If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.
No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.
I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.
I am the bread of life.
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How to be Saved—According to the Bible
Like everything else God has done—from the creation of this awesome, boundless universe to the
mindboggling, ultra-complex coding of the human DNA (3 billion bits of information packed into a
microscopic cell containing the coding for physical recreation of your entire body)—so
also was His display of love through Jesus Christ.
To show His love for humanity, God was actually willing (along with His Son, Jesus Christ)
to offer His Son as the sacrificial lamb for the sins of this world—including yours and mine.
Please read the following remarkable words, spoken by Jesus Christ in the early first century:
"...the Son of Man must be lifted up [on the cross],
that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
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.
Whoever believes in him 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.
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done
Why did our Savior come to earth?
Why did He have to be "lifted up" on a Roman cross—willingly submitting Himself to arguably
the worst form of execution ever devised by humankind—at the peak of His life?
Because that was the only way—the only way—the crimes and sins
of this entire world could be forgiven. God would not allow salvation without a sacrifice for these
sins, and Christ was to be that sacrifice.
The good—indeed, GREAT—news of eternal life
Does the word "awesome" adequately describe the grace of God and His Son Jesus Christ?
This unparalleled sacrifice (the understatement of understatements) demonstrated at least 2
This is how seriously God has taken your salvation:
- The fact that God's love is awesome (in the true sense of the word) and,
- The fact that sin is really, really, really a most serious matter to God.
He truly made the highest of all possible
sacrifices to bring it to your doorstep—but, as we will show in a moment, you must
"open the door" of your life to receive it.
In other words, God and Christ (and the Holy Spirit) have done their part.
Now comes your part. (As this article series unfolds, we plan to notice specifically what God
has commanded of us to receive access to this indescribable display of grace.)
As you can imagine—in light of this utterly underserved grace—failing to respond
is going to have terrifying consequences (more on this in a moment).
Understanding what "Jesus is Lord" really means
After everything Jesus has done for us, is it really asking too much that we willingly—indeed,
gladly—acknowledge His Lordship over our lives?
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my
Father who is in heaven,"—and—"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?"
In other words...
(Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46)
Of course, our actions of obedience to God certainly DO NOT make us deserving of God's grace.
But they do demonstrate to Christ that our faith is genuine—unlike the artificial faith
that so many followers of Christ had in His day (see again Matthew 7:21).
- You must accept Christ's Lordship if you want to be saved; and,
- Christ is not interested in meaningless words of adoration, but actions to prove your faith—a
fact, I might add, that many modern "Christians" need to badly understand.
Therefore, without obeying Christ (that's what
"submitting to His Lordship" means) you won't be saved. And by the way—and this might be shocking
to some of my readers—Jesus put far more emphasis in His
ministry on obedience than faith. Indeed, on the Judgment Day you will be
judged NOT by your claim to faith in Christ, but by your deeds, which prove your faith is real—Revelation 21:11-15).
As the Bible says: "faith without deeds [of obedience, to demonstrate one's faith] is dead."
Being 100% committed
In return for your salvation because of His great sacrifice, Jesus obviously commands us to be
100% committed. He said:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
This is the first and greatest commandment."
"...any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple."
As you can hopefully see, your salvation involves far more than some "mental acknowledgement of Christ" and
the fact that He once existed and was a good Person.
Here's some really important information about what's going to happen to us all one day...
The Bible states:
"God will give to each person according to what he has done.
To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
For God does not show favoritism."
Clearly, on the Day of Judgment you'll be judged by your actions. If you reject God's truth—or reinvent it to
suit your own
preferences—you will be subject to the terrifying wrath of God. Jesus described hell as a place to be fearful
of, far moreso than fearing those who can kill your body. It's a place where "the worm does not die and the
fire is not quenched." And Paul wrote: "It is a fearful thing to fall into the
hands of the living God" (Matthew 10:28; Mark 9:48; Hebrews 10:31).
God is love. There's the "soft love" of God, the "tough love" of God—and "total excommunication" from His grace
(when your life ends, if non-submitting). He truly wants you to accept His grace so you can see the full extent of
His greatness; indeed, how can we NOT see that with His sacrifice
(1 John 4:8; Hebrews 12:7-11; Jude 21-25)!
But make no mistake: for those who disobey, He will be their most inconceivably terrifying enemy.
Believe it or not, God's grace DOES have an expiration date for those who disrespect Him
And God rightfully views the ignoring of His and His Son's unprecedented sacrifice as hugely disrespectful.
More good news: God won't play favorites...
We know how it works these days in our evil world: politics rules.
Too often, it's not "what you do" or "what you are"
but "who you know" and "what you have (materially)."
It's just NOT going to be that way with God. Money doesn't impress Him, He owns the universe!
"Who you know" doesn't matter to Him either—unless you had a true relationship with Him, that is.
Because God is fair—and I mean REALLY fair (not fair by our own standards which almost
always slant in our favor)—everyone will REALLY be judged by the same standards.
Please note again the last phrase of the above verse again:
"God will give to each person according to what he has done...God does not show favoritism."
As you can hopefully see, you won't be judged by society's "political correctness,"
the Christian world's "religious correctness," or your own "self correctness."
You'll be judged by "God correctness."