God Is Holy
Most of us see some good in one another. We like to be around certain people, who to us, are "good people." I personally have friends that in my eyes are wonderful people, but the Lord doesn't look at people like you and I do. You and I see one another as being good, but God declares, "There is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Rom. 3:12).
You see, God is perfectly holy. The prophet Habakkuk wrote, "Thou [God] art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:" (Hab. 1:13) Not only is God holy, He demands that you and I be holy also. "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." (I Pet. 1:16) But here is a problem! The same God that commands us to be holy declares over and over in scripture that we are not holy. Consider the following statements from the Bible describing man's condition in the eyes of God.
Sin and Its Consequences
There can be no doubt about man's condition before God. He is described as a sinner, unholy and out of fellowship with God. The question then is, "What happens to people in this condition?" The Bible gives the answer: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die:" (Ezek. 18:4). Ezekiel 18:20 repeats, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Man is a sinner; therefore, he must die. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" (Rom. 5:12). The truth that sin brings death could not be any clearer than in Romans 6:23 which says, "For the wages of sin is death;" All of us could testify to the reality of death. If it hasn't touched your immediate family yet, you know that it soon will. Every cemetery, mortuary, hearse, obituary column, coroner, death certificate, and the records at every courthouse in the world tell us that death will eventually come to us all.
However, the Bible also talks about another death called the second death. This second death is found in the book of Revelation. "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire, This is the second death." (Rev. 20:14) "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Rev. 21:8) The thought of a person leaving this present world through death and then being in a conscious state of torment and fire for eternity is such a terrible thought that it even hurts to write about it, but it is true. Consider just a few of the scriptures on the subject of this awful place called hell.
Because God doesn't deal with our sins the moment we commit them, doesn't mean that He didn't notice them. Human nature causes us to believe that sin must be judged immediately or it never will be. Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, said, "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." (Ecc. 8:11) Many think that because it was a "little sin," just a "slip of the tongue," a "little white lie," or a "brief evil thought, " God will let this one go; while the "bigger" sins like murder, adultery, rape, or robbery might force God to execute judgment. The truth of the matter is that God will never overlook sin no matter how small we may judge it to be. Nor will He let one sin or sinner slip by unnoticed.
The Bible has given us a bleak and despairing picture of man's condition. He is a sinner, out of fellowship with God, and if he dies in that condition he will have to face a God who demands absolute holiness. His eternal state will be torment in the flames of hell and the lake of fire forever. But that is not the end of the story!
God Has Provided a Remedy for Your Sins!
The apostle Paul put it like this in I Timothy 1:15: "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." When Jesus Christ came into this world, He came without sin. Christ "knew no sin" (II Cor. 5:21), "did no sin" (I Pet. 2:22), and "in him is no sin" (I John 3:5). But if Jesus Christ was totally and completely without sin, then why did He die? The answer is that He died for others! The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Again, in I Thessalonians 5:9, 10, we read, "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him." The good news of the gospel is given in I Corinthians 15:1-4 as clearly as in any verse in the Bible: "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel... By which also ye are saved, ... For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"
Nothing could be any clearer in the Bible than the fact that man is a sinner, and that if his sins are not judged and paid for, he must die and face an eternal hell with no help or hope. Many people try to appease God with good deeds, church membership, or baptism, but no matter how hard we try, we do not have the means to pay for our own sins. Besides, the scriptures declare that salvation is not by works, but by grace. Ephesians 2: 8, 9 declares, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." The good news is that Jesus Christ came to this world as God's Son, lived a sinless life, went to the cross of Calvary where He shed His blood and died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day.
One way to illustrate what Christ did for us would be to make two lists of the character traits of any individual beside a list of the qualities of Jesus Christ. At the top of the first list, put the name of any person who has ever lived. For the sake of illustration, think of David: Israelite, the son of Jesse, writer of psalms, giant killer, King of Israel. Yet his character traits also included adultery, deceiver, abuse of power in getting a man drunk, and conspiracy to have the same man killed. You will agree this is not a very good record. Then at the top of the second list we list the character qualities of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. His character traits include holiness, purity, honesty, righteousness, impeccability, and perfection. We will stop there, but the qualities of the Lord Jesus Christ would fill up more than all the books that have ever been written.
When God saves an unworthy sinner He simply switches names at the top of the list. We read in II Corinthians 5:21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Make your own list: put your own name at the top and then list all the sins that you can think of that you have ever committed. If you are life me, you would not even write some of the things that you have done for fear someone might find the list. Oh, what terrible sinners we have been! But when Jesus Christ becomes your Lord and Saviour, God considers all your sins paid for by the death of Christ. At the same time, He will take all the righteousness of Christ and put that on your list. Now, if God should check your record there are no sins listed. They have been paid for by the sacrificial, bloody death of Jesus Christ. The Bible calls this justification. In Romans 5:1, we read, "Therefore being justified by faith, [you must believe it] we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:"
It's very clear in scripture that we are all sinners in the eyes of God. In our eyes, some people are better than others and some sins are more wicked than others, but the Bible knows no such divisions among people. If you have had one wrong thought, said one wrong word or committed one wrong deed, you are a sinner. James 2:10 says, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." John Bunyan once said, "One leak will sink a ship; and one sin will destroy a sinner."
The Way of Salvation
But how do we obtain so great salvation? What do I do to get God to forgive all my sins? Can this wonderful gift of eternal life be mine? Can I really be saved from the penalty of my sins? God is so good in giving us a detailed description of how to come to know Christ as our personal lord and Saviour. In Romans 10: 13-15 we read, " For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? ..." The chronological order of the verse would be that someone is sent to preach, so we can hear and believe and be saved.
Now, my friend, I may not have come to you in person, but I have come to you through the printed page. God sent me to preach the gospel to you, and for the last several pages I have been preaching about how God loves sinners so much that He sent His only begotten Son into this sinful world to shed His precious blood and die a cruel death in order to pay for the sins that you and I have committed. If you truly believe the truth about biblical salvation and would like to be saved forever and know it, then simply call upon the name of the Lord, and the Bible declares you shall be saved. You might want to pray from the heart something like this:
"Dear God , I know without a doubt that I am a sinner, and if I die in my present condition I will perish in the flames of hell forever.
I do not want to go to hell. I want to be saved from my sins.
The best I know how, I repent of my sins and trust Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Saviour.
Please, forgive me of my sins and save me for Christ's sake. Amen!"
If you believe the gospel and meant what you just said to God, according to His Word, the Bible, you are saved forever. Now thank the Lord for saving you and set out to live for Him. If this article has helped you to trust Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour and you would like more help in your Christian life, please contact us at 716-257-3645. We would like to pray for you, sit down with you, or send you some more helpful information.
copyright 2013 by Victory Baptist Press, Milton, Florida - USA
PO Box 275
201 Rock City Street
Little Valley, NY
How To Be Saved Forever and Know It
Grace Bible Baptist Church