church friends or your family, is tell them the truth.

One day in the future, maybe today, it will be their last day on earth. Once they are dead their destiny is set. If they have not accepted Jesus Christ’s Salvation, a pardon purchased  for them through His death on the cross, then they are destined for hell.

Yes there is a real hell and that is the destination for anyone not saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior.

If you know this truth, tell it to anyone you suspect does not know it.

If they don’t act on securing their place for all eternity, in Heaven, it is not your fault and you will have done what the Lord our God expects of you.

This ball is in your hands. What are you going to do with it?

I pray the Lord’s guidance for you in this important decision.

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Salvation

They say salvation is of the Jews. John 4:22 They’re right. Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ was born a Jew. Matt 27:37

OK, so we know who our Savior is. That He was born a Jew, from the tribe of Judah. But, what about salvation?

I’ve asked this question. “Have you led anyone to Jesus lately?” Today I ask the question, “If not, why not?”

How do we lead someone to Him if the Holy Spirit has called their name, and put them in our path?

Many Christians aren’t soul-savers, but this isn’t by choice. They want to be. Many just don’t know how to go about it—what to do. The one thing that may get in their way is embarrassment. Yes, I said embarrassment. This may be hard to believe but it has truth.

It’s difficult to ask someone “Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?”

Oh, My! What if they say “Mind your own business”?  What if they laugh at you and point their finger? This is when you have to trust the Lord. That He didn’t send you to be ridiculed, but that He may want you to do this exact thing. Or, maybe He wants you to plant a seed and have someone else bring it to fruition. Maybe you will introduce the subject of salvation, and the next Christian will kneel with them while they give their life to Jesus.

What if you don’t take this person to the Lord? Or, plant that seed? He will always provide someone else for them, but look at what you will have missed. Not knowing the joy and wonder of completing an assignment for the Lord.

I ask you, isn’t it worth stepping out in faith to help someone be saved from destruction, on the day of the Lord? When he shall set us sheep on His right side and the goats (unsaved) on His left?  Matt 25:33

How do you go about leading another person to the Lord? Well, this is what I do.

First, I pray before asking the person I’m talking to if they’ve been saved. If their answer is “No”, I ask, “Do you want to know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?”

If they should say “No”, I tell them Jesus loves them and wants them to have a pardon and eternal life with Him. If there’s no positive response I stop there, making a mental note to stay in contact with them. This may be an introduction to salvation, where at another time I can approach them again.

If I determine the person is ready to receive the Lord, I simply ask, “Do you want to do this now?”

If the answer is “Yes”, I start the process of taking this person through the steps that will guarantee them eternal life with our Lord and Savior. It’s evident at this time that the Holy Spirit has drawn them to Jesus. John 6:44 If it’s possible, I kneel with them (I’m partial to kneeling, although I’ve taken a few through the sinner’s prayer in other places). It’s good to open with prayer and ask His hand upon the two of you as you lead this wise individual to the Lord. You may also have other requests for the Lord, specific to this person.

I ask “Do you believe Jesus Christ is the son of God?” John 20:31 Wait for an answer after each question. If at any time the answer is “No”, then it’s time to discuss the Scriptures. “Do you believe Jesus was born of a virgin?” Luke 1:27-32  “That the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, His mother, and that God is His father?” Luke 1:34-35 “Do you believe He was crucified on the cross (John 19:23-33) for our sins and on the third day was resurrected?” John 20:1-17

If the person says “Yes” to all my questions I lead them through this prayer. “Jesus Christ I believe You are the son of God, born of a virgin. That You died on the cross for my sins and after three days were resurrected from the dead and now sit on the right side of God, Your Father. Please come into my heart, be my Savior, and cleanse me from all my sins.”

Here is what you, and the person you’re leading to Jesus, don’t have to do for salvation—that in fact you cannot do for salvation. You don’t have to earn it. You don’t have to act so good that it’ll be given to you, or if you fail taken from you. And finally, you don’t have to find someone else to get your salvation, or intercede for you, with God.

All you have to do is follow the steps above and Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for you, will come into your heart and bring you salvation. Then the Holy Spirit will come to reside in you and clean you up from inside out. You just need to remember you’re a sinner and when you realize you’ve committed a sin, ask forgiveness. He will do that if you ask. That’s the most incredible thing, now isn’t it? He died on the cross that we might live. If we accept his pardon, He will graciously forgive our sins and one day we’ll spend eternity with Him.

We live in perilous times. There is soon coming a day when many will want to know about the Lord our God, and there will be plenty of work to do. We must know how to lead a child of God to salvation. Their eternal soul depends on it.